Childhood & Early Life
Kiele Sanchez was born on October 13, 1977, in Chicago, Illinois, US. She was one of the four children in the family. She is of Puerto Rican, French, and Polish descent. She is from a middle-class family. Her father, Oscar Sanchez, worked as a racetrack jockey agent.
Ever since she was young, Kiele was a shy girl and lacked self-confidence. She also had an immense fear of appearing on stage in front of a crowd.
She started acting in high school to overcome her stage fright. She performed in a school production of the play ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ while attending ‘Glenbard North High School.’ Soon, she overcame her fears and became interested in the prospect of becoming an actor.
She continued to perform in plays after she graduated high school and moved to New York. There, she had the opportunity of becoming an ‘MTV’ VJ by winning the ‘MTV’ ‘Wanna Be a VJ’ contest. She did not win the contest, but ended up becoming a finalist.
During the contest, she was spotted by an agent from Hollywood, who expressed interest in representing her. Kiele accepted the offer and moved to Los Angeles upon her agent’s insistence. There, she started auditioning for film and TV roles.
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She made her acting debut in 2000, with the supporting role of the ‘Dream Woman’ in the independent film titled ‘Migrating Forms.’ The same year, she appeared in a TV film titled ‘Live Girls,’ in which she played ‘Lynne.’
She started 2001 with yet another TV film, titled ‘Class Warfare,’ where she portrayed ‘Amber Whidden,’ and later that year, she appeared in a short film titled ‘The Kiss.’
In 2001, she appeared in the first major acting project of her career, in the film ‘Stealing Time.’ She played ‘Emily’ in the film. The movie had its world premiere at the ‘Seattle International Film Festival.’ Although the film was a critical success, it was not as successful at the box office.
In 2002, she was cast as ‘Claudia Willis-Glass,’ one of the main characters in the drama series ‘That Was Then.’ Unfortunately, the series was canceled after two episodes, following a poor critical and commercial response.
In 2003, she appeared in a small role in the comedy film titled ‘Stuck on You,’ and the same year, she appeared as one of the leads in the sitcom ‘Married to the Kellys.’ Kiele played the role of ‘Susan Wagner’ in the sitcom, which ran for a season, spanning 22 episodes. The series was canceled after the first season.
In 2005, Kiele scored another lead role, in the comedy drama series titled ‘Related.’ The series featured her as ‘Anne Sorelli,’ a therapist. Even though the series was fairly appreciated by critics, the series was cancelled after a season.
In 2006, Kiele appeared in pilot episodes of three shows: ‘Four Kings,’ ‘Modern Men,’ and ‘Girls on the Bus.’ However, none of them was successful enough to run for more than a season or a few episodes.
The same year, she appeared in the highly success drama series ‘Lost,’ in which she played ‘Nikki Fernandez.’ However, the fan response to her character was not as good as she had expected, and her character was “killed” six episodes after Kiele made her first appearance in the series.
In 2007, she appeared in the supporting role of ‘Mrs. Goodman’ in the fantasy–drama film titled ‘Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium.’ The film was a fairly average success. She then appeared in the leading role of ‘Lily’ in the direct-to-video horror–thriller film ‘Insanitarium.’
In the late 2000s, she appeared in films such as ‘A Perfect Getaway’ and ’30 Days of Night: Dark Days.’ She also played a recurring role in the series ‘Samantha Who?’ and then appeared in ‘The End of Steve’ and ‘Matadors.’
In 2010, she was signed on to play ‘Callie Cargill’ in the police-procedural series titled ‘The Glades’. The series ran for four successful seasons.
In 2014, Kiele was signed on to play ‘Lisa Prince,’ one of the leading characters, in the drama series ‘Kingdom.’ The series ran for three seasons, spanning 40 episodes.
In 2014, she appeared as ‘Liz,’ one of the key roles in the film ‘The Purge: Anarchy.’ The film was a critical and commercial success.
In 2018, she was seen playing one of the main roles in the ‘Netflix’ drama film titled ‘Benji.’
Family & Personal Life
Kiele Sanchez married director/writer Zach Helm in 2001. They divorced in 2008. In 2011, she got engaged to actor Zach Gilford, and the couple got married in 2012. They have a daughter named Zeppelin Adele Gilford, who was born through surrogacy in 2017.
In August 2015, Kiele had announced that she was pregnant with her first child. However, she had suffered a miscarriage soon. This was followed with a long phase of depression and anxiety, which also affected her work.