Her parents are Peter, a music teacher and trained concert violinist who played with The Shannonaires, and Anne, a nurse. She was the third among six siblings -- two of whom are in the military, one studied Physical Therapy, one is a music teacher, and another considering a film career.
Film and TV Movie Credits:
• Love, Lies and Murder (1991) as Cinnamon Brown
• The Boy Who Cried B!tch (1991) as Jessica
• Thirty Below Zero (1992) as Lucy
• Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story (1996) as Dorothy Day
• Love Walked In (1997) as Vera
• Drive, She Said (1997) as Nadine Ship
• Monday After the Miracle (1998) as Helen Keller
• Hi-Life (1998) as Susan
• A Woman Reported (2004) as Woman
• Two Tickets to Paradise (2006) as Kate
• The Beautiful Ordinary (2007) as Mrs. Ford
In 2001, Moira won a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series for The West Wing. She was also nominated at the 2005 Teen Choice Awards in the category Choice TV Parental Units for playing Karen Scott, mother of Lucas Scott, on One Tree Hill.
Moira would love to have the opportunity to sing in a Disney movie.
Moria received critical accolades for her performance as Helen Keller in the television movie Monday After the Miracle.
During filming of One Tree Hill, she has been residing in Wilmington, North Carolina. Otherwise, Moira divides her time between New York and Los Angeles.
In 1995, Moira voice-acted Nala in the video game Animated StoryBook: The Lion King and again in 1998 with The Lion King II: Simba's Pride Active Play.
Moira was originally cast as Kit Keller in A League of Their Own. She hurt her ankle on the set of The Cutting Edge and was unable to take the role.
Moira wanted to be a nun up until the 8th grade.
To get herself through college, Moira worked as a waitress, a nanny, and several other jobs.
When she was growing up, Moira listened mostly to classical, big band, and Irish music. She didn't listen to rock and roll music until she was 16 years old.
Moira's favorite qualities in a person are loyalty and passion.
Some of her favorite sports teams include the New York Mets, Detroit Lions, and the Pittsburg Steelers.
Among the audio books Moira has narrated are Katherine Paterson's Jacob, Have I Loved, Jayne Ann Krentz' Deep Water Cassette, and Sandra Dallas' The Persian Pickle Club.
Moira is 5 feet 4 inches (1.63 metres) tall. She has naturally red hair, but has dyed it brunette in many of her roles.
On August 5, 2000, Moira married Steven Hewitt, a Texas businessman, at St. Joseph's Church in Ronkonkoma, New York. They have two children together -- daughter Ella (b. 2001) and son Eamon (b. 2003).
For two years during high school, Moira worked at a McDonald's branch. While on duty at the takeout window, she would do impressions of elephants and monkeys. She also did international accents while serving the drive-thru customers.
Moira was pregnant during season one of One Tree Hill. So the scenes involving her were cleverly filmed with only her upper body being shown. And convenient props like the counter at the cafe, potted plants, among others were used to cover her bump. Consequently, when her due date neared, Moira Kelly was released for the period under the pretext that Karen had gone to cooking school in Italy.
Moira: (on choosing roles) I read it, and realize if it's a character I can commit to. I usually know by, say, the fifteenth page, whether or not I want to do the script. There's a lot I won't do. I've done films that were violent and films with nudity, but there's a fine line between what's necessary and what's not. I'll ask myself, 'Does it glorify it? Are these characters that grow and learn from it?'
Moira: I would vote for anyone who is willing to clean house in Washington and get back to the actual issues at hand rather than getting bogged down by involving themselves in people's personal lives.
Moira: Growing up Catholic has been a gift. Being in the movie business is hard. There are a lot of battles to face, and if I didn't have that religious core -- that base to turn to - I would be truly lost.
Moira: (on voice acting) As an actor, when you're just relying on your voice, it's just a nice dynamic to focus on. Rather than the full picture, it's just one unique element of performance.
Moira: (on working with the young stars of "One Tree Hill"; in a 2004 interview) I think I'm very easy on a set. I don't demand too much. I just love to work, and I love the interaction with fellow actors. Maybe the kids feel that ease. I wouldn't say I'm on their level, because I've realized on this show that there definitely is a gap between 21 and 36, but they're really excited. For a lot of them, this is their first big show. When we all get together and have a big scene that we're enjoying, I think that comes across.
Moira: They used to say I was a younger Winona Ryder and that always made me laugh because I'm three years older than she is.
Moira: It's great to have money and lot of things in life, but you usually sacrifice some other things that can make for some miserable living.
Moira: I've always been something of a tomboy, but I get more of the [reaction] with short hair than with long. I get "cute" with short and I get "sexy" with long.
Moira: I did everything I could to stay in college and pay my own way, so I think that if success hadn't come so quickly, I would still be pursuing it.
Moira: I can cry at the drop of the pin. But comedy is hard for me; it's the timing.
Moira: When I was [starting out as an actor], I didn't want to ask too many questions. Sometimes that's good. Making mistakes can teach you a lot. It's not an easy industry to be in when you are young. My advice: 'keep your ears and eyes open, never listen to the critics and don't believe your own press.
Moira: My parents were equals. My dad didn't overpower my mom, and she didn't overpower my dad. They both knew what their jobs were in the relationship. They both had their separate opinions, but they both knew the goal they needed to reach, and they worked at it together.