David E. Kelley

Celebrity

Biography

  • Birth Place: Waterville, ME
  • Date of Birth / Zodiac Sign: 04/04/1956, Aries
  • Profession: Writer; producer; lawyer
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While other artists earn law degrees in case they need a stable career to fall back on, this Boston-based attorney traded the bar for showbiz after penning his first screenplay---the courtroom comedy From the Hip, which was made into a movie in 1987. A year earlier, the then-unsold script inspired TV producer Steven Bochco to hire Kelley as a scribe on his new show, L.A. Law. After quickly being promoted to head writer, then executive producer, Kelley began creating his own hit series, including teen-doctor dramedy Doogie Howser, M.D.; eccentric small-town crime series Picket Fences; medical saga Chicago Hope; quirky legal comedy Ally McBeal; gritty legal drama The Practice; and its spin-off, Boston Legal. A workhorse able to craft unforgettable characters and infuse serious stories with offbeat humor, Kelley oversaw several shows simultaneously in the '90s. Kelley received a slew of honors for his small-screen projects, including a number of Emmys and TV GUIDE's Brandon Tartikoff Award in 2001.David E. Kelley Fast Facts:
  • Father, Jack, was a Hall of Fame hockey coach at Boston University from 1962 to '72, winning NCAA championships in 1971 and '72. He later coached and held front-office positions in the NHL.
  • An avid hockey player himself, David captained his team at Princeton and played professionally for a year in Switzerland after graduation.
  • Worked as a lawyer at the Boston firm Fine & Ambrogne (1983-86).
  • Broke into television when Steven Bochco read his screenplay for 1987's From the Hip and hired him for the staff of L.A. Law.
  • Woman in rocking chair who says "You stinka" in closing credits of David E. Kelley Productions is Kelley's late grandmother.
  • In 2003, fired most of the original cast of The Practice in order to reduce costs. James Spader signed on as the series' new lead and in 2004 earned his own spin-off, Boston Legal.
  • Although initially very critical of the reality-TV craze, Kelley created his own short-lived reality show, The Law Firm, in 2005.
  • David E. Kelley Relationships:
  • Jack Kelley - Father
  • Michelle Pfeiffer - Wife
  • Claudia Rose Kelley - Daughter
  • John Henry Kelley - Son
  • Ginny Kelley - Mother
  • David E. Kelley Awards:
  • 1993 Emmy: Outstanding Drama Series - Winner
  • 1991 Emmy: Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series - Winner
  • 1999 Emmy: Outstanding Comedy Series - Winner
  • 1991 Emmy: Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1990 Emmy: Outstanding Drama Series - Winner
  • 1998 Emmy: Outstanding Drama Series - Winner
  • 2000 Emmy: Outstanding Drama Series - Nominee
  • 2001 Emmy: Outstanding Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1994 Emmy: Outstanding Drama Series - Winner
  • 1995 Emmy: Outstanding Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1999 Emmy: Outstanding Drama Series - Winner
  • 1989 Emmy: Outstanding Drama Series - Winner
  • 1990 Emmy: Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1988 Emmy: Outstanding Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1998 Emmy: Outstanding Comedy Series - Nominee
  • 1998 Emmy: Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1999 Emmy: Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series - Nominee
  • 1989 Emmy: Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1998 Emmy: Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series - Nominee
  • 2007 Emmy: Outstanding Drama Series - Nominee
  • 2008 Emmy: Outstanding Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1991 Emmy: Outstanding Drama Series - Winner
  • 1996 Emmy: Outstanding Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1988 Emmy: Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 1990 Emmy: Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series - Winner
  • College:
  • Princeton University, Princeton, NJ (BA in Political Science, 1979); Boston University, Boston, MA (JD, 1983)

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