Join or Sign In

Sign in to customize your TV listings

Continue with Facebook Continue with email

By joining TV Guide, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

David E. Kelley Biography

Birth Place:
Waterville, Maine, United States
Writer, producer, lawyer

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


  • 2021Producers Guild Awards-David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television: nominated
  • 2020Producers Guild Awards-Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama: nominated
  • 2018Writers Guild Awards-Long Form Adapted: winner
  • 2017Emmy-Outstanding Limited Series: winner
  • 2017Emmy-Outstanding Writing For A Limited Series, Movie Or A Dramatic Special: nominated
  • 2008Emmy-Outstanding Drama Series: nominated
  • 2007Emmy-Outstanding Drama Series: nominated
  • 2001Emmy-Outstanding Drama Series: nominated
  • 2000Emmy-Outstanding Drama Series: nominated
  • 1999Emmy-Outstanding Comedy Series: winner
  • 1999Emmy-Outstanding Drama Series: winner
  • 1998Emmy-Outstanding Drama Series: winner
  • 1998Emmy-Outstanding Comedy Series: nominated
  • 1996Emmy-Outstanding Drama Series: nominated
  • 1995Emmy-Outstanding Drama Series: nominated
  • 1994Emmy-Outstanding Drama Series: winner
  • 1993Emmy-Outstanding Drama Series: winner
  • 1991Emmy-Outstanding Drama Series: winner
  • 1990Emmy-Outstanding Drama Series: winner
  • 1989Emmy-Outstanding Drama Series: winner
  • 1988Emmy-Outstanding Drama Series: nominated