Paula Kelly

Paula Kelly

Highest Rated: 83% Sweet Charity (1969)

Lowest Rated: 55% Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling (1986)

Birthday: Oct 21, 1943

Birthplace: Jacksonville, Florida, USA

After studying dancing at Juilliard under legendary choreographer Martha Graham, Paula Kelly danced professionally for Graham and others before landing significant roles on Broadway as a performer and choreographer in her own right. New York wasn't the only stage for her talents, though. She appeared on London's West End in "Sweet Charity," the 1967 musical version of Fellini's "Nights of Cabiria," winning an award for her triumphant performance as the sultry Helene. When the show's director/choreographer, Bob Fosse, mounted a costly movie version of the show, Kelly reprised her role to much acclaim, although the film itself was a bomb. More film work followed, but surprisingly her roles were far from glitzy dance/musical productions. Like many African-American actors working in the early 1970s, Kelly found substantial parts in the gritty, frequently politically charged so-called blaxploitation genre--she starred in the thriller "The Spook Who Sat by the Door," the ambitious fantasy-tinged "Top of the Heap," the crime story "Trouble Man," and the comedy "Uptown Saturday Night" with Sidney Poitier, Bill Cosby, and Harry Belafonte. Her big-screen work during this time wasn't relegated only to black-focused themes, however. She had prominent roles in the science fiction favorite "Soylent Green," starring Charlton Heston, and in the chilling "The Andromeda Strain." When film roles became scarce, there was plentiful television work for her, most notably a recurring guest spot on "Night Court" in 1984 and in the 1989 miniseries "The Women of Brewster Place," both earning her Emmy nominations. Paula Kelly died on February 9, 2020 in Inglewood, CA at the age of 76.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet Run for the Dream: The Gail Devers Story Mrs. Devers (Character) - 1996
71% 86% Once Upon A Time... When We Were Colored Ma Pearl (Character) $65.1K 1995
No Score Yet 20% Bank Robber Mother (Character) - 1993
No Score Yet 94% The Women of Brewster Place Unknown (Character) - 1989
No Score Yet 53% Uncle Tom's Cabin Cassy (Character) - 1987
55% 80% Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling Satin Doll (Character) $16.4M 1986
67% 81% Uptown Saturday Night Leggy Peggy (Character) - 1974
67% 84% The Spook Who Sat by the Door Dahomey Queen (Character) - 1973
72% 70% Soylent Green Martha (Character) - 1973
No Score Yet No Score Yet Cool Breeze Martha Harris (Character) - 1972
No Score Yet No Score Yet Top of the Heap Black Chick (Character) - 1972
67% 72% The Andromeda Strain Karen Anson (Character) - 1971
83% 74% Sweet Charity Helene (Character) - 1969

TV

Credit
0% No Score Yet Baby Talk Unknown (Guest Star) 1991
No Score Yet No Score Yet Mission: Impossible Unknown (Guest Star) 1989
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Women of Brewster Place Unknown (Character) 1989
No Score Yet 93% The Golden Girls Marguerite (Guest Star) 1987
No Score Yet No Score Yet Finder of Lost Loves Unknown (Guest Star) 1985
No Score Yet No Score Yet Hill Street Blues Mrs. Eagleton (Guest Star) 1985
No Score Yet No Score Yet Night Court Liz Willi (Character) 1984
No Score Yet No Score Yet Trapper John, M.D. Unknown (Guest Star) 1981
No Score Yet No Score Yet Good Times Dr. Kelly (Guest Star) 1979
No Score Yet No Score Yet Kojak Unknown (Guest Star) 1977
No Score Yet No Score Yet Police Woman Linda Sommers (Guest Star) 1975-1977
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Streets of San Francisco A. Chamberlain (Guest Star) 1975-1976
No Score Yet No Score Yet Cannon Cora Bloom (Guest Star) 1975
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Carol Burnett Show Guest 1973
No Score Yet No Score Yet Sanford & Son Unknown (Guest Star) 1973
No Score Yet No Score Yet Startime Unknown (Character) 1960

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