Kelli Giddish at Comic Con 2009
|Born||Kelli Marie Giddish
(1980-04-13) April 13, 1980
Cumming, Georgia, U.S.
|Education||Forsyth Central High School|
|Alma mater||University of Evansville|
|Spouse(s)||Lawrence Faulborn (m. 2015)|
Kelli Marie Giddish (born April 13, 1980) is an American television, stage, and film actress. She is best known for her role as NYPD Detective Amanda Rollins in the NBC television legal crime drama series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2011–present). Previously, she portrayed Di Henry on the ABC soap opera All My Children (2005–07), as well as starring in short-lived Fox crime drama series Past Life (2010); and the NBC crime drama series Chase (2010–11).
Giddish was born in Cumming, Georgia. She is the daughter of Charles and Nita Giddish, and has a brother named Eli. Her paternal grandfather Ralph L. Giddish (Georgia, ca. 1923) enlisted in the United States Army on March 18, 1943 and was a World War II veteran. He nudged her interest in acting along by taking her to the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. Her maternal grandmother Dosia Hildebrand was also very supportive of her interests. Giddish graduated from Forsyth Central High School in 1998, winning Region Best Actress in the 1997 One Act competition, and was also 1998 State Literary Champion for Girls Dramatic Interpretation. Giddish graduated with honors from the University of Evansville in Indiana where she majored in Theatre Performance. After graduating, she decided to move to Manhattan to pursue her acting career.
Giddish joined the cast of All My Children in March 2005, creating the role of Di Henry. In July 2007, it was confirmed by Soap Opera Weekly magazine that Giddish and All My Children parted ways in a mutual decision and that she would make her final appearance as Di on September 19, 2007.
Giddish appeared in the film Death in Love, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and created the role of Courtney in the web series The Burg. The same people responsible for The Burg also created All’s Faire in which Giddish played the role of Cindy.
Giddish, Nicholas Bishop, and Ravi Patel were cast in Fox’s reincarnation drama pilot Past Life. The WBTV-produced reincarnation project revolved around past-life investigators. Giddish played a Ph.D. in psychology and cognitive research who believes in reincarnation. It was announced on May 18, 2009 that Fox had officially placed Past Life on their midseason 2010 schedule to air at 9:00 PM EST on Tuesdays. It premiered on February 9, 2010, and was canceled on February 18.
Giddish starred as the central character, U.S. Marshal Annie Frost, in the police procedural drama Chase, which premiered on NBC in fall 2010. Giddish received rave reviews for her ability to play the lead character in the series, but it was pulled in early February 2011. On April 6, 2011, NBC decided to air five new episodes of Chase on Saturday nights with the first beginning on April 23, 2011.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
In January 2007, Giddish guest starred on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in the episode “Outsider” as Kara Bawson.
It was announced on June 27, 2011 that Giddish would join the cast of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for its thirteenth season along with Cold Case‘s Danny Pino coinciding with Christopher Meloni‘s departure from the series. Giddish told TV Guide during summer filming; “Everybody on the set is really excited and energized. They’ve lost a family member with Chris Meloni leaving, but they’ve been very accepting of us. Amanda is thrilled to be here working with these people, and so am I.”
Giddish made her debut as Detective Amanda Rollins in the 13th season premiere, “Scorched Earth“, in which the character first works withe titular precinct alongside Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay). In an interview with TV Guide, Giddish said about her character, “My character is in complete awe of Olivia, Amanda’s really eager to get in there because she knows her stuff and really eager to learn. She has come from Atlanta and there was a ceiling there, so she’s come up to New York.” Giddish felt great about joining the series in its 13th season, “I couldn’t feel better about it. … There’s no intimidation, what attracted me was the prospect of re-invigorating a franchise that’s been so well-known and so well-liked, and then to be the shaker and mover.” Giddish expressed confidence that viewers would warm up to Rollins and another new character, Nick Amaro (Pino), with time. “They’re going to love us because it’s not being forced in their faces,” she says. “The more you know about us and the more you see us in your living room, the more you’re hopefully going to love us.”
At the end of season 13 of Law & Order: SVU, she weighed in on her first season, and she said she and Pino received not only a “very warm welcome” from SVU‘s cast and crew, but saw their respective characters explored more than they could hope for in their first season. “They’ve given me a lot to work with — and I hope they give me more next season,” says Giddish. “Were still playing ‘musical chairs’ in terms of partners, and that’s a great way to go about exploring the different characters.”
Giddish’s castmate Ice-T, who has portrayed Detective Odafin Tutuola since the show’s second season, praised both Giddish and Pino in the wake of Meloni’s departure, “We had to regroup, like a football team,” said Ice-T. “The quarterback changed, but we still had to move the ball down the field. And we did well… Danny came in, strong. Kelli came in, strong. And we shut down the doubters.”
It was announced that Giddish’s real-life pregnancy would be incorporated into SVU’s seventeenth season.
|2005||Witches of the Caribbean||Clara|
|2008||Death in Love||Young Mother|
|2008||Understudy, TheThe Understudy||Simone|
|2005–07||All My Children||Diana “Di” Henry||Series regular|
|2006–09||Burg, TheThe Burg||Courtney||Web-series, 13 episodes|
|2007||Damages||Heather MacDonald||Episodes: “Sort of Like a Family”, “Because I Know Patty”|
|2007||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Dana Stipe||Episode: “Depths”|
|2007||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Kara Bawson||Episode: “Outsider”|
|2008||Without a Trace||Ariana Murphy||Episode: “Rise and Fall”|
|2009||Life on Mars||Carol||Episode: “Coffee, Tea or Annie”|
|2010||Past Life||Dr. Kate McGinn||Series regular, 9 episodes|
|2010–11||Chase||Annie Frost||Series regular, 18 episodes|
|2011, 2014||Good Wife, TheThe Good Wife||Sophia Russo||Episodes: “Getting Off”, “Closing Arguments”, “A New Day”, “The Line”|
|2011–present||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Det. Amanda Rollins||Series regular|
|2014||Chicago Fire||Episode: “Nobody Touches Anything”|
|2014-15||Chicago P.D.||Episodes: “Conventions”, “They’ll Have to Go Through Me”, “The Number of Rats”|