Sela Ward Biography

Sela Ward photo

Born: July 11, 1956


Date of Birth: July 11, 1956

The first-born child of Granberry Holland Ward and Annie Kate Ward, Sela Ward was a cheerleader and homecoming queen. She studied art and advertising at the University of Alabama, then moved to New York to work for an advertising agency after receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree. When a friend suggested she try modeling, Sela signed with the Wilhelmina Agency and appeared in numerous print ads and 20 national television commercials. Two weeks after moving to Los Angeles in 1983 to pursue an acting career, she was hired to make her feature film debut in The Man Who Loved Women starring Burt Reynolds. The same year, she landed a role in the CBS-TV series Emerald Point, co-starring with Richard Dean Anderson (whom she went on to date for three years). Though the show ended in 1984, Ward worked steadily in both feature films and TV movies, as well as making guest appearances on shows such as Hotel, L.A. Law and Night Court.

In 1991 Sela landed a starring role in the NBC hour-long drama series Sisters, which would prove to be extremely popular, lasting five seasons. The show made her a bona fide star, and for her role as Teddy she won an Emmy award and a Golden Globe. Ward soon found work in big budget motion pictures such as The Fugitive (1993), playing Harrison Ford's wife and Runaway Bride (1999) starring Julia Roberts. While appearing on Sisters, Sela married actor Howard Elliot Sherman on May 23, 1992. They have two children—Austin (b. 1996) and Annabella (b. 1998).

Ward won a second Emmy Award and Golden Globe for playing Lily Sammler in the ABC drama series Once and Again (1999 to 2002). She worked in TV movies, including The Badge, starring alongside Billy Bob Thornton before returning to features with Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004), playing Jeannie Miller, the mother of a young girl who enters a dancing competition while the family is vacationing in Cuba. Ward also played a lead role opposite Dennis Quaid in the sci-fi action flick The Day After Tomorrow (2004).

Not content to just be a multi-award winning actress, Ward formed the Hope Village Foundation to aid abused and neglected children on December 27, 2001 and in October 2002, released her autobiography called Homesick: A Memoir, published by Harper Collins. More recently, she starred in Gone Girl(2014), and Independence Day: Resurgence (2016).

Although Ward lives with her husband and children in the Los Angeles area, they have a second home on a farm in her hometown of Meridian, Mississippi, where they escape from big city life several times a year.


Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)
Gone Girl (2014)
The Stepfather (2009)
The Guardian (2006)
The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004)
The Reef (1999)
Runaway Bride (1999)
54 (1998)
My Fellow Americans (1996)
The Fugitive (1993)
Hello Again (1987)
Steele Justice (1987)
Nothing in Common (1986)
Rustlers' Rhapsody (1985)
The Man Who Loved Women (1983)
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