Kelly had already been working in showbiz for a decade when she was cast as a wealthy matriarch in hit teen drama The OC, the series which made her a household name. After it concluded in 2007 the actress confessed to craving a break from the tough pace of making a TV show to have "some time for me". In the end it wasn't just herself she found time for though as, in a case of life imitating art, in June of that year she announced she was to marry her Canadian homeland's richest man.
Born on October 26, 1965, in Ottawa, Kelly Rowan was raised in Toronto where as a teen she attended Northern Secondary high school in the upscale Rosedale neighbourhood. It wasn't until she enrolled in the University of Western Ontario where she helped finance a degree in English Literature with modelling work and TV commercials that she discovered the acting bug, however.
And she was still a student when, in 1987, she had to decide whether to quit academic life for her first real acting gig in Montreal TV series Mount Royal. Despite being close to graduating the ambitious 20-year-old made the choice that was to determine her future, chucking in her degree to jet off to the Paris set where the soap was being filmed.
She went on to hone her acting skills at the British American Drama Academy in London, before returning to North America. It wasn't long, however, before the eager young thesp was on the move again, this time to New York where she attended the prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse School Of The Theatre in Manhattan.
Then, in 1991, aged 26, she decamped to LA where she got her big break guest starring in three episodes of Eighties hit Dallas. And it became clear her gamble to pursue acting had paid off when she was cast as Peter Pan's mother in the Steven Spielberg flick Hook, featuring Dustin Hoffman and Robin Williams.
While consolidating her reputation in movies Kelly continued to work on the Canadian small screen, with appearances including made-for-TV production Adrift which earned her a Gemini in 1994. Other TV outings included the mystery series The Outer Limits in 1995 and 1998's The Da Vinci Inquest.
Kerry is perhaps best known in Tinseltown, though, for her role, from 2003 to 2007, as affluent family matriarch Kirsten 'Kiki' Cohen in the hit series The OC which instantly put her on the map. "I had no idea (of the show's success) until we'd been shooting for a while, and there was an event on the beach which we went to," she says. "And I got out of the car and there were 1,200 people screaming, and I thought, 'Oh, I guess people are watching this programme'."
And her off screen fortunes seemed to be following those of her onscreen life when, in the same year the series ended, Kelly announced her engagement to Canada's wealthiest man, David Thomson, the billionaire media mogul she met while working on a movie project in Toronto in 2006.