Kellie Martin

Active - 1986 - 2019  |   Born - Oct 16, 1975 in Riverside, California, United States  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Mystery, Children's/Family

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Biography by Jason Buchanan

Famous for her expressive blue eyes and wholesome smile, Kellie Martin's breakout role in Life Goes On brought the young actress into the homes of television viewers on a sensitive, character-driven series that dealt with family issues in a realistic and compassionate manner. Though she sacrificed much of the common joys of childhood in pursuit of her career, Martin remains content with her choices in life and dedicated to continuing her Yale education.

Born in Riverside, CA, Martin's big break came when her aunt, a nanny for actor Michael Landon, showed pictures of her niece to Landon in hopes of winning her an audition. The plan proving successful; Martin soon made her television debut in an episode of Landon's Father Murphy. Later appearing in Landon's Highway to Heaven in 1986, Martin would also make her film debut that same year in the Whoopie Goldberg comedy Jumpin' Jack Flash. Continuing with appearances in television (Secret Witness [1988]) and features (Doin' Time on Planet Earth [1988]), Martin also began voice work for such animated series as A Pup Named Scooby-Doo. In 1989, Martin took the role of Becca Thatcher on Life Goes On and soon gained recognition as a talented young dramatic actress.

Working frequently in television after Life Goes On, Martin continued to provide voice work in animation while appearing in the made-for-television adaptation of Catherine Marshall's Christy and the short-lived series of the same name that followed the same year. Making a brief appearance on Crisis Center in 1997 prepared Martin for her successful turn as an ill-fated medical student in ER the next year. Though a successful year in terms of her career, Martin was also faced with the devastating, untimely death of her closest friend and sister to Lupus, a tragedy that found the actress on a devoted mission to raise public awareness of the ravaging disease. The following year, Martin would wed longtime boyfriend Keith Christian. The new millennium found Martin departing from ER in order to finish her studies at Yale and appearing in her first starring feature role with the heartwarming drama-comedy All You Need (2001).

Beginning in 2003, Martin made a series of TV movies for the Hallmark Channel, Mystery Woman, making eleven movies in a handful of years. In 2012, she joined the cast of Army Wives, and later had guest roles on shows like Mad Men and Satisfaction.

Movie Highlights

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  • After her aunt showed Michael Landon a photo of her, he cast her in an episode of Highway to Heaven, which marked her TV debut at the age of 9.
  • Appeared in Burger King and Taco Bell commercials in the mid-'80s.
  • Became the spokesperson for the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association after her sister passed away from lupus in 1998.
  • Life Goes On costar Patti LuPone sang at her 16th birthday party, her wedding ceremony and her reception.
  • Completed the Directing Workshop for Women at the American Film Institute in 2004.
  • Owns an online toy store called Romp.
  • Is a partner in Entertaining Elephants, a sustainable children's clothing line.