Kelly Bishop is an American actress best known for her role as Emily Gilmore in the television drama series Gilmore Girls, appearing as a series regular from 2000-2007.
Bishop has portrayed many memorable roles in film, television and the theatre since her breakout performance as one of the original cast members of the hit Broadway musical A Chorus Line.
The Colorado Springs native grew up in Denver, where she trained to be a ballet dancer. At 18, she headed to New York and landed her first job dancing in a year-round ballet company at Radio City Music Hall.
Bishop danced in Las Vegas, summer stock and on television until she was cast in 1967 in Golden Rainbow, her first Broadway role.
Her big break came when she was cast as the sexy, hard-edged Sheila in A Chorus Line. She won Tony and Drama Desk Awards for her performance, giving her the confidence she needed to eventually leave the acclaimed original ensemble to pursue a dramatic acting career.
It wasn't long before she was cast opposite Jill Clayburgh in Paul Mazursky's big-screen drama An Unmarried Woman.
She went on to play "mom" to several high-profile stars in numerous features: Jennifer Grey's mother in the box-office hit Dirty Dancing, Howard Stern's mother in the Betty Thomas-directed comedy Private Parts and Tobey Maguire's mom in Wonder Boys.
Her additional feature credits include Blue Moon, Cafe Society, Miami Rhapsody, Queens Logic and Me And Him.
On television, Bishop starred in the Mike Nichols' series The Thorns and played Lisa Ann Walter's mother on My Wildest Dreams. She has guest-starred on Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Murphy Brown.
Bishop's extensive theatre credits include the lead in the Broadway production of Six Degrees of Separation, as well as Broadway productions of Neil Simon's Proposals, the Tony Award-winning The Last Night of Ballyhoo and Bus Stop.
She has also starred in numerous regional theatre and off-Broadway productions.
When she's not working, Bishop practices Pilates and aerobics, and enjoys gardening and hiking near her home in New Jersey, where she lives with her husband, TV talk show host Lee Leonard.