Rachel Shelley

Rachel Shelley

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Category: Cinema

Rachel Shelley Profile

  • Name:
  • Rachel Shelley
  • Born:
  • August 25, 1969
  • Spouse:
  • Matthew Parkhill (partner)

Rachel Shelley Biography

Rachel Shelley is an English actress and model, best known to Indian audience as the British girl Elizabeth Russell in the Oscar-nominated Bollywood epic Lagaan. Rachel played second lead in Aamir Khan starrer Lagaan – the British girl who falls in love with Indian Bhuvan. She was seen in the most romantic track of the movie – Oh Re Chori, singing English lines and also the dance number – Radha kaise na jale. As an actress Rachel is best known for playing Helena Peabody in the Showtime series The L Word. Currently the actress lives in London with her partner Matthew Parkhill, a television actress and the couple has one daughter.


Rachel Shelley was born on 25 August 1969 in Swindon, England. She was brought up in London. She completed B.A. Hons in English and Drama from the University of Sheffield. Then she started her career as a stage actress through a local theatre company in Edinburgh. She also set up a theater troupe before moving to London to pursue a career in acting. In 1994, she appeared in a short film, Broken Heart, where she portrayed the role of Isabel.


Though she appeared in numerous English movies, Bollywood film – Lagaan is her most acclaimed and successful role on big screen. Lighthouse, Photographing Fairies, The Bone Snatcher, Seeing Other People, Gray Matters and The children are some of her film roles. She gained attention for television roles than big screen. In 1994, she appeared on mini screen for ‘Royce’, followed by The New Adventures of Robin Hood, Wycliffe, Bugs, Highlander: The Series, Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story, Heartbeat etc. It took almost 10 years in small screen to get her first big break. She played the role of Helena Peabody for 54 episodes in the popular series, The L Word, during the period 2005-2009.

Published: N/A

Updated: November 29, 2015

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