Elijah Kelley

Elijah Kelley

Elijah Kelley, January 2008
Born (1986-08-01) August 1, 1986
LaGrange, Georgia, U.S.
Occupation Actor, singer, dancer
Years active 1998–present

Elijah Kelley (born August 1, 1986) is an American actor, singer, and dancer. He appeared in films such as 28 Days (2000), Take the Lead (2006), Hairspray (2007), Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013) and in NBC's live-musical event The Wiz Live! in December 2015.

Early life

Kelley was born and raised in LaGrange, Georgia. He attended Long Cane Middle School and Troup County High School, where he participated in the school's show choir for years.[1][2] As a child, he starred in Coca-Cola commercials and played a role in the film Mamma Flora's Family. He also performed in a church choir and gospel band with his family.[3] His parents, determined to keep their son down to earth, went with him when he moved to Los Angeles after graduating from high school.[4]


In 2007, Kelley starred in the film adaptation of Hairspray.[5] Both his performance and the film received positive reviews.[6] On December 2, 2011, Kelley sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" prior to the Pac-12 Conference Championship Game at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon.

In 2015, Kelley was cast in the role of the Scarecrow in NBC's production of The Wiz Live![7]



Year Title Role Notes
2000 28 Days Darnell
2000 Heavens Fall Leroy Wright
2000 Rome & Jewel Ben Direct-to-video
2006 Take the Lead Danjou
2007 Hairspray Seaweed J. Stubbs Hollywood Film Award for Ensemble Of The Year
Young Hollywood Award for One to Watch
Nominated – Critics Choice Award
2012 Red Tails Samuel "Joker" George
2012 Boys of Abu Ghraib Tunde
2013 The Butler Charlie Gaines
2015 Strange Magic Sunny Voice


Year Title Role Notes
1998 Mama Flora's Family Young Willie Television film
1999 A Lesson Before Dying Clarence Television film
2005 The Shield Jaymon Episode: "Grave"
2005 Everybody Hates Chris Waiter Episode: "Everybody Hates the Babysitter"
2006 Numb3rs Anthony Episode: "The OG"
2009 Dirty Sexy Money Elon Elder Episode: "The Facts"
2015 The Wiz Live! The Scarecrow / Sticks The Farmhand Man #3 NBC live TV musical
2017 The New Edition Story Ricardo "Ricky" Bell BET 3-part Miniseries



Hairspray singles

DisneyMania 6 singles



  1. Barnes, Brad (July 20, 2007). "LaGrange to honor local 'Hairspray' star". Ledger-Enquirer. Retrieved July 21, 2007.
  2. Eisner, Ken (July 19, 2007). "Hairspray's Kelley energized by cast". Straight.com. Retrieved July 21, 2007.
  3. "Elijah Kelley: Whoa, Who's That Kid?". Time. July 19, 2007.
  4. Philadelphia, Desa (July 15, 2007). "Elijah Kelley has the total package". USA Weekend.
  5. "Elijah Kelley to Play Seaweed in Hairspray Film". BroadwayWorld.com. July 3, 2006. Retrieved July 2, 2007.
  6. VH1.com
  7. Prudom, Laura (August 13, 2015). "'The Wiz': Common, Ne-Yo, Elijah Kelley Join NBC Live Musical". Variety. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
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