Rachel Shelley

Rachel Shelley (born on 25 August 1969, Swindon, England) is an English actress and model, best known for playing Helena Peabody on the television show The L Word.


Rachel Irene Shelley was born in Swindon, but her family moved to London when she was one. In 1992, she graduated from Sheffield University with a B.A. Hons in English and Drama.

Rachel first found fame in a long-running series of TV adverts for Brita water filters, which ran in the UK from the mid-1990s until 2002.

Rachel has always been very guarded about her private life, and for many years did not reveal her year of birth. She lives in Notting Hill with her husband, writer and director Mathew Parkhill, who she married in 1995. Rachel gave birth to a daughter, born 2 weeks late, at 57 minutes past midnight on September 8, 2009.


Year Film / TV Title Role Notes
1994 TV Broken Heart Isabel
1994 Film Royce Alana Maxwell
1997 TV The New Adventures of Robin Hood Boadicea aka Nouvelles aventures de Robin des bois, Les (France), The Birthday Trap (1997) TV Episode, Heroes (1999) TV Episode .... Boadicea
1997 TV Wycliffe: Dance of the Scorpions Sarah
1997 TV Bugs Jenna Spinks Renegades (1997) TV Episode
1997 TV Highlander: The Series Sophie Baines aka Highlander (France), Avatar (1997) TV Episode
1997 Film Photographing Fairies Mrs. Anne-Marie Castle aka Apparition (Australia: video box title)
1999 Film Everybody Loves Sunshine Clare aka B.U.S.T.E.D. (USA: video title)
2000 Film Lighthouse Dr. Kirsty McCloud aka Dead of Night (USA: video title)
2000 Film Canone Inverso making love
2000 Film The Calling Shelly Woodcock
2001 TV Baddiel's Syndrome Marcia Hair Today TV Episode, Huffa TV Episode
2001 Film Lagaan Elizabeth Russell Once Upon a Time in India (India: Hindi title: short title) aka Land Tax (International: English title: informal literal title)
2001 Film Jack and the Beanstalk Harmonia Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story
2002 TV Heartbeat Sue Dixon, aka Denise Hurley aka Classic Heartbeat (UK: rerun title), Sympathy for the Devil (2002) TV Episode
2002 TV The American Embassy Mandy Long Live the King (2002) TV Episode
2002 TV Coupling Samantha Remember This (2002) TV Episode
2002 Film Cruise of the Gods Yasmina
2003 TV Miss Match Rebecca Hanley Something Nervy (2003) TV Episode
2003 TV Licensed by Royalty Linda Kubrick TV Series (voce: versione inglese)
2003 Film Sparkling Cyanide Rosemary Barton
2003 Film The Bone Snatcher Mikki
2004 TV Seeing Other People Lauren
2005–2008 TV The L Word (46 episodes) Helena Peabody
2006 Film Gray Matters Julia Barlett
2007 TV Ghost Whisperer (4 episodes) Kate Payne
2008 Film The Day
2008 Film The Children Chloe


  • She's 5'8" (1.73m) tall.
  • Her ears aren't pierced.
  • In 2005, Rachel and her husband toured Vietnam on a motorbike.
  • She never wears her wedding ring to public events.
  • In the movie Lagaan, Rachel's song-and-dance routine was actually sung by playback singer Vasundhara Das.
  • In her private life, Rachel prefers to be known by her married name of Rachel Parkhill.


  • "A woman never gets a Brazilian for her own benefit. Imagine shock therapy on your genitals and you come close to understanding the pain and humiliation. So next time, give her a big, fat reward. All night."
  • "There is no such thing as women's intuition. You all just have crap poker faces."
  • "What we really want is slow and sensual. Then again, sometimes we like it hard and rough."
  • "Opening doors for us, helping us with our jackets and chairs -- we love all that. It's a very sexy public form of foreplay. Call it fore-foreplay. Ignore this and you will have a lot more work to do if you get invited in for coffee. Indulge us and the car ride home could blow your mind."
  • "A woman will try on as many combinations of sexy underwear as she will dresses before that first hot date."
  • (On the typical Hollywood audition process) "They tell you to sit, stand, perform your best tricks, then do them again but better. They video the whole procedure. It's similar to Crufts, though thankfully no one has inspected my teeth too closely or examined my nose for wetness. Hours later they award someone the red rosette. And the rest of us are left whining and licking our wounds on the sidelines like the mongrels we so obviously are."
  • "The casting directors are usually a tad eccentric, from the one who tries to convert you to the joy of veganism to the fantastically friendly and extraordinarily camp one who would be hosting his own game show were he in Britain. Then there are those who are just fabulous, watchable actors, and that's a little depressing, especially if they're better than you."

External linksEdit

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