Sela Ann Ward (pronounced /ˈsiːlə ˈwɔrd/; born July 11, 1956) is an American actress, perhaps best known for her television roles as free-spirited Teddy Reed on Sisters (1991-96) and single mother Lily Manning on Once and Again (1999-2002). She is also noted for her portrayal of Richard Kimble's murdered wife in the film adaptation of The Fugitive, and for her role as Stacy Warner, the ex-partner of Gregory House on the television show House.
Ward, the eldest of four children, was born in Meridian, Mississippi, the daughter of Annie Kate, a housewife who died of ovarian cancer in 2002, and Granberry Holland Ward, Sr., an electrical engineer who died in January 2009. She has a younger sister, Jenna, and two brothers, Brock and Granberry (Berry), Jr. She attended the University of Alabama, where she performed as one of the Crimson Tide cheerleaders, was homecoming queen, joined Chi Omega sorority, and double-majored in art and advertising.
While working in New York City as a storyboard artist for multimedia presentations, the 5'7" (170 cm) Ward began modeling to supplement her income. She was recruited by the Wilhelmina agency and was soon featured in television commercials promoting Maybelline cosmetics. Ward eventually moved to California to pursue acting and landed her first film role in the Burt Reynolds vehicle, The Man Who Loved Women, released in 1983. Her first regular role in a television drama series (as a beautiful socialite on Emerald Point, NAS) followed in the same year. Ward subsequently played variations on the same character in films and television guest spots throughout the 1980s, most notably opposite Tom Hanks in 1986's Nothing in Common. This pattern persisted until she aggressively pursued and won the role of the bohemian alcoholic Teddy Reed on Sisters, for which she received her first Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 1994.