Actress Sela Ann Ward, the daughter of Granberry Holland Ward Jr. and Annie Kate Boswell Ward, was born on 11 July 1956 in Meridian. She attended the University of Alabama, where she was a cheerleader and Homecoming queen. After graduating with a degree in art and advertising, Ward worked in advertising in Memphis and in New York City, where she began working as a model and made television commercials. She then moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. Her first big-screen appearance came in The Man Who Loved Women (1983). Shortly thereafter, she landed a part in a television series, Emerald Point N.A.S. (1983–84). Perhaps best known for her roles in the TV series Sisters (1991–95), Once and Again (1999–2002), and CSI: NY (2010–13), she has also made numerous appearances on other shows and in films, including Gone Girl (2014) and Independence Day: Resurgence (2016). Ward has received Emmy Awards for her work on Sisters and Once and Again as well as a CableACE Award for her performance as the title character in a television movie, Almost Golden: The Jessica Savitch Story (1995).
Ward has been married to venture capitalist Howard Sherman since 1992, and they have two children. Primarily based in Los Angeles, Ward and her family maintain a farm outside Meridian and visit there several times a year. In 2000 Ward established the Hope Village for Children, a residential home for neglected and abused children in Meridian. In 2018 she was inducted into the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience Hall of Fame.
- Hope Village for Children website, www.hopevillagems.org
- Internet Movie Database website, www.imdb.com
- Official Sela Ward Fan Club website, www.selawardtv.com
- Jennifer Russell, Y’all: The Magazine of Southern People (September–October 2005)
- Sela Ward, Guideposts Magazine (December 2006)