The 1990s were a golden era for television, birthing numerous stars who became household names. Among them was the effervescent Kelly Packard, best known for her roles in popular TV shows like “Baywatch” and “California Dreams.”
With her girl-next-door charm and undeniable talent, Packard quickly became a favorite among fans. But as the years rolled on and the new millennium dawned, her presence on the silver screen began to wane. This has left many of her admirers wondering: Whatever happened to Kelly Packard?
In Glendale, California, on January 29th, 1975, Kelly Chemane Packard was born. Packard is the only girl in the family, with one older brother and two stepbrothers. Her family moved from California to Arizona, where she spent her childhood, on a ranch, and then back to California it was when Kelly moved to Canyon Country.
Packard made her acting debut in 1989 on an episode of Living Dolls when she was only 14. She popped up on a few other hits at the time, appearing in one episode on The Wonder Years in 1990, two episodes of Blossom, an episode of Step by Step, and three episodes on Boy Meets World, covering all of the 90s most popular family shows. Kelly’s first movie role was a small part in the 1991 family sci-fi film And You Thought Your Parents Were Weird.
Kelly landed her first long-time gig on the show California Dreams from 1992 until 1996. The series helped keep kids busy Saturday mornings while they watched this group of teens form a rock band. For all 78 episodes across the five seasons, Kelly entertained us as she portrayed Tiffani Anne Smith, the good-natured bass player who loved to surf.
The actors performed 40 original songs on the show, and Packard was nominated twice for a Young Artist Award, in 1993 and 1994, for her time as Tiffani.
Everyone knows about the behemoth that is Baywatch. Well, Kelly joined the famous beach crew in 1991, portraying multiple roles in the series. Packard played characters Joanie, Beth Campfield, and even a few unnamed characters in the second and sixth seasons.
But in the eighth season, Packard came back, this time as reoccurring character April Giminski, which she played into the ninth season. Her character was a Midwest rookie lifeguard with a heart of gold who had a soft spot for anyone who was physically or mentally challenged, due to her brother’s illness.
Fun Kelly Baywatch fact! She was the only female cast member to return in season nine after the “Baywatch Bloodbath” which resulted in all other female actresses being let go after season eight. Between all of the characters and seasons, Kelly was in a total of 50 episodes on the show from 1991 until 1999. She also appeared in the 1998 movie Baywatch: White Thunder at Glacier Bay.
What did Kelly do after she hung up the red suit?
When her time saving lives on Baywatch came to an end, Packard mostly appeared in movies, starting with the 2000 dramedy Get Your Stuff. In 2002, she starred in two films, the first being the action thriller The Killing Point where she played Lisa Evans. She then had a small part in the William Dafoe and Greg Kinnear-led biographical drama Auto Focus.
But Packard’s last feature film role (so far) was in the 2010 romcom My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, where she played the character Suzie.
On the TV side, Kelly kept acting after her last film role, appearing in TV movies and an episode here and there of a few TV shows. She was Lisa Miller in the TV movie Stalked by My Neighbor in 2015, in one episode of Freakish in 2016, and in one episode of Better Things in 2017.
What is Kelly Packard doing now?
Packard’s last acting credit was in 2018 for the action thriller Family Vanished. But just hold on to your seats. If you love all things Baywatch and comedies, then you might want to pay attention to when Packard makes her return to the screen. There is a project in production titled The B Team, about a group of CIA spies that went undercover as actors on the most watched television show about lifeguards. If it’s done right, this could be so good and be a huge hit. Maybe it’ll bring Kelly back to acting for good.
These days, if you’d like a little mouth-to-mouth via the internet, you can find Kelly on Cameo where you could get a personalized video or message from the Baywatch alum.
There’s always good old Instagram if you want to see what Kelly is up to these days. She mostly posts pictures of her gorgeous family.
With the exception of one convention appearance in 2022, we’re sad to report you won’t find Kelly at any in the near future.
For all the California Dreams fans, Kelly and the crew reunited in 2019 for a concert at a "Saved By The Bell" themed restaurant. She performed with the band and signed autographs for fans.
Kelly married Emergency Medicine Physician Darrin Privett in 1996 when she was only 21 years old. They have four children together, a son Dallin, born in 2005, and daughters Aubrey, Halle, and Delaney, born in 2004, 2008, and 2015. She may have married young, but the pair are still together decades later, so they just knew when they knew.
While we wait for The B Team to make it through production to release, we should all give Kelly Packard’s Baywatch seasons a rewatch to prepare for the good time