Rowan was born in Ottawa, Ontario, and is a graduate of Toronto‘s Northern Secondary School. At the age of 19, she left the University of Western Ontario and then attained her degree in English Literature to join the cast of the Canadian series Mount Royal. Rowan went on to further her education, studying acting at the British American Drama Academy in London and, upon returning to North America, relocating to New York to study at the city’s famed Neighborhood Playhouse.Rowan attended playwriting courses at UCLA, and has written her own play. She began modeling in her college years to earn money and started acting in commercials. She went on to appear in films such as The Gate, Hook, Three to Tango, and One Eight Seven.
Rowan guest-starred in television shows such as The Outer Limits, Growing Pains, Da Vinci’s Inquest, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Dallas. In 1993 She won a Gemini award for her work in the TV-movie Adrift. In 2002, Rowan guest-starred in four episodes of Boomtown, playing “Marian”, the deceived wife of David McNorris (Neal McDonough). In 2003 she was cast as Kirsten Cohen on the Fox television series, The O.C.; for her role as the recovering alcoholic mother, she won a Prism Award.
Rowan has volunteered as an actress with the Young Storytellers Program. She has also starred in The O.C. co-star Peter Gallagher‘s music video, Still I Long For Your Kiss, a song from his album 7 Days in Memphis, which was released in 2005. She also appeared in the television movie In God’s Country and in the film Jack and Jill vs. the World. She completed her third project for Lifetime, producing a TV movie, She Drives Me Crazy. In 2008 she completed a TV film, The Good Times Are Killing Me which she was an executive producer for and starred in alongside Rupert Graves.
In early 2009, Kelly did a cameo role in one episode (“Divorce Party“) of CSI: Miami which aired on March 9, 2009.
In 2011, as Part of Alliance, the Network Will Premiere the Two-Hour Original Movie “Cyberbully” on Sunday, July 17 at 8:00PM ET/PT; Emily Osment, Kelly Rowan and Kay Panabaker Star in the Original 2-Hr Movie “Cyberbully,” a Tragic and Triumphant Story of One Teen’s Experience With Online Bullies
Upcoming projects for Rowan include A War Within, and another film project, Tracing Iris which is to be directed by Laurie Lynd, it’s based on the novel of the same name by Commonwealth prize nominee Genni Gunn.
In summer 2012 on TNT will debut Perception, a new drama series with Eric Mccormack;Kelly will play Natalie Vincent.
Rowan gave birth to a daughter,Braelyn,in 2008.