Vanessa Baden Kelly

Vanessa Baden Kelly is an Emmy winning actress, Emmy nominated writer, and producer. Vanessa began her career in entertainment at age 8, starring on the Emmy-nominated Gullah Gullah Island as the self-titled role of Vanessa. She also starred in the Cable Ace Award-winning the NAACP nominated Kenan and Kel, originating the role of Kyra Rockmore, Kenan’s little sister. In addition, she was supporting cast of the John Singleton’s 1997 film, Rosewood.

Vanessa attended Florida State University. While in college, she began organizing, co-founding the Student Coalition for Justice (later the base for the Dream Defenders). To date, she has led campaigns for The Trayvon Martin Foundation, Community Coalition South LA, and various political campaigns including Obama for America ‘08 and the Ndoum Presidential Campaign in Accra, Ghana. Additionally, she is an Ambassador for the RuJohn Foundation.

Vanessa was co-creator and showrunner of the digital sitcom FAIL in association with Christopher “Play” Martin of Kid n Play. FAIL was streamed weekly on She is a frequent collaborator with viral king King Bach and Grammy winner T-Pain. She also wrote, executive produced and starred in Other, the multi award winning short directed by Sundance director Xavier Burgin.

Vanessa has worked as an Original Content Creator for the Laugh Factory and press manager for Brave New Films. She also served in the Writer’s Room of the Netflix hit Ozark. Currently, she is a writer on TNT’s number one rated series Animal Kingdom and an unannounced CBS Dramedy. Nearest to her heart is her role as writer/star of the Issa Rae digital series Giants, where she is 4 times Emmy nominated and one time Emmy winning for Best Actress in a Digital Drama.

Vanessa has a 3 year old son named Ryder and a 3.5 year old pup named Dude.