Sela Ward

“Through Hope Village for Children, I hope to do something more: to give vulnerable children a home. Not an institution, not an orphanage, but a home.


The benefits of providing a continuum of care on one campus are crucial to breaking the effects of the negligence and abuse our children have experienced, as well as the inconsistency in their education and social interactions.


Kids who have been removed from their homes need tremendous support, which Hope Village provides.”

– Sela Ward


ela Ann Ward was born July 11, 1956, in Meridian, Mississippi. The oldest of 4 children — with a sister and 2 brothers — Sela (pronounced See-lah, it’s an abbreviated form of Hallelujah) is the daughter of an electrical engineer and a homemaker.Her childhood was nothing short of ordinary for a beautiful girl growing up in the South. While a student at the University of Alabama, where she studied art and advertising, Sela was also a cheerleader for the football team, a sorority sister in Chi Omega, and was elected homecoming queen.

She began her career as a model and appeared in dozens of TV commercials. Despite a handful of film roles—most notably her haunting performance as Harrison Ford’s murdered wife in The Fugitive—Sela Ward made a name for herself on the small screen, starring in a number of TV movies and the dramas Sisters and Once and Again. Although the former model had romances with actors Richard Dean Anderson and Peter Weller in the 1980s, she settled down and had two kids with venture capitalist Howard Sherman, whom she met on a blind date.

Unwilling to commit to a full-time job on series television, Ward passed on the role of Susan for ABC’s mega-hit Desperate Housewives but returned to TV in 2005 for a stint on House. Offscreen, the Mississippi native shows lots of love for her hometown of Meridian, which was the subject of her 2002 memoir Homesick and where she founded Hope Village for Children, a home for foster children.


  • 2001 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama – Winner
  • 2000 Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series – Winner
  • 1994 Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series – Winner