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Thank you Mr. Horowitz for creating Milah and letting me bring her to life. And death. Twice.

Thank you Mr. Kitsis for creating Milah and letting me bring her to life. And death. Twice.
—Rachel Shelley srcsrc

Rachel Shelley is the British actress who portrays Milah on ABC's Once Upon a Time.


Rachel Shelley was born August 25, 1969 in the town of Swindon, Wiltshire. She has lived in various places in England and abroad. At university, she studied in Sheffield and graduated with a BA in honors for English and Drama.[1]

Rachel was a well established actress in the United Kingdom with successful movies under her belt, such as Photographing Fairies with Ben Kingsley, Everybody Loves Sunshine with David Bowie, and Lagaan, which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Film. In 2004, she auditioned and received the part of Helena Peabody in the hugely successful lesbian drama series The L Word. She joined a well established cast for the second series as the daughter of a multi-millionaire art collector[1] for a long running fifty-four episodes. Afterwards, she nabbed a recurring role on the BBC hospital drama Casualty.

She has also been doing other projects while working on The L Word; including two episodes of Ghost Whisperer, romantic-comedy movie Gray Matters with Heather Graham and a British horror film The Day.[1]

Her interest in writing has produced, on her part, a series of three articles for British newspaper The Guardian. Written by her in 2001, Rachel gave highlights about time in India during the making of the film Lagaan followed by a 2002 article describing going to the Oscars, and the third was released in 2005 in sharing her experiences on The L Word.[1] She has also written monthly columns for DIVA Magazine.[2]

Rachel is currently in a relationship with novelist and director Matthew Parkhill, and lives with him in their London home. They have one daughter.[3]


Year Title Role Notes
1994 Broken Heart Isabel Short film
1997 Photographing Fairies Mrs. Anne-Marie Castle
1999 B.U.S.T.E.D Clare
1999 Lighthouse Dr. Kirsty McCloud
2000 Canone inverso - making love Jeno's Mother
2000 The Calling Shelly Woodcock
2001 Lagaan Elizabeth Russell
2003 The Bone Snatcher Mikki
2004 Seeing Other People Lauren
2006 Gray Matters Julia Barlett
2008 The Children Chloe
TBA Blank Claire Rivers
Year Title Role Notes
1994 Royce Alana Maxwell TV movie
1997 The New Advertures of Robin Hood Boadicea Episode: "Heroes"
Episode: "The Birthday Trap"
1997 Wycliffe Sarah Episode: "Dance of the Scorpions"
1997 Bugs Jenna Spinks Episode: "Renegades"
1997 Highlander: The Series Sophie Baines Episode: "Avatar"
1998 The Bill Maggie Hamilton Episode: "For Your Love"
2001 Baddiel's Syndrome Marcia Episode: "Huffa"
Episode: "Hair Today"
2001 Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story Harmonia TV movie
2002 Heartbeat Sue Dixon, aka Denise Hurley Episode: "Sympathy for the Devil"
2002 The American Embassy Mandy Episode: "Long Live the King"
2002 Coupling Samantha Episode: "Remember This"
2002 Cruise of the Gods Yasmina TV movie
2002 The Dinosaur Hunters Mary Mantell TV movie
2003 Sparkling Cyanide Rosemary Barton TV movie
2003 Miss Match Rebecca Hanley Episode: "Something Nervy"
2003 Licensed by Royalty Linda Kubrick TV series
2005-2009 The L Word Helena Peabody 54 episodes
2006 Ghost Whisperer Kate Payne (uncredited) Episode: "Cat's Claw"
2007 Ghost Whisperer Kate Payne Episode: "Speed Demon"
Episode: "The Collector"
2008 Under Det. Underhill TV movie
2008 Ghost Whisperer Kate Payne Episode: "Deadbeat Dads"
2011 Episodes Kendra Episode: "Four"
2011 Strike Back Maggie Episode: "Project Dawn #5"
Episode: "Project Dawn #6"
2012–2013 Casualty Supt Yvonne Rippon 12 episodes
2012–2016 Once Upon A Time Milah 3 episodes
2017–2018 Different for Girls Brooke 5 episodes
2018–2019 Deep State Elliot Taylor/Elliot 11 episodes


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.

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