Rocha was born in Memphis, Tennessee and grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, graduating from Carnegie Mellon School of Drama in 1993.
Rocha is best known to comedic audiences as the Atlantic American flight attendant who had a humorous fight with Ben Stiller's character at the airport in the 2000 hit comedy Meet the Parents (a role she reprised in the sequel Meet the Fockers. She also recurred memorably on Buffy the Vampire Slayer as Anya's vengeance demon pal, Halfrek, as well as William the Bloody's love affection, Cecily. The two characters are considered the same person. Rocha played Stonewall Jackson's wife, Anna in Ron Maxwell's Gods and Generals, an epic drama about the first two years of the American Civil War. Other films include The Crucible (her big-screen debut), White Oleander, The Object of My Affection, and Ready? OK!.
In 2000, Rocha created the role of Cybil in Nicky Silver's off-Broadway comedy "The Altruists," starring alongside Eddie Cahill, Veanne Cox, and Sam Robards. In the same year Rocha co-wrote a screenplay called "Space Station 76," a parody of existentialist science fiction movies of the early-1970's intended to be shown on Comedy Central. Other writers included Jennifer Elise Cox, Sam Pancake, Jack Plotnick, and Michael Stoyanov. The script was shelved for several years then released as a straight-to-video movie in 2014. In the original script, the main female lead character was intended to be for Kali, but instead went to Liv Tyler.
She has appeared on the Will and Grace episode "Strangers With Candice", as a straight woman who flirted with Will. In spring 2006, Rocha played the principal in the short-lived NBC sitcom Teachers. Kali guest-starred in on the February 20, 2007, episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Cindy Marino, an aggressive TV reporter. Also, she appeared on an episode of Bones as a victim's mother. Notably, Rocha plays the character of a fourth-year resident surgeon, Dr. Sydney Heron, at Seattle Grace Hospital in the hit ABC TV series Grey's Anatomy. She was the first of the Buffyverse alums to appear in the Grey's Anatomy/Private Practice universe, including Seth Green, J. August Richards, Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nicholas Brendon, and a few others.
In 2009, Rocha appeared with fellow Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum Emma Caulfield in the film TiMER.
Rocha starred in the first and only season of Sherri starring Sherri Shepherd from "The View" which was loosely based on Shepherd's life. Rocha played Summer, Sherri's boss and eventual friend. It aired on the Lifetime Network.
In January 2008, Rocha announced that she was pregnant. She gave birth to her first child on August 4, 2008, and her second on January 25, 2011.
|1996||The Crucible||Mercy Lewis|
|1997||Liberty! The American Revolution||Eliza Wilkinson|
|1998||The Love Letter (TV movie)||Flossy Whitcomb|
|1998||The Object of My Affection||Melissa Marx|
|2000||Autumn in New York||Shannon|
|2000||Meet the Parents||Atlantic American Flight Attendant|
|2001||When Billie Beat Bobby (TV movie)||Connie|
|2002||White Oleander||Susan Valeris|
|2003||Platonically Incorrect (TV movie)|
|2003||Gods and Generals||Anna Morrison Jackson|
|2004||Meet the Fockers||Flight Attendant|
|2005||Confessions of an Action Star||Beth|
|2005||Family Plan (TV movie)||Stacy|
|2005||29th and Gay||HIV Nurse|
|2005||Bam Bam and Celeste||Angela|
|2006||Falling for Grace||Carla|
|2006||Ira & Abby||Tracy|
|2007||The Call (TV movie)||Wendy 'the Wolf' Wolfram|
|2008||Over Her Dead Body||Angel|
|2008||Ready? OK!||Halle Hinton|
|2008||John's Hand (short)||Terry|
|2010||Video Night (video short)||Kali|
|2010||Buried||911 Operator (voice)|
|2011||Serenity House (short)||Marnie|
|2011||Mr. Stache (short)||Narrator|
|2012||Black Briefs (video)||Kali (segment "Video Night")|
|2012||Puppy Love (TV movie)||Gail|
|2014||Space Station 76||Donna|
|2015||The Loft||Mimi Landry|
|2001||The Weber Show||Sophie (Episode "...And Then Jack Had Two Dates")|
|2001||Becker||Kayla (Episode "Psycho Therapy")|
|2002||Family Law||Kelly Gilbert|
|2000-2002||Buffy the Vampire Slayer||Halfrek / Cecily Addams|
|2003||Crossing Jordan||Felix Tate|
|2003||Will & Grace||Stephanie (Episode "Strangers with Candice")|
|2005||Without a Trace||Liz Murray|
|2006||Teachers.||Principal Emma Wiggins|
|2006||Bones||Jackie Swanson (Episode "The Girl with the Curl")
|2007||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Cindy Marino (Episode "Haystack")|
|2007||Boston Legal||Allison Lovejoy|
|2006-2007||Grey's Anatomy||Dr. Sydney Heron|
|2008||Notes from the Underbelly||Paige Bartlett|
|2009||Monk||Maria Scheter (Episode "Mr. Monk Fights City Hall")|
|2010||$#*! My Dad Says||Roberta|
|2011||Drop Dead Diva||Dr. Audrey Foley|
|2012||Modern Family||Party Planner (Episode "Leap Day")|
|2012||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Ms. Fowler|
|2013||Bits and Pieces (unaired pilot)||Jodi|
|2013-present||Liv and Maddie||Karen Rooney|
- She enjoys filming with cast everyday she says it's so much fun.
- She likes watching BBC's "Downton Abbey", just like her character, Karen.
- She is a very experienced actress and has been in a lot of TV shows and movies.
- She has co-written at least four episodes of Liv and Maddie with Jonathan McClain; BFF-A-Rooney, Neighbors-A-Rooney, Vive-La-Rooney, and Tiny House-A-Rooney.
| To view the Kali Rocha gallery, click here.