Kali Rocha was born in Memphis, Tennessee in December 5, 1971. She grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, and graduated from Carnegie Mellon School of Drama in 1993.
Rocha's career began on stage in the August 1993 revival of the play In the Summer House, at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. Since then, she has been in multiple Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, including Noises Off and The Altruists.
Her on-screen debut was in the 1996 cinematic adaptation of The Crucible, as Mercy Lewis. She played an Atlantic American flight attendant in the 2000 comedy Meet the Parents, a role she reprised in the sequel Meet the Fockers. She also had a recurring role on Buffy the Vampire Slayer as Cecily/Halfrek. Rocha played Anna in Gods and Generals as well. Other films include The Object of My Affection, Autumn in New York, White Oleander, When Billie Beat Bobby, and Ready? OK!. In 2009, Rocha appeared with fellow Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum Emma Caulfield in the film TiMER.
She has appeared on the Will & Grace episode "Strangers with Candice", as a straight woman who flirts with Will. In spring 2006, Rocha began acting in the short-lived NBC sitcom Teachers. She guest-starred in an 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. Rocha has also played the character of a fourth-year resident surgeon, Dr. Sydney Heron, in Grey's Anatomy. In 2018, Rocha was upgraded to a series regular on Man With a Plan.
Credited as separated roles, Rocha has discussed about her Buffyverse characters, Halfrek and Cecily, being the same entity:
- "My personal feeling is that they probably are the same person. A lot of people come up to me and they all want to know if Cecily and Halfrek are the same person. So, I always ask what they think, because I'm interested in different perceptions of that. There's some thought that maybe Cecily went to the party to reject or seek vengeance on someone else, and that Spike somehow got in there, or that I just wanted to spurn him and hurt his feelings, which I did, which made him become a vampire, basically."
- ↑ Natalie Clubb, She's the Devil in Disguise?. "The Slayer Collection Volume 2: Fear, Itself — Monsters and Villains", Titan Comics, 2016.