This character is a member of the Donovan Family.
Kelly Donovan grew up in Mystic Falls and she was best friends with Elena and Jeremy's mother, Miranda Sommers, in high school. In high school, she dated a guy who she described as 'not impressive'; who later became a plumber, whom Kelly won as a date in a raffle. She used to babysit Jenna Sommers, who was Miranda's sister and they became good friends. She and Miranda remained good friends after Miranda married Grayson Gilbert and their children Matt Donovan and Elena Gilbert sometimes used to share a crib. Kelly had a daughter named Vicki. Several years later, Kelly left Mystic Falls with her boyfriend Pete and left Matt and Vicki.
Sometime before she left town she had been working at the Mystic Grill, however she was fired when Kelly slept with the boss' boyfriend. She was gone for a while with her boyfriend Pete. She eventually came back to Mystic Falls after Pete supposedly broke up with her. When she entered the living room, she found her son Matt on the couch, making out with his new girlfriend Caroline Forbes.
She was seen to be extremely immature, and Matt still ended up having to pay the bills while she was back in town. She has made out with people half her age a few times. After Matt asked his boss to get his mother's job back, she went to the Mystic Grill where she was stood up, however she was met by Damon and Jenna. The two flirted throughout the night until Damon brought her home with him, and started making out until Matt walked in on them.
Kelly disapproves of her son's relationship with Caroline, even telling her face to face that she does not like her. In episode Under Control, Kelly got drunk and made out with Tyler Lockwood, causing Matt to be mad at both of them. Matt did not want to give her any more chances and told her that he wanted her out of the house. She left as he asked, and she has not been seen again.
- Season 1
- Gaelic name, meaning "war" or "strife". Her life was full of strife.
- In a deleted scene from the episode A Few Good Men a man dies right after making out with Kelly. This indicates that she was supposed to be a Succubus, but in the end, the writers decided not to pursue that storyline. Ironically, (or fittingly) Melinda Clarke played The Siren on Charmed who was also a demon who killed men, by incinerating their lungs while kissing them.
- Matt states that Kelly made out with a guy, Damon Salvatore, half her age, but the irony is, though Damon is younger in physical years, he is about 4 times older than Kelly.
- She never shared a scene with her daughter Vicki. However, Melinda Clarke and Kayla Ewell had to take a photo together, for the episode A Few Good Men.
- Kelly was one of the parental figures in the series who is not a member of the Town Council. The others are: Abby Bennett Wilson and Rudy Hopkins.
- Kelly is the only parent in the series who doesn't know about the supernatural world.