Velma Kelly as portrayed by Catherine Zeta-Jones

Number 17, the Spread Eagle
~ Velma Kelly
Velma Kelly is the deuteragonist and secondary antagonist of the musical stage production turned live action movie Chicago. She is imprisoned on the suspicion of murdering her husband and sister (which she privately confesses to) and is also the chief rival and nemesis of the (equally villainous) Roxie Hart. She was not part of the original 1927 play 'Roxie Hart,' but was invented solely for the 1975 musical adaptation.

She is portrayed by Catherine Zeta-Jones in the movie adaptation.


Velma Kelly began as a singer and dancer who did a double-act with her sister, also travelling with her husband. One night, after seeing her sister and husband performing the "Spread Eagle" together, Velma was consumed with rage and murdered them both. She is subsequently sent to prison and becomes something of a celebrity, albeit also an infamous one. Velma however, does not care due to craving attention and recognition.

When Roxie Hart begins to steal her thunder Velma becomes deeply resentful and attempts to sabotage Roxie's attempts at getting herself acquitted. She nearly succeeds, but Roxie is nevertheless ultimately acquitted. Velma herself is acquitted around the same time and in both the play and the movie, offers to bury the hatchet with Roxie. Roxie reluctantly agrees and the two go on to become big-shots together.

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