Danneel Harris (born Elta Danneel Graul; March 18, 1979) is an American actress, model, and gymnast. She is best known for her roles as Shannon McBain on One Life to Live (2003-04) and as Rachel Gatina on One Tree Hill (2005–2009).
Harris was born in Lafayette, Louisiana, and was raised in the small town of Eunice in St. Landry Parish. She was named after her great-grandmother. Her first name is Elta, but she goes by her middle name, Danneel, professionally. The name "Danneel" was inspired by Danneel Street in New Orleans. Her cousin is actress Mary Lou. She moved to Los Angeles and continued her acting training with John Homa, Calmeson and Calmeson, and Craig Wargo.
Before she landed her first acting role, Harris worked as a model with such companies as Big Sexy Hair and Juicy Jeans. She first appeared in a television commercial. The independent film The Plight of Clownana marks her first major acting role. Her other credits include The WB's What I Like About You, guest appearance on Mad TV, and a supporting role in the yet-to-be released indie Rule Number One starring Ed Harris.
Harris is skilled in gymnastics and her musical talents include playing the piano and singing. She