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Well I was in such a state of shock I completely blacked out. I can't remember a thing. It wasn't until later when I was washing the blood off my hands I even knew they were dead!
~ Velma during the Cell Block Tango

Velma Kelly is the deuteragonist and secondary antagonist of the musical Chicago and its 2002 film adaptationShe 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 was portrayed by Chita Rivera in the 1975 musical and by Catherine Zeta-Jones in the 2002 movie adaptation who also portrayed Katja Petrokovich.

History

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.