Rachel Luttrell is an accomplished actress and singer who has worked in film, television and on stage. Rachel Zawadi Luttrell was born in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, and is the second-born of four daughters to Veronica Makihiyo Shenkunde Luttrell, the daughter of a powerful medicine man of the Washambala tribes people, and William Leon Luttrell, Jr., a Bossier City, Louisiana native and then well-respected professor of Economics at the University of Dar Es Salaam. Shortly after her fifth birthday, Rachel and her family immigrated to Canada, settling in the cosmopolitan city of Toronto. As a child in Toronto, Rachel studied piano at The Royal Conservatory and ballet at the Russian Academy of Classical Ballet. Her father, a former member of both the critically-acclaimed Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and the Canadian Opera Company, trained Rachel's soprano voice. Later, she would study with other fine vocal coaches. Rachel played the alto-saxophone in high school and also studied English horseback riding.
Rachel landed her first film role while still in high school, playing Billy Dee Williams' daughter in the made-for-television movie Courage. From there, Rachel appeared in commercials and starred on popular Canadian television programs. Upon graduating from high school, Rachel enrolled in the Musical Theatre program at Sheridan College to pursue her passion for dancing, singing and acting. However, after a year of study, Rachel felt the call of a more academic education and left the college to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature at The University of Toronto.
In the summer of 1995, Rachel moved from Toronto to Los Angeles to continue to pursue her career in film and television. She was kept very busy guest-starring on several popular TV shows. Rachel became frustrated with the life of a struggling young actress in Hollywood, and almost gave it all up to pursue Architecture at UCLA. Before throwing in the towel, Rachel auditioned for the British American Drama Academy and won a spot in their prestigious President's Group. She spent a summer in Oxford, UK studying at Balliol College with some of the industry's best directors, teachers and performers.
When Rachel returned to Los Angeles, she was cast in the premiere production of Lynn Nottage's "Las Meninas", earning wonderful reviews. Shortly thereafter, Rachel was cast in the role of Teyla Emmagan in the Sci-Fi Channel series Stargate: Atlantis.