The son of cattle ranchers Bud and Ruth, Reno had been riding horses since he could walk. This experience qualified him for his role in The Black Stallion (1979), which he tried out for when his mother learned of the open audition. Both of his parents accompanied him to the filming location, and enjoyed the experience, but it was also disruptive to the family life. Kelly only appeared in three films before high school graduation in 1984. After graduation, he planned on acting more, and acquired a new agent. His plans were put on hold when his pickup truck was hit by an 18-wheeler and he suffered severe injuries. After a long recovery period he had lost most of his film connections. Reno is now a certified truck driver, and drives an 18-wheeler like the one that ended his acting career. He has three children from his first marriage.