This paper presents an effective approach to achieve efficient electrical actuation and monitoring of shape recovery based on patterned Au electrodes on shape memory polymer (SMP). The electrically responsive shape recovery behavior was characterized and monitored by the evolution change in electrical resistance of patterned Au electrode. Both electrical actuation and temperature distribution in the SMP have been improved by optimizing the Au electrode patterns. The electrically actuated shape recovery behavior and temperature evolution during the actuation were monitored and characterized. The resistance changes could be used to detect beginning/finishing points of the shape recovery. Therefore, the Au electrode not only significantly enhances the electrical actuation performance to achieve a fast electrical actuation, but also enables the resistance signal to detect the free recovery process.