Jan. 13th, 1961
New York City, New York, USA
Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
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Julia Scarlett Elizabeth Louis-Dreyfus (born January 13, 1961) is an American actress, comedian and producer, known for her television work on Seinfeld, The New Adventures of Old Christine, and her current series Veep.
Louis-Dreyfus was born in New York City. Her mother, Judith (née LeFever), was a writer and special needs tutor, and her father, the billionaire Gérard Louis-Dreyfus, chaired Louis Dreyfus Energy Services. She is the great-great-granddaughter of Léopold Louis-Dreyfus, who in 1851 founded the Louis Dreyfus Group, a French commodities and shipping conglomerate, which members of the family control to this day. Her paternal grandfather, Pierre Louis-Dreyfus (1908-2011), was president of the Louis Dreyfus Group; he remained in France during World War II, fighting as a cavalry officer and later in the French Resistance. During this time, her father fled to America from France. Her paternal grandmother, Dolores (Neubauer), and her mother, were American. Her paternal grandfather was from an Alsatian Jewish family, while Julia's other ancestry is German, Mexican, English, French, Scottish, and Scots-Irish. In 1962, one year after Louis-Dreyfus's birth, her parents divorced. After relocating to Washington, D.C. when Julia was eight, her mother married L. Thompson Bowles, Dean of the George Washington University Medical School.
Louis-Dreyfus spent her childhood in several states and countries, in connection with her stepfather's work with Project HOPE, including Sri Lanka, Colombia and Tunisia. She graduated from the Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland in 1979, and attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. There, she was a member of the Delta Gamma sorority, and studied theatre for several years, before dropping out due to a professional acting job offer.
Louis-Dreyfus broke into comedy as a performer in The Practical Theatre Company in Chicago, which led her to casting in the famed sketch show Saturday Night Live from 1982 to 1985. Her breakthrough came in 1990 with a nine-season run playing the character of Elaine Benes on Seinfeld, one of the most critically and commercially successful sitcoms of all time. Other notable television roles include Christine Campbell in The New Adventures of Old Christine which had a five-season run on CBS, and her current role as Selina Meyer in Veep, recently renewed for a third season on HBO.
Film appearances have included Hannah and Her Sisters, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Deconstructing Harry and Enough Said. She has also voiced roles in several animated films including A Bug's Life and Planes.
Louis-Dreyfus has received six Golden Globe nominations, winning one, and 16 Emmy nominations, winning four. She has been credited as one of the most nominated actresses in the history of the awards. She has also received five Screen Actors Guild Awards and five American Comedy Awards. Louis-Dreyfus received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010, and was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2014.
While at Northwestern, Louis-Dreyfus met future husband and Saturday Night Live comedian Brad Hall. She and Hall married in 1987. They have two children together, Henry (born in 1992), and Charles (born in 1997). In 2007, she was invited back to Northwestern to receive an honorary Doctor of Arts degree.
- Is included in 'Richard Roeper' (qv)'s list of actresses who've never done nude scenes in his latest book, "Ten Sure Signs a Movie Character is Doomed, and Other Surprising Movie Lists". When asked about this by 'Conan O'Brien' (qv), Dreyfus stated that she'd never been asked to do one.
- Fought NBC censors to allow a scene where a man runs around his house completely naked in front of Ellie (Julia's character on _"Watching Ellie" (2002)_ (qv)). She won.
- Is the first, and thus far only, one of the four primary cast members of _"Seinfeld" (1990)_ (qv) to have received a Razzie Award nomination. She was nominated for Worst Supporting Actress in 1998 for her performance in the film _Fathers' Day (1997)_ (qv). However, she ultimately lost the award to 'Alicia Silverstone' (qv) in _Batman & Robin (1997)_ (qv).
- Her grandfather, Pierre Louis-Dreyfus, was a member of the French Resistance during WWII, and flew 88 missions for 'Charles de Gaulle' (qv)'s Free French Air Force.
- Her character on _"Seinfeld" (1990)_ (qv), Elaine Benes, did not appear in the original pilot. She has never watched that episode--out of superstition.
- Performed improv with Chicago's Second City and the Practical Theatre Company, started by her husband, 'Brad Hall (I)' (qv).
- Half-sister, 'Lauren Bowles' (qv), acts with her in _"Watching Ellie" (2002)_ (qv).
- Wears a size 8 1/2 shoe.