Jan. 13th, 1961
New York City, New York, USA
Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Main TV 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.
- Daughter of Gerard Louis-Dreyfus, a French billionaire.
- Her character on _"Seinfeld" (1990)_ (qv), Elaine Benes, did not appear in the original pilot. She has never watched that episode--out of superstition.
- She and her future husband, 'Brad Hall (I)' (qv) (a year before they were married in 1987) made their feature film debut together as a couple in the fantasy horror movie _Troll (1986)_ (qv).
- 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.
- Chosen by Forbes magazine in 2006 as one of the 10 Hottest Billionaire Heiresses.
- Her TV series, _"Watching Ellie" (2002)_ (qv), was created for her by husband 'Brad Hall (I)' (qv). They originally wanted it to air commercial free, but that idea was rejected by NBC.
- Both her parents remarried after their divorce, and she has two half-sisters from her mother's second marriage and two half-sisters from her father's second marriage. She considers both her step-parents to be as important in her life as her biological parents.
- (June 2003) It was announced that her TV series, _"Watching Ellie" (2002)_ (qv) has been canceled by NBC. Lasting one year, it more than doubled the staying power of fellow _"Seinfeld" (1990)_ (qv) alumni 'Jason Alexander (I)' (qv) and 'Michael Richards (I)' (qv)' TV series, but failed to draw a wide enough audience to warrant renewal.