Monday, April 30, 2012

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Julia Scarlett Louis-Dreyfus was born on January 16th 1961 in Manhattan, New York.  She is an American actress best known for her role in Seinfeld as Elaine Benes.  One of my favorite female actresses of all time.
She was seen performing with Chicago's well known improvisational theater groups,  The Practical Theater Group and the renowned Second City.  It was then at one of her performances the former's "Golden 50th Anniversary Jubilee" that led to her being asked to join the cast of Saturday Night Live at the age of 21.
She was on Saturday Night Live for a few years from 1982 to 1985.  At the time Julia and cast member Abby Eliot were the youngest female cast members in history to be on Saturday Night Live.
She met up with writer Larry David during her career at SNL who would later co-create Seinfeld.  Recently Julia commented that her casting on SNL was a "Cinderella getting to go to the ball kind of experience".  She also admitted that at times it was often quite tense, stating that she "didn't know how to navigate the waters of show business in general and specifically doing a live sketch comedy show."
She appeared in almost all the episodes of Seinfeld excluding three of them.
Her father Gérard Louis-Dreyfus(also known as William Louis-Dreyfus), is a French attorney and business executive.  Her parents divorced one year after the birth of Julia.  Her mother Judith was a writer and special needs tutor.  Julia's paternal grandfather was Pierre Louis-Dreyfus (1908-2011).  He was a French Jew who fought in the French Resistance during World War II.  Both her paternal grandmother and her mother were American.
When Julia was eight years old they relocated to Washington D.C. and her mother married L. Thompson Bowles, Dean of the George Washington University Medical School.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus has two half-sisters on her father's side, Emma and Phoebe.  Through her father, a billionaire heir to the Louis Dreyfus Group, she had a cousin Robert Louis-Dreyfus (1946-2009), former CEO of Adidas and the owner of the Olympique de Marseille football/soccer team.  Her half sister Lauren Bowles is also an actress, appearing with her on Seinfeld, and The New Adventures of Old Christine.  Lauren was also in Veronica Mars and in the film Ghost World.
Julia 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, MD in 1979 and attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois where she studied theatre for several years before dropping out due to a professional acting job offer.
In 2007 she was invited back to Northwestern to receive an honorary Doctor of Arts degree.
Julia met her husband Brad Hall while she was at Northwestern and they married in 1987.  Brad Hall is a comedian and was on SNL as well.  They have two children together Henry born in 1992 and Charles born in 1997.
Julia stated once that she holds much respect for "women who are not afraid of making themselves look bad or foolish to get a laugh" and cites her acting idols as Lucille Ball,Mary Tyler Moore,Madeline Kahn, Teri Garr, Valerie Harper and Cloris Leachman.
I thought she was great in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and Curb Your Enthusiasm!  I guess more recently she's on the HBO show Veep.  Which I've had yet to see.

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