Alumna of The Second City Touring Company
Was SNL’s youngest cast member when she joined at age 21
Winner of 11 Emmy Awards, eight for acting and three for producing
Few have blazed a comedic trail as distinctive and decorated as Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The actress, comedian, and producer was born in New York, relocating to Washington, D.C. at age eight.
Louis-Dreyfus attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she studied theatre, trained and performed with The Second City, and joined Chicago’s The Practical Theatre Company, where her performance at their “Golden 50th Anniversary Jubilee” led to an invitation to join the cast of Saturday Night Live at just 21 years old. She became the youngest female cast member in the history of the program at that time, where she appeared alongside Robin Duke and Mary Gross, and remaining a player on the show from 1982-85. There, she met both her husband, fellow cast mate Brad Hall, and writer Larry David, who would later co-create Seinfeld.
After SNL, Louis-Dreyfus appeared in several films, including Hannah and Her Sisters; Soul Man, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. She worked on several TV series that were canceled on or shortly after pilot during this time.
In the early 1990s, Louis-Dreyfus hit comedy gold as “Elaine Benes” on NBC’s Seinfeld, ultimately playing the character for nine celebrated seasons, picking up a Golden Globe, three SAG awards and the 1996 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, an award she was nominated for on seven occasions for the role.
Along the way, Louis-Dreyfus also voiced roles in several animated films, including A Bug’s Life and Planes, as well as several episodes of The Simpsons. In May of 2006, Louis-Dreyfus hosted Saturday Night Live, the first former female cast member to do so. She has since hosted twice more.
She went on to play the title role of “Christine Campbell” in CBS’s The New Adventures of Old Christine for five seasons and drop in for memorable stints on Arrested Development, 30 Rock and Curb Your Enthusiasm before landing the lead role of Selina Meyer in HBO’s Veep, which also features Sam Richardson and Matt Walsh. For her portrayal of Meyer, she has earned six consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.