Julia Louis-Dreyfus, born January 13, 1961 in New York, is an American actress, comedian, television producer and singer. She is known for her work on Saturday Night Live (1982-1985), the Seinfeld (1989-1998), Old Christine (2006-2010) and Veep (2012-2019) series.
She is one of the most awarded actresses in American television history, having received eleven Emmy Awards, eight for comedy and three for production, with a total of 24 nominations throughout her career. She has also received a Golden Globes, nine Screen Actors Guild Awards, five American Comedy Awards and two Critics’ Choice Television Awards. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010 and was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2014.
In 2016, Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2018, she received the Mark-Twain Prize for her contribution to American humor, presented by the Kennedy Center as the highest honor of comedy in America.
Youth, training and beginnings
Julia Louis-Dreyfus was born in New York to an American mother, Judith (née LeFever), writer and tutor, and to a father born in France, Gérard Louis-Dreyfus, leader of the Louis-Dreyfus group. She is the great-great-granddaughter of Léopold Louis-Dreyfus, who founded the Louis Dreyfus group in 1851, a French commodity and shipping conglomerate, which members of her family still control. His paternal grandfather, Pierre Louis-Dreyfus, was president of the Louis Dreyfus group.
In 1962, a year after his birth, his parents divorced. After moving to Washington, D.C. when she was four, her mother married Loren Thompson Bowles, then dean of George Washington University Medical School. As a child, his mother occasionally took him to Unitarian church services. She spent her childhood in several states and countries, in connection with the work of her father-in-law with the Hope project, notably in Colombia and Tunisia.
In 1979, she graduated from Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland. She is pursuing graduate studies at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois where she is a member of the Delta Gamma sorority. There, she studied theater and appeared on the Waa-Mu Show, a student-run sketch comedy and improvisation review, before dropping out of her junior year by landing a spot on Saturday Night Live. In 2007, she will receive an honorary doctorate of arts from Northwestern University.
Some biographies mistakenly claim that she is linked to Alfred Dreyfus, the French military officer known for the Dreyfus affair.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus began a career in comedy with The Practical Theater Company in Chicago, which led her to join the cast of the comedy show Saturday Night Live, from 1982 to 1985.
She continued with a few appearances in the cinema, in particular under the direction of Woody Allen in Hannah and her sisters (1986) and in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989), before obtaining a regular role in the sitcom Day by Day, the program does not not go beyond the 1988-1989 season.
As of the following school year, she landed the only female role in the new series Seinfeld, a sitcom broadcast on NBC which enjoyed wide critical and public success. She played the delirious and neurotic Elaine Benes for nine seasons and 172 episodes, winning for this role the Golden Globe for best comic actress in a supporting role in 1994, and receiving an Emmy nomination, each year from the third season. , in the Best Actress in a Supporting Role category. She won the award in 1996.
When Seinfeld stops in 1998, she reunites with Woody Allen for an appearance in Harry In All His Forms, then lends her voice to the second animated film from Pixar studios, 1001 Paws. She finds television in the sitcom Ellie in all its forms developed with her husband, but which is canceled at the end of two seasons in 2003. She then plays in the series Arrested Development.
In 2006, she starred in the new family sitcom Old Christine on CBS, which received good ratings and reviews. The series lasts five seasons, until 2010. For her role, the actress won the Emmy Award for Best Actress in a Comedy in the inaugural season. She will be nominated for her work over the following four seasons.
Subsequently, she participates in satirical series Veep, launched by HBO. The program receives multiple awards, including for her portrayal of Vice-President Selina Meyer, who wins the Emmy Award for Best Comedic Actress each season.
At the same time, she dubbed a character from another animated film, Planes, and played the role of James Gandolfini in the independent comedy-drama All About Albert, which received good reviews.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been married since 1987 with actor and writer Brad Hall, when they met while studying at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. The couple have two children: Henry (born June 30, 1992) and Charles (born May 30, 1997).
Since May 2005, she has contributed to a blog on The Huffington Post.
Winner in 2016 for the sixth time of the award for best actress in a comedy series at the Emmy Awards for her role in Veep, she dedicated her victory to her father, who died two days earlier.
On September 28, 2017, she revealed via her Twitter account that she was suffering from breast cancer.
1986: Troll by John Carl Buechler: Jeanette Cooper
1986: Hannah and her sisters by Woody Allen: Mary
1986: Soul Man by Steve Miner: Lisa Stinson
1989: The tree has the balls of Jeremiah S. Chechik: Margo Chester, the neighbor
1993: Jack the Bear by Marshall Herskovitz: Peggy Etinger
1994: The Irresistible North by Rob Reiner: North’s mother
1997: Funny Ivan Reitman’s Fathers: Carrie Lawrence
1997: Harry in all his forms by Woody Allen: Leslie / Harry character
1998: 1001 Paws by John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton: Atta (voice)
2012: Planes de Klay Hall: Rochelle (voice)
2013: All About Albert by Nicole Holofcener: Eva
1996: London Suite by Jay Sandrich: Debra Dolby
1999: Animal Farm by John Stephenson (TV movie): Mollie (voice)
2000: Tom Moore’s Geppetto: The Blue Fairy
1982-1985: Saturday Night Live: various characters (57 episodes)
1988: Family Ties: Susan White (1 episode)
1988: Day by Day (33 episodes)
1989 – 1998: Seinfeld: Elaine Benes (177 episodes)
1992: Dinosaurs: Heather Washington (voice) (1 episode)
1997: Doctor Katz: Julia (voice, 1 episode)
1997: Hey Arnold! : Miss Felter (voice, 1 episode)
2000-2009: Larry and her navel: herself / Elaine Benes (8 episodes)
2002-2003: Ellie in all her forms: Ellie Riggs (19 episodes)
2004-2005: Arrested Development: Maggie Lizer (4 episodes)
2006-2010: Old Christine: Christine Campbell (88 episodes)
2006-2007: Saturday Night Live: herself (guest, 2 episodes)
2010: 30 Rock: Elizabeth “Liz” Lemon (flashback of Live episodes, 1 episode)
2012-2019: Veep: Selina Meyer
2012: Web Therapy: Shevaun Haig (1 episode)
2015: Inside Amy Schumer: Herself (1 episode)
2021: Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Countess Valentina “Val” Allegra de Fontaine (1 episode)
Julia 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. She also won in 2014, the TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy, an award for individual achievement in comedy. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles awarded him in 2014 the Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for excellence in comedy.
In 2016, Time magazine listed her as one of the 100 most influential people in the world at the annual ceremony. In 2018, she received the Mark-Twain Prize for her contribution to American humor, presented by the Kennedy Center as the highest honor of comedy in America.
In France, Julia Louis-Dreyfus does not have a regular voice although Valérie Nosrée has doubled her three times and Anne Jolivet and Marie Vincent have respectively doubled her twice.
In Quebec, it does not have a regular French-speaking voice.