Date of Birth: January 13, 1961
Born in New York City to writer Judith Bowles and billionaire businessman Gerard Louis-Dreyfus, Julia Scarlett Elizabeth Louis-Dreyfus is the granddaughter of the Leopold Louis-Dreyfus, founder of the Louis Dreyfus Group. Her parents divorced when she was young, and she moved to Washington D.C aged 9, where she attended the all-girls Holton-Arms School. It was there that she first discovered her love of acting. Her drama teachers Judy White and Phyllis Ehrlich ultimately influenced her progress as an actress.
She then left Washington D.C to study drama at Northwestern University in Chicago. As a student there she worked with the prestigious comedy troupe Second City and the Practical Theatre Company. It was with the latter, which she acted in with then boyfriend and current husband Brad Hall, that set her on her way to stardom. The producers of NBC’s Saturday Night Live attended a show and hired them immediately. She became their youngest-ever cast member when she joined them at the age of 21. She would subsequently drop out of Northwestern and move to New York.
At SNL, Louis-Dreyfus would create several recurring, successful characters, but it wouldn’t be a savory experience due to her lack of experience within the showbiz world. She left the show following the 1984-1985 season, along with her fellow cast members. She didn’t stay out of work for long, however, making her feature debut in the 1986 horror film Troll. She followed this up with roles in Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters and Steve Miner’s Soul Man before getting a main role on the sitcom Day by Day, which ran for one season from 1988-1989.
After several guest appearances on Larry David’s HBO comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm, she returned to the medium as a leading lady in 2002’s Watching Ellie, a real-time sitcom created by husband Brad Hall and co-starring Steve Carrell. It lasted two seasons before it was cancelled by NBC due to poor ratings. She appeared on the hit Fox comedy Arrested Development as Eleanor ‘Ellie’ Riggs in several episodes before returning again to a main role in The New Adventures of Old Christine. Julia played the title role in the sitcom that ran from 2006 to 2010. She received an Emmy after her first season in 2006. Her third successful comedy series came in 2012 with HBO’s Veep, where she plays the fictionalized Vice-President Selina Meyer. The series gave her two more Emmy wins in 2012 and 2013 respectively. She made her return to film in 2013’s Enough Said, a Nicole Holofcener comedy-drama in which she co-starred with the late James Gandolfini. She earned a Golden Globe nomination for her work in the film.
She continued to nab awards for her role in Veep, winning Emmys in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. For the same role, she earned Golden Globe nominations from 2013 to 2017.
In 2020, Julia starred in Downhill, opposite Will Ferrell, and lent her voice to the Disney Pixar animated film Onward.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus has two sons, Henry and Charles, born in 1992 and 1997 respectively. She has received a total of four Emmy Awards, and has the distinction of being the only woman to win the Emmy three times for three separate comedy series. She is also the most nominated actress in Emmy Award history with ten, surpassing her idol Lucille Ball. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010 for her contribution to the broadcast television industry.