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Jenna Elfman Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (16) | Personal Quotes (27) | Salary (1)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 30 September 1971Los Angeles, California, USA
Birth NameJennifer Mary Butala
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Jenna Elfman was born in Los Angeles, California, and began her career appearing in commercials. She studied with Milton Katselas, the renowned acting teacher. She then began appearing in TV shows before landing the role of Dharma in the hit ABC television show Dharma & Greg (1997).

Her first starring role in a film was in Krippendorf's Tribe (1998), alongside Richard Dreyfuss. She won a Golden Globe award for her role in Dharma & Greg (1997) and has since appeared in such films as Keeping the Faith (2000) and Edtv (1999).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Matt Dicker

Spouse (1)

Bodhi Elfman (18 February 1995 - present) (2 children)

Trivia (16)

Studied acting at The Beverly Hills Playhouse with Milton Katselas.
Is a classically-trained ballet dancer.
Graduated from Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, class of 1989. She was senior class representative (dance dept), on Student Arts Council.
Niece of singer Tony Butala, who founded and performs with the vocal group The Lettermen.
She started taking classical ballet at the age of five, but by nine, she suffered a serious ankle injury, and at age 12, the tendon came off the bone. She later gave up ballet at the age of 16.
Was listed as a potential nominee on the 2004 Razzie Award nominating ballot. She was suggested in the Worst Supporting Actress category for her performance in the film Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003); however, she failed to receive a nomination.
Is of Croatian heritage.
Daughter-in-law of Richard Elfman and Marie-Pascale Elfman.
Was among the guests at Tom Cruise's and Katie Holmes' wedding ceremony in Italy.
Gave birth to her son Story Elias Elfman, with husband Bodhi Elfman, in Los Angeles, weighing in at 7lbs 2oz (23 July 2007).
Susan Sullivan, who played the mother-in-law of her character, Dharma, in the series Dharma & Greg (1997), also played the mother of her character Lizzie, in the series Brothers & Sisters (2006).
Turned down a role in Minority Report (2002).
Gave birth to her son Easton Quinn Monroe Elfman, with husband Bodhi Elfman, in Los Angeles at 7.53am, weighing in at 7lbs 12oz (2 March 2010).
Was four months pregnant with her son Easton when she completed filming on the first series of Accidentally on Purpose (2009).
Returned to work four months after giving birth to her son Easton in order to begin filming Friends with Benefits (2011).
Was to perform on Broadway in the musical "Nine", as a replacement for Jane Krakowski. Citing lack of proper time, she left the show during rehearsals and was replaced by Krakowski's understudy. [October 2003]

Personal Quotes (27)

Creatively, you need to go live life. As an artist, you are representing life. So you have to rub elbows and be out in it.
I think that marriage is an amazing institution and should be preserved, and you can have great marriages, and you must because sharing your life with someone is like the greatest thing. And I loved being able to set a good example for that on television.
I loved that about her because I knew it would open the door for a lot of comedy, because I knew that the conflict would come, because not many people live like the way she does.
I just think that it's such a good show and timeless and still very funny, and that just makes me happy to have that whole first season in one concentrated space for people to enjoy so that it's not hit and miss trying to find it in syndication always.
I just think it's fun to remind people that good television has exited and it can exist again and just to give them pleasure and enjoy it and make them laugh.
I just kind of understood it, and I threw my love for others and love for life into the character, and was having a blast. I loved playing Dharma. I loved it!
I got good notice from that show, and on the last day of filming Townies (1996), Twentieth Century Fox called, wanting to meet with me about a development deal.
I can't say I can foresee the future and tell the stars, you know. But I do have an understanding for my own reality, just elements and things that I've learned from.
Especially while television I think is going through some growing pains or is in need of - I think current comedy is a bit, uh, not happening, you know?
Comedy is much more challenging, because you have to have the same level of belief but you have to make people laugh, and that's definitely a challenge.
And you know, we did it as an independent film, and we weren't expecting it to be on television, and Lifetime ended up buying it. And the viewers responded intensely to that film.
The most memorable moment was playing drums with Bob Dylan.
Like, to do a pilot, you don't know what's going to happen with it.
It's such a pleasurable experience to look back, and all of the fun I had just comes rushing back.
It proved to me, though, that comedy is so much harder.
In comedy, something may be more absurd, but you have to believe just as much as you do when you're doing drama.
Drama is not hard for me. It just didn't seem hard.
And you don't want to just totally mess up the rhythm when you're playing with Bob Dylan.
Not hippie - my parents were not hippies - but they were very supportive and encouraging, and that does a lot for someone, and it gives them a lot of confidence.
And I'm so excited to remind people and even gain new fans who find out about Dharma - a new generation who could find out about Dharma and enjoy her and all the characters on the show.
And as a character, what I found very inspiring about playing Dharma, especially at that time, is that the women on television were more neurotic than they were free. And I thought, this is a rare bird and this is unique on television and I think it's really refreshing.
You know, she was a girl. She was a female. And she wasn't like, trying to compete in a man's world and she wasn't trying to be in a man's position, she was just who she was. And I think that was like, a good thing.
Yeah, I think the common denominator - and this is probably going to sound like Acting 101 - but the common denominator is belief in the character in the moment.
There's a power in women being women. There's a role for men, but we don't have to be men, because we're women. I think that representing that on television is a cool thing.
Playing in front of an audience was just such a turn-on for me, and you have 200 people in the audience and it's like doing live theater. And filming something that goes to millions of people several weeks later, it's an interesting dynamic.
It was the most pleasurable thing I've ever done, playing this character, and I just remember feeling so at home and so - I don't know, I was just happy - and it just wasn't ever work! It was like a sandbox for me, and I would crack myself up rehearsing.
I'll probably stick to comedy for the time being. I mean, a great piece of work is a great piece of work, and I'm up for good work anytime. But I do love comedy!

Salary (1)

Accidentally on Purpose (2009) $125,000 /episode (2009-10)

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