Jenna Elfman

Actor, Dancer, Grocery clerk
An ebullient performer who earned fame with her role as a buoyant free-spirit on the popular sitcom "Dharma & Greg" (ABC, 1997-2002), actress Jenna Elfman broke through as a stand out cast member of the failed sitcom ... Read more »
Born: 09/29/1971 in Northridge, California, USA

Filmography

Actor (71)

Big Stone Gap 2015 (Movie)

Iva Lou Wade (Actor)

Almost Perfect 1995 - 2002, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

Conan 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Guest

Growing Up Fisher 2013 - 2014 (TV Show)

Actor

Hollywood Game Night 2014 (Tv Show)

Guest

Late Night with Seth Meyers 2014 (Tv Show)

Guest

Murder One 1995 - 2002, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

NYPD Blue 1995 - 2002, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

So You Think You Can Dance 1997 - 2002, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Single Guy 1996 - 2002, 2013 - 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Six Wives of Henry Lefay 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

1600 Penn 2012 - 2013 (TV Show)

Actor

Royal Pains 2013 (Tv Show)

Actor

The American Giving Awards 2012 - 2013 (TV Show)

Actor

The Mindy Project 2013 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 2013 (Tv Show)

Actor

Damages 2012 (Tv Show)

Actor

Shameless 2012 (Tv Show)

Actor

Friends with Benefits 2011 (Movie)

Annie (Actor)

Two and a Half Men 2004, 2011 (Tv Show)

Special Appearance

Accidentally on Purpose 2009 - 2010 (TV Show)

Actor

The Late Show With David Letterman 2010 (Tv Show)

Guest

Love Hurts 2009 (Movie)

Darlene (Actor)

My Name is Earl 2008 (Tv Show)

Actor

Brothers & Sisters 2007 (Tv Show)

Actor

Courting Alex 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

Clifford's Really Big Movie 2004 (Movie)

Voice of Dorothy (Actor)

Hollywood Squares 1998 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Looney Tunes: Back in Action 2003 (Movie)

Kate Houghton (Actor)

Obsessed 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

Dharma & Greg 1997 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

My VH1 Music Awards '01 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

My VH1 Music Awards 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Rock Across America 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

The 52nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Town & Country 2001 (Movie)

Auburn (Actor)

Women Rock! Girls & Guitars 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

2nd Annual TV Guide Awards 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Cyberworld 3D 2000 (Movie)

of Phig (Voice)

Keeping the Faith 2000 (Movie)

Anna Reilly (Actor)

Men Strike Back 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

The 14th Annual American Comedy Awards 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

The 51st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

50th Emmy Awards 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Edtv 1999 (Movie)

Shari (Actor)

Influences: From Yesterday to Today 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Inside Scientology 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

TV Guide Awards 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

The Pet Shop 1997 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

The Tangerine Bear 1999 (Movie)

of Lorelei (Voice)

12th Annual American Comedy Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Barbara Walters Presents 6 to Watch 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Can't Hardly Wait 1998 (Movie)

(uncredited) The Angel (Actor)

Dr. Dolittle 1998 (Movie)

of Owl (Voice)

Krippendorf's Tribe 1998 (Movie)

Veronica (Actor)

The 24th Annual People's Choice Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Grosse Pointe Blank 1997 (Movie)

Tanya (Actor)

The Monroes 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Roseanne 1995 (Tv Show)

Actor

Her Last Chance (TV Show)

Actor

Struck (TV Show)

Actor

Touched (TV Show)

Actor

Townies (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

An ebullient performer who earned fame with her role as a buoyant free-spirit on the popular sitcom "Dharma & Greg" (ABC, 1997-2002), actress Jenna Elfman broke through as a stand out cast member of the failed sitcom, "Townies" (ABC, 1996). A professional dancer who made the switch to acting in the early 1990s, Elfman made immediate strides on the small screen, landing guest starring roles on both dramas and sitcoms, including "Roseanne" (ABC, 1988-1997) and "NYPD Blue" (ABC, 1993-2005) before landing her first regular gig with "Townies." Though "Townies" was only on the air a short time, network executives were duly impressed with Elfman's talents and signed her to an exclusive deal to develop her own series. The result was "Dharma & Greg," which managed to stay on for five seasons while earning the actress three consecutive Emmy Award nominations. Once the show was canceled, however, Elfman's career hit a brief rough patch that included starring in the failed sitcom, "Courting Alex" (CBS, 2006), while publicly embarrassing herself after a heated argument with a Scientology critic that ignited a brief, but white-hot media firestorm. But Elfman continued to persevere, regaining her presence as a charming sitcom actress who was often the best thing about an otherwise unremarkable show.

Relationships

Richard Butala

Father
Worked for Hughes Aircraft

Susan Butala

Mother

Rick Butala

Brother
Born in March 1961

Debbie Butala

Sister
Born in December 1957

Tony Butala

Uncle
Member of the popular 1960s male group The Letterman

Bodhi Elfman

Husband
Son of director Richard Elfman and nephew of composer Danny Elfman met at a Sprite commercial audition in 1991 married in 1995

Easton Elfman

Son
Born March 2, 2010 father, Bodhi Elfman

Story Elfman

Son
Born July 23, 2007 father, Bodhi Elfman

EDUCATION

Beverly Hills Playhouse

Beverly Hills , California
Studied acting with Milton Katselas

Los Angeles County High School for the Performing Arts

Los Angeles , California 1989

Trained as a ballerina

California State University, Northridge

Northridge , California
Dropped out

Milestones

2009

Cast in the CBS sitcom, "Accidentally on Purpose"

2006

Cast as a single, workaholic attorney in the CBS sitcom, "Courting Alex"

2004

Guest-starred on two episodes of "Two and a Half Men," playing a woman who comes between Charlie and Alan

2001

Had featured role in "Town & Country"

1999

Co-hosted the telecast of the Emmy Awards with David Hyde Pierce

1999

Co-starred with Matthew McConaughey in the Ron Howard-directed, "EDtv"

1999

Acted on stage opposite Miguel Ferrer in "Visions and Lovers"; directed by Katselas

1998

Starred opposite Richard Dreyfuss in "Krippendorf's Tribe"

1997

Made feature film debut in "Grosse Point Blank"

1997

Cast opposite Thomas Gibson in the ABC sitcom, "Dharma & Greg"

1996

TV-movie debut, "Her Last Chance" (NBC)

1996

Made regular series debut in the short-lived ABC sitcom, "Townies"

1995

Early TV credit, guest appearance on the ABC drama, "The Monroes"

1991

Met future husband Bodhi Elfman auditioning for a Sprite ad

1991

Appeared as a dancer on the annual Academy Awards telecast

1991

Began studying acting with Milton Katselas

Toured with the rock band ZZ Top as a "Legs" girl

Began dancing at age five

Studied ballet until age 16; switched to jazz dance

Danced in music videos, including one for a Depeche Mode song

Bonus Trivia

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"She's an honest actress and truly funny. She doesn't have to act funny; she instinctively knows where the humor is." - Chuck Lorre, producer of "Dharma & Greg" to Electronic Media, June 30, 1997

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"There's a lot of myself in the character - her freeness, her playfulness. Dharma does say things in front of people that I wouldn't, things that are inappropriate to her surroundings. But a lot of comedy comes out of those scenarios. I feel that it comes off the screen how much fun I'm having." - Elfman in Electronic Media, June 30, 1997

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"I think I'm good at being me and not worrying about how I come off. I'm pretty comfortable with who I am." - Elfman quoted in the Daily News, July 23, 1997

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"What I love about acting is that you can safely and securely get out of your system all those retarded things you've ever done in your life." - Elfman quoted in the Daily News, Feb. 19, 1998

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"I'm still a novice at this fame stuff. If someone is staring at me I immediately start thinking 'Do I have a booger?'" - Elfman to the Chicago Sun-Times, Feb. 22, 1998

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On fame: "People in this business put so much weight and significance into it. And then you meet these big stars and you realize they're all idiots. I've found that big, famous people are like idiot dorks. If I know one thing, it's that everyone has their insecurities." - Elfman quoted in the Chicago Sun-Times, March 7, 1999

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Elfman on her biggest frustration: "I want people to start offering me some big dramatic parts. Sometimes people get locked in this spunky girl thing, like I do every week. I want the opportunity to do other things too." - quoted in Time Out New York, March 18-25, 1999

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"She's a ray of sunshine. I know that sounds corny, but she just lights up a room with her joy." - "Dharma & Greg" co-creator Chuck Lorre on Elfman, quoted in Biography magazine, May 1999

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