Los Angeles, California, USA
Claim to Fame
Dharma and Greg
Has Detailed Data (New)
Profile Bio Text
Jenna Elfman (born September 30, 1971, in Los Angeles, California, U.S.) is a Golden Globe-winning American television and film actress.
Elfman was born Jennifer Mary Butala in Los Angeles, California, to Sue Grace (Croatian descent), a homemaker, and Richard Wayne Butala, a Hughes Aircraft executive. She attended the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts as a dance major and graduated in 1989. Her uncle is Tony Butala of The Lettermen. She studied with acting teacher Milton Katselas at the Beverly Hills Playhouse before beginning her television career.
Elfman began as a professional dancer, making an appearance in UK synth-pop group Depeche Mode`s promotional video for their 1990 song "Halo". She also toured as a dancer with the group ZZ Top. She made a switch to acting in the early 1990s, appearing in the 1993 music video "Black Lodge" by heavy metal band Anthrax.
Elfman did extensive commercial work before landing her first series jobs, making guest appearances in the 1995–1996 season on the ABC series Roseanne, NYPD Blue, The Monroes, and Murder One, and the CBS sitcom Almost Perfect. A role as a drug counselor in the NBC made-for-TV movie Her Last Chance came in 1996 as well, before she landed a regular role as the boy-crazy Shannon, one of three young working class waitresses in the Molly Ringwald sitcom vehicle Townies. Although short-lived, Townies proved a big break for Elfman, who impressed ABC executives with her scene-stealing turn and signed her own sitcom deal before the last Townies episode aired.
This deal led to Elfman`s starring role in the popular sitcom Dharma & Greg, which ran on ABC from 1997 to 2002. She won a Golden Globe Award for this role, and was nominated twice for an Emmy Award. In 1999, she co-hosted the Emmy Awards presentation with David Hyde Pierce.
In November 2005, CBS announced that the Elfman vehicle, Courting Alex would be a midseason replacement, premiering in January 2006. It was announced in May that the show did not get picked up, and was thus cancelled. However, CBS immediately inked a new development deal with Elfman to create a comedy vehicle, as reported in The Hollywood Reporter on June 2, 2006.
Jenna`s other television appearances include guest starring roles in two episodes of Two and a Half Men in 2004 and one episode of Brothers and Sisters in 2007.
Jenna will guest star on the fourth season premiere of My Name Is Earl as a cheer team leader.
In 1999, Elfman appeared alongside Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson in EDtv directed by Ron Howard. She then played the role of Anna Riley in the 2000 comedy Keeping the Faith, which marked Edward Norton`s directorial debut. In 2004, Elfman produced and starred in a feature film called Touched.
Elfman`s other film credits include Krippendorf`s Tribe, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, and Town & Country.
She is in a yet to be released film with Tim Allen entitled The Six Wives of Henry Lefay.
Elfman met her husband, actor Bodhi Elfman, at a Sprite commercial audition in February of 1991. They married in 1995, making director Richard Elfman her father-in-law and noted composer Danny Elfman her uncle-in-law.
In 2005, she appeared at the Church of Scientology-affiliated Citizens Commission on Human Rights` controversial "Psychiatry: An Industry of Death" museum grand opening and is described on the organization`s website as a supporter.
In May 2006, Elfman visited her high school alma mater to urge students to set career goals and encourage them to persist in their chosen professions.
In January 2007, Elfman and her husband announced they were expecting their first child.On July 23, 2007, the couple welcomed son, Story Elias, in Los Angeles, weighing 7 pounds, 2 ounces.
In February 2006, Elfman donated an hour of her time to be auctioned off to the highest bidder on eBay as part of the "Lunch With A Leader" fundraiser, of which the proceeds benefit the work of Communities In Schools.She participated in the auction in both 2007 and 2008 as well.
On May 24, 2006, she was the keynote speaker at the Human Rights Hero Award event in participation with the Scientology-affiliated groups Youth for Human Rights International and Artists for Human Rights (AFHR), an organization formed with the purpose of bringing artists together with the common cause of raising awareness of human rights around the world. The event took place in Washington, D.C. and was attended by members of Congress and the general public. Awards were presented to individuals who through their actions have brought about greater human rights.
Elfman donated her lip print for a limited edition U.S. postage stamp created by Zazzle to celebrate Valentine`s Day in both 2007and 2008.Proceeds for the "Kiss Stamps" went to support the programs of The Humane Society of the United States (HS
Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Los Angeles, CA (1989)
California State University Northridge (dropped out after one month)
Full Name at Birth
Jennifer Mary Butala
Jennifer Mary "Jenna" Elfman (born September 30, 1971) is an American television and film actress. She is best known for her role as Dharma on the 1997–2002 American television sitcom Dharma & Greg.
Actress, Director, Producer
Couple Profile Source
Talent Agency (e.g. Modelling)
Brillstein Entertainment Partners
TV commercial for AT&T, The girl in the Honda ad who said "Regular or Decaf?", TV commercial for Sprite, TV commercial for Clearasil, TV commercial voice-over for Gifts.com (2006)
www.jennaelfman.com/, twitter.com/JennaElfman, www.whosay.com/jennaelfman, www.facebook.com/jennaelfman, instagram.com/jennaelfman, www.youtube.com/channel/UCgRgDIC1QNTd3uSgrFmIKcQ, www.nndb.com/people/198/000024126/, www.jennaelfman.com/
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