Jane Leeves

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Jane Leeves
Jane Leeves 2012.jpg
Leeves in May 2012.
Born (1961-04-18) 18 April 1961 (age 53)
Ilford, Essex, England
Occupation Actress, producer, comedian, singer, dancer
Years active 1981–present
Spouse(s) Marshall Coben
(1996–present)
Children 2

Jane Leeves (born 18 April 1961) is an English actress, producer, comedian, singer, and dancer.

Leeves made her screen debut with a small role in 1983 on the popular British comedy television show The Benny Hill Show, and appeared as a dancer in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. She moved to the United States, where she performed in small roles. In 1986–1988, she garnered her first leading role in the short-lived sitcom Throb,[1] and then secured a recurring part in the television sitcom Murphy Brown.

In 1993, Leeves achieved wider fame as Daphne Moon on the television sitcom Frasier from 1993 until 2004, for which she was nominated for Emmy Awards and Golden Globe Awards.[2] She received further recognition for roles in films such as Miracle on 34th Street (1994), James and the Giant Peach (1996), Music of the Heart (1999), and The Event (2003).

Leeves has worked in television production, but returned to acting in June 2010, as Joy Scroggs on TV Land's sitcom Hot in Cleveland.[3]

Early life[edit]

Leeves was born in Ilford, Essex before moving to Crawley, Sussex and then East Grinstead, West Sussex. She trained as a ballet dancer at the Bush Davies School of Dance and worked as a model until she made her first film appearance in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. She abandoned the possibility of a career in ballet due to an ankle injury.[4]

Career[edit]

Leeves at the 1995 Emmys.

Leeves was a regular on The Benny Hill Show (as one of "Hill's Angels"), later making use of her experience as a dancer in the well known "Christmas in Heaven" scene from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life and appeared as a tourist with a baby in the David Lee Roth music video for the song "California Girls," but struggled for several years to establish herself. She became somewhat visible as the flighty record company employee, Blue (née Prudence Anne Bartlett), on the syndicated sitcom Throb!.

Leeves in August 2012

She had a recurring role in the television series Murphy Brown which provided her first period of success, playing Audrey, the loud and awkward girlfriend of producer Miles Silverberg (played by Grant Shaud). Leeves also appeared as the troublesome Marla the Virgin in four risqué episodes of Seinfeld: "The Virgin", "The Contest", "The Pilot" and "The Finale - Part 2". During this period Leeves was cast as Holly for the pilot of the U.S. version of the science-fiction comedy Red Dwarf. She also had a role as a lesbian in the 1985 film To Live and Die in L.A.

In 1993, Leeves joined the cast of the television series Frasier. She played the eccentric, forthright, and allegedly psychic Mancunian Daphne Moon. By the start of 2000-01 season, Leeves was pregnant, and the writers incorporated her pregnancy into shows as weight gain due to her character's stress from her relationship with Niles (portrayed by David Hyde Pierce). By the conclusion of Frasier, Leeves had received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series nomination in 1998 and also a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film nomination in 1995 for her role and had become the highest-paid British actress in Hollywood.[5]

Appearing less frequently in cinema, Leeves lent her regular voice and singing voice to the animated film James and the Giant Peach (1996) and acted in the film Music of the Heart (1999). In 2002, she appeared in the Broadway musical Cabaret.[6] In 2004, she hosted an episode of the British television comedy quiz show Have I Got News for You. Her 2006 show, The WB's sitcom Misconceptions, went unaired.[7]

Leeves provides guest vocals in The Penguins of Madagascar as Lulu, a female chimp, with whom Phil falls in love. With Peri Gilpin, Leeves also set up the production company "Bristol Cities" (cockney rhyming slang for 'titties'[8]). Their latest project was in 2007 a pilot for a US remake of the British sitcom The Vicar of Dibley, with Kirstie Alley in the title role.[9]

In 2010, Leeves was a guest star in two episodes in ABC's Desperate Housewives as Lynette and Tom's therapist, Dr. Graham. Since 2010, she has been playing the fortysomething ex 'eyebrow artist to the stars' Joy Scroggs in the new TV Land comedy, Hot in Cleveland, with Valerie Bertinelli, Wendie Malick (also her co-star in the final season of Frasier), and Betty White. In 2011 she was nominated Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, with cast.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Leeves has been married to Marshall Coben, a CBS Paramount Television executive, since 21 December 1996. They have two children; her pregnancy with daughter Isabella Kathryn Coben (born 9 January 2001) was written into a Frasier plot as a weight-gaining problem for her character. Frasier co-star Peri Gilpin was in the delivery room when Isabella was born, and is her godmother; Leeves is godmother of Gilpin's daughter Stella, and lives next door to Gilpin in Los Angeles, California. Leeves' son, Finn William Leeves Coben (born 19 December 2003) has David Hyde Pierce and John Mahoney as godfathers.[11]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1981 Nice to See You Performer Television film
1983 Monty Python's The Meaning of Life Dancer Uncredited
1983 The Hunger Uncredited
1985 To Live and Die in L.A. Serena Credited as Jane Leaves
1992 Just Deserts Amy Phillips
1994 Mr. Write Wylie
1994 Miracle on 34th Street Alberta Leonard
1996 James and the Giant Peach Ladybug Voice
1996 Pandora's Clock Rachel Sherwood Television film
1996 The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century Caroline Webb Voice
1999 Don't Go Breaking My Heart Juliet Gosling
1999 Music of the Heart Dorothea von Haeften
2003 The Event Mona
2006 Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties Eenie Voice
2009 Endless Bummer Liv

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1983–1985 The Benny Hill Show Hill's Angel 4 episodes
1986–1988 Throb Prudence Anne "Blue" Bartlett 48 episodes
1987 Murder, She Wrote Gwen Petrie Episode: "It Runs in the Family"
1989 It's a Living Terry Tedaldo Episode: "He Never Sang for His Father"
1989 Mr. Belvedere Professor Ann Burns Episode: "The Professor"
1989 Hooperman Annie Episode: "Stakeout"
1989–1993 Murphy Brown Audrey Cohen 9 episodes
1990 My Two Dads Harriet Episode: "See You in September?"
1990 Room for Romance Episode: "A Midsummer Night's Reality"
1990 Who's the Boss? Ms. Adams Episode: "Parental Guidance Suggested"
1991 Blossom Sheila Episode: "Love Stinks"
1992 Red Dwarf Holly Unsold
1992–1998 Seinfeld Marla Penny 4 episodes
1993–2004 Frasier Daphne Moon 257 episodes
1995 Caroline in the City Daphne Moon Episode: "Caroline and the Bad Back"
1998 Hercules: The Animated Series Athena 6 episodes
2003 The Simpsons Edwina Episode: "The Regina Monologues"
2006 Misconceptions Amanda Watson 7 episodes
2006 Twenty Good Years Mary Frances Episode: "Big Love"
2008 The Starter Wife Ann Hefton 2 episodes
2009–2011 The Penguins of Madagascar Lulu 2 episodes
2009–2013 Phineas and Ferb Various Characters Voice
5 episodes
2010 Desperate Housewives Dr. Graham 2 episodes
2010 Notes from the Underbelly Gracie Episode: "Accidental Family Bed"
2010–present Hot in Cleveland Joy Scroggs 104 episodes

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
1994 Viewers for Quality Television Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Comedy Series Frasier Nominated
1995 Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
Viewers for Quality Television Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Comedy Series Won
1996 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
1997 Nominated
Viewers for Quality Television Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Comedy Series Nominated
1998 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
Viewers for Quality Television Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Comedy Series Nominated
1999 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
Viewers for Quality Television Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Comedy Series Nominated
2000 Satellite Awards Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Won
Viewers for Quality Television Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Comedy Series Nominated
2001 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
2002 Nominated
2003 Nominated
2004 Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
2011 Hot in Cleveland Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Throb" (1986)
  2. ^ Das, Lina (2010-07-30). "How Benny Hill babe Jane Leeves became the queen of U.S. TV". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 2010-08-16. 
  3. ^ Dawidziak, Mark (2010-01-14). "Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick will be 'Hot in Cleveland'". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2010-01-14. 
  4. ^ "Full Cast of The Meaning of Life on IMDB". imdb.com. Retrieved 2010-07-17. 
  5. ^ Jane Leeves Trivia
  6. ^ "Jane Leeves Sets Dates for B'way's Cabaret - Broadway Tickets". Broadway.com. 2002-02-19. Retrieved 2009-03-23. 
  7. ^ List of television series cancelled before airing an episode
  8. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Jo7gAjlWnc Jane Leeves on Graham Norton
  9. ^ Kirby, Terry (2007-02-07). "US version of 'Vicar of Dibley' to star Kirstie Alley - Media, News". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2009-03-23. 
  10. ^ SAG's TV nominations: What did they miss?
  11. ^ Mulkerrins, Jane (2011-02-13). "Jane Leeves in Hot in Cleveland has struck sitcom gold again". Dailymail. Retrieved 2011-03-20. 

External links[edit]