Berkley in 2008
|Other names||Elizabeth Berkley Lauren|
|Awards||NBR Award for Best Cast|
1996 The First Wives Club
Elizabeth Berkley (born July 28, 1972)[a] is an American actress, philanthropist, and producer. Berkley's most notable roles were as Jessie Spano in the television series Saved by the Bell, and as Nomi Malone in the 1995 Paul Verhoeven film Showgirls. She's also known for portraying the title role in the English dub of the anime film Armitage III: Poly-Matrix and her supporting roles in the films The First Wives Club and Roger Dodger. In theater, she received critical acclaim for her performance in the play Hurlyburly.
Berkley was born and raised in Farmington Hills, a community located among Detroit's northern suburbs in the affluent Oakland County, Michigan. She is the daughter of Jere, a gift-basket business owner, and Fred Berkley, a lawyer. She has an older brother, Jason. Berkley's family is Jewish. She was raised in a Conservative Judaism household, and had a bat mitzvah. Berkley was born with heterochromia, the condition of differently colored irises; her right eye is half green and half brown, and her left eye is all green. She also has a mole on her forehead, which she covers with camouflage makeup, saying it led to name-calling while growing up. She graduated in 1990 from North Farmington High School in Farmington Hills after previously having attended the Cranbrook Kingswood School, a private school in Bloomfield Hills.
From a young age, she danced, and she practiced in a room that her parents arranged for her in the basement of their house. She auditioned for the lead role in the film Annie, but was turned down. As her love for dancing increased, she became more interested in pursuing it professionally, traveling to New York City to train with other dancers and choreographers. She began to take part in several ballets, including Swan Lake, and in 1983, she appeared in some musicals.
Berkley was a teenaged model for Elite before pursuing an acting career. She made her television film debut in 1987 with a role in the television film Frog, and following this, made a number of guest appearances on several television shows. In 1989, at the age of 17, she auditioned for the role of Kelly Kapowski in Saved by the Bell, but the producers of the show could not decide whether to cast Tiffani-Amber Thiessen or her. In the end, they created for Berkley the character Jessie Spano, a role she played from 1989 to 1993, and in both of the show's television-film installments.
After leaving Saved by the Bell to pursue a film career, Berkley won the role of Nomi Malone, the lead character in the controversial Paul Verhoeven film Showgirls (1995). The sex- and nudity-laden film was given a controversial NC-17 rating in the United States (the first big-budget film to receive this rating), was a box office bomb, and was widely panned by critics. Berkley was dropped by her agent; due to the negative fallout from the film, other agents refused to take her telephone calls. Over the years, however, Showgirls has achieved cult status among film fans and ranks 36 on Entertainment Weekly's list of the Top 50 Cult Movies.
Berkley was cast in the title role in the anime film Armitage III: Poly Matrix, which also starred Kiefer Sutherland, and accepted a small role in The First Wives Club, a comedy starring Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, and Bette Midler. She then played a Madonna body double named Tina in the independent film The Real Blonde. She has performed in supporting roles in independent films such as The Taxman, Tail Lights Fade, Roger Dodger, and Moving Malcolm. She also had a small role as a call girl hired by Al Pacino's character in Oliver Stone's sports drama Any Given Sunday, as well as a key supporting role in Woody Allen's The Curse of the Jade Scorpion.
Berkley appeared on stage opposite Eddie Izzard for her role as Honey in the London stage version of Lenny in 1999. She went on to make her Broadway debut in the comedy Sly Fox, opposite Richard Dreyfuss in February 2004, three months after her marriage to artist Greg Lauren. She replaced Catherine Keener as Bonnie in the 2005 Off Broadway production of David Rabe's Hurlyburly, appearing alongside Ethan Hawke, Parker Posey, and Bobby Cannavale.
Berkley received praise for her role in Hurlyburly, with Charles Isherwood of The New York Times even going as far as apologizing to her for his past criticisms of her ability, stating that the fact she held "her own among this skilled company of scene-stealers is a testament to how much her talent has grown". In 2006, she appeared at the sixth annual 24 Hour Plays alongside Jennifer Aniston, Rosie Perez, and Lili Taylor, in which six writers, six directors, 24 actors, and production crews have 24 hours to write, direct, and perform six 10-minute plays.
Berkley has been seen in many dramatic television roles, guest-starring on series such as CSI: Miami, NYPD Blue, Without a Trace, Threshold, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. She had a recurring role in the successful and critically acclaimed sitcom Titus, in which she played the title character's sister, Shannon. She also starred in the Lifetime television film Student Seduction, in which she played Christie Dawson, a high-school teacher wrongfully accused of sexual harassment by one of her students, who becomes obsessed with her. This was followed by another made-for-television film in 2007, entitled Black Widow, in which she played a woman suspected of killing her husbands for their money. The film Meet Market, in which she starred with Julian McMahon, Krista Allen, and Aisha Tyler, was released straight to DVD in 2008.
In 2008, Berkley signed on to appear in a multiepisode arc of CSI: Miami, in which she plays Horatio Caine's (David Caruso) ex-lover, Julia Winston, who is also the mother of his recently discovered son. The episodes in which Berkley appeared were very highly rated and all of them featured in the top-10 Nielsen ratings chart. She has since appeared in the show's season-six finale.
Berkley hosted Bravo's reality series, Step It Up and Dance, a competition featuring the exploits of 10 wannabe dancers who compete against each other to win a cash prize of $100,000, and the opportunity to work with and perform for some of the country's top choreographers. The show premiered in April 2008 on Bravo, and was cancelled after the first season. The show came out as the network's strongest ever in its time slot (10/11 C) with 826,000 viewers. The show continued to perform well throughout its run, averaging 756,000 viewers each week – of whom 522,000 were aged 18 to 49 – and helped contribute to Bravo's highest-rated April ever. According to Berkley, hosting the show is a very fulfilling job. She was quoted as saying that she gets "invested in the dancers" because she has befriended many of them offstage.
During the press tour for Step It Up and Dance, Berkley appeared on various shows, including various morning news programs, ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Fuse TV's The Sauce, E!'s Chelsea Lately, CNBC's The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, and ABC's The View. While on The View, she spoke of her admiration for co-host Whoopi Goldberg, calling her "an extraordinary being". Her appearance on the show was unique in that she brought the ladies of the show tap shoes and taught them a short dance routine. Berkley starred alongside Thomas Jane in the David Arquette-directed short film "The Butler's in Love", which premiered at Mann's Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles in June 2008.
In 2009, Berkley starred in a multiepisode arc of the Showtime series The L Word, during its sixth and final season. She played Kelly Wentworth, a straight girl who got away from Jennifer Beals' character Bette Porter in college. Berkley and Beals are best friends in real life, having previously worked on the 2002 independent film Roger Dodger. Berkley continued with television work, reprising her role as Julia Winston in CSI: Miami, appearing in three more episodes, including the season-seven finale. In the sequel to the cult hit Donnie Darko, S. Darko, she played Trudy, a former drug addict turned born-again Christian, who becomes infatuated with her pastor. She also appeared as Tracy in the 2009 comedy Women in Trouble.
During Berkley's guest appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in June 2009, her Saved by the Bell co-star Mark-Paul Gosselaar – as Zack Morris – expressed his desire to take part in Jimmy Fallon's "class reunion" of the show's original cast members, and revealed that Berkley has also agreed to take part in the reunion. Dennis Haskins, Lark Voorhies, Mario Lopez, Elizabeth Berkley and Mark-Paul Gosselaar agreed to a reunion. Gosselaar reprised his role as Zack Morris on Late Night on June 8, 2009, while promoting his then-current TNT drama, Raising the Bar. The spoof interview closed with a performance of "Friends Forever" originally by Zack Attack, where Zack played guitar and sang with backing from Fallon's house band, the Roots. Tiffani Thiessen posted a parody video to the online website Funny or Die, where she said she was just too busy to join in a reunion.
In 2011, Berkley played the lead female role in the Hallmark Channel original movie Lucky Christmas, about a woman who wins the lottery, only to have to recover the ticket from the glove compartment of her stolen car. The film premiered on the channel on November 12, 2011.
In September 2013, Berkley was announced as one of the contestants on the 17th season of Dancing with the Stars. She partnered with Valentin Chmerkovskiy. They were eliminated on the 9th week of competition, and landed in 6th place, despite receiving high judge scores. Several perfect scores were earned and awarded by expert panel judges. Ultimately, however, the public vote eliminated her team based upon popularity metrics used by the show.
In 2014, the TV movie The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story aired, with actress Tiera Skovbye portraying Berkley. On February 4, 2015, Berkley reunited with Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Mario Lopez, Dennis Haskins, and Tiffani Thiessen on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where they appeared in a Saved by the Bell sketch with Fallon. In November 2020, Berkely will reprise the role of Jessie Spano in the Saved by the Bell sequel series.
In 2010, Berkley set up the now-defunct self-help program online for teen girls called Ask-Elizabeth. The website was created when husband Greg Lauren commented on the number of girls who came to her asking for advice and joked that she should have her own column. She regularly meets with young girls to discuss different issues and topics, and to help them with any problems that they are going through and speaks of her own troubles in the past.
Ask-Elizabeth was also the working title of a reality series focusing on the program's success and its continued efforts to help girls throughout the country. The show, produced by MTV, featured Berkley traveling around the United States looking at the issues and topics most important to teenaged girls. Amy Bailey, vice president of development in MTV's News and Documentaries division, said Berkley approached MTV with the idea. "She does these workshops around the country with teen girls and gets them to really open up about self-esteem and body issues," said Bailey. "We had been looking for a program that tackled the same issues, so it seemed like a perfect match." The status of the show itself is unknown, as it was originally expected to premiere in late 2008, but never got off the ground
In 2011, Berkley published Ask-Elizabeth, a self-help book for teenaged girls, which drew from the workshops she conducted for the Ask-Elizabeth program.
In 2000, Berkley was tangentially involved in a $45 million lawsuit when actor and screenwriter Roger Wilson filed suit against Leonardo DiCaprio, claiming that DiCaprio had encouraged his friends to assault Wilson in a street fight, related to invitations to socialize directed at Berkley.
On November 1, 2003, Berkley married artist and actor Greg Lauren at the Esperanza Hotel in Cabo San Lucas. Berkley formally changed her name to Elizabeth Berkley Lauren, but she still uses her maiden name professionally. On March 5, 2012, Berkley announced she was expecting her first child in the summer. She gave birth to a son that July.
|1988||Platinum Blonde||Short film|
|1991||Point Break||Macrame Girl||Scene Deleted|
|1992||Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style||Jessie Spano||Television film|
|1993||Molly & Gina||Kimberly Sweeny|
|1994||Bandit Goes Country||Beth||Television film|
|1994||Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas||Jessie Spano||Television film|
|1995||White Wolves II: Legend of the Wild||Crystal|
|1995||Showgirls||Nomi Malone||Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress|
Golden Raspberry Award for Worst New Star
Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress of the Century
Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst New Star of the Decade
|1996||Armitage III: Poly-Matrix||Naomi Armitage (voice)||Anime film|
|1996||The First Wives Club||Phoebe LaVelle||National Board of Review Award for Best Cast|
|1997||The Real Blonde||Tina|
|1998||Random Encounter||Alicia 'Allie' Brayman|
|1999||Tail Lights Fade||Eve|
|1999||Any Given Sunday||Mandy Murphy|
|2000||Becoming Dick||Maggie||Television film|
|2001||The Curse of the Jade Scorpion||Jill|
|2001||The Elevator||Celeste||Television film|
|2001||The Shipment||Candy Colucci|
|2002||Cover Story||Samantha Noble|
|2003||Moving Malcolm||Liz Woodward|
|2003||Control Factor||Karen Bishop||Television film|
|2003||Student Seduction||Christie Dawson||Television film|
|2008||The Butler's in Love||Angelique||Short film|
|2008||Black Widow||Olivia Whitfield / Grace Miller||Television film|
|2009||Women in Trouble||Tracy|
|2011||Lucky Christmas||Holly Ceroni||Television film|
|1986||Gimme a Break!||Girl No. 1||Episode: "Getting to Know You"|
|1986||Silver Spoons||Melissa||Episode: "Rick Moves Out"|
|1988||Day by Day||Lisabeth||Episode: "Girl Wars"|
|1989–1993||Saved by the Bell||Jessica 'Jessie' Myrtle Spano||75 episodes|
Nominated—Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress in a Primetime Series
Nominated—Young Artist Award for Outstanding Young Ensemble
|1990||The Hogan Family||Ashley||Episode: "California Dreamin': Parts 1 & 2"|
|1990||Married People||Isabel||Episode: "Once More with Passion"|
|1990||Life Goes On||Selena||Episode: "La Dolce Becca"|
|1992||Raven||Deborah||Episode: "The Death of Sheila"|
|1992||Step by Step||Lisa Morgan||Episode: "J.T.'s World"|
|1992||Baywatch||Courtney Bremmer||2 episodes|
|1993||Crossroads||Jen||Episode: "Paradise Found"|
|1994||Diagnosis: Murder||Shannon Thatcher||Episode: "Flashdance with Death"|
|1994||Burke's Law||Heather Charles||Episode: "Who Killed the Beauty Queen?"|
|1997||Perversions of Science||Ruth||Episode: "Planely Possible"|
|1999||Brother's Keeper||Amy||Episode: "You Are Me"|
|2000||Jack & Jill||Gabi||Episode: "Under Pressure"|
|2000||NYPD Blue||Nicole Graf||2 episodes|
|2002||The Twilight Zone||Marisa Sanborn||Episode: "Sanctuary"|
|2003||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Renée, Foam Dancer||Episode: "Lady Heather's Box"|
|2004||Without a Trace||Post-Makeover Lynette Shaw||Episode: "American Goddess"|
|2005||Threshold||Christine Polchek||Episode: "Progeny"|
|2006||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Danielle Quinn||Episode: "Dollhouse"|
|2008–2009||CSI: Miami||Julia Winston||9 episodes|
|2009||The L Word||Kelly Wentworth||4 episodes|
|2013||Dancing with the Stars||Herself||14 episodes|
|2014||Melissa & Joey||Dr. Kathryn Miller||Episode: "Couples Therapy"|
|2015||Dinner at Tiffani's||Herself||"Girl's Night In"|
|2015||The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon||Jessie Spano||1 episode|
|2016||New Girl||Becky Cavatappi||Episode: "The Apartment"|
|2020||Saved by the Bell||Jessie Spano||Series Regular|
- Berkley confirmed that she was born in 1972 in a 2008 interview with Newsweek, where she stated she was thirty-five.
- "Q&A: Elizabeth Berkley". Newsweek. Retrieved December 13, 2020.
- Isherwood, Charles (June 19, 2005). "The Redemption of Elizabeth Berkley". The New York Times. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
- "Elizabeth Berkley Biography (1972–)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 28, 2012. Retrieved November 25, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Brack, Renee (January 8, 2014). "Eye spy: The world's sexiest mutation". The New Daily.
- "Elizabeth Berkley – SIUAD – Get To Know [Part 1]". YouTube. April 22, 2008. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- Elizabeth Berkley. "Elizabeth Berkley". AskMen.com. Archived from the original on June 20, 2012. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- "Elizabeth Berkley – Profile, Latest News and Related Articles". Eonline.com. Archived from the original on December 7, 2008. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- "How Elizabeth Berkley Actually Feels About Showgirls". CINEMABLEND. June 29, 2015. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
- "The remarkable resurrection of Showgirls, the worst movie ever made". The Independent. March 18, 2020. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
- Kristen Coppock (April 17, 2008). "'Step It Up & Dance turns spotlight on unknowns". Burlington County Times. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
Actress Elizabeth Berkley, who danced in the racy box office bomb “Showgirls,” hosts the show.[permanent dead link]
- Heitmueller, Karl (October 9, 2009). "Rewind: The Road To Fame Is Paved With Bad Movies". MTV. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
Savaged by critics, a dud at the box office, "Glitter" (like "Showgirls" and "Can't Stop the Music") makes you wonder if those responsible didn't know from the green light that they were making the kind of stink bomb that can only find success as an unintended cult experience.
- Schwartz, Missy (April 9, 2004). "The Scarlet Letters". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
...NC-17 came to be seen as box office poison, thanks to bombs like the campily erotic Showgirls.
- PUIG, CLAUDIA (October 11, 1995). "The Showgirl's Net: Bad Reviews, Agent Woes, $100,000 : Movies: Elizabeth Berkley is catching the heat, but director Paul Verhoeven accepts some of the blame" – via LA Times.
- Isherwood, Charles. "The Redemption of Elizabeth Berkley". The New York Times, June 19, 2005. Accessed 13 May 2009.
- Robertson, Campbell. "Arts, Briefly; Jennifer Aniston In Broadway's '24 Hours'". The New York Times, September 22, 2006. Accessed 13 May 2009.
- "Student Seduction". Archived from the original on November 30, 2007.
- Andreeva, Nellie (November 26, 2007). "Berkley signs for role on "CSI: Miami"". Reuters.
- "Nielsen TV Ratings Top CBS Shows, March 24–30, 2008; including CSI:Miami, Two and A Half Men and 60 Minutes". Tvbythenumbers.com. April 1, 2008. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- "Chelsea Lately Plays Game With Elizabeth Berkley". Youtube. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- BRAVOtv.com : Step it Up and Dance : About Archived 2008-05-09 at the Wayback Machine
- "Bravo Nets Applause For 'Supermodel,' 'Dance' – 4/4/2008 4:18:00 PM – Multichannel News". Multichannel.com. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- "Breaking News – BRAVO MARKS HIGHEST RATED APRIL EVER AND IS FASTEST GROWING CABLER 18–49". TheFutonCritic.com. April 29, 2008. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- "Elizabeth Berkley Talks "Step Up and Dance"". Gossip Girls. April 10, 2008. Retrieved April 30, 2009.
- Ausiello, Michael (July 22, 2008). "Exclusive: Elizabeth Berkley Utters 'The L Word'". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on August 28, 2008. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
- Demko, Keith (March 2, 2010). "WOMEN IN TROUBLE DVD Review". Collider. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
- Bierly, Mandi (June 9, 2009). "Mark-Paul Gosselaar does Fallon interview as Zack Morris, commits to reunion". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
- "Gosselaar shows up on fallon in zack morris clothes". USA Today. April 30, 2010. Archived from the original on June 12, 2009. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
- Friedman, Jon (March 28, 2009). "Sign the Saved By the Bell Petition". Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.com. Retrieved May 18, 2009.
- Harrington, Amy (June 5, 2009). "'Saved By The Bell' Cast: Then & Now". GetBack.com. Retrieved June 1, 2009.
- "Tiffani Thiessen is Busy". Funny or Die.com. July 29, 2009. Retrieved July 29, 2009.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 14, 2011. Retrieved November 13, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- ""Dancing with the Stars": Leah Remini, Valerie Harper, Snooki among new cast". CBS News. September 4, 2013. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
- "Watch a Glorious Saved by the Bell Reunion Courtesy of Jimmy Fallon". Time. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
- "Jimmy Fallon assembled the cast of 'Saved by The Bell' for an epic reunion". Business Insider. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
- "Jimmy Fallon reunites most of the 'Saved by the Bell' cast". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
- Levin, Gary (September 17, 2019). "Time out! A 'Saved By the Bell' remake is coming to NBC's streaming service Peacock". USA Today. Retrieved October 27, 2020.
- Schwartz, Ryan (October 27, 2020). "Saved by the Bell Premiere Date Set". TV Line. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
- http://www.ask-elizabeth.com/[permanent dead link]
- "Elizabeth Berkley has answers for MTV". Reuters. July 25, 2008.
- "Elizabeth Berkley Developing Show for MTV". People. July 25, 2008. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
- "Elizabeth Berkley's 'Ask Elizabeth' Book Tells Girls They're 'Not Alone'". MTV.com. March 22, 2011. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
- "Did Leo DiCaprio lead his posse to war?". News.findlaw.com. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- "Elizabeth Berkley and Greg Lauren Wedding". Lovetripper.com. November 1, 2003. Archived from the original on February 7, 2009. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- "Elizabeth Berkley Expecting First Child". People. March 5, 2012. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
- "Elizabeth Berkley and Greg Lauren Welcome Son Sky Cole". People. July 30, 2012. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Elizabeth Berkley|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Elizabeth Berkley.|
- Official website
- Elizabeth Berkley on IMDb
- Elizabeth Berkley at AllMovie
- Elizabeth Berkley at the Internet Broadway Database
|Awards and achievements|
Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Burnett, Benicio del Toro, Kevin Pollak, Kevin Spacey, Chazz Palminteri, Pete Postlethwaite, Suzy Amis, Giancarlo Esposito
for The Usual Suspects
| National Board of Review Award for Best Acting by an Ensemble
Shared with Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton, Maggie Smith, Dan Hedaya, Sarah Jessica Parker, Stockard Channing, Victor Garber, Stephen Collins, Marcia Gay Harden, Bronson Pinchot, Jennifer Dundas, Eileen Heckart, Philip Bosco, Rob Reiner, James Naughton, Ari Greenberg, Aida Linares
for The First Wives Club
Ian Holm, Caerthan Banks, Sarah Polley, Tom McCamus, Gabrielle Rose, Alberta Watson, Maury Chaykin, Stephanie Morgenstern
for The Sweet Hereafter