Leoni in 2007
|Born||Elizabeth Téa Pantaleoni
February 25, 1966
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Neil Joseph Tardio Jr. (m. 1991; div. 1995)
David Duchovny (m. 1997; div. 2014)
In her early career, Leoni starred in the television sitcoms Flying Blind (1992–93) and The Naked Truth (1995–98). Her breakthrough role was in the 1995 action comedy film, Bad Boys. In later years, Leoni had the female lead roles in box office hits including Deep Impact (1998), The Family Man (2000), Jurassic Park III (2001), Fun with Dick and Jane (2005), and Tower Heist (2011) with Ben Stiller. In 2014, Leoni returned to television with the leading role in the CBS political drama series, Madam Secretary.
Leoni was born in New York City. Her mother, Emily Patterson, was a dietician and nutritionist, and her father, Anthony Pantaleoni, was a corporate lawyer with the firm Fulbright & Jaworski. Leoni's paternal grandfather was of Italian and English descent; he was a nephew of Italian economist and politician Maffeo Pantaleoni. Leoni's paternal grandmother, Polish-American Helenka Adamowska Pantaleoni, a film and stage actress, was the daughter of musicians Józef Adamowski and Antonina Szumowska-Adamowska. Leoni's mother is a native of Texas, and was the niece of actor Hank Patterson. Leoni grew up in Englewood, New Jersey, and New York City, and attended two private schools, Brearley School and The Putney School in Vermont. She attended but did not complete studies at Sarah Lawrence College.
In 1988 Leoni was cast as one of the stars of Angels 88, an updated version of the 1970s show Charlie's Angels. After production delays, the show never aired. The following year, Leoni was cast as Lisa DiNapoli in the NBC daytime soap opera, Santa Barbara. In 1991 she made her film debut with a small role in a comedy Switch, and later played another small part in A League of Their Own (1992).
From 1992 to 1993 Leoni starred with Corey Parker in the short-lived Fox sitcom, Flying Blind. In February 1995 she appeared in the sitcom Frasier, a spinoff from Cheers, as the fiancée of Sam Malone (played by Ted Danson). Later in that year Leoni landed the lead role in the ABC/NBC sitcom The Naked Truth, playing Nora Wilde, a tabloid news journalist. The show ran through 1998. Leoni had the female lead role in the 1995 action comedy film Bad Boys. The movie was a box office success, grossing over $141 million worldwide.
After leaving television, in 1998 Leoni had the leading role in Deep Impact, a big-budget disaster film about a comet menacing Earth. The film received mixed reviews from critics, but was a success at the box office, grossing $349 million worldwide. She later had main roles in two other big budget movies: romantic comedy The Family Man (2000) co-starring alongside Nicolas Cage, and science fiction film Jurassic Park III (2001) as William H. Macy's character's ex-wife. In 2002 she starred as a film studio executive in Hollywood Ending, directed by Woody Allen, and had a supporting role in the box office bomb crime drama People I Know. In 2004 she appeared as the wife of Adam Sandler's character in the financially unsuccessful comedy-drama Spanglish. In 2005 Leoni starred alongside Jim Carrey in the comedy film Fun with Dick and Jane. The movie was her final success as lead actress at the box office, grossing $202 million worldwide.
Leoni co-starred in a number of small films in the late 2000s, including You Kill Me and The Smell of Success. She co-starred opposite Ricky Gervais in the 2008 supernatural comedy-drama Ghost Town. In 2011 she had a supporting role in the heist comedy film, Tower Heist. In 2011 she was also cast alongside Hope Davis as leads in the HBO comedy pilot, Spring/Fall; however, the pilot was not picked up. In 2014 she returned to broadcast television with the leading role in the CBS political drama series, Madam Secretary.
Leoni married actor David Duchovny on May 13, 1997, after an eight-week courtship. They have two children. On October 15, 2008, Leoni and Duchovny confirmed that they had been separated "for several months". The media attributed the separation to Duchovny's much publicized sexual addiction. The couple publicly reconciled and were seen frequently together as a family.
Leoni stated in the October 27, 2006, issue of Life magazine that she became a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF partially because Helenka Pantaleoni, her paternal grandmother, was the president of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF for 25 years.
|1991||Switch||Connie the Dream Girl|
|1992||League of Their Own, AA League of Their Own||Racine 1st Base|
|1994||Counterfeit Contessa, TheThe Counterfeit Contessa||Gina Leonarda Nardino||Television film|
|1995||Bad Boys||Julie Mott|
|1996||Flirting with Disaster||Tina Kalb|
|1998||Deep Impact||Jenny Lerner|
|1998||There's No Fish Food in Heaven||Landeene||Also executive producer|
|2000||Family Man, TheThe Family Man||Kate Reynolds|
|2001||Jurassic Park III||Amanda Kirby|
|2002||People I Know||Jilli Hopper|
|2004||House of D||Mrs. Warshaw|
|2005||Fun with Dick and Jane||Jane Harper|
|2007||You Kill Me||Laurel Pearson||Also executive producer|
|2009||The Smell of Success||Rosemary Rose|
|2011||Tower Heist||Special Agent Claire Denham|
|1989||Santa Barbara||Lisa DiNapoli||6 episodes|
|1992–1993||Flying Blind||Alicia||22 episodes|
|1995||Frasier||Sheila||Episode: "The Show Where Sam Shows Up"|
|1995–1998||Naked Truth, TheThe Naked Truth||Nora Wilde||55 episodes|
|2000||X-Files, TheThe X-Files||Herself||Episode: "Hollywood A.D."|
|2011||Spring/Fall||Margo||Unsold TV pilot|
|2014–present||Madam Secretary||Elizabeth McCord||35 episodes|
Awards and nominations
|1998||Deep Impact||Blockbuster Entertainment Awards||Favorite Actress – Sci-Fi||Nominated|
|2000||The Family Man||Nominated|
|Saturn Awards||Best Actress||Won|
|2006||Herself||TV Land Awards||Little Screen/Big Screen Star – Female||Nominated|
|2007||You Kill Me||Alliance of Women Film Journalists Awards||EDA Special Mention – Most Egregious Age Difference Between Leading Man and Love Interest (with Ben Kingsley)||Nominated|
|2014||Madam Secretary||People's Choice Awards||Favorite Actress in a New TV Series||Nominated|
|2016||Madam Secretary||CBS MVP Awards||Best Motivational Speech||Pending|
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