Arguably the greatest female comedic actor ever (she has the Emmys to prove it), Julia Louis-Dreyfus hardly needs an introduction.
At only 21 years old, the actress was cast on "Saturday Night Live," a Cinderella-like start for the young New York native. While the show didn't catapult her to fame, it was a stepping-stone that culminated with her landing the role of Elaine Benes on "Seinfeld" (1989 - 1998). Proving there's no "'Seinfeld' curse," Louis-Dreyfus has had plenty of success since the acclaimed NBC sitcom ended, raking in several Emmys along the way. Just this summer, she took home her latest trophy for her work on HBO's "Veep."
From her eyebrow-raising family background to her actress half-sister, here are 21 things you probably don't know about Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
1. Julia Scarlett Elizabeth Louis-Dreyfus was born January 13, 1961 in New York, New York to Judith LeFever and Gérard Louis-Dreyfus.
2. Her parents divorced when Louis-Dreyfus was still just a baby. She later relocated to Washington D.C. with her mother, who remarried when Julia was eight years old.
3. Her half-sister is actress Lauren Bowles, best known for her supporting role in "True Blood." She also appeared as a waitress in this great episode of "Seinfeld."
4. Louis-Dreyfus's father is a French-born American businessman, who is the chairman of Louis Dreyfus Energy Services, a multi-billion dollar French commodities and shipping conglomerate. The actress's great-great-grandfather founded the company in 1851.
5. So, to say the actress is wealthy would be an understatement. Louis-Dreyfus is worth about $200 million in her own right, mostly from her "Seinfeld" success.
6. The acclaimed sitcom ran for nine seasons with a total of 180 episodes and earned Louis-Dreyfus her first Emmy win.
7. Overall, she has been nominated for 18 Emmys (15 as an actress) and taken home 5 awards. She has won the last three Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for "Veep."
8. She's also the only actress to net three wins for three separate comedy series: "Seinfeld," "The New Adventures of Old Christine," and "Veep."
9. Her 15 nominations also make her the most-nominated comedic actress in Emmy history. Lucille Ball ("I Love Lucy") is second with 13 nominations.
10. She's also received a Razzie nomination for her role in "Father's Day" (1997). Luckily, though, she avoided the dubious honor when she "lost" the award to Alicia Silverstone for "Batman & Robin."
11. Before her incredible success, Louis-Dreyfus attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she studied theatre.
12. It was there that she met her future husband, writer/actor Brad Hall. Hall and Louis-Dreyfus have been married since 1987 and have two sons together.
13. After school, the actress pursued her acting dreams and was subsequently cast on "Saturday Night Live" in 1982. She was the youngest female cast member in the history of the show at the time and described the experience as "Cinderella-getting-to-go-to-the-ball."
14. Hall also appeared on "SNL" at the same time, making them the only husband and wife team to do so.
15. While on "SNL," where she stayed until 1985, the actress met writer Larry David, who would later cast her in "Seinfeld."
16. After leaving "SNL," the actress made her film debut in the fantasy horror movie "Troll" (1986).
17. That same year, she appeared in Woody Allen's "Hannah and Her Sisters."
18. In 1988, Louis-Dreyfus was cast in her first NBC sitcom "Day by Day," though the show was cancelled after only two seasons.
19. Her next NBC sitcom, of course, was "Seinfeld," but believe it or not, she was not originally meant to appear in the series. The pilot episode ("The Seinfeld Chronicles") lacked a female presence, and the network demanded that an actress be cast.
20. Ultimately, Louis-Dreyfus won the part after beating out several other actresses that would rise to prominence: Patricia Heaton ("Everybody Love Raymond"), Megan Mullally ("Will & Grace"), and Rosie O'Donnell.
21. (Bonus fact) The actress's paternal grandfather, Pierre Louis-Dreyfus fought in the French Resistance and later flew in 81 bombing missions on the Western Front during WWII.
[Sources: Wikipedia, IMDb]