Julia Scarlett Elizabeth Louis-Dreyfus (born January 13, 1961) is an American actress and comedian best known for her role as Elaine Benes on the NBC sitcom Seinfeld, and her current role as the titular Christine Campbell on the sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine.
Louis-Dreyfus was born in New York City, to Judith, a writer and special-needs tutor, and Gérard Louis-Dreyfus (also known as William Louis-Dreyfus), a French attorney and business executive. Her paternal grandfather was Pierre Louis-Dreyfus, a French Jew who fought in the French Resistance during World War II. Her parents divorced a year later. After relocating to Washington, D.C., when Julia was eight, her mother married L. Thompson Bowles, Dean of the George Washington University Medical School.
Louis-Dreyfus has a half-sister on her Louis-Dreyfus side, Phoebe, a social worker. Through her father, a billionaire heir to the Louis Dreyfus Group, one of the world's largest commodities trading and merchandising firms, she had a cousin, Robert Louis-Dreyfus (1946-2009), former CEO of Adidas and owner of the Olympique de Marseille soccer team. Robert died in July 2009 after a long battle with leukemia, aged 63.
Louis-Dreyfus' maternal half-sister, Lauren Bowles, is also an actress, appearing with her on Seinfeld and The New Adventures of Old Christine, as well as on Veronica Mars and in the film Ghost World.
Louis-Dreyfus spent her childhood in several states and countries in connection with her stepfather's work with Project HOPE, including Sri Lanka, Colombia and Tunisia. She graduated from the Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, MD in 1979, and attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she studied theater, appeared in the Mee-Ow Show, and was a member of the Delta Gamma sorority. After three years she left to begin work on Saturday Night Live, being rewarded by the University in 2007 with an honorary Doctor of Arts degree.
While at Northwestern, Louis-Dreyfus met future husband and Saturday Night Live comedian Brad Hall. She, Hall, and future SNL writer Paul Barrosse all were members of the community's storefront theater troupe, the Practical Theatre Company.
Louis-Dreyfus and Hall have two sons, Henry (born June 1992) and Charles (born May 1997).
Louis-Dreyfus campaigned for Al Gore during the 2000 U.S. presidential election. She speaks French.
She speaks French and she's a good Democrat. Wow!