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Lauren Holly

Lauren Holly

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: October 28, 1963 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Bristol, Pennsylvania, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A striking and intelligent leading lady, Lauren Holly found success as an actress in both television and film. Known first as the tough but sensitive Deputy Maxine Stewart on the Emmy Award-winning "Picket Fences" (CBS, 1992-96), Holly garnered critical acclaim for her refined performance in "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story" (1993) and drew raves for her comedic prowess opposite the then new comedy giant, Jim Carrey in the less-than-sophisticated hit, "Dumb & Dumber" (1994). Their relationship off screen propelled her to heretofore undreamed of heights, with the tabloids following their every move throughout their tempestuous romance and marriage in the mid 1990s. The spotlight was so firmly fixated on the Carrey connection or what hair color Holly would debut next, that it was often forgotten that the actress was a smart and charismatic leading and supporting player. In 2006, she returned to her television roots as NCIS Director Jenny Shepard on the CBS series "Navy NCIS" (CBS, 2003- ), putting to rest any doubts that her past onscreen success, both on the big and small screen, was a fluke.Born Lauren Michael Holly on Oct. 28, 1963 in Bristol, PA to parents Grant Holly and Michael Ann, Holly grew up in...

A striking and intelligent leading lady, Lauren Holly found success as an actress in both television and film. Known first as the tough but sensitive Deputy Maxine Stewart on the Emmy Award-winning "Picket Fences" (CBS, 1992-96), Holly garnered critical acclaim for her refined performance in "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story" (1993) and drew raves for her comedic prowess opposite the then new comedy giant, Jim Carrey in the less-than-sophisticated hit, "Dumb & Dumber" (1994). Their relationship off screen propelled her to heretofore undreamed of heights, with the tabloids following their every move throughout their tempestuous romance and marriage in the mid 1990s. The spotlight was so firmly fixated on the Carrey connection or what hair color Holly would debut next, that it was often forgotten that the actress was a smart and charismatic leading and supporting player. In 2006, she returned to her television roots as NCIS Director Jenny Shepard on the CBS series "Navy NCIS" (CBS, 2003- ), putting to rest any doubts that her past onscreen success, both on the big and small screen, was a fluke.

Born Lauren Michael Holly on Oct. 28, 1963 in Bristol, PA to parents Grant Holly and Michael Ann, Holly grew up in Geneva, NY. The child of two professors, Holly grew up in an academic household, with her father teaching English Literature at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, while her mother taught art history at the University of Rochester and served as chair of the department. After graduating from Geneva High School in 1981 - where she had been a cheerleader and active student - Holly went on to attend Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY, graduating in1985 with a BA in English Literature. Rather than follow in her parents academic footsteps, Holly moved to Los Angeles upon graduation, to pursue her dream of acting.

Only a year after moving to LA, Holly landed a breaking role on the popular daytime soap "All My Children" (ABC, 1970- ). Portraying the sweet, virginal Julie Rand Chandler on the series, Holly quickly gained a bit of a soap-world following and was nominated for a Daytime Emmy in 1987. Next, Holly appeared in a recurring role on "My Two Dads" (NBC), before landing her first starring role portraying Betty Cooper in the TV movie "Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again" (1990). Hoping to find success on the big screen, Holly appeared opposite Andrew Dice Clay in the misguided and misogynistic "The Adventures of Ford Fairlane" (1990). Though the film was not a huge box office success, it helped lead Holly to her breakout role on the small screen.

Cast as Deputy Maxine Stewart on the critically acclaimed David E. Kelly drama "Picket Fences" (CBS, 1992-1996), Holly quickly became a household name - so much so, that she landed her first leading feature role soon after making a splash on "Picket Fences." In the biopic "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story" (1993) opposite Jason Scott Lee, Holly gave an affecting and nuanced performance as Linda Lee, wife of the infamous, ill-fated martial artist. Well received by critics, this performance helped launch Holly's big screen career.

Though Holly had previously turned down the Courteney Cox role in "Ace Ventura, Pet Detective" (1994) due to scheduling conflicts with "Fences," she was soon offered another chance to work with rising star Jim Carrey in the comedy "Dumb and Dumber" (1994). A box office smash, "Dumber" grossed more than $200 million worldwide. In Holly's personal life, the film sparked a romance between the actress and Carrey; the pair wed in 1996. Like many Hollywood marriages, however, Carrey's celebrity complicated the couple's relationship leading them to divorce a year later.

Holly went on to find work in a number of films - she portrayed the fiancée of playboy Greg Kinnear in the 1995 remake of "Sabrina," directed by Sydney Pollack; appeared in the ensemble Ted Demme drama "Beautiful Girls" (1996); and starred opposite Kelsey Grammer in the misguided comedy "Down Periscope" (1996). Holly re-teamed with her "Sabrina" co-star Kinnear once more in 1997 to portray a couple trying to conceive a child in the romantic comedy "A Smile Like Yours" (1997). Playing against type in Edward Burns' "No Looking Back" (1998), Holly drew from her experience as a waitress growing up to portray the character of Claudia, a small town, working-class waitress.

Holly landed a number of supporting roles next; appearing in the Oliver Stone sports drama "Any Given Sunday" (1999), in Nancy Meyers' "What Women Want" (2000), and joined the cast of "Chicago Hope" (CBS, 1994-2000) in a recurring role during the series' final season. By this time, however, the roles Holly was being offered were decidedly less in terms of quantity and quality, so Holly split Hollywood. Marrying investment banker Francis Greco in 2001, the actress relocated to Forrest Park, IL in order to raise a family. She continued to work, starring in the TV movies "Jackie, Ethel, Joan: The Women of Camelot" (2001), and "King of Texas," (2002) a western adaptation of Shakespeare's "King Lear" opposite Patrick Stewart. Holly also appeared in the independent film "The Chumscrubber" (2005) and the political thriller "Fatwa" (2006). Returning to series television in 2006, Holly joined the cast of the CBS crime drama "Navy NCIS," as NCIS Director Jenny Shepard.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Stepchild, The (2016)
2.
 February (2015)
4.
 After the Ball (2014)
5.
6.
 Do No Harm (2012)
7.
 Layover (2012)
9.
10.
 Final Storm, The (2010)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Grew up in Geneva, New York
1986:
TV acting debut, a guest appearance in an episode of "Spenser: For Hire"
1986:
Portrayed teen heroine Julie Chandler on the ABC daytime soap, "All My Children"
1986:
Feature acting debut, "Band of the Hand"; appeared opposite first husband Daniele Quinn
1989:
Had recurring role on the NBC sitcom "My Two Dads"
1990:
TV-movie debut, as Betty in "Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again" (NBC)
1990:
Had female lead opposite Andrew Dice Clay in "The Adventures of Ford Fairlane"
1991:
Co-starred in the short-lived series, "The Antagonists" (CBS)
:
Portrayed sheriff's deputy Maxine 'Max' Stewart on the CBS drama series "Picket Fences"; initial TV collaboration with David E Kelley
1993:
First feature lead role, "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story"; played Lee's wife Linda
1994:
Acted with future husband Jim Carrey in "Dumb and Dumber"
1995:
Played Greg Kinnear's fiance in "Sabrina"
1996:
Acted in Ted Demme's "Beautiful Girls"
1997:
Reteamed with Kinnear for the romantic comedy "A Smile Like Yours"
1998:
Starred opposite Ed Burns in Burns' "No Looking Back"
:
Formed Hollycould Productions
1999:
Appeared with Peter Falk and Timothy Hutton in "VIG"; film premiered on Cinemax
1999:
Had role alongside Stephen Dorff in Phil Joanou's autobiographical "Entropy"; released direct-to-video in 2000
1999:
Returned to series TV playing a plastic surgeon on "Chicago Hope", overseen by David E Kelley
1999:
Played Dennis Quaid's wife in "Any Given Sunday", directed by Oliver Stone
2000:
Cast as an aspiring actress in "The Last Producer"; screened at Cannes; aired on USA Network in 2001
2005:
Joined the cast of "NCIS," (CBS) as Jenny Shepard, the head of the NCIS unit
2005:
Co-starred in Arie Posin's ensemble "The Chumscrubber," a darkly satiric story about life crumbling in the midst of a seemingly idyllic suburbia
2007:
Cast opposite Alan Arkin in director Neal Miller's character-driven comedy drama, "Raising Flagg"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art: -
Sarah Lawrence College: Bronxville , New York - 1985

Notes

About auditioning for "Sister Act": "I get this call: They're having trouble finding the young mousy nun so they want me to go in. 'But isn't this singing?' I ask. 'Yes, they know you don't sing.' I go in, read the scene, it goes well and the director says to me, 'Will you sing a song for us?' I said, 'Sing? I don't sing.' 'No, no, no, Lauren, it doesn't matter that you don't sing. We just want to see if you look like you can sing--do the body movements and the facial expressions and then we'll dub it.' So I closed my eyes and belted out 'Happy Birthday' as loud as I could and I tried to put all the feeling and body movement into it. When I finished, I opened my eyes. I've never seen such looks of horror as there were on their faces. Then I heard someone in the back of this group say, 'Wow, that girl's got balls.' It was horrible." --Lauren Holly quoted in Movieline, November 1995

Jim Carrey's press release at time of his marriage to Holly: "Despite the sometimes mind-boggling excitement I now face on a day-to-day basis, I am striving to live a loving and honorable life. Lauren is my proof and my reward; not to mention a fantastic beard to conceal my raging homosexual lifestyle. Okay . . . the second part was a joke."

On life with Jim Carrey: "He's not an exhausting guy to live with. His situation can be exhausting. We'd be leaving some event and literally racing the car. One time, on Pico Boulevard in L.A., we're doing 80 to get away from these trucks of guys with cameras. It was all about, 'They can't find out where we live.' He's forced into a weird isolation, even if it's only in his head, so he creates barriers to people that he may meet." --Lauren Holly to US, January 1998

About her time on "All My Children": "Oh, I have wonderful memories. It was great acting experience because I got to do it all. I hated my mother. I found out my stepfather attacked someone. I was married and divorced. It was really deep stuff. And Julie knew Erica Kane! It's funny to this day, I'll be out to dinner or out shopping and someone will yell, 'It's Julie from "All My Children." When are you coming back to Pine Valley?'" --Holly to The Chicago Sun-Times, March 22, 1998

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Daniele Quinn. Actor, producer. Son of actor Anthony Quinn; co-starred in "Band of the Hand" (1986); filed for divorce in July 1993; Holly had to pay alimony after their 2 1/2-year marriage ended.
husband:
Jim Carrey. Actor. First met in 1991 when she auditioned for "Ace Ventura"; re-met in 1994 during filming of "Dumb and Dumber"; separated briefly in 1996; reconciled and married on September 23, 1996; filed for divorce in July 1997; briefly reconciled in spring 1998; divorced finalized in 1988.
companion:
Edward Burns. Director. Began relationship during filming of "No Looking Back"; both reportedly claim they were "just friends".
companion:
Todd Gustawes. Production executive. Dated from October 1998 to summer 1999.
husband:
Francis Greco. Investment banker. Met in 2000; announced engagement in January 2001; married on March 11, 2001 in Canada.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Grant Holly. Producer, screenwriter, teacher, art historian. Formed Hollycould Productions with daughter.
mother:
Michael Holly. Academic. Chair of the department of fine arts at the University of Rochester.
brother:
Nick Holly. Born c. 1971.
brother:
Alexander Holly. Died in 1992 fire in home at age 14.
son:
Alexander Joseph Greco. Born in May 2001; adopted by Holly and her husband in June 2001 at age five weeks.
son:
Henry Charles Greco. Adopted on Dec 2, 2003, by Holly and her husband Francis Greco.
son:
George Greco. Adopted by Holly and her husband Francis Greco.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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