Jennifer Mary Butala
September 30, 1971
Los Angeles, California
|Spouse(s)||Bodhi Elfman (m. 1995)|
Jennifer Mary "Jenna" Elfman (born September 30, 1971) is an American television and film actress. She is best known for her role as Dharma on the 1997–2002 American television sitcom Dharma & Greg.
- Early life 1
- Career 2
- Philanthropy 3
- Personal life 4
- Scientology-related activities 5
- Film 6.1
- Television 6.2
- References 7
- External links 8
Elfman was born Jennifer Mary Butala in Los Angeles, California, the youngest of three children, to Sue (Grace) Butala, a homemaker, and Richard Butala, a Hughes Aircraft executive. Her father's younger brother, Elfman's uncle, is Tony Butala, lead singer since 1958 of the American vocal trio The Lettermen. She is of Croatian ancestry on her father's side and was raised Roman Catholic.
Elfman began her professional career as a dancer, appearing in the music videos for Depeche Mode ("Halo" in 1990), Anthrax (1993's song "Black Lodge"), Chris Isaak (1995's "Somebody's Crying" and toured with the rock band ZZ Top on their 1994 tour as a "Legs Girl". After appearing in television commercials, Elfman was cast in the short-lived 1996 American sitcom entitled Townies on ABC. In 1997 Elfman was cast in Dharma & Greg on ABC, as Dharma Freedom Finkelstein Montgomery. The show ran for five seasons until its cancellation in 2002
In 2012, Elfman and her husband Bodhi started their podcast, Kicking and Screaming by Jenna and Bodhi Elfman.
In February 2006, Elfman donated an hour of her time to be auctioned to the highest bidder on eBay as part of the "Lunch with a Leader" fundraiser, the proceeds of which benefit the work of Communities in Schools. She also participated in the auction in 2007 and 2008.
Elfman donated her lip print for a limited edition U.S. postage stamp created by Zazzle to celebrate Valentine's Day in both 2007 and 2008. Proceeds for the "Kiss Stamps" went to support the programs of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). In February 2011, she filmed a PSA for HSUS to inspire people to donate to help animals.
As a criminal rehabilitation activist, Elfman has traveled to Washington, D.C., to lobby for criminal reform. On April 5, 2007, she was presented with the Goodwill Ambassador Award for her work in human rights and criminal rehabilitation at the Women Ambassadors Foundation 12th Annual Conference. On April 9, 2008, she was a guest at the signing of a new bill by U.S. President recidivism, entitled the Second Chance Act of 2007 (H.R. 1593).
In September 2008, Elfman joined the charity: water month-long "September Campaign", asking for donations in lieu of birthday gifts in order to raise money to build freshwater wells in Ethiopia. She ran a second charity: water birthday campaign in September 2011 to aid in funding a drilling rig for wells in Northern Ethiopia.
On January 22, 2010, Elfman donated her time to participate in the Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief telethon in Los Angeles, California.
On March 2, 2011, she participated in the National Education Association (NEA) Read Across America program by reading to school children in Compton, California in honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday.
Elfman walked the catwalk in The Heart Truth Red Dress Collection 2012 Fashion Show in New York on February 8, 2012 to raise awareness for heart disease. The annual event is headed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
On March 6, 2012, Elfman hosted Laugh For Sight's comedy show at The Improv in Los Angeles to benefit the Scheie Eye Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.
On April 14, 2012, Elfman hosted an
- Jenna Elfman's official site
- Jenna Elfman at the Internet Movie Database
- "Jenna Elfman Biography (1971–)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- Elfman, Jenna. (November 21, 2003). "Elfman happily shows her 'Looney' side", Interviewed by Angela Dawson, Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved on April 23, 2010. Jenna Elfman says of her maiden name (Butala) origin, "It's Croatian. My great-grandparents are from Croatia. My dad visited Croatia and I'd love to go too someday. He met some relatives who have survived some really incredible, traumatic experiences. He was just so blown away by their stamina – their spiritual stamina – to keep going and to survive and create that life no matter what ... It's really commendable."
- "Jenna Elfman".
- Campus Facts: Notable CSUN Alumni
- "Rockin’ Libsyn Podcasts: Kicking and Screaming by Jenna and Bodhi Elfman". February 8, 2013.
- Andreeva, Nellie (May 7, 2012). "2ND UPDATE: '1600 Penn', 'Animal Practice', 'New Normal', 'Revolution' & 'Save Me' Picked Up To Series At NBC".
- "Grammy Award-Winning Singers Alicia Keys and Patti LaBelle, Actress Jenna Elfman Top the List of Entertainers to Participate in Online Celebrity Auction". .sys-con.com. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- Accidentally on Purpose (February 6, 2007). "Your Chance to have lunch with Jenna in person!". Jennaelfman.com. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- "Communities in Schools Lunch With a Leader – Jenna Elfman". Lunchwithaleader.com. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- "Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel and Other Celebs Offer Kiss Stamps for Charity – January 28, 2007". Shoppingblog.com. January 28, 2007. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- "Seal It With a Kiss This Valentine's Day Using Zazzle Custom Stamps". Reuters. January 14, 2008.
- "Jenna in a new Public Service Announcement for the Humane Society". Edie Films Inc. February 11, 2011.
- "Women Ambassadors at Howard". Washdiplomat.com. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- Bush signs prisoners' Second Chance act
- "President Bush Signs H.R. 1593, the Second Chance Act of 2007". Georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- "Jenna Elfman Charity Biography". LookToTheStars.org.
- "charity: water – Jenna's Birthday Wish". charitywater.org.
- "George Clooney explains 'Hope for Haiti' celebrity phone bank".
- "Jenna celebrates Dr. Seuss' Birthday and Read Across America Week". Edie Films Inc. March 29, 2011.
- "Red Dress fashion show draws attention to heart disease". CBSNews.com. February 8, 2012. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- Laugh For Sight
- "Jenna Elfman Interview". Laughspin.com. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- "Celebrity Moms Host Party for Kids' Health". HealthyChild.org. April 16, 2012. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
- Chiu, Alexis (July 30, 2007). "Jenna Elfman Welcomes a Baby Boy".
- "Jenna Elfman Expecting Second Baby!".
- "Jenna Elfman Welcomes Second Son". People. March 5, 2010. Retrieved March 7, 2010.
- "New L.A. Museum Targets Psychiatry as an Industry of Death".
- "Citizens Commission on Human Rights Board of Advisors".
- "The Human Rights Hero Awards 2006 - Washington, D.C.".
- "Jenna hosts NY Rescue Workers Detoxification Project Charity Event". JennaElfman.com. March 27, 2008. Retrieved March 27, 2008.
- - 2014 Casting Guide with Call Dates"So You Think You Can Dance". Retrieved June 19, 2014.
|1992||Murder, She Wrote||Ballet Dancer in background||Uncredited; Episode: "Dance Diabolique"|
|1994||George Carlin Show, TheThe George Carlin Show||Psychedelic girl||As Jenna Butala; Episode: "George Does A Bad Thing"|
|1995||Monroes, TheThe Monroes||Lily||Episode: "Bottoms, Up"|
|1995||Roseanne||Garland||Episode: "The Getaway, Almost"|
|1996||Townies||Shannon Canotis||Main Cast; 15 episodes|
|1996||Murder One||Angela Scalese||Episode: "Chapter Seventeen"|
|1996||Almost Perfect||Becky Toll||Episode: "Being Fired Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry"|
|1996||NYPD Blue||Patty Snow||Episode: "The Nutty Confessor"|
|1997||Single Guy, TheThe Single Guy||Jordan||Episode: "Just Friends?"|
|1997–2002||Dharma & Greg||Dharma Freedom Finkelstein Montgomery||
Main Cast; 119 episodes
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy (1999)
TV Guide Award for Favorite Actress in a Comedy (1999, 2000)
Nominated—American Comedy Award for Funniest Female Performer in a TV Series (Leading Role) Network, Cable or Syndication (1999)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (1998, 1999, 2000)
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy (1998, 2000)
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy (2000, 2001, 2002)
Nominated—TV Guide Award for Favorite Actress in a Comedy (2001)
|2002||Obsessed||Ellena Roberts||TV movie|
|2004||Two and a Half Men||Frankie||2 episodes|
|2006||Courting Alex||Alex Rose||Main Cast; 13 episodes|
|2007||Brothers & Sisters||Lizzie Jones-Baker||Episode: "Game Night"|
|2008||My Name Is Earl||Kimmi Himmler||Episode: "We've Got Spirit"|
|2009–2010||Accidentally on Purpose||Billie||Main Cast; 18 episodes|
|2011||Two and a Half Men||Dharma Montgomery||Episode: "Nice to Meet You, Walden Schmidt"|
|2012||Shameless||Jill||Episode: "Fiona Interrupted"|
|2012||Damages||Naomi Walling||7 episodes|
|2012–2013||1600 Penn||Emily Nash Gilchrist||Main Cast; 13 episodes|
|2013||Royal Pains||Lacy||Episode: "Open Invitation"|
|2014||Growing Up Fisher||Joyce Fisher||Main Cast; 13 episodes|
|2014||So You Think You Can Dance||Herself||Guest Judge |
|1997||Grosse Pointe Blank||Tanya|
|1998||Can't Hardly Wait||The Angel||Uncredited|
|1998||Krippendorf's Tribe||Prof. Veronica Micelli|
|2000||Tangerine Bear, TheThe Tangerine Bear||Lorelei||Voice|
|2000||Keeping the Faith||Anna Riley||
Nominated—Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actress – Comedy/Romance
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
|2001||Town & Country||Auburn|
|2003||Looney Tunes: Back in Action||Kate|
|2004||Clifford's Really Big Movie||Dorothy||Voice|
|2005||Touched||Angela Martin||Executive producer|
|2005||What's Hip, Doc?||Supermodel||Voice|
|2008||Struck||Pregnant date||Short film|
|2009||Six Wives of Henry Lefay, TheThe Six Wives of Henry Lefay||Ophelia|
|2011||Friends with Benefits||Annie|
|2014||Big Stone Gap||Miss Iva Lou Wade|
On March 27, 2008, Elfman and Charlie Sheen co-hosted the Scientology-affiliated New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project Charity Event at Geisha House in Hollywood.
On May 24, 2006, she was the keynote speaker at the Human Rights Hero Award event in participation with the Scientology-affiliated groups Washington, D.C. and was attended by members of Congress and the general public. Awards were presented to individuals who through their actions have brought about greater human rights.
 In 2005, Elfman appeared at the Scientology-backed
Elfman is a member of the Church of Scientology.
On July 23, 2007, Elfman and her husband's first child, a son, Story Elias, was born in Los Angeles. On September 16, 2009, when Elfman announced she was expecting her second child, she suggested that the pregnancy would help with her role in Accidentally on Purpose. On March 2, 2010, their son, Easton Quinn Monroe, was born.
Elfman met her husband, actor Bodhi Elfman, at a Sprite commercial audition in February 1991. They married on February 18, 1995, making director Richard Elfman her father-in-law and composer Danny Elfman her uncle-in-law.