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Born on a farm in Iowa, Wendel spent her childhood traveling with her musical parents and dancing with her sisters in and around the Midwest in club and concert hall venues, including the Grand Ole Opry. She eventually made her way to New York where she enjoyed success in both Broadway and off-Broadway productions. A national touring company of Annie took her to Los Angeles, where she made a successful transition into film and television.
Her television credits include guest roles on many hit shows, such as Murphy Brown, Seinfeld, Love & War, Murder, She Wrote, and Empty Nest. She appeared in the acclaimed original cable films And the Band Played On for HBO and in Far from Home for Showtime. Most recently, she played a recurring role as Gina, one of the assembly line workers at the aviation factory on George Lopez. Among her theater credits, she performed in, among other productions, Wonderful Town, Cole Porter Revisited, Little Mary Sunshine and Gigi.
Elmarie Wendel is the mother of J.C. Wendel, also an actress (Dave's World).
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