Jane Leeves

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Jane Leeves
Jane Leeves 2012.jpg
Leeves in May 2012
Born(1961-04-18) 18 April 1961 (age 53)
Ilford, Essex, England, UK
Years active1981–present
Spouse(s)Marshall Coben (1996–present)
ChildrenIsabella Kathryn Coben (b. 2001)
Finn William Leeves Coben (b. 2003)
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Jane Leeves
Jane Leeves 2012.jpg
Leeves in May 2012
Born(1961-04-18) 18 April 1961 (age 53)
Ilford, Essex, England, UK
Years active1981–present
Spouse(s)Marshall Coben (1996–present)
ChildrenIsabella Kathryn Coben (b. 2001)
Finn William Leeves Coben (b. 2003)

Jane Leeves (born 18 April 1961) is an English film, stage and television actress, comedian, singer and dancer.

Leeves made her screen debut with a small role in 1983 on the popular British comedy television show The Benny Hill Show, and appeared as a dancer in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. Leeves moved to the United States, where she performed in small roles. In 1986–1988, Leeves garnered her first leading role in the short-lived sitcom Throb[1] and then secured a recurring part in the television sitcom Murphy Brown. In 1993 she achieved wider fame as Daphne Moon on the television sitcom Frasier for the entire run of the series, from 1993 until 2004, for which she was nominated for Emmy Awards and Golden Globe Awards during the show's run.[2] She received further recognition for her performances in Miracle on 34th Street (1994), James and the Giant Peach (1996), Music of the Heart (1999) and The Event (2003).

She has worked in television production, but beginning in June 2010, Leeves returned to acting, as Joy Scroggs on TV Land's sitcom Hot in Cleveland.[3]

Early life[edit]

Leeves was born in Ilford, Essex before moving to Crawley, Sussex and then East Grinstead. Early in her career she trained as a ballet dancer at Bush Davies School of Dance and worked as a model, until she made her first film appearance in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. Jane abandoned the possibility of a career in ballet due to an ankle injury.[4]


Leeves at the 1995 Emmys

She was a regular on The Benny Hill Show (as one of "Hill's Angels"), putting her experience as a dancer in the famous "Christmas in Heaven" scene from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life and appeared as a tourist with a baby in the David Lee Roth music video for the song "California Girls," but struggled for several years to establish herself. She became somewhat visible as the flighty record company employee, Blue (née Prudence Anne Bartlett), on the syndicated sitcom Throb!.

She had a recurring role in the television series Murphy Brown which provided her first period of success, playing Audrey, the loud and awkward girlfriend of producer Miles Silverberg (played by Grant Shaud). Leeves also appeared as the troublesome Marla the Virgin in four risqué episodes of Seinfeld: "The Virgin", "The Contest", "The Pilot" and "The Finale - Part 2". During this period Leeves was cast as Holly for the pilot of the U.S. version of the science-fiction comedy Red Dwarf. She also had a role as a lesbian in the 1985 film To Live and Die in L.A.

In 1993, she joined the cast of the television series Frasier. Leeves played the eccentric, forthright and allegedly psychic Mancunian Daphne Moon. By the start of 2000-01 season, Leeves was pregnant, and the writers incorporated her pregnancy into shows as weight gain due to her character's stress from her relationship with Niles (portrayed by David Hyde Pierce). By the conclusion of Frasier, Leeves had received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series nomination in 1998 and also a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film nomination in 1995 for her role and had become the highest-paid British actress in Hollywood.[5]

Appearing less frequently in cinema, Leeves lent her regular voice and her singing voice to the animated film James and the Giant Peach (1996) and acted in the film Music of the Heart (1999).

Leeves in August 2012

In 2002, she appeared in the Broadway musical Cabaret.[6] In 2004, she hosted an episode of the British television comedy quiz show Have I Got News for You. Her 2006 show, The WB's sitcom Misconceptions, went unaired.[7]

Leeves provides guest vocals in The Penguins of Madagascar as Lulu, a female chimp, with whom Phil falls in love. With Peri Gilpin, Leeves also set up the production company "Bristol Cities" (cockney rhyming slang for 'titties'[8]). Their latest project was in 2007 a pilot for a US remake of the British sitcom The Vicar of Dibley, with Kirstie Alley in the title role.[9]

In 2010 she was a guest star in two episodes in ABC's Desperate Housewives as Lynette and Tom's therapist, Dr. Graham. Since 2010 she has been playing the fortysomething ex 'eyebrow artist to the stars' Joy Scroggs in the new TV Land comedy, Hot in Cleveland, with Valerie Bertinelli, Wendie Malick (also her co-star in the final season of Frasier), and Betty White. In 2011 she was nominated Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, with cast.[10]

Personal life[edit]

She has been married to Marshall Coben, a CBS Paramount Television executive, since 21 December 1996, and they have two children. Daughter Isabella Kathryn Coben was born on 9 January 2001, and the pregnancy was written into the Frasier plotline as a weight-gaining problem for Daphne Moon. Frasier co-star Peri Gilpin was in the delivery room when daughter Isabella was born and is her godmother; Leeves is also godmother of Gilpin's daughter Stella. The two live next door to one another in Los Angeles. Her son Finn William Leeves Coben, was born on 19 December 2003, and both David Hyde Pierce and John Mahoney are his godfathers.[11]


1981Nice to See YouPerformerTelevision movie
1983Monty Python's The Meaning of LifeDancerUncredited
1983The HungerUnknownUncredited
1983-1985The Benny Hill ShowHill's Angel(TV series, 4 episodes)
1985To Live and Die in L.A.SerenaCredited as Jane Leaves
1987Murder, She WroteGwen Petrie(TV series, 1 episode: "It Runs in the Family")
1986-1988ThrobPrudence Anne "Blue" Bartlett(TV series, 48 episodes)
1989It's a LivingTerry Tedaldo(TV series, 1 episode: "He Never Sang for His Father")
1989Mr. BelvedereProfessor Ann Burns(TV series, 1 episode: "The Professor")
1989HoopermanAnnie(TV series, 1 episode: "Stakeout")
1989-1993Murphy BrownAudrey Cohen(TV series, 9 episodes)
1990My Two DadsHarriet(TV series, 1 episode: "See You in September?")
1990Room for RomanceUnknown(TV series, 1 episode: "A Midsummer Night's Reality")
1990Who's the Boss?Ms. Adams(TV series, 1 episode: "Parental Guidance Suggested")
1991BlossomSheila(TV series, 1 episode: "Love Stinks")
1992Red DwarfHollyPilot
1992Just DesertsAmy Phillips
1992-1998SeinfeldMarla Penny(TV series, 4 episodes)
1993-2004FrasierDaphne Moon(TV series, 263 episodes)
1994Mr. WriteWylie
1994Miracle on 34th StreetAlberta Leonard
1995Caroline in the CityDaphne Moon(TV series, 1 episode: "Caroline and the Bad Back")
1996James and the Giant PeachLadybugVoice role
1996Pandora's ClockRachel SherwoodTelevision movie
1996The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th CenturyCaroline WebbVoice role
1998Hercules: The Animated SeriesAthena(TV series, 5 episodes)
1999Don't Go Breaking My HeartJuliet Gosling
1999Music of the HeartDorothea von Haeften
2003The EventMona
2003The SimpsonsEdwina(TV series, 1 episode: "The Regina Monologues")
2006MisconceptionsAmanda Watson(TV series, 7 episodes)
2006Twenty Good YearsMary Frances(TV series, 1 episode: "Big Love")
2006Garfield: A Tail of Two KittiesEenieVoice role
2008The Starter WifeAnn Hefton(TV series, 2 episodes)
2009-2011The Penguins of MadagascarLulu(TV series, 2 episodes)
2009Phineas and FerbAdmiral Acronym(TV series, 2 episodes)
2009Endless BummerLiv
2010Desperate HousewivesDr. Graham(TV series, 2 episodes)
2010Notes from the UnderbellyGracie(TV series, 1 episode: "Accidental Family Bed")
2010–presentHot in ClevelandJoy Scroggs(TV series, 97 episodes)
Nominated-Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series


  1. ^ "Throb" (1986)
  2. ^ Das, Lina (2010-07-30). "How Benny Hill babe Jane Leeves became the queen of U.S. TV". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 2010-08-16. 
  3. ^ Dawidziak, Mark (2010-01-14). "Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick will be 'Hot in Cleveland'". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2010-01-14. 
  4. ^ "Full Cast of The Meaning of Life on IMDB". imdb.com. Retrieved 2010-07-17. 
  5. ^ Jane Leeves Trivia
  6. ^ "Jane Leeves Sets Dates for B'way's Cabaret - Broadway Tickets". Broadway.com. 2002-02-19. Retrieved 2009-03-23. 
  7. ^ List of television series cancelled before airing an episode
  8. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Jo7gAjlWnc Jane Leeves on Graham Norton
  9. ^ Kirby, Terry (2007-02-07). "US version of 'Vicar of Dibley' to star Kirstie Alley - Media, News". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2009-03-23. 
  10. ^ SAG's TV nominations: What did they miss?
  11. ^ Mulkerrins, Jane (2011-02-13). "Jane Leeves in Hot in Cleveland has struck sitcom gold again". Dailymail. Retrieved 2011-03-20. 

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