Rena Sherel Sofer (born December 2, 1968) is an American actress, primarily known for her appearances in daytime television, episodic guest appearances, and made-for-television movies. In 1995, Sofer received a Daytime Emmy Award for her work in the soap opera General Hospital, for her portrayal of Lois Cerullo.
Sofer was born in Arcadia, California, the daughter of Susan (Franzblau), a psychology professor, and Martin Sofer, a Conservative Jewish rabbi. Her family subsequently moved to Pittsburgh, where she was raised after her parents' divorce. Sofer is a descendant of Baal Shem Tov and of the Chasam Sofer through her father. Sofer attended the Frisch School, a Jewish high school in Paramus, New Jersey. She lived in North Bergen, New Jersey, where her father was Rabbi of Temple Beth El, and graduated from North Bergen High School before beginning classes at Montclair State College.
Sofer's first high profile role was as Rocky on the daytime soap opera Loving, a role she played from 1988 to 1991. She is perhaps best known for her role as Lois Cerullo on General Hospital from December 15, 1993 to September 24, 1996. She would later return as a guest star from February 7, 1997 to February 17, 1997 and again from September 30, 1997 to October 2, 1997. Her portrayal of the outrageous Lois won Sofer a Daytime Emmy Award in 1995 for "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series."
Sofer has appeared in several high profile prime-time TV series in a guest star/supporting cast member roles: Seinfeld, Melrose Place, The Chronicle, Ed, Friends, Spin City, Blind Justice, Ghost Whisperer, 24, NCIS,and Two and a Half Men.
Sofer was the subject of controversy in the early 2000s when she briefly joined the cast of the NBC sitcom Just Shoot Me!, playing the character Vicky Costa. It was widely reported that NBC executives forced the producers of the series to add Sofer to the cast, due to executives liking Sofer and wanting to showcase the actress in hopes of making her a break-out star for the network. Sofer's addition to Just Shoot Me! was widely panned. With the show being canceled midway through the season, she was quietly written out of the series halfway through the final season. A farewell episode for her character had been produced, but it was not shown during the show's first run. It aired in syndication. The network later cast Sofer in the short-lived US remake of the UK series Coupling.
In recent years, Rena Sofer has appeared in the NBC TV series Heroes as the recurring character Heidi Petrelli, wife of aspiring politician Nathan Petrelli (Adrian Pasdar). She appeared on Two and a Half Men in 2008, as a former girlfriend of the character Charlie Harper (Charlie Sheen). Rena also has guest starred on Dirty Sexy Money playing an intrepid reporter  and played a ghost on Ghost Whisperer. In early 2010, Sofer began a recurring role on NCIS as Attorney Margaret Allison Hart, who is a potential love interest for the character Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon). She had a brief guest role on Bones as a love interest for the character Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz).
In film, she has appeared as an involuntary love interest of Ben Stiller in the film Keeping the Faith, starring Jenna Elfman, Stiller and Edward Norton (who also directed).
She also appeared as a bride to-be in Melanie Griffith's movie A Stranger Among Us and in Penelope Buitenhuis's movie The Secret of Hidden Lake.
She played the P.E. teacher Ms. Desjardin in the TV film adaptation of Carrie in 2002.
She starred in the television movie Always and Forever which aired October 24, 2009 on the Hallmark Channel.
She also starred as Andrea Larson in the television movie Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style.
Sofer and General Hospital love interest and co-star Wally Kurth became involved as their characters' storyline progressed. In 1995, the actors were married, and the couple have a daughter, Rosabel Rosalind Kurth. In 1997, Sofer and Kurth divorced.
Sofer married TV director/producer Sanford Bookstaver in 2003. On August 5, 2005, Sofer gave birth to her first child with Bookstaver, named Avalon Leone, in Los Angeles.
- 2012: House (TV) ... Marlene Reese
- 2012: Covert Affairs (TV) ... Gina (3 episodes, 2011–2012)
- 2010: The Devil's Teardrop (TV) (post-production) .... Joan
- 2010: Medium (TV) .... Dr. Natalie Salem
- 2010: Royal Pains (TV) .... AJ (1 episode, 2010)
- 2010: NCIS .... Margaret Allison Hart (6 episodes, 2010)
- 2010: Two and a Half Men .... Chrissy (2 episodes, 2008–2010)
- 2010: Bones .... Dr. Catherine Bryar (1 episode, 2010)
- 2009: Criminal Minds .... Erika Silverman (1 episode, 2009)
- 2009: Always and Forever (TV) .... Grace
- 2009: Monk .... Kim Kelly (1 episode, 2009)
- 2009: Rock Slyde .... Sara
- 2009: Dirty Sexy Money .... News Reporter (1 episode, 2009)
- 2008: Ghost Whisperer .... Tammy (1 episode, 2008)
- 2006: Heroes .... Heidi Petrelli (5 episodes, 2006–2007)
- 2007: 24 .... Marilyn Bauer (12 episodes, 2007)
- 2006: The Secret of Hidden Lake (TV) .... Maggie Dolan
- 2006: Mr. Nice Guy TV series
- 2005: Blind Justice .... Christie Dunbar (13 episodes, 2005)
- 2003: Coupling .... Susan Freeman (9 episodes, 2003)
- 2002: Just Shoot Me! .... Vicki Costa (14 episodes, 2002–2003)
- 2003: CSI: Miami .... Alison (1 episode, 2003)
- 2002: Carrie (TV) .... Miss Desjarden
- 2002: Friends .... Katie (1 episode, 2002)
- 2001: The Chronicle .... Grace Hall (22 episodes, 2001–2002)
- 2001: Ed .... Bonnie Hane (7 episodes, 2001)
- 2001: Cursed .... Dawn Cheswick (1 episode, 2001)
- 2001: March .... Hedy Pullman
- 2000: Traffic .... Helena's Friend
- 2000: Spin City .... Sam (1 episode, 2000)
- 2000: Opposite Sex .... Ms. Gibson (1 episode, 2000)
- 2000: Keeping the Faith .... Rachel Rose
- 1999: Oh, Grow Up .... Suzanne Vandermeer (12 episodes, 1999)
- 1998: Melrose Place .... Eve Cleary (25 episodes, 1998–1999)
- 1998: Timecop .... Dr. Carrie Ann Trent (1 episode, 1998)
- 1998: Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place .... Lauren Henderson (1 episode, 1998)
- 1998: Nightmare Street (TV) .... Penny Randolph
- 1998: Ellen .... Jean (1 episode, 1998)
- 1998: Glory, Glory (TV) .... Elizabeth
- 1997: Seinfeld .... Mary Anne (1 episode, 1997)
- 1997: The Stepsister (TV) .... Darcy Canfield Ray
- 1996: Caroline in the City .... Risa Glickman (1 episode, 1996)
- 1996: Hostile Advances: The Kerry Ellison Story (TV) .... Kerry Ellison
- 1994: Twin Sitters .... Judy
- 1993: General Hospital .... Lois Cerullo (unknown episodes, 1993-1996, 1997)
- 1993: Herman's Head .... Stephanie (1 episode, 1993)
- 1992: Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style (TV) .... Andrea Larson
- 1992: Freshman Dorm .... Veronica (2 episodes, 1992)
- 1992: A Stranger Among Us .... Shayna
- 1988: Loving TV series .... Amelia 'Rocky' McKenzie Domeq (unknown episodes, 1988–1991)
- 1987: Another World TV series .... Joyce Abernathy (unknown episodes, 1987)
- ^ Rena Sofer at the Internet Movie Database
- ^ http://www.cityviewnc.com/a-woman-apart-by-nomee-landis
- ^ Rena Sofer at the Internet Movie Database
- ^ Dickter, Adam. Sofer Sex, The Jewish Week, September 19, 2003.
- ^ "Rena Sofer", Oh, Grow Up, WCHS. Accessed September 22, 2011. "Born in Arcadia, California, Rena moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, following her parents' divorce, and later to North Bergen, New Jersey, where she finished high school."
- ^ Lipton, Michael A. "Heart Condition: For Rena Sofer, Checking into General Hospital Meant Finding a Healing Love with Costar Wally Kurth", People (magazine), October 31, 1994. Accessed September 22, 2011. "Neither parent remarried, and today Sofer maintains close relations with both her father, who presides at Temple Beth El in North Bergen, N.J., and her mother, a professor of developmental psychology at the University of North Carolina in Fayetteville.... She took a drama class during her senior year at North Bergen High School and then, after less than a semester at Montclair State College, took acting lessons in New York."
- ^ Sandell, Scott. "TUNED IN; A New Face, but the Usual 'Shoot'", Los Angeles Times, October 1, 2002. Accessed June 23, 2008.
- ^ Waldman, Allison. "Rena Sofer booked on Two and a Half Men", TV Squad, August 8, 2008. Accessed August 12, 2008.
- ^ Shhh! Rena Sofer Has a Dirty Sexy Little Secret!" TV Guide. November 10, 2008. Retrieved on November 12, 2008.
- Julia Barr, All My Children (1990)
- Jess Walton, The Young and the Restless (1991)
- Maeve Kinkead, Guiding Light (1992)
- Ellen Parker, Guiding Light (1993)
- Susan Haskell, One Life to Live (1994)
- Rena Sofer, General Hospital (1995)
- Anna Kathryn Holbrook, Another World (1996)
- Michelle Stafford, The Young and the Restless (1997)
- Julia Barr, All My Children (1998)
- Sharon Case, The Young and the Restless (1999)