At Northwestern University, Louis-Dreyfus is the only female member of the improv troupe, the Practical Theater Company, run by her college sweetheart Brad Hall. In 1982, the producers of Saturday Night Live hire her and Hall. "Working with him is great," Louis-Dreyfus says of Hall – whom she marries in 1987. "He's a really nice man and he's always funny to be with."
Louis-Dreyfus is catapulted to superstardom as Seinfeld's lone female lead, the perpetually single Elaine Benes, costarring Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander and Michael Richards. "We had a very vague idea of Elaine," Seinfeld tells the New York Times. "But once Julia walked in, we knew who Elaine was. We created her together." Adds Louis-Dreyfus, "It's probably the best job I'll ever have."
Louis-Dreyfus and Hall welcome their first child, a son named Henry. "Sleeping is a thing of the past," she tells PEOPLE of juggling a hit show and a family. "You've got to go with the flow and laugh about it, or you're dead." In 1997, they welcome another son, Charles, to their brood.
Louis-Dreyfus wins her first Emmy for supporting comedic actress. "It was a shocker," she tells PEOPLE. "It was fantastic, because I was sure I would lose. It's much better to win than to lose. There's no doubt about it, having been in both positions."
Jerry Seinfeld decides to end his namesake sitcom after a very successful 9-year run. Over 76 million people tune into the show's finale on May 14, which sees the gang thrown in jail. "I've been working long enough to know all the elements don't come together like this every day," Louis-Dreyfus says on the Today show. "My God, this has been sublime."
After the cancellation of her 2003 sitcom Watching Ellie, Louis-Dreyfus returns to TV with The New Adventures of Old Christine, a comedy about a divorcée maneuvering parenthood and dating. "[She] has only become sleeker, chicer, and sexier in the years since Seinfeld ceased production," raves EW. The show earns Louis-Dreyfus her second Emmy in 2006.
The cast of Seinfeld reunites on the cover of EW and dishes on their TV reunion for Curb Your Enthusiasm –Seinfeld creator Larry David's HBO series. "It's the anti-reunion reunion, and I'd like to copyright that," says Louis-Dreyfus. Adds Seinfeld, "As far as I'm concerned, we did do [a reunion], and in a better way than I ever imagined."
Louis-Dreyfus returns to television in her own HBO series, Veep, playing a former senator turned vice president of the U.S. "The idea of playing Selina and showing the woman behind the political mask was what spoke to me," the comedic actress says. "I love the idea of playing someone in a seemingly powerful position who is also powerless."
Louis-Dreyfus wins her third Emmy, nabbing the trophy for best lead actress in a comedy series for her role in Veep. In a planned bit, the actress pretends to have an acceptance speech mix-up with fellow nominee Amy Poehler. "First of all, I'd like to thank NBC, Parks and Rec, my beautiful boys Archie and Abel," Louis-Dreyfus says, adding, "One last thing written here. Isn't it a shame Amy Poehler didn't win… what?"
In a repeat of last year's awards show, Louis-Dreyfus takes home the Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series, her third win in the category and fourth Emmy overall. "This is so much good fortune it's almost too much to bear," she says in her acceptance speech. The Veep star also becomes the most nominated comedic actress in Emmy history with her 14th nomination in 2013, besting the record previously held by Lucille Ball.
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