Julia Louis-Dreyfus wins top comedy honor

In the beginning, Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ character on “Seinfeld” was an afterthought. NBC executives were concerned that the comedy show had just three male leads. Jerry Seinfeld apparently agreed, and Louis-Dreyfus was cast as his character’s former girlfriend Elaine.
In October, the actress was awarded comedy’s top honor, the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for humor. The story of her debut as Elaine was reported by The New York Times. And at the gala event in New York, plenty of friends – Seinfeld, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Bryan Cranston, Lisa Kudrow, Keegan-Michael Key, Ilana Glazer, Abbi Jacobson, Tony Hale, Kumail Nanjiani and singer Jack Johnson – had their own stories to tell.
WGCU HD airs the ceremony at 9 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 19.
Louis-Dreyfus, 57, is the 21st recipient of the Mark Twain Prize. She also has been awarded 11 Emmys.
Following her time as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” and then “Seinfeld,” Louis-Dreyfus played memorable U.S. vice president Selina Meyer on “Veep,” which halted production last year with Louis-Dreyfus’ announcement that she had breast cancer.
Despite that, she appeared as ever the groundbreaking force for women in comedy at the Kennedy Center gala, where she became the sixth woman honored with the award.
“In the early ’90s, at a time on network TV when actresses were expected to have great timing and great tans and great eating disorders, Julia made the bold choice for her character Elaine Benes to wear long, loose dresses, flat shoes and oversized coats,” Fey said. “She didn’t need to give us midriff.”
Active on Twitter, Louis-Dreyfus tweeted in late May that the news of her Twain prize was “insanely exciting.”
Julia Scarlett Elizabeth Louis-Dreyfus was born in New York City. She married Brad Hall in 1987 and they are the parents of Charlie and Henry Hall.