Jenna Elfman (Actress) as Dharma - Dharma and Greg
Jenna Elfman 1
Updated: 6/20/08

Name: Jenna Elfman

Birth Name: Jennifer Mary Butala

Born: September 30, 1971, Los Angeles, California

Claim To Fame: Best known for playing Dharma on the hit ABC television sitcom "Dharma and Greg." She won a Golden Globe for her role.

Family Life: Married to Bodhi Elfman (February 18, 1995- present). They have a son, Story Elias, who was born July 23, 2007.

Info: Elfman began as a professional dancer, making an appearance in UK synth-pop group Depeche Mode's promotional video for their 1990 song "Halo". She also toured as a dancer with the group ZZ Top. In the early 1990s, she switched to acting, and made several commercial appearances. Her first TV jobs were guest appearances on the ABC series Roseanne, NYPD Blue, The Monroes, and Murder One, and the CBS sitcom Almost Perfect. However, it was a regular role on the short-lived sitcom Townies in 1996 that gave Elfman her big break. ABC executives were impressed with her scene- stealing talent, and she landed the role of Dharma on "Dharma and Greg" in 1997. She has also appeared in the films EdTV, Keeping the Faith, Krippendorf's Tribe, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, and Town & Country.

Trivia: Studied acting at The Beverly Hills Playhouse with renowned acting teacher Milton Katselas.

Is a classically-trained ballet dancer.

Graduated from Los Angeles High School for the Arts, class of 1989. She was senior class representative (dance dept), on Student Arts Council.

She started taking classical ballet at the age of five, but by nine, she suffered a serious ankle injury, and at age 12, the tendon came off the bone. She later gave up ballet at the age of 16.

Was listed as a potential nominee on the 2004 Razzie Award nominating ballot. She was suggested in the Worst Supporting Actress category for her performance in the film Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003), however, she failed to receive a nomination.

Is of Croatian heritage.

Met her husband, actor Bodhi Elfman, at a Sprite commercial audition in February of 1991. They married in 1995, making director Richard Elfman her father-in-law and noted composer Danny Elfman her uncle-in-law.

Niece of singer Tony Butala, who founded and performs with the vocal group The Lettermen.

Appeared at the Church of Scientology-affiliated Citizens Commission on Human Rights' controversial "Psychiatry: An Industry of Death" museum grand opening in 2005 and is described on the organization's website as a supporter.

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Where Are They Now: Most recently, Elfman appeared in a new short film entitled STRUCK, and has been cast in Barra Grant's romantic comedy, HangingOutHookingUpFallingInLove. She is in a yet to be released film with Tim Allen entitled The Six Wives of Henry Lefay. On March 27, 2008, she and Charlie Sheen co-hosted the "New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project" Charity Event at Geisha House in Hollywood, California.

As a criminal rehabilitation activist, Elfman has traveled to Washington D.C. to lobby for criminal reform. On April 5, 2007, she was awarded with the Goodwill Ambassador Award for her work in human rights and criminal rehabilitation at the Women Ambassadors Foundation 12th Annual Conference. On April 9, 2008, she was a guest at the signing of a new bill by U.S. President George W. Bush that aims to reduce prisoner recidivism, entitled the Second Chance Act of 2007.

Write To Jenna Elfman:
Jenna Elfman
Creative Artists Agency LCC (CAA-LA)
PO Box 240002
Los Angeles, CA, 90024

Official Website:


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