TEA LEONI Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


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Tea Leoni was born and raised in New York and attended Brearley, a fine private girls’ school. She went on to study anthropology and psychology at Sarah Lawrence College. After which Tea went globetrotting, with stops in Japan, Italy, and the resort island of St. Croix. Tea says of her travels, “It wasn’t just running around. I was never into that Eurorail stuff.


In Italy, I was trying to find out family’s Italian version of Roots. Japan was because I wanted to get on the Asian side of things. I tried a Japanese soap opera, but that didn’t work out, so I did some athletic modeling and taught English. Well, not exactly. I helped teach Japanese businessmen being sent to the States how to properly relate to American women. In St. Croix, I was a crew hand on a sail boat that took vacationers out sailing.”


Tea’s grandmother was an actress, so she comes by acting naturally. Her schoolgirl theater experience didn’t go beyond a sixth-grade performance of Gilbert & Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore though. Her career began in Boston. She recalls, “There was a cattle call for actresses for a new spin-off from Charlie’s Angels called Angels ‘88, and a friend talked me into going, and I got the part, and off I went to L.A.” Unfortunately the show never aired.


Her current series began on ABC, with Tea playing a divorced photojournalist on a sleazy tabloid, but ABC didn’t think it was going to work out. But NBC must have seen something there. It put the show back on the air with new writers and a beefed-up cast including George Wendt, Mary Tyler Moore, and George Segal. It also put Tea in a new role as an advice columnist. Tea calls her character “the ultimate optimist but at the same time something of a lunatic.”


She has appeared in numerous feature films including “Switch", “Indian Love Story", “A League of Their Own", “Wyatt Earp", and “Bad Boys". Her performance in the amazingly crafted “Deep Impact” is probably her most notable work to date.


She married actor David Duchovny in May of 1997and they share a daughter, Madeline West Duchovny.