Jane Leeves Is probably best known for her role as Daphne Moon on the hit sitcom Frasier, but this British actress, comedian, model, singer, producer, and dancer’s career didn’t come to an end when that series wrapped up in 2004. Not only is she still acting, but she is just as beautiful as she ever was.
Stick around to learn all about her amazing journey in the entertainment industry. Her story is inspiring to say the least â€“ especially when you witness how she rose from being completely unknown to being showered with awards and accolades in just a few short years after landing her breakout role in Frasier. And unlike most actors and actresses who enjoy a few fleeting years in the limelight just to fade into obscurity, Leeves has managed to reinvent herself and stay relevant and radiant for decades.
Let’s take a look at her life and career and see how she got to where she is today.
From Benny Hill To Monty Python
Leeves made her on-screen debut with a relatively small role in the 1983 British comedy show The Benny Hill Show as one of ‘Hills Angel’s’. She only appeared in 4 episodes, but that was more than enough exposure to get her foot in the door and start catching the attention of producers.
Leeves made use of her experience as a dancer when she appeared in a scene in Monty’s Python’s The Meaning of Life in 1983. She was uncredited for that role, but it did allow her to make the jump from television to film early on in her career. That same year, she appeared again as a dancer in an erotic horror film called The Hunger which starred Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie, and Susan Sarandon. Yet again, her part was uncredited and minor, but most actors have to do a few bit parts before they start landing major roles. It’s just all part of the game.
In 1985, Leeves played Serena in To Live and Die in LA â€“ a neo-noir thriller film directed by William Friedkin and starring William Peterson and William Dafoe.
Her last minor credit before starting to get better gigs was in David Lee Roth’s music video for his song California Girls, where she portrayed a tourist with a baby.
In 1986, Leeves finally would be cast into a more substantial role when she scored the part of Prudence Anne Bartlett in the short-lived CBS sitcom Throb.
The series revolved around divorcee Sandy Beatty â€“ played by Diana Canova â€“ getting a job at a start-up new wave record label.
Leeves played one of her co-workers at the label where she was affectionately nicknamed blue. In season two, she moves into Sandy’s apartment despite the fact that the two were wildly at odds with each other’s personalities. Blue was free-spirited and youthful and Sandy was more straightlaced and conservative.
The series may not have made it past the second season, but it did highlight Leeves’ talent and showed that she could be a meaningful addition to a television series.
A Regular Television Fixture
Following Throb, despite the fact that the show was short-lived, Jane Leeves started to pick up more and more work on television.
She had a recurring role in the series Murphy Brown which gave her a relatively successful period of her career whereas previously she had struggled to get noticed. Throb may have had two seasons, but it had a rather dismally low audience base.
Murphy Brown however was an incredibly successful series that aired for 11 seasons. Leeves played Audrey, the witty yet gawky partner of producer Miles Silverberg â€“ played by Grant Shaud. it wasn’t a major role, but it certainly gave her portfolio a needed boost.
Before she joined the cast of Frazier, she also had quite a few minor roles in shows like Blossom, Who’s the Boss?, My Two Dad’s and Mr. Belvedere.
Leeves also got the opportunity to have a memorable part in everyone’s favorite show about nothing, Seinfeld. She played Marla Penny, better known as Marla the Virgin in four episodes. She was a professional closet organizer that Jerry briefly dated. She eventually was deflowered – and thus lost her nickname â€“ by John F. Kennedy Jr.
Being on Seinfeld is probably a major contributory factor as to how she managed to land the part of Daphne in Frasier.
She joined the cast in 1993 where she played an immigrant from Manchester that is employed by Frasier as a live-in maid and physical therapists for Martin, Frasier’s father. Daphne is also an avid believer in the paranormal and considers herself to be ‘a bit psychic’. This theme ends up becoming a recurring motif throughout the show.
Daphne’s character is initially meant to be a working-class foil to challenge Frasier and Niles’ snooty upper-class snobbery. She also stands in stark contrast to Frasier’s hard-lined scientific views as she is so enamored by the metaphysical.
But as the show progressed, these aspects of her character are toned down â€“ Especially as she and NIles develop a romantic relationship with each other that eventually blossoms into a marriage. Although it should be noted, after the couple got together after many seasons of beating around the bush with a ‘will they, or won’t they’ plot-line, it seemed as if the writers were at a loss of how the show would continue. Most critics will point to Niles and Daphne’s marriage as being the beginning of the end of the 11 season series.
For her role on Frasier, she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, and for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Series. She won Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Comedy Series from the Viewers For Quality Television Awards in 1995 and won a SAG award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series in 2000.
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Stay tuned to find out what Jane Leeves is up to today, but first, let’s look at …
Her Various Other Roles
During the Frazier years and beyond, Leeves has also appeared in several films and animated features. She played Mrs. Ladybug in 1996s James and the Giant Peach and then appeared in Music of the Heart in 1999.
In 2002 she appeared on Broadway in the musical Cabaret. She guest-hosted the quiz show Have I Got News for You in 2004 before starring Misconceptions in 2006, a WB sitcom that never aired.
She’s also lent her voice to characters in the children’s shows The Penguins of Madagascar, Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures, and Phineas and Ferb.
Hot In Cleveland
Alongside Valerie Bertinelli, Wendie Malick, and Betty White, Jane Leeves starred in TV Land’s highest-rated show in its 14-year history of being on the air.
The show premiered in June of 2010, and was picked up for a total of 6 seasons.
The Suzanne Martin created series centered around 3 aging veterans of the entertainment industry from LA. Valerie Bertinelli played Melanie, Wendie Malick played Victoria, and Jane Leeves was Joy.
The three women find themselves living in Cleveland, Ohio where they finally have a break from the shallow, fast-paced, fashion-obsessed world of Southern California. The three former divas arrive in Cleveland only by accident when their Paris-bound flight is forced to make an emergency landing. They lease the house from Elka, a sassy landlord played by the legendary Betty White who lives on the property with them in a guest house.
The show received regular comparisons to The Golden Girls â€“ and for good reason. The two shows are very reminiscent of each other.
Valerie Bertinelli, who rose to fame as a teenage sitcom star in One Day At a Time, told Global News that she and her co-stars were grateful for their roles on Hot In Cleveland because it can be difficult for middle-aged women to find work in the entertainment industry. She also revealed that ultimately TV Land decided to cancel the show in favor of bringing in shows that might appeal to a younger audience.
The show wrapped up at a time that many felt to be premature, but Suzanne Martin expressed gratitude that the production team was given notice of the network’s plans. The final season was able to give the characters the happy endings that they all deserved. The series was able to end on a high note with all of its loose ends tied up.
In 2018, Leeves io the television screen in the Fox medical drama The Resident as Kitt Voss, an orthopedic surgeon at the fictional Chastain Park Memorial Hospital.
She first signed a one-year contract with the show for its second season but has been with it ever since. The series was renewed for its fourth season in 2020 despite the fact that it hasn’t been critically received with much enthusiasm.
The series has been especially despised by people who work in the medical industry. Nurses and doctors alike agree that the show is wildly unrealistic and presents scenarios that would never happen in an actual medical setting.
Despite the fact that The Resident suffers from a mediocre script, Leeves has given a powerful performance that has made her a mainstay cast member.
It’s refreshing to see Jane Leeves career still thriving today. Valerie Bertinelli pointed out that it’s hard for women their age to find success in the entertainment industry but Jane Leeves has defied all of the odds and pushed on â€“ and we’re glad she has.
She’s is a remarkably talented actress who still retains all of her beauty and charisma to this day. What was you’re favorite show that she’s been in? Were you a fan of Daphne Moon on Frasier, or can you still not believe that Hot In Cleveland was canceled? Let us know what you think in the comments section.
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Jane Leeves is an English actress, dancer, comedian, and producer who is best known for playing Daphne Moon on the hit sitcom Frasier from 1993 to 2004. For her work on that series, she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award as well as a Golden Globe.
More recently she has played Joy Scroggs on TV Land’s Hot in Cleveland.
Leeves made her on-screen debut on The Benny Hill Show back in 1983 where she played one of Hill’s Angels. She then found herself dancing on the big screen in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. After that, she relocated to the United States and began to be cast into minor roles on sitcoms.
From 1986 to 1988 she starred in her first leading role on the sitcom Throb â€“ albeit, the series only lasted 2 seasons before it was canceled. She then scored a recurring role in Murphy Brown and padded her portfolio with credits in films like Miracle on 34th Street in 1994 and James and the Giant Peach in 1996.
Today, she is a main cast member in the Fox medical drama The Resident which premiered in 2018. On the show, she plays Kitt Voss, an orthopedic surgeon. She was cast for the series second season and has been with it ever since. The Resident was just renewed for its 4th season.
Actresses can find it difficult to find work once they’ve reached middle-age. Jane Leeves has defied the odds and has found success even in the golden years of her life. In fact, she is just as beautiful as she ever was. Time has treated her well and instead of fading into obscurity, she has ripened like a peach. This video is meant to highlight her prolific career while taking note of the fact that she has found decades of success in the entertainment industry.