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Jenna Elfman: Who is the star of ABC’s new comedy show Imaginary Mary?

Jenna with her Imaginary Mary co-star Stephen Schneider. Pic: @jennaelfman/Instagram

ABC’s new comedy series Imaginary Mary stars Jenna Elfman as career-focused Alice whose life gets turned inside-out.

But just who is Jenna and where have you seen her before?

Jenna was born Jennifer Mary Butala in Los Angeles, California, in 1971. She has Croatian ancestry (on her father’s side of the family) and is the youngest of three children.

Her high-school years were spent at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, and she went to college at California State University, Northridge.

Although Jenna has become known for her acting, she actually started her professional career as a dancer — appearing in music videos for the likes of Depeche Mode and Chris Isaak. She even toured with ZZ Top in 1994!

Jenna taking a break from promoting Imaginary Mary at a press day. Pic: @jennaelfman/Instagram

The transition from dancing to acting really paid off for Jenna when she landed the role of Dharma in Dharma and Greg, which ran from 1997 until 2002 and won her the 1999 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress — Television Series Musical or Comedy.

More recently, she played Billie in Accidentally on Purpose (2009 to 2010) and Emily in 1600 Pen (2012 to 2013), the latter also starring Bill Pullman.

Films include Keeping the Faith, with Ben Stiller and Edward Norton, and Ron Howard’s Edtv, with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. Keeping the Faith earned Jenna a Satellite Award for Best Actress.

As a classically trained ballerina, Jenna has been invited to be a guest judge on So You Think You Can Dance on two occasions.

Clearly passionate about dance, Jenna sits on the board of trustees of the Dizzy Feet Foundation, which was founded to improve dance education in the United States.

You can keep up to date with Jenna through her Facebook page and by following her on Instagram.

Married to husband Bodhi for over 20 years, the couple have set up a video podcast in which they take a light-hearted look at their enduring relationship.


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