Tea Leoni Career Milestones
Born: Elizabeth Téa Pantaleoni
Birth Date: February 25, 1966
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA
An actress of extraordinary versatility and charm, Tea Leoni has portrayed an impressive list of characters thus far in her career. Tower Heist marks Leoni’s second collaboration with director Brett Ratner (The Family Man) and co-stars Ben Stiller and Alan Alda (Flirting With Disaster).
Leoni’s recent feature film credits include DreamWorks’ Ghost Town; You Kill Me, opposite Ben Kingsley, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and on which Leoni also served as an executive producer; and Fun With Dick & Jane, starring opposite Jim Carrey, directed Dean Parisot and produced by Brian Grazer for Imagine Entertainment.
In 2004, Leoni starred in David Duchovny’s writing and directorial debut, House of D, which was released by Lionsgate Films. Her other motion picture credits include James L. Brooks’ Spanglish, opposite Adam Sandler; Daniel Algrant’s People I Know, opposite Al Pacino and Kim Basinger; Woody Allen’s Hollywood Ending, opposite Allen; Universal Pictures’ Jurassic Park III, opposite Sam Neill and William H. Macy; and Deep Impact, opposite Morgan Freeman and Vanessa Redgrave for DreamWorks / Paramount Pictures.
Leoni is also known for her critically acclaimed role in the situation comedy The Naked Truth, which aired on ABC in 1995 and on NBC from 1996 to 1998. In 1996, Leoni was also seen in Miramax’s comedy Flirting With Disaster, co-starring opposite Ben Stiller, Patricia Arquette, Mary Tyler Moore and George Segal. Prior to The Naked Truth, Leoni starred in the FOX comedy series Flying Blind and in The Counterfeit Contessa, an original film for FOX Television.
Born in New York City, Leoni became interested in acting through the influence of her paternal grandmother, a former Broadway actress. Leoni didn’t pursue her craft immediately; instead, she studied anthropology and psychology at Sarah Lawrence College and then took time off from school to travel and live in Tokyo, Italy and St. Croix. Upon her return to New York, she went on her first audition.
Leoni landed one of the coveted roles in Angels ’88, a Charlie’s Angels remake. Having relocated to Los Angeles for the series, Leoni began to study her craft while waiting out her contract. She went on to appear in the feature films Switch and Indian Love Story and had roles in A League of Their Own, Wyatt Earp and the 1995 hit action- comedy Bad Boys.
Following in the footsteps of her grandmother Helenka Adamowska-Pantaleoni, who co-founded the U.S. Committee for UNICEF and served as its president for 25 years, Leoni was appointed a UNICEF ambassador in 2001 and a national board member of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF in 2006. She continues to be an actively involved board member and has traveled to observe UNICEF programs around the globe in countries such as Honduras, Vietnam, Brazil and Ethiopia.