Jennifer Mary "Jenna" Elfman (born September 30, 1971) is an American television and film actress. She is known for her role as Dharma on the ABC sitcom Dharma & Greg and as Billie on the short-lived CBS sitcom Accidentally on Purpose.
Elfman was born Jennifer Mary Butala in Los Angeles, the daughter of Sue (née Grace), a homemaker, and Richard Wayne Butala, a Hughes Aircraft executive.She is of Croatian ancestry on her father's side and was raised Roman Catholic.
Elfman appeared as a dancer in the music video for "Halo", a song by Depeche Mode that was included on the band's 1990 video album Strange Too. She also appeared in the video for Chris Isaak's 1995 single "Somebody's Crying".
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Elfman starred in the CBS comedy Accidentally on Purpose. The show was canceled after a single (2009–2010) season.
She appeared in a supporting role in a feature film, Friends with Benefits, starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, released in 2011. Also in 2011, she returned to Two and a Half Men in Season 9 as a guest star, this time reprising her "Dharma" character together with former co-star Thomas Gibson ("Greg").
Elfman will act in the season finale of Shameless on April 1, 2012.
Jenna will be appearing in a recurring role in Season 5 of Damages.
Elfman met her husband, actor Bodhi Elfman, at a Sprite commercial audition in February 1991. They married on February 18, 1995, making director Richard Elfman her father-in-law and noted composer Danny Elfman her uncle-in-law.
On July 23, 2007, Elfman and her husband's first child, a son, Story Elias, was born in Los Angeles. On September 16, 2009, when Elfman announced she was expecting her second child, she suggested that the pregnancy would help with her role in Accidentally on Purpose. On March 2, 2010, their son Easton Quinn Monroe was born.
Elfman visited her high school alma mater, the Los Angeles High School for the Arts (LACHSA) in May 2006 to urge students to set career goals and encourage them to persist in their chosen professions.
In 2005 she appeared at the Scientology-owned Citizens Commission on Human Rights' Psychiatry: An Industry of Death museum grand opening and she and husband Bodhi are listed on the organization's website as members of the board of advisors from the arts, entertainment and media community.
On May 24, 2006, she was the keynote speaker at the Human Rights Hero Award event in participation with the Scientology-affiliated groups Youth for Human Rights International and Artists for Human Rights (AFHR), an organization formed with the purpose of bringing artists together with the common cause of raising awareness of human rights around the world. The event took place in Washington, D.C., and was attended by members of Congress and the general public. Awards were presented to individuals who through their actions have brought about greater human rights.
On March 27, 2008, she and Charlie Sheen co-hosted the Scientology-affiliated New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project Charity Event at Geisha House in Hollywood, California.
In February 2006, Elfman donated an hour of her time to be auctioned to the highest bidder on eBay as part of the "Lunch With A Leader" fundraiser, the proceeds of which benefit the work of Communities In Schools. She participated in the auction in both 2007 and 2008 as well.
Elfman donated her lip print for a limited edition U.S. postage stamp created by Zazzle to celebrate Valentine's Day in both 2007 and 2008. Proceeds for the "Kiss Stamps" went to support the programs of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). In February 2011, Jenna filmed a PSA for The Humane Society of the United States to inspire people to donate to help animals.
As a criminal rehabilitation activist, Elfman has traveled to Washington, D.C., to lobby for criminal reform. On April 5, 2007, she was presented 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 aimed to reduce prisoner recidivism, entitled the Second Chance Act of 2007 .
In September 2008, Elfman joined the Charity Water month-long "September Campaign," asking for donations in lieu of birthday gifts in order to raise money to build freshwater wells in Ethiopia.
On March 2, 2011, Elfman participated in the National Education Association (NEA) Read Across America program by reading to school children in Compton, California in honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday.
Jenna walked the catwalk in The Heart Truth Red Dress Collection 2012 Fashion Show in New York on February 8, 2012 to raise awareness for heart disease. The annual event is headed by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
On March 6, 2012, Elfman hosted Laugh For Sight’s comedy show at The Improv in Los Angeles to benefit the Scheie Eye Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.
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