written by Brumbaugh in 1999
Jane Leeves was born on April 18 1962 in London. However, Jane grew up in the sleepy town of East Grinstead, Sussex (about 30 miles from London). Like so many great actresses, the seed of Jane's success was sewn at an early age. "I knew from the age of five that I wanted to be an actor."
In her teenage years, Jane modelled and was a very keen dancer, until a knee injury in 1981 forced her to pursue her acting talents and partake in less strenuous dancing. This led to a handful of non-speaking roles, most notably in the 1984 production 'Monty Python's Meaning of Life'.
Later that year, Jane realised that America would present more career opportunities than Britain, and she left for the hustle and bustle of LA. Leeves says of the time she decided to leave; "I let my apartment in London go and I sold everything. I literally had $1000 and a suitcase when I got on the plane." Jane continues: "The next day I enrolled in my first acting class. We had some great people, Jim Carrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Molly Ringwald. It was very inspirational."
Fame and fortune didn't come easy to Jane, despite her first film role in 'To Live And Die in LA' (1985). "I was a professional babysitter and I packed nail gems for a few dollars an hour. I did the whole struggling actor thing. It was horrible for two years but I met some wonderful people who became great friends."
Jane's first major acting role came in 1986 alongside Diana Canova in the syndicated sitcom 'Throb'. Although the show itself wasn't a success, it was clear Leeves was a star in the making. After 'Throb' finished it's run in 1988, for the next few years Jane made several guest appearances in TV comedies, including playing Miles' girlfriend Audrey in the hit CBS show, 'Murphy Brown'. Notoriety was acheived as recently as 1992, when Leeves appeared in "The Contest", a controversial episode of NBC's 'Seinfeld'.
Ms.Leeves big break came in 1993, when she was cast as Daphne Moon, the warm-hearted English healthcare worker in the 'Cheers' spin off 'Frasier'. The show was an immediate hit in the US, and American audiences warmed to the sweet, if a little eccentric, character of Daphne.
When 'Frasier' aired in the UK, it met with widespread acclaim among critics and viewers alike. However, many British people who watched the show were quick to mock Leeves' obviously faked Mancunian accent. Co-star John Mahoney (Martin Crane) explains: "When they cast Jane in the role of Daphne, they had no idea what someone from Manchester sounded like. Jane has more of, what I call a posh accent." Leeves quickly adapted into her role, whilst the sub-plot of the Niles-Daphne 'relationship' was becoming an intriguing part of this brilliant comedy.
Going into her second year on Frasier, Jane encountered a minor health scare. Doctors located a tumour on her thyroid, which was removed swiftly enough to prevent any serious harm. "The most scary thing was the scar", remarked Jane. Happily, the second season of Frasier was a triumphant one for Leeves when she picked up the 'Viewers For Quality Television Quality Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy'.
1996 was another remarkable year for Jane, both professionally and personally. As well as more 'Frasier', she also provided voice talent on Disney's 'James And The Giant Peach' alongside Joanna Lumley and Pete Poslethwaite. Jane also got married that year to Paramount TV executive Marshall Coben in Kent, England.
Jane recently set up a production company called Bristol Cities (cockney rhyming slang for titties :-) ) with her friend and co-star in 'Frasier', Peri Gilpin (Roz Doyle). Jane claims this venture is not a "vanity project".
Jane currently lives with her husband and cat Matilda in LA. Some five years on since the first episode of 'Frasier', the divine Ms.Leeves has become one of the most admired comedy actresses in not only the States, but across the world. This respect was finally recognized, when Jane was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in this year's Emmys.
Jane has recently been cast in Wes Craven's new film '50 Violins'. She plays the wife of a music teacher, who tries to persuade her husband to invest in a school project (I think..). The film is due to open worldwide, this year. Jane has also set to improve her profile in Britain by being photographed in various raunchy poses for 'lads mag' FHM.