Jill Eikenberry Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Jill Eikenberry      

Actress Best Known For Her Role on "LA Law"; Breast Cancer Survivor

An accomplished actress with a string of theater and feature film credits, Jill Eikenberry played activist counselor Ann Kelsey in NBC-TV's hit series, L.A. Law. Jill's outstanding portrayal of Ann Kelsey has earned her four Emmy nominations, two Golden Globe nominations and a Golden Globe Award.

Jill studied anthropology at Barnard College in New York for two years before a friend persuaded her to audition for Yale Drama School. She was accepted into the three-year program, and suddenly found herself on the road to becoming an actress. Jill left Yale in 1970 to perform at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. It was there that she met her future husband, Michael Tucker.

Jill has had an extensive theater career, including roles in Beggars' Opera, All Over Town, Summer Brave, Uncommon Women (on which she later worked with Meryl Streep in the PBS version of the same play), The Eccentricities of a Nightingale, Watch on the Rhine, Onward Victoria and Lanford Wilson's Lemon Sky, in which her outstanding performance was recognized with an Obie Award.

Jill made her feature film debut in 1976 in Joan Micklin Silver's Between the Lines, an independent film which starred John Heard, Jeff Goldblum and Lindsay Krouse and then went on to do Rich Kids with John Lithgow, Butch and Sundance: The Early Days, with Tom Berenger for 20th Century Fox and MGM's Hide in Plain Sight opposite James Caan.

In 1979 having tackled theater and film, Jill turned to television, starring first in ABC-TV's Swansong with David Soul and then in "Orphan Train" for CBS-TV. That was followed by a part in Orion Pictures' hit comedy "Arthur" in which she played Dudley Moore's jilted fiancee, Susan.

In the spring of 1984, Jill and Michael performed together in a string of one-act plays for the Ensemble Studio Theater in New York. That summer, their long-time friend, Steven Bochko cast them in a two-part episode of NBC-TV's "Hill Street Blues" playing a victimized couple. This on-screen pairing was the germ of the idea for "L.A. Law".

The following year, Jill appeared in the CBS-TV mini-series "Kane and Abel" followed by "The Manhattan Project" with John Lithgow, for 20th Century Fox.

During her first hiatus from "L.A. Law", Jill starred in two TV movies: "Family Sins" and "Assault and Matrimony" in which she starred opposite her husband. She later starred in several other TV movies including "A Family Again", "A Stoning in Fulham County", "My Boyfriends Back" and "Cast the First Stone". Jill also starred with her husband, Michael Tucker, in "Archie's Wife" in which their daughter, Allison, played Jill's daughter in the movie. Other joint projects for Jill and Michael include "Love Letters" on stage in New York and Los Angeles, and the TV movie "A Town Torn Apart". Jill also starred in ABC's 4-hour mini-series of Dominick Dunne's "An Inconvenient Woman" and in NBC's TV movie, "Ties That Bind" with Peter Coyote.

Most recently, Jill starred in Linda Yellen's improvisational film, "Chantilly Lace", filmed under the auspices of the Sundance Festival which aired on Showtime. She has also signed on for the sequel, "Parallel Lives", also for Showtime.

Jill also co-produced and hosted "Destined to Live," a one-hour documentary for NBC-TV, which dealt with the emotional aspects of breast cancer, from diagnosis to recovery. Jill herself had battled the disease in 1986 and was aware of the importance of letting other women know that they were not alone and could recover and lead full and normal lives. Continuing to work in that area, Jill and Michael are the official spokespersons for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, a national organization dedicated to the advancement of breast cancer education, research and treatment.

Jill and Michael currently live in Brentwood, California, with their eleven-year old son, Max. Her new passion is composing songs with Michael. She writes the music, He writes the lyrics. Their latest song will be featured in "Parallel Lives". Although Jill loves working in films and television, her first love is the stage and she hopes to always return to it.

Related Speakers View all


More like Jill