Téa Leoni Biography

Film Actress, Television Actress(1966–)
Téa Leoni is an actress best known for her film roles in 'Bad Boys,' 'Deep Impact,' 'Jurassic Park III,' and 'Fun With Dick and Jane.' She currently stars in CBS' 'Madam Secretary.'

Synopsis

Téa Leoni was born on February 25, 1966 in New York City. After taking on smaller roles in films like Switch (1991) and A League of Their Own (1992), she turned into a major star when she grabbed the lead female role in the blockbuster hit Bad Boys (1995), starring opposite Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. From there, Leoni starred in other major films like Deep Impact (1998), The Family Man (2000), Jurassic Park III (2001), and Fun With Dick and Jane (2005). While no stranger to television roles throughout her career, Leoni made her biggest impact on the small screen in 2014 with her lead role as Dr. Elizabeth McCord on CBS' Madam Secretary. Leoni had a longtime marriage to actor David Duchovny. The couple divorced in 2014.

Early Life & Career

Born Elizabeth Téa Pantaleoni on February 25, 1966, the only child to parents Emily, a nutritionist, and Anthony Pataleoni, a lawyer. She grew up in New York City and Englewood, New Jersey. She attended the private Brearley School, located in the tony Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan and The Putney School in Vermont, before continuing her education at Sarah Lawrence College.  After dropping out of school, she spent time in the Caribbean and Cape Cod, before attending an audition for 1988 television show on a friend's dare. She got the part, but the series never aired. That experience however, lead to the beginning of her career on the small screen in the late '80s, most notably as Lisa DiNapoli in NBC's soap Santa Barbara. Leoni went on to film, appearing in Switch (1991) and A League of Their Own (1992). She would continue working in television before her big movie break in 1995 when she starred as Julie Mott in the film Bad Boys, opposite Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. 

"I grew up in an extremely academic and intellectual atmosphere," she said in a 1996 interview with the NY Times. "So the idea that the power of your intellect could, should and would control the outcome of a situation is a familiar one. That does imply a bit of arrogance. But nothing is more fun than laughing at an arrogant human being having the rug pulled out from under them." - Téa Leoni

Career Highlights

After the success of Bad Boys, Leoni became a major star, taking on lead roles in films like Deep Impact (1998), The Family Man (2000), co-starring Nicholas Cage, Jurassic Park III (2001), Spanglish (2004), and Fun With Dick and Jane (2005), starring opposite Jim Carrey

After appearing in various films and television shows in the late 2000s, Leoni found her stride in television this time, playing Secretary of State Dr. Elizabeth McCord in CBS' political drama Madam Secretary.

Personal Life

Leoni was married to television producer Neil Joseph Tardio, Jr. in 1991. The couple divorced in 1995. 

After an eight-week courtship, Leoni and actor David Duchovny married in 1997. In 2008, the couple separated, with the media attributing their marital issues to Duchovny's sexual addiction. The couple reconciled shortly after but in 2011 separated again and officially divorced in 2014. They have two children together, daughter Madelaine and son Kyd. 

Tea Leoni Photo

Téa Leoni attends the 101st Annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner at the Washington Hilton on April 25, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Leoni is currently dating Madam Secretary co-star Tim Daly.

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