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Téa Leoni

Téa Leoni
Leoni in 2007
Born Elizabeth Téa Pantaleoni
(1966-02-25) February 25, 1966
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1989–present
Spouse(s) Neil Joseph Tardio Jr. (m. 1991–95)
David Duchovny (m. 1997–2014)
Children 2

Elizabeth Téa Pantaleoni (; born February 25, 1966),[1] better known by her stage name Téa Leoni, is an American actress and producer.

In her early career, Leoni starred in the television sitcoms Flying Blind (1992–93) and The Naked Truth (1995–98). Her breakthrough role was in the 1995 action comedy film, Bad Boys. In later years, Leoni had the female lead roles in box office hits including Deep Impact (1998), The Family Man (2000), Jurassic Park III (2001), Fun with Dick and Jane (2005), and Tower Heist (2011) with Ben Stiller. In 2014, Leoni returned to television with the leading role in the CBS political drama series, Madam Secretary.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Personal life 3
    • Humanitarian work 3.1
  • Filmography 4
    • Film 4.1
    • Television 4.2
  • Awards and nominations 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Leoni was born in New York City.[1] Her mother, Emily Patterson,[2] was a dietician and nutritionist, and her father, Anthony Pantaleoni, was a corporate lawyer with the firm Fulbright & Jaworski.[1][3] Leoni's paternal grandfather was of Italian and English descent; he was a nephew of Italian economist and politician Maffeo Pantaleoni.[4][5][6] Leoni's paternal grandmother, Polish-American Helenka Adamowska Pantaleoni, a film and stage actress, was the daughter of musicians Józef Adamowski and Antonina Szumowska-Adamowska.[4][7] Leoni's mother is a native of Texas, and was the niece of actor Hank Patterson.[8] Leoni grew up in Englewood, New Jersey and New York City, and attended two private schools, Brearley School and The Putney School in Vermont.[9] She attended but did not complete studies at Sarah Lawrence College.[9]


In 1988, Leoni was cast as one of the stars of Angels 88, an updated version of the 1970s show Charlie's Angels.[10] After production delays, the show never aired. The following year, Leoni was cast as Lisa DiNapoli in the NBC daytime soap opera, Santa Barbara. In 1991, she made her film debut with a small role in a comedy Switch, and later played another small part in A League of Their Own (1992).

From 1992 to 1993, Leoni starred with Corey Parker in the short-lived Fox sitcom, Flying Blind. In February 1995, she appeared in the sitcom Frasier as the fiancée of Sam Malone (Ted Danson) in a spinoff from Cheers, from which Frasier had spun off. Later in that year, Leoni landed the lead role in the ABC/NBC sitcom The Naked Truth, playing Nora Wilde, a tabloid news journalist. The show ran through 1998. Leoni had the female lead role in the 1995 action comedy film, Bad Boys. The movie was a box office success, grossing over $141 million worldwide.[11]

After leaving television, in 1998, Leoni had the leading role in Deep Impact, a big-budget disaster film about a comet menacing Earth. The film received mixed reviews from critics, but was a success at the box office, grossing $349 million worldwide.[12] She later had main roles in two other big budget movies: romantic comedy The Family Man (2000) co-starring alongside Nicolas Cage, and science fiction film Jurassic Park III (2001) as William H. Macy's character's ex-wife. In 2002, she starred as a film studio executive in Hollywood Ending, directed by Woody Allen, and had a supporting role in the box office bomb crime drama People I Know. In 2004, she appeared as the wife of Adam Sandler's character in the financially unsuccessful comedy-drama Spanglish. In 2005, Leoni starred alongside Jim Carrey in the comedy film Fun with Dick and Jane. The movie was her final success as lead actress at the box office, grossing $202 million worldwide.[13]

Leoni co-starred in a number of small films in the late 2000s, including You Kill Me and The Smell of Success. She co-starred opposite Ricky Gervais in the 2008 supernatural comedy-drama Ghost Town. In 2011, she had a supporting role in the heist comedy film, Tower Heist. In 2011, she was also cast alongside Hope Davis as leads in the HBO comedy pilot, Spring/Fall; however, the pilot was not picked up.[14] In 2014, she returned to broadcast television with the leading role in the CBS political drama series, Madam Secretary.[15]

Personal life

Leoni married Neil Joseph Tardio, Jr., a television commercial producer, on June 8, 1991, at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Hope, New Jersey.[16] They divorced in 1995.

Leoni married actor David Duchovny on May 13, 1997 after an eight-week courtship.[17][18] They have two children.[19][20] On October 15, 2008, Leoni and Duchovny confirmed that they had been separated "for several months". The media attributed the separation to Duchovny's much publicized sexual addiction. The couple publicly reconciled and were seen frequently together as a family.[21]

On June 29, 2011, CNN reported that Leoni and Duchovny had again split.[22] In 2012, Duchovny stated that he was still married but separated.[23] Their divorce was finalized in summer 2014.[24]

Leoni has been dating her Madam Secretary co-star Tim Daly since December 2014.[25]

Humanitarian work

Leoni stated in the October 27, 2006 issue of Life magazine that she became a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF partially because Helenka Pantaleoni, her paternal grandmother, was the president of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF for 25 years.[26]



Year Title Role Notes
1991 Switch Connie the Dream Girl
1992 League of Their Own, AA League of Their Own Racine 1st Base
1994 Counterfeit Contessa, TheThe Counterfeit Contessa[27] Gina Leonarda Nardino Television film
1994 Wyatt Earp Sally
1995 Bad Boys Julie Mott
1996 Flirting with Disaster Tina Kalb
1998 Deep Impact Jenny Lerner
1998 There's No Fish Food in Heaven[28] Landeene Also executive producer
2000 Family Man, TheThe Family Man Kate Reynolds
2001 Jurassic Park III Amanda Kirby
2002 People I Know Jilli Hopper
2002 Hollywood Ending Ellie
2004 House of D Mrs. Warshaw
2004 Spanglish Deborah Clasky
2005 Fun with Dick and Jane Jane Harper
2007 You Kill Me Laurel Pearson Also executive producer
2008 Ghost Town Gwen
2009 The Smell of Success Rosemary Rose
2011 Tower Heist Special Agent Claire Denham


Year Title Role Notes
1989 Santa Barbara Lisa DiNapoli 6 episodes
1992–1993 Flying Blind Alicia 22 episodes
1995 Frasier Sheila Episode: "The Show Where Sam Shows Up"
1995–1998 Naked Truth, TheThe Naked Truth Nora Wilde 55 episodes
2000 X-Files, TheThe X-Files Herself Episode: "Hollywood A.D."
2011 Spring/Fall Margo Unsold TV pilot
2014–present Madam Secretary Elizabeth McCord 25 episodes

Awards and nominations

Year Nominated work Award Category Result
1998 Deep Impact Blockbuster Entertainment Awards Favorite Actress – Sci-Fi Nominated
2000 The Family Man Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Actress Won
2006 Herself TV Land Awards Little Screen/Big Screen Star – Female Nominated
2007 You Kill Me Alliance of Women Film Journalists Awards EDA Special Mention – Most Egregious Age Difference Between Leading Man and Love Interest (with Ben Kingsley) Nominated
2014 Madam Secretary People's Choice Awards Favorite Actress in a New TV Series Nominated


  1. ^ a b c "Tea Leoniprofile at". 
  2. ^ "Téa Leoni". Yahoo! Movies Canada. Retrieved October 20, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Anthony Pantaleoni profile at". Retrieved August 14, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b LoSchiavo, LindAnn (June 2005). "Take Téa". L'idea Magazine. Retrieved October 21, 2010. 
  5. ^ Matheou, Demetrios (July 17, 2001). "It's Téa time for T-Rex". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved August 20, 2011. 
  6. ^ Mitchell, Sean (April 28, 2002). "A Habit of Lying Taught Téa Leoni the Truth of Acting".  
  7. ^ Helenka A. Pantaleoni (obituary), The New York Times, January 7, 1987
  8. ^ GertieBeth. "The Articles – Elle Magazine". Leoni Online. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Diamond, Jamie (April 21, 1996). "UP AND COMING: Tea Leoni;Playing Golf, Wearing Pearls, Taking Pratfalls".  
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Bad Boys (1995) – Box Office Mojo".  
  12. ^ "Deep Impact (1998) – Box Office Mojo".  
  13. ^ "Fun with Dick and Jane (2005) – Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 20, 2014. 
  14. ^ Spring/Fall' Not Going Forward At HBO"'".  
  15. ^ "CBS Picks Up "Madam Secretary" With Bebe Neuwirth and Patina Miller".  
  16. ^ "Miss Pantaleoni, Actress, Marries", The New York Times, June 9, 1991.
  17. ^ Gliatto, Tom (May 19, 1997). "Altared State: David Duchovny and Téa Leoni Tie the Knot".  
  18. ^ "David Duchovny and Tea Leoni – Separated".  
  19. ^ "Duchovnys: Baby Makes 3".  
  20. ^ Silverman, Stephen M. (June 18, 2002). "Leoni, Duchovny: And Baby Makes Four".  
  21. ^ "David Duchovny & Tea Leoni Reconcile".  
  22. ^ "Tea Leoni and David Duchovny split" June 29, 2011, CNN
  23. ^ David Duchovny talks about Californication and Marilyn Manson,; retrieved March 23, 2014.
  24. ^ Leon, Anya (August 9, 2014). "David Duchovny and Téa Leoni Are Divorcing".   News of Duchovny's divorce with Leoni was heard on August 9, 2014, the date that has been presumed to be their divorce finalization. According to the article, TMZ claimed that their divorce was filed on June 2014. Neither date was rebutted or verified by other sources.
  25. ^ "Téa Leoni, Tim Daly Make Their Red Carpet Debut At White House Correspondents' Dinner". Huffington Post. April 27, 2015. Retrieved May 22, 2015. 
  26. ^ Schillaci, Sophie (June 29, 2011). "Tea Leoni: 5 Things About the Newly Single Actress".  
  27. ^ Hiltbrand, David (April 4, 1994). "Picks and Pans Review: The Counterfeit Contessa". People magazine 41 (12).  
  28. ^ "There's No Fish Food in Heaven (1998)". The New York Times. Retrieved October 8, 2011. 

External links

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