Hometown: New York, New York
Birthday: February 25
Born in New York City, Téa Leoni became interested in acting through the influence of her grandmother, a former Broadway actress nicknamed Sarah Bernhardt because of her melodramatic tendencies. Leoni didn’t pursue her craft immediately; instead, she studied anthropology and psychology at Sarah Lawrence and then took time off from school to travel, living in Tokyo, Italy and St. Croix. Upon her return to New York, she went on her first audition.
She has appeared in many feature films, including “Tower Heist,” “Ghost Town,” “You Kill Me,” “Fun with Dick and Jane,” “Flirting with Disaster,” “Deep Impact,” “The Smell of Success,” “House of D,” “Spanglish,” “People I Know,” “Hollywood Ending,” “Jurassic Park III” and “The Family Man,” among others.
On television, prior to MADAM SECRETARY, Leoni was perhaps best known for her critically acclaimed role in the situation comedy “The Naked Truth,” which aired for three seasons. Also, she starred in the series “Flying Blind.”
Since 2001, Leoni has been a UNICEF ambassador, and since 2006, she has been a national board member of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Leoni is the third generation of her family working with UNICEF. Her grandmother co-founded the U.S. Fund for UNICEF in 1947 and served as its president for 25 years. She has been heavily involved in the organization, and her contributions were recognized in November 2007 when she and her father, Tony Pantaleoni, received the Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award for their dedicated service.
Leoni resides in New York City. Her birthday is Feb. 25. Follow her on Twitter @TeaLeoni.