Tea Leoni was born Elizabeth Téa Pantaleoni IPA: ['teːɑ pantalɛ'oːniː]
in New York City, the daughter of Emily (née Patterson), a dietician and
nutritionist, and Anthony Pantaleoni, a corporate lawyer. Leoni’s mother
is a native of Texas and her father is of Italian and Polish descent.
Leoni’s paternal grandmother, Helen "Helenka" Tradusa Adamowska (1901 -
1987), was a film and stage actress who was a sister of Józef and
Tymoteusz Adamowski, who with Józef's wife Antonina Szumowksa were the
Adamowski Trio. Leoni's paternal great-grandfather was the brother of
Italian economist and politician Maffeo Pantaleoni.
Tea Leoni attended Brearley School and The Putney School. She attended but did not complete studies at Sarah Lawrence College. She went on to star in a number of TV series and movies, starting as “Lisa DiNapoli” on Santa Barbara in 1989. She starred in the 1995 box-office hit, Bad Boys, along with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. She had an important role in the commercially successful movie Deep Impact, in which her character breaks the story of a comet that is going to hit Earth. She also starred in Woody Allen’s movie Hollywood Ending, with Allen and Mark Rydell. In 2004, she starred in Spanglish with Adam Sandler, Cloris Leachman, and Paz Vega.
In 1992, Leoni landed the starring role in Fox’s Flying Blind, a short-lived sitcom. In 1995, Leoni landed the lead role in the television sitcom The Naked Truth, playing Nora Wilde, a tabloid news journalist. The show was a minor hit and was cancelled in 1998. Another film role followed in 2000, playing the lead alongside Nicolas Cage in The Family Man. In 2001, she starred with Sam Neill and William H. Macy in the blockbuster, Jurassic Park III, the third installment of the Jurassic Park franchise. The film was a major box office hit and is one of her most notable roles.
Tea Leoni states in the October 27, 2006, issue of Life magazine that she became a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF partially because her paternal grandmother was the president of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF for 25 years.
Tea Leoni married her first husband, Neil Joseph Tardio, Jr., a television producer, on June 8, 1991, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Hope, New Jersey. The couple divorced in 1995. She married her second husband, actor David Duchovny, on May 6, 1997, after a nine-week courtship. Their first child, daughter Madelaine West Duchovny, was born on April 24, 1999, in Southern California, and their second, son Kyd Miller Duchovny, was born on June 15, 2002, in Los Angeles, California. The family lives in Malibu, California.
This Tea Leoni Biography Page is Copyright © 2004 - 2009 Chuck Ayoub