Jill Susan Eikenberry (born January 21, 1947) is an American film, stage, and television actress. She is known for her role as lawyer Ann Kelsey on the NBC drama L.A. Law (1986–94), for which she is a five-time Emmy Award and four-time Golden Globe Award nominee, winning the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama Series in 1989. She received an Obie Award in 1986 for the Off-Broadway plays Lemon Sky and Life Under Water, and was nominated for a 2011 Drama Desk Award for the Off-Broadway musical The Kid. Her film appearances include Hide in Plain Sight (1980), Arthur (1981) and The Manhattan Project (1986).
Eikenberry in 1998
Jill Susan Eikenberry
January 21, 1947
Yale University (MFA)
Michael Tucker (m. 1973)
Life and career
Eikenberry was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and was raised in Madison, Wisconsin and St. Joseph and Kansas City, Missouri. She began studies in anthropology at Barnard College of Columbia University but in her second year she auditioned for and was accepted into the Yale School of Drama.
She met Michael Tucker at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., where they appeared together in The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail (1970) and Moonchildren (1971), the latter of which transferred to Broadway in 1972. She married Tucker in 1973 and they settled in New York City. She has a son, Max, and a stepdaughter, actress Allison Tucker (by Michael's first marriage).
Her first role in film was a minor role in the television movie, They've Killed President Lincoln (1971). Among her early feature films was Between the Lines (1977), directed by Joan Micklin Silver. She and Michael Tucker had small roles in Lina Wertmüller's 1978 success A Night Full of Rain, and she also appeared in An Unmarried Woman starring Jill Clayburgh the same year.
Throughout the 1970s, Eikenberry's main focus was on theater. She made her Broadway debut in 1974 in All Over Town, and later appeared Off-Broadway in Uncommon Women and Others, which was later filmed for American public television. She also starred in the musical Onward Victoria (1980), which closed on opening night.
The 1980s saw a number of television films to her credit, and a major film success, Dudley Moore's star vehicle Arthur (1981). In 1986, she and Michael Tucker scored a major success by each securing major parts in the successful television series L.A. Law. They were given the roles by producer Steven Bochco, who had been impressed by the pair when he used them for two episodes on his earlier hit Hill Street Blues. Jill and Michael moved to Hollywood at this time, and it was in this period that Jill discovered she had breast cancer, which was successfully treated over the next two years.
The event was significant in her life. In 1989, she co-produced a documentary for NBC television called Destined to Live, which featured interviews with cancer survivors like herself, including Nancy Reagan. She remains an activist for breast cancer research and early detection.
Eikenberry continued to appear in television movies over the next decade, while continuing her role on L.A. Law. With the financial success accruing from their L.A. Law work, Jill and Michael produced a number of television movies as vehicles in which they appeared together. They include Assault and Matrimony (1987), The Secret Life of Archie's Wife (1990), A Town Torn Apart (1992) and Gone in a Heartbeat (1996).
Since L.A. Law's run ended in 1994, her film and television appearances have been sporadic. One of her more recent roles was in the comedy Manna from Heaven (2003), in which she appeared with Cloris Leachman and Shirley Jones.
She has sung on stage and in films, and in recent years, she and her husband have written a number of songs. They currently reside in New York and Umbria.
After meeting artist Emile Norman, Eikenberry and Tucker purchased land from him to become his neighbors in Big Sur, California. Becoming friends with him, they produced a 2008 PBS documentary, Emile Norman: By His Own Design.
Eikenberry was also a guest star Numb3rs in 2008, Law & Order in 2009 and Body of Proof (Episode: "Broken Home") in 2011. She played a role in the comedy film Something Borrowed, which was released in May, 2011.
In March, 2015 Eikenberry co-starred with Tucker in The M Spot, a play written by Tucker and presented at the New Jersey Repertory Company.
|1977||Between the Lines||Lynn|
|1978||A Night Full of Rain|
|1978||An Unmarried Woman||Claire|
|1979||Butch and Sundance: The Early Days||Mary Parker|
|1979||Rich Kids||Juilliard Student|
|1980||Hide in Plain Sight||Alisa Hacklin|
|1986||The Manhattan Project||Elizabeth Stephens|
|1994||On Hope||Woman at Church||Short film|
|2002||Manna from Heaven||Dottie|
|2007||The Happiest Day of His Life||Penny Somerset|
|2007||Suburban Girl||Marlene Eisenberg|
|2011||Something Borrowed||Bridget Thaler|
|2011||Young Adult||Hedda Gary|
|2015||Keep in Touch||Barbara|
|1971||They've Killed President Lincoln!||Anne Surratt||TV film|
|1977||The Deadliest Season||Carole Eskanazi||TV film|
|1977||The Best of Families||Sarah Lathrop||TV miniseries|
|1979||Great Performances||Kate Quin||Episode: "Uncommon Women... and Others"|
|1979||Orphan Train||Emma Symms||TV film|
|1980||Swan Song||Anna||TV film|
|1982||Nurse||Episode: "On the Line"|
|1984||Hill Street Blues||Sarah Fimpel||Episodes: "Mayo, Hold the Pickle", "Watt a Way to Go"|
|1985||Kane & Abel||Susan Lester||TV miniseries|
|1986–1994||L.A. Law||Ann Kelsey||Main role (169 episodes)|
|1987||Assault and Matrimony||Sylvia||TV film|
|1987||Family Sins||Kate Williams||TV film|
|1988||Mickey's 60th Birthday||Mia Loud||TV film|
|1988||ABC Afterschool Special||Clare Foster||Episode: "A Family Again"|
|1988||A Stoning in Fulham County||Susan||TV film|
|1989||My Boyfriend's Back||Debbie McGuire||TV film|
|1989||Cast the First Stone||Diane Martin||TV film|
|1990||The Secret Life of Archie's Wife||Bunny||TV film|
|1991||An Inconvenient Woman||Pauline Mendelson||TV miniseries|
|1991||Living a Lie||Joanne||TV film|
|1992||A Town Torn Apart||Ellen Kreiger||TV film|
|1993||Chantilly Lace||Val||TV film|
|1993||Tracey Ullman Takes on New York||Jessica Stern||TV film|
|1994||Aaahh!!! Real Monsters||Merf / Michelle (voice)||Episode: "Where Have All the Monsters Gone?"|
|1994||Parallel Lives||Lula Sparks||TV film|
|1994||Without Consent||Michelle Mills||TV film|
|1994||Rugged Gold||Martha Martin||TV film|
|1995||The Other Woman||Tessa Bryan||TV film|
|1995||Dare to Love||Alicia Wells||TV film|
|1996||My Very Best Friend||Barbara Wilkins||TV film|
|1996||Gone in a Heartbeat||Jan Hale||TV film|
|1999||Chicken Soup for the Soul||Episode: "No Less a Starfish"|
|1999||Batman Beyond||Carter's Mom (voice)||Episode: "Hidden Agenda"|
|2000||Strong Medicine||Councilwoman Evelyn Barrett||Episode: "Do No Harm"|
|2000||Judging Amy||Sheila Townsend||Episode: "Waterworld"|
|2001||Stop at Nothing||TV film|
|2002||Roughing It||Livy Clemens||TV film|
|2002||L.A. Law: The Movie||Ann Kelsey||TV film|
|2008||Numb3rs||Susan Doran||Episode: "Atomic No. 33"|
|2009||Law & Order||Irene Matson||Episode: "Anchors Away"|
|2011||Body of Proof||Lillian Parkson||Episode: "Broken Home"|
Awards and nominations
|1987||Primetime Emmy||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series||L.A. Law||Nominated|
|1988||Primetime Emmy||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series||L.A. Law||Nominated|
|1988||Golden Globe||Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series – Drama||L.A. Law||Nominated|
|1989||Primetime Emmy||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series||L.A. Law||Nominated|
|1989||Golden Globe||Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series – Drama||L.A. Law||Won|
|1990||Primetime Emmy||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series||L.A. Law||Nominated|
|1990||Golden Globe||Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series – Drama||L.A. Law||Nominated|
|1991||Golden Globe||Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series – Drama||L.A. Law||Nominated|
|1994||Primetime Emmy||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||L.A. Law||Nominated|
- Fowler, Susanne (August 5, 2008). "In Umbria, Living Among the Olive Trees". The New York Times.
- Valerie J. Nelson (Sep 27, 2009). "Emile Norman dies at 91; artist created mosaic window for Masonic temple in San Francisco". The Los Angeles Times.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Jill Eikenberry|
- The Official Website for Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker
- Jill Eikenberry on IMDb
- Jill Eikenberry at the Internet Broadway Database
- Jill Eikenberry at the Internet Off-Broadway Database