‘Seinfeld’: Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Sister Made a Cameo in the Hit Sitcom
Julia Louis-Dreyfus can’t stop topping herself. She could have retired and lived comfortably off of her Seinfeld salary, even though it was the role that launched her career.
But she wasn’t done. Louis-Dreyfus is a hit-maker, and she has the Emmys to prove it. The actress and breast cancer survivor actually holds the record for most Emmys won by any actor or actress. She has 11 total, most for work on her latest project, political comedy Veep.
Louis-Dreyfus has won Emmys for both acting and executive producing in the series, but she never forgot where she came from. The Seinfeld actress has shown that she still values family, no matter how famous she’s gotten.
For Julia Louis-Dreyfus, ‘Seinfeld’ was a family affair
It turns out Louis-Dreyfus’ half-sister, Lauren Bowles, appeared in nine episodes as a waitress at the gang’s favorite diner, Monk’s. Even though she was usually only seen in passing, her role was still memorable. In one episode she gave George the middle finger.
Despite the fact that showrunners liked Dreyfus enough to cast her sister as well, Louis-Dreyfus’ character Elaine didn’t appear in the show’s pilot. The character wasn’t originally part of Seinfeld. They had a female lead cast, but the character was going to be a waitress at the diner.
Once the show got picked up, the waitress’s character was dropped and Elaine was written in. That means that Louis-Dreyfus wasn’t in all the episodes of Seinfeld, despite how integral she was to the cast. It turns out, she’s not the only main character who didn’t appear in all the episodes.
Jason Alexander almost quit ‘Seinfeld’
After being written out of an episode in the third season, Jason Alexander, who played George Costanza on the show, threw a fit. He threatened to quit if he was excluded from any more shows, and the producers apparently thought he was important enough to listen. Alexander appeared in all the rest of the episodes of the show.
Throwing a man tantrum is a very George Costanza thing to do. It seems like Alexander may have been made for the part, which is why producers were willing to comply with his demands. But he wasn’t the only one with a pull on the show. Jerry Seinfeld and his crew were able to wrangle some impressive salaries out of the network.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus set records with her ‘Seinfeld’ salary
Jerry Seinfeld was offered somewhere in the range of $110 million dollars for the 10th season of Seinfeld. He didn’t want to do it, and at that point, he didn’t really need the money. So he turned the network down. Louis-Dreyfus and Alexander didn’t make as much per episode as Seinfeld, who raked in an impressive $1 million per show, but they still held the record for the highest-paid actors on television, at least for a little while.
Louis-Dreyfus and Alexander made around $600,000 per episode, which was still higher than anyone else on the air at the time. The Friends crew would take their spot a few years later, after negotiating $1 million per episode for each friend.
Did Julia Louis-Dreyfus and her sister Lauren Bowles appear in anything else together?
Louis-Dreyfus may have made a lot more on Seinfeld than her sister made for her cameos, but Bowles is still an accomplished actress. She had a recurring role in True Blood, acted opposite Ben Stiller in Heartbreak Kid, plus she has a long list of other impressive credits. Most recently she appeared in three episodes of How to Get Away with Murder.
And, she has no shortage of parts on her sister’s shows. Aside from Seinfeld, she appeared in New Adventures of Old Christine, and Veep, both shows her sister starred in.