Lauren Holly is a Canadian actress best known for her roles in NCIS, Picket Fences, Dumb and Dumber, and What Women Want.
She was born in Bristol, Pennsylvania, on October 28th, 1963.
Lauren’s mother, Michael Ann Holy, is an art historian for the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute and a former professor at Hobart and William Smith College.
Her father, Grant Holly, is a screenwriter and professor of literature at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Lauren Holly’s younger brothers, Nick and Alexander Innes Holly, were raised with her in Geneva, New York. Alexander Innes passed away in 1992. Nick Holly has worked as a writer, producer, and director.
She graduated from Geneva High School (Class of 1981), where she was a cheerleader. She earned an undergraduate degree in English from Sarah Lawrence College in New York in 1985.
She earned her Canadian citizenship in 2008 and currently holds dual US/Canadian citizenship.
Lauren Holly’s acting career began at 20 with her first credited role in the romantic comedy Seven Minutes in Heaven (1986).
The film, directed by Linda Feferman, starred Jennifer Connelly, Byron Thames, and Maddie Corman. Lauren Holly had a small role as “Lisa.”
That same year she would appear in the film Band of the Hand and the television series Spenser: For Hire for a single episode.
In 1990 she would appear in the TV movie Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again, which predated the series Riverdale by nearly two decades in bringing the iconic characters to live-action.
Lauren Holly would play Betty Cooper, one of the famous members of the Archie love triangle.
By 1991 she would appear in 9 episodes of The Antagonists as Kate Ward, in a leading role. The Antagonists was a legal drama. By 1992, however, she would begin landing more significant and iconic roles.
In 1992, Lauren Holly would be cast in CBS’s Picket Fences. She played the character of Maxine Stewart, opposite Tom Skerritt, and would appear in 88 of the 89 episodes from 1992-1996.
That same year Holly began work on Picket Fences she would be cast as Linda Lee in the fictionalized biopic Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story about the legendary martial arts actor.
Lauren Holly would play opposite Jason Scott Lee, who played the icon. That movie would release in 1993.
Dumb and Dumber
In 1994 she would land one of her most iconic roles in the Jim Carrey comedy Dumb and Dumber. Lauren Holly would play the character of Mary Swanson, the object of affection for Jim Carrey’s Lloyd, who travels with his friend Harry (Jeff Daniels) to find her.
The film, directed by the Farrelly Brothers, Bobby and Peter, would become a cult film and solidified the careers of many involved with the movie.
Following that, she appeared in the film Sabrina in 1995, playing a doctor. Since then, her career has proven expansive, with over 100 credited roles to her name, including appearances on series such as All My Children, NCIS, and Chicago Hope.
In 2000 she would appear in the romantic comedy What Women Want as Gigi, alongside Mel Gibson, Helen Hunt, and Marisa Tomei.
What is Lauren Holly doing now?
Lauren Holly is still quite busy in the film and television industry. In 2019 she joined the cast of Designated Survivor as Lynn Harper for nine episodes.
Most recently, she was cast in the TV series Family Law, playing Joanne Kowalski, in which she has made 22 appearances from 2021 to 2022.
In the show, Holly plays the ex-wife of Harry Svensson, played by actor Victor Garber. Lauren appears in tthe show alongside Jewel Staite. In 2020 she was a series lead for Tiny Pretty Things on Netflix.
She also came out as someone with accusations against former Miramax producer Harvey Weinstein, who was convicted of multiple charges in March 2020.
Lauren Holly’s story is disturbing but an illuminating one of the type of abuses of Weinstein and other predatory men
In 1992, Lauren Holly, her father Grant, and members of both families would establish the “A’ Fund at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in memory of her brother, Alexander. She still appears to help manage that fund to this day.
Lauren Holly has been married three times and is currently divorced. Her first marriage was to Danny Quinn from 1991 to 1993. Danny Quinn is an actor best known as actor Anthony Quinn’s son.
Her second marriage was to Jim Carrey from September 1996 to July 1997. Holly and Carrey met during auditions for Ace Ventura: Pet Detective but would develop a relationship while on the set of Dumb and Dumber.
Their marriage lasted for less than one year. For a time, she would have been considered the stepmother of Carrey’s daughter, Jane Carrey.
Her most recent marriage was to Francis Greco from 2001 to 2004. Francis Greco is a Canadian-born investment banker, and she applied for Canadian citizenship during this marriage. The two would also adopt three children.
Their names are Alexander Joseph, George, and Henry. She has been said to call her sons “the three kings.” She currently lives with them in Oakville, Ontario.