Who is Elizabeth Berkley?
Elizabeth Berkley is an American actress best known for her role in the sitcom ‘Saved by the Bell.’ She initially worked as a model before she made her acting debut with a role in the TV film 'Frog'. She later gained recognition for her work in the TV series 'Saved by the Bell'. The series gained popularity because of its focus on issues such as drug use, women's rights, homelessness, and environmental issues. AOL TV named the show one of the "20 Best School Shows of all Time". Her first work on the big screen was her role in the film 'Molly & Gina'. Her popularity increased after she appeared in the film 'Showgirls'. The film didn't do too well commercially; however, it eventually went on to receive a cult status. She also played an important role in the comedy film 'The First Wives Club'. The film was a huge commercial success. It also received an Oscar nomination. Apart from her work in films, Berkley is an animal rights activist as well. She has been involved with PETA, encouraging people to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle.
Childhood & Early Life
Elizabeth Berkley Lauren was born on 28th July 1972 in Farmington Hills in Oakland County, Michigan, in the US to parents Jere and Fred Berkley. She was born with a condition named heterochromia, which is caused by the lack of or excess of melanin. Because of this condition, her right eye is half green and half brown, while her left eye is totally green.
From an early age, she started dancing. She had also unsuccessfully auditioned for the lead role in the 1982 film 'Annie'. She later went to New York to train in dancing. Over the next few years, she took part in ballets and also appeared in musicals.
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Elizabeth Berkley initially started her career as a model. Soon she made her acting debut with a role in the TV film 'Frog'. Over the next two years, she played guest roles in several TV shows. She then started playing a main role in the TV show 'Saved by the Bell' which aired from 1989 to 1993.
She then went on to play guest roles in numerous TV series, such as 'Life Goes On', 'Step by Step', 'Baywatch', and 'Diagnosis: Murder'. Her popularity reached new heights after she played the lead role in 'Showgirls', a 1995 erotic drama film. Though it was a commercial failure, it gained huge popularity over the years, eventually gaining a cult status.
In the year 1996, she did a voice role in an anime film 'Armitage III: Poly-Matrix'. She was next seen in the film 'The First Wives Club'. It was directed by Hugh Wilson. The film was commercially successful and grossed six times its budget. It received mixed reviews.
She then played an important role in the film 'The Real Blonde' (1997), after which she was seen in the lead role in the film 'Random Encounter' (1998). Other films she appeared in over the next few years include 'Taxman' (1999), 'Any Given Sunday' (1999), 'The Shipment' (2001), and 'Roger Dodger' (2002).
Other than for a few guest roles on TV, she was inactive for a few years. From 2008 to 2009, she played a role in the popular TV series 'CSI: Miami'. She returned to the big screen with a role in the comedy film 'Women in Trouble' in 2009. She was then seen in the psychological sci-fi horror film 'S. Darko' which released the same year. The film didn't do very well commercially and was heavily criticized as well.
In 2011, she was seen in the TV movie 'Lucky Christmas'. More recently, she took part in the popular show 'Dancing with the Stars' in 2013.
‘Saved by the Bell' a comedy TV series which aired from 1989 to 1993, is one of the most important works of Elizabeth Berkley's career. The series gained popularity because of its stance on several social issues, such as drug use, women's rights, and environmental issues. With Berkley playing one of the main roles, the series also starred Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Lark Voorhies, Dustin Diamond, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen and Mario Lopez.
She earned a lot of popularity for her performance in the erotic drama film 'Showgirls'. Directed by Paul Verhoeven, the film starred Elizabeth Berkley, Kyle MacLachlan, Glenn Plummer, Robert Davi and Gina Gershon. The film earned negative reviews from critics and also failed commercially. However, it eventually gained a cult status.
Berkley became popular for her role in the police procedural drama series 'CSI: Miami'. The show was a tremendous hit not just in the United States but also on an international level. The main actors of the series included David Caruso, Emily Procter, Adam Rodriguez, Khandi Alexander and Rory Cochrane. The show earned positive reviews from critics and also won many accolades.
Awards & Achievements
Along with the rest of the cast, Elizabeth Berkley won the 'National Board of Review Award' for Best Cast in 1996 for the film 'The First Wives Club.'
Elizabeth Berkley married actor and painter Greg Lauren in November 2003. They have a son who was born in 2012.
She is an animal rights activist and is known for her work with PETA to promote vegetarianism.