What You Never Knew About Lauren Holly

As an actor, Lauren Holly has enjoyed a long and successful career that has spanned five decades (so far) and included some of Hollywood's top films and television series. As her IMDb credits indicate, some of Holly's greatest on-screen hits, as it were, include such movies as "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story," the classic Jim Carrey-Jeff Daniels comedy "Dumb and Dumber," and the Ted Demme-directed "Beautiful Girls."

On the small screen, Holly's credits are even more extensive, including the critically-acclaimed 1990s series "Picket Fences," the medical drama "Chicago Hope," the police drama "NCIS," and the procedural "howdunit" crime drama "Motive." More recently, she's had recurring roles in Hallmark's "Hailey Dean Mysteries" movie series, the Kiefer Sutherland-starring political drama "Designated Survivor," the Netflix ballet drama "Tiny Pretty Things," and the Canadian legal drama "Family Law."

Given her quite extensive resume, it's not a question of whether viewers are familiar with her wide-ranging body of work, but rather how familiar they are with it. Read on to discover what you never knew about Lauren Holly and learn more.

Lauren Holly got her start on a beloved daytime soap

According to Lauren Holly's extensive list of screen credits on IMDb, one of her earliest roles was playing Julie Chandler on the beloved daytime soap opera "All My Children" — which starred soap opera great Susan Lucci, along with morning show host Kelly Ripa, who, like Holly, is one of the many stars who got their start on soaps.

Discussing her soap experience with Smashing Interviews Magazine, Holly concurred with her interviewer's statement that working on a daytime drama is one of the "toughest" acting gigs there is. "It was one of those things with a huge learning curve for me," said Holly of her three-year stint on the show. "I always say if directors want a hard-working actor, they should take them off of soaps because that is a daily grind."

Interestingly enough, Holly was already well-acquainted with "All My Children" before being cast, largely because her father, a college professor, was a huge fan. "He noticed his students would not schedule office hours to talk to him during the time 'All My Children' was on," she explained to the magazine, noting that her dad decided to watch an episode to "see what all the fuss was about" and became hooked. "Then," she added, "I got on the show, and that was that for him."

Her marriage to Jim Carrey lasted less than a year

These days, Lauren Holly is best known for her film and television roles, but there was a time when she was recognized primarily as the girlfriend of comedy superstar Jim Carrey and, eventually, as his second wife. The relationship was controversial from the start, with Carrey's first wife, Melissa, blaming Holly for the end of their marriage, something Holly denied. "They kept calling me a homewrecker," she told Rolling Stone. "I feel for Melissa, but they were completely apart when Jim and I met." 

Unfortunately, their marriage proved to be short-lived. As Deseret News reported in 1997, Holly filed for divorce just 10 months after they got married. Publicists for the exes confirmed the split, issuing identical statements that read, "They wish only the best for one another."

Looking back in an interview with OWN's "Where Are They Now?" Holly remembered those years as being "a great sort of ride that I went on." However, when the relationship ended, she confessed how hard those years had been because of how public their relationship was. "I felt like everybody knew," she said. "I felt like they felt sorry for me or something."

She once had a 'crazy' paparazzi problem

During the years that Lauren Holly and Jim Carrey were a couple, his career exploded, with the hilarious actor racking up a string of box-office blockbusters that made him Hollywood's hottest comedy superstar. 

As a result, the couple regularly found themselves besieged by paparazzi who descended on the couple like starving vultures whenever they stepped out in public. "That was really when that paparazzi culture sort of came about," Holly explained in an interview with OWN's "Where Are They Now?" As she recalled, the insanity had reached its peak when she and Carrey "realized there were some paparazzi who were living in our yard, underneath the tennis court, in order to get pictures of us inside the house. It was crazy." 

Recalling the media feeding frenzy to Canadian talk show "George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight," Holly admitted being the subject of all that attention was initially "kind of fun" until it wasn't. "Then our whole life came about, 'We have to keep [the paparazzi] out,' because they would do things like scale the fence at our house... or go through our garbage and put in the magazine what was in our garbage."

Lauren Holly appeared in a controversial music video alongside Jane Krakowski

In 2000, The Chicks (then known as The Dixie Chicks) released the single "Goodbye Earl." The song tells the empowering-yet-felonious story of a battered woman who enlists the help of her lifelong best friend to murder her abusive boyfriend and then dispose of the body so it will never be found. The song came with an accompanying music video, featuring a star-studded cast, which included Dennis Franz of "NYPD Blue" as the titular Earl, along with future "30 Rock" star Jane Krakowski as Earl's girlfriend, Wanda, and Lauren Holly as Wanda's BFF, Mary Ann.

Both the song and video stirred up controversy, with The Purdue Exponent noting at the time that some radio stations refused to play "Goodbye Earl," while pointing out it probably didn't help that the CD liner notes contained the glib disclaimer, "The Dixie Chicks do not advocate premeditated murder but love getting even."

As is often the case, the controversy surrounding "Goodbye Earl" only increased the popularity of both the song and video. In fact, the video wound up winning Video of the Year at the 2001 ACM Awards.

She's opened up about her frightening encounter with Harvey Weinstein

In 2017, Lauren Holly revealed herself to be one of the many female actors to have been sexually harassed by disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, currently behind bars serving a 23-year sentence on charges of rape and sexual assault. During an appearance on Canadian TV's "The Social" (via Variety), Holly detailed what took place when she met Weinstein in his hotel suite to discuss a film project.

The meeting, she recalled, started off as "absolutely professional" but went off the rails when Weinstein dropped his trousers, put on a robe, and began going about his business in the bathroom, including taking a shower — all while continuing to talk about the film. "My head is going crazy at this point. He's acting like the situation is normal. He's acting like we're having a normal encounter," she said. "I didn't quite know how to handle myself at that moment," Holly admitted.

Things became even weirder when Weinstein exited the shower, stark naked, and walked toward Holly requesting a massage. "I wanted to flee, I was scared," Holly recalled. Ignoring his threats that leaving would be a "bad decision," she "pushed him and ran."

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

She has a theory about her 'very dead' NCIS character

Of all the roles Lauren Holly has played in film and on television, one that continues to register with viewers is that of NCIS Director Jenny Shepherd from the mega-hit CBS procedural drama  "NCIS." Holly exited the show after just three seasons, writing in a since-deleted blog post that she'd grown "bored" with the job and resigned. Her character was ultimately killed off at the end of the fifth season.

As Holly pointed out in an interview with the Ottawa Citizen, the show's writers piled multiple deadly scenarios atop of poor Shepherd, who was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor (something she'd been hiding from the rest of the NCIS team), only to be shot dead in a hail of gunfire. "They killed me about five ways!" said Holly, hinting that "NCIS" producers made her character's demise extra-brutal because of their displeasure with her decision to quit. "When I told them I wanted to leave, I'm not sure they took it too kindly," Holly quipped. "They gave me a disease, they burned down my house and shot me multiple times in a shootout. So I am very dead."

The star apparently has a thing for Canadian guys

Lauren Holly has been married three times, and two of those unions have been with Canadian men. An ABC News report referenced her first marriage to actor Danny Quinn, son of legendary Hollywood star Anthony Quinn. They divorced in 1994 after just three years of marriage, while he later confessed he'd been abusive throughout their marriage.

Shortly after, she fell in love with Ontario-born, comedic superstar Jim Carrey while filming their comedy "Dumb and Dumber" in 1994. They wed in 1996 and divorced after just 10 months of marriage.

In 2001, Holly announced her engagement to Francis Greco, a Canadian investment banker. As The Canadian Press reported (via The Hamilton Spectator), the couple married later that year and relocated to Canada in 2008, with Holly becoming a Canadian citizen. Sadly, that marriage also ended, with the couple divorcing in 2014. Speaking with Closer Weekly in 2019, Holly was asked if she thought about getting married a fourth time. "Not really," she admitted. "To be honest, I don't need it. Not to say I wouldn't have a companion, because that would be a good thing."

She started her own Canadian fashion line

After moving to Canada, Lauren Holly partnered with a Canadian clothing retailer to launch her own fashion line, Lauren's Closet. Speaking with Cliché Magazine, Holly revealed that the idea for the 1970s-inspired line came from one of her previous movies: 2015's "After the Ball," set in the world of fashion design. After becoming "enamored with the clothes" her character wore, she sought out the company that created the clothing and discovered Montreal-based Le Chateau. Loving the way the clothes fit her, she told This Mom Loves, Holly got to know the company's owners, joking that they should rename the brand as Lauren's Closet — and a partnership was born.

The collection, she told Notable Life, is reflective of her multiple roles as actor, celebrity, mother, and frequent traveler. "I'm multiple personalities when I'm getting dressed," she explained. "My forte is not choosing outfits. I need to be able to grocery shop, show up at a press event, then arrive at a party and look hot. A lot of the pieces in the collection all work together."

Lauren Holly adopted her three sons

While Lauren Holly was married to third husband Francis Greco, they adopted three children, all boys. Discussing her sons with Closer Weekly, the single mom admitted it was "a tough job" teaching her sons "to be gentlemen without having that sort of example in the house."

Adoption, she explained, was always something she knew she'd do, even though she'd also planned to have biological children as well. But when she had the opportunity to adopt three boys all around the same age, as she declared to the magazine, "That was it. They were my family. I felt like we were supposed to meet, like we chose each other."

Asked what she's learned from being the mother of three boys, Holly admitted she's had to loosen up her "Type A personality" ways because "if there's one thing the kids have been their whole lives, it's plan-busters. Every time I think I have something worked out, something changes, so they taught me to go with the flow a little bit."

She clapped back at plastic surgery rumors

It's no secret that Lauren Holly has always been easy on the eyes, something that hasn't changed as the decades passed. For this reason, she's heard whispers that her appearance isn't just the result of genetics and a healthy lifestyle — but possibly from cosmetic surgery. 

She addressed the rumors head on in a 2016 appearance on OWN's "Where Are They Now?" "I've been accused of having a ton [of plastic surgery]," Holly declared, insisting she hadn't. However, she clarified she was also willing to keep the door open to the possibility. "I'm not saying that I wouldn't," she added. "I almost feel like I might have missed that boat, but I'm not against it. I'm 51. Things change."

Speaking with The Canadian Press, via The Record, Holly offered an explanation for her youthful appearance. "I don't have any fillers in my face or anything like that. I honestly just gained weight," she said. She also credited the fact that she lived in Toronto, not Los Angeles, for having avoided plastic surgery. "If I still lived in L.A., I'm not sure what I would look like," she admitted. 

Lauren Holly thinks Hollywood is like high school

As Lauren Holly's extensive roster of screen credits on IMDb demonstrates, she's enjoyed a long career spanning from the 1980s through the present. Until moving to Canada, she'd been based in Los Angeles, where she got to experience the cutthroat competition that's come to define Hollywood. 

Hollywood, she explained in an interview with Page Six, is "like a giant high school." She noted that people in Los Angeles are far more wrapped up in "social status." Living in Canada, she added, gave her some perspective on Tinseltown and its endless power games. "It's exhausting to try and stay in the popular group and at the end of the day it's not what matters," she said. As she pointed out, Canadians "don't really care much" about celebrity status.

Whenever she does visit New York or Los Angeles, Holly admitted she'll often find herself surprised to see paparazzi waiting for her — something she doesn't experience in Canada. "Now I'm almost at the point where I'm going to stand in the corner with a sign that says 'Paparazzi, where are you?'" she joked in an interview with the Ottawa Citizen.

Picket Fences is the one TV show from her past she'd love to revive

Of all her film and television projects over the years, one still looms large for Lauren Holly: "Picket Fences," the quirky small-town drama that aired on CBS from 1992 until 1996. Playing sheriff's deputy Maxine "Max" Stewart, she revealed in an interview with the Ottawa Citizen, clearly left an impression on her. "I really wish we could do a 'Picket Fences' reunion movie," she declared. "I would love to revisit Max, the character I played. I adored her."

Speaking with Fox 5 Atlanta, Holly further discussed revisiting the role, one of her "favorites," ever. While she knew of no plans for a revival, she'd definitely be onboard if it happened. "I would love it, because I loved all of them," she added. "It was such a great show, and [series creator] David E. Kelley is such a great writer." She also offered a prediction on what Max would be doing, 25-plus years later: "She's probably, like, running the FBI or something."

Lauren Holly has amassed a tidy fortune over the years

After decades of consistent work in film and television, Lauren Holly has managed to make a few bucks along the way. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Holly has banked a fortune estimated at $14 million.

Part of that wealth has come from some wise real estate investing over the years. For example, after her divorce from Jim Carrey (whose own net worth is estimated at a staggering $180 million), she purchased a home in Beverly Hills, California, reportedly for just under $2 million. Carrey, she told The Spokesman-Review, was "helping" her with the purchase of the house, in lieu of a divorce settlement.

In 2003, the Chicago Tribune reported that she and then-husband Francis Greco purchased a $2.21 million home in a Chicago suburb. As the Tribune subsequently reported, the couple sold that house in 2005 for $2.65 million, earning a cool $400,000-plus profit. From there, they downscaled into a $1.1 million-dollar abode in a different Chicago suburb, which they subsequently placed on the market for $1.2 million in 2007, after deciding to relocate to Canada. 

She lobbied hard to land the role she describes as her 'bucket list part'

In 2020, Lauren Holly was cast in the Netflix teen drama "Tiny Pretty Things," portraying Monique DuBois, a prima ballerina-turned-director of a ballet school characterized by "cutthroat competition." Speaking with Celebrity Page, Holly described Monique as "a bucket list part" for her: a character who is a woman once at the peak of the ballet world who now struggles to remain relevant. 

According to Holly, when she was first approached for "Tiny Pretty Things," the producers had another role in mind for her. However, she told Us Weekly, "I wanted Monique so badly." When she met with producers, "I was bold enough to tell them how much I love the role ... which is always sort of a risk," she admitted. When she didn't hear anything back for a few weeks, she became "bummed," thinking she'd been too aggressive in her pursuit of the part. Thankfully, she was ultimately cast.

When delving into the role, she found it easy to draw parallels between "a dancer who's past her prime" and her own life. "Those things definitely spoke to me as an actress who's been in this business for 35 years," she said. 35 years and counting, that is. We can't wait to see what else is in store for her!