A student of dance since she was four, Elizabeth Berkely has been in show business since the age of nine. She got her start in television appearing in over a dozen series, the best-known of which is Saved By the Bell, in which she played proto-feminist high school student Jesse Spano from 1989 to 1991. Berkely made her feature film debut billed as Macrame Girl in the Patrick Swayze/Keanu Reeves vehicle Point Break (1991). In 1995, Berkely gained national notoriety and proved that she had come a long way since Jesse Spano when she played the trashy, determined, and frequently naked lead in the Joe Esterhaz-penned, Paul Verhoeven-directed Showgirls (1995), a glitzy exploitation film that, while one of the year's biggest stinkers, gained popularity on the midnight movie circuit, especially among drag queens. While such negative publicity as was received by Showgirls can be instant death to a budding career, Berkely has continued to appear in films such as The First Wives Club (1996), and such television series' as The L Word and CSI Miami.
Biography by Sandra Brennan
- Born with different eye colors, one is green and one is green and brown.
- Wore a $600 dress made of collard greens in support of PETA's 'Lettuce Be Lean' campaign to encourage people to embrace vegetarianism.
- Volunteers for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS foundation.
- Gives teen girls advice on her own Web site, www.ask-elizabeth.com.
- Considered one of PETA's Sexiest Vegetarians in 2008 and 2009.
- Husband Greg Lauren is the nephew of fashion designer Ralph Lauren.