NBC / Photofest / . 1 / 50
NBC / Photofest / . 1 / 50

While studying at Northwestern, Julia Louis-Dreyfus was the only female member of improv troupe the Practical Theater Company, which was run by her college sweetheart Brad Hall. The duo, who married in 1987, were hired to work on Saturday Night Live in 1987. In 1990, she was catapulted to superstardom as the lone leading lady on Seinfeld. She played Elaine for nine years and won her first Emmy in 1996. (The gang reunited on creator Larry David’s HBO series, Curb Your Enthusiasm, in 2009.) After a failed 2003 sitcom attempt, Watching Ellie, the environmental activist and staunch democrat was back on top in 2006 with The New Adventures of Old Christine, which earned her a second Emmy. She started her reign as fictional vice president Selina Meyer on Veep in 2012 and has already earned three Emmys for it. (Her 14th nomination in 2013 made her the most nominated comedic actress in Emmy history, besting the record previously held by Lucille Ball.) She still finds time to make the occasional movie as well, recently starring in Enough Said, one of James Gandolfini’s final films.