Christa Miller

Christa Miller Headshot


Birth Date: May 28, 1964

Age: 59 years old

Birth Place: New York City, New York

Spouses: Bill Lawrence

A model-turned-actor who proved a talented comedienne, Christa Miller is the niece of actress Susan Saint James and guested several times on her aunt's sitcom "Kate & Allie" (CBS, 1984-89). After a string of small television and film appearances, the actress booked a pair of guest spots on "Seinfeld" (NBC, 1989-1998), which helped earn her the lead female role of the tomboyish Kate on "The Drew Carey Show" (ABC, 1995-2004). In 1999 she married TV writer-producer Bill Lawrence, and left "Carey" to recur on "Scrubs" (NBC, 2001-08; ABC, 2009-2010) as the self-described she-devil Jordan Sullivan, the cruel ex-wife of Dr. Perry Cox (John McGinley). Busting out of her previous reputation as a wisecracking cutie, Miller revealed she was a fearless and formidable comedic talent and breathed gloriously bitchy life into Jordan. After the show's end, Lawrence created "Cougar Town" (ABC, 2009- 12; TBS, 2013-15) and cast Miller as Ellie, the best friend of Jules (Courteney Cox) and spiritual sister to Jordan. Miller continued to steal scenes as the alpha bitch of the "Cul-de-sac Crew" and also became the official music supervisor of the series. Although she was always a likable and talented actress, Christa Miller was at her best when she was playing highly intelligent, ferociously funny women.

Born May 28, 1964 in New York City, Christa Beatrice Miller was the daughter of 1960s model Bonnie Trompeter and the niece of actress Susan Saint James and NBC sports executive Dick Ebersol. A model since childhood who appeared on the cover of Redbook with her mother, Miller appeared in commercials but had to take a hiatus from her entertainment career for surgery to remove a benign bone tumor. She completely recovered and resumed modeling, landing on the cover of the first issue of Maxim as well as booking jobs in Europe and Japan. Savvy about the long-term prospects of modeling, Miller moved to Los Angeles and began taking acting classes, earning a slew of guest spots on her aunt's sitcom "Kate & Allie" (CBS, 1984-89) and "Northern Exposure" (CBS, 1990-95).

While small roles in the horror sequel "Stepfather III" (HBO, 1992), "A Friend to Die For" (NBC, 1994) and "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" (NBC, 1990-96) helped the actress cut her professional teeth, she attracted more attention for two juicy turns as two separate characters on "Seinfeld" (NBC, 1989-1998); first, in 1993 as a high-powered exec who instigates the firing of George (Jason Alexander) for rubbing her clothing's material and then, in 1995 as an aspiring artist who becomes George's girlfriend and encourages him to drape himself in velvet. Although Miller had planned on becoming a dramatic actress, her obvious talent for comedy proved prophetic, and thanks in great part to her "Seinfeld" appearances, she landed the female lead on the sitcom "The Drew Carey Show" (ABC, 1995-2004). Miller charmed as Kate, a blue-collar tomboy for whom the titular star had long carried a torch, and she stayed with the popular series until 2002. As her professional momentum increased, Miller's personal life hit a high-water mark as well, when she married TV writer-producer Bill Lawrence in 1999. In 2001, Lawrence created the surreal hospital sitcom "Scrubs" (NBC, 2001-08; ABC, 2009-2010), which featured a newbie medical intern J.D. (Zach Braff) who memorably clashed with his macho, force-of-nature mentor Perry Cox (John C. McGinley). Miller, who had previously played wisecracking cuties, proved nothing short of a comedic revelation when she began recurring as Cox's ex-wife, Jordan Sullivan, a woman so cruelly intimidating and merciless with her ice-cold zingers that she terrified the previously unflappable Cox and decimated any other character in her path.

The obvious delight Miller took in embodying the acerbic Jordan and in stealing every scene she was in revealed unexpected depths to the actress's talents and opened a new and fascinating chapter in her professional career. She began recurring on "Scrubs" in 2001, and after jumping ship from "Drew Carey" in 2002, continued making appearances as Jordan for the remainder of the medical comedy's run, as well as helping choose the music so integral to its success. Showing that she was not above making fun of herself after a botched cosmetic procedure that left her face temporarily immobile, Miller and Lawrence acknowledged the situation with an on-air joke, reflecting just how much of a family business the series had become and how important Miller was to its success in front of and behind the camera.

During her "Scrubs" run, the also actress voiced Cleopatra in Lawrence's animated side project "Clone High" (MTV, 2002-03), starred as a brilliant scientist in the remake of "The Andromeda Strain" (A&E Network, 2008), and guested on an episode of "CSI: Miami" (CBS, 2002-12). When the "Scrubs" ended, she resurfaced on Lawrence's new show "Cougar Town" (ABC, 2009-12; TBS, 2013-15) as one of its stars. Playing the acid-tongued Ellie Torres, a spiritual sister to Jordan Sullivan and best friend to newly divorced Jules Cobb (Courteney Cox), Miller continued to delight as the queen of the put-down while also evidencing a gruff but sincere love for her friends, especially her warm-and-gushy husband Andy (Ian Gomez) and her gleefully trashy frenemy Laurie (Busy Philipps). The bitchy back-and-forth between Miller and Philipps provided the series with much of its comedic spark. Again, Miller proved a powerful force behind the camera when it came to selecting music for the series, and she became the show's official music supervisor.

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