A model-turned-actress who known mostly for her television work, Christa Miller first came to fame as the tomboyish Kate O’Brien in the eulogized ABC series “The Drew Carey Show” (1995-2002). She gained even more recognition for portraying Jordan Sullivan, Dr. Cox’s disreputable former wife and hospital board member, in the NBC successful sitcom, “Scrubs” (2001-?), created by husband Bill. The role brought Miller two Golden Satellite nominations.
Miller also has appeared in guest roles in such series as “Kate & Allie,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Party of Five” and “Seinfeld,” and in the television movies Stepfather III, (1992) and A Friend to Die For (1994). Besides, she has dotted her movie resume with several projects, most notably playing major supporting roles in the independent films Kevin Jordan’s Goat on Fire and Smiling Fish (1999) and The Operator (2000).
The 5-foot 8-inch actress has spent her time outside the limelight with her husband of seven years, sitcom creator Bill Lawrence, and their two children, daughter Charlotte and son William. She is now expecting a third child with husband Bill. Before the marriage, the niece of actress Susan Saint James and producer Dick Ebersol, Miller, was romantically involved with Illinois-born actor Grant Shaud (dated from 1996 until 1997).
Childhood and Family:
Daughter of Chuck Miller and former model Bonnie Trumpeter, Christa Miller was born on May 28, 1964 in New York, New York. She entered the entertainment world as a model when she was only a toddler. Unfortunately, her days as a child model were held back after an operation for a benevolent bone tumor. After graduating from Convent of the Sacred Heart, the girl briefly resumed her modeling career, but later quit to become an actress.
On November 27, 1999, Christa tied the knot with sitcom writer-producer Bill Lawrence. She gave birth to her first child, daughter Charlotte Sarah, on June 8, 2000 in Los Angeles, and her son, William Stoddard Lawrence, was born on January 3, 2003. Christa and her husband are expecting their third child in Fall/Winter 2006. In her leisure time, Christa likes playing tennis on competitive level and takes parts in a Sunday coed softball league with her husband.
Drew Carey Show
Daughter of a supermodel, Christa Miller was introduced to the showbiz industry at a very young age. She appeared in a Wonder Bread commercial at age six months old, and was featured along with her mother at an Ivory soap print advertisement when she was three years old. A year later, Miller made her debut as a cover girl with Redbook. But, a rare benign bone tumor at age 10 curtailed her days as a child model. After completing high school, Miller tried her next luck in modeling, appearing in national magazines while working steadily in Japan and Europe. In addition to modeling, she also developed a passion for acting and soon took drama classes. After playing an episodic part in episodes of the prime-time series “Kate & Allie” (1988), which starred her aunt, Susan Saint James, she decided to put her modeling career on the backburner and then moved to Los Angeles in 1990 to chase an acting career.
Upon relocating to Hollywood, Miller landed a guest stint in a 1990 episode of “Northern Exposure.” She continued with a supporting part in her first television film, Stepfather III, in 1992 and guest roles in episodes of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” (1994), “Party of Five” (1994) and NBC’s hit “Seinfeld (1993, 1995).” She also had a minor part in the acclaimed made-for-television film A Friend to Die For (1994), starring Kellie Martin and Tori Spelling.
Miller’s big break arrived in 1995 when she won a regular role in the ABC comedy series “The Drew Carey Show.” As the tomboyish Kate O’Brien, the best friend and sometimes girlfriend of Drew, the actress adroitly added the right comedic touches to this simple, Midwestern girl.
While enjoying major TV success, she also pursued film career. Her movie credits include Love and Happiness (1995), Jordan Alan’s Kiss & Tell (1996, with Heather Graham and Rose McGowan), the Kevin Jordan-directed Goat on Fire and Smiling Fish (1999, as a post office worker involved with an aspiring actor) and The Operator (2000, played the long-suffering wife of dodgy attorney).
Miller finally departed the security of her pleasant “Drew Carey” gig in 2002 after her sitcom writer-producer husband, Bill Lawrence, created a recurring role for her in his hit series, “Scrubs” (2001-?). Delivering an impressive portrayal of the acid-tongued harridan Jordan Sullivan, the ex-wife of Dr. Cox (series regular John C. McGinley) and a hospital board member who takes pleasure in distracting the lives of the staff, she was handed two Golden Satellite nominations for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Comedy or Musical in 2003 and 2004. Acquiring a recurring role in 2001, Miller’s part has increasingly become a major part of the show and, as of the fifth season, she becomes a regular cast member.
In addition to working on the sitcom, Miller also found herself providing the voice of Cleopatra in the animated series “Clone High,” an assignment she held from 2002 to 2003.