The Zeljko Ivanek Hall of Fame: Julie Bowen

14 Dec

(The Zeljko Ivanek Hall of Fame is where we turn the spotlight on a television actor or actress, and it is named after their patron saint, Zeljko Ivanek)

This week’s honoree Julie Bowen has made a living in television for more than fifteen years, with her first spot in an episode of soap opera Loving in 1992.  She followed that up with appearances in Lifestories: Families in Crisis, Class of ’96, and Acapulco H.E.A.T., and TV movies Runaway Daughters and Where Are My Children? over the next two years.  Bowen next co-starred in the seven episode James Brolin action-adventure series Extreme.  Extreme followed ABC’s broadcast of Super Bowl XXIX in 1995, and the series flopped so badly that there was a four year hiatus before another network was willing to launch a show after the Super Bowl, with Family Guy in 1999.  She appeared on episodes of Party of Five and Strange Luck before getting her next main cast role.  This was on the extremely short-lived WB series Three, which had a Mod Squad like premise of three criminals being used for their special abilities to help out some sort of secret agency.  Three is so forgotten that it’s wikipedia page incorrectly writes Bowen’s name as “Julie Bowman” and imdb oddly claims she was only in two episodes.  I remember the show well, however, because I knew two of the only people on the planet who watched the show and my friend and I would constantly make fun of them for it in ways we thought were never-endingly hilarious (How many people watched the show?  Three.  What was the IQ of the writers?  Three.  What was the production budget?  Three dollars.  You get the idea.  This could go on for a lot longer than you might imagine).

That same year Bowen showed up in nine episodes of ER as Roxanne Please, an insurance salesman, who is initially a patient, and later girlfriend of Dr. John Carter, played by Noah Wyle.  In 1999, she starred in TV movie The Last Man on the Planet Earth.  The premise of the movie was that a biological weapon which targets only men is unleashed, killing most of the men in the world.  Realizing the world is better off without them, women outlaw all men.  Years later, Bowen portrays a young scientist who uses her knowledge of genetics to create a man with his tendency for violence removed, ostensibly to have sex with.  She is discovered, and soon both her and her created man are on the run from the government.  He dies at the end, but not before they have sex, and Bowen is pregnant with a son.

Her next jobs were in two episodes of Lifetime series Oh Baby and in one of Dawson’s Creek.  She got her next starring role in quirky four season dramady Ed, which starred Tom Cavanagh as a New York lawyer who went back to his hometown in Ohio after being fired and purchased a bowling alley.  He comes back and attempts to win over his old high school crush, Carol Vessey, played by Bowen, who has become an English teacher.  After four seasons of back and forth, they finally get married in the final episode of the series.

She voiced DC superhero Arisia in two episodes of the Justice League cartoon.  She was in four episodes of one season John Stamos comedy Jake in Progress.  She appeared in five episodes over the series run of Lost as Jack’s ex-wife Sarah.  After she was in a car crash, Jack performed surgery on her and helped her miraculous recovery along, falling in love with her at the same time.  Eventually she cheats on him and they break up, in a number of tedious flashback sequences overemphasizing Jack’s need to help others even when they don’t want it.

Bowen was a series regular in Boston Legal seasons 2 and 3 as Denise Bauer.  Bauer is an up-and-coming young lawyer who is divorced by her husband, who demands alimony payments.  She wants desperately to make partner, but is unable to do so.  Eventually in season three she becomes pregnant by fellow employee Brad Chase.  Bowen appears in eight episodes of season four of Weeds as cheese shop owner Lisa Ferris.  She has a relationship with Silas, and the two of them grow and sell marijuana out of her shop.

She was in an episode of Monk and one of Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated before getting her current role, which will likely be her biggest, if it isn’t already.  She stars as Claire Dunphy in ABC comedy hit Modern Family.  Claire is the wife of Phil, the daughter of Jay, and the mother of Haley, Alex and Luke.  Claire is a perfectionist and gets irritated with her husband and children frequently, but loves them and gives parenting advice to her brother.  Bowen won an Emmy award for her portrayal.

2 Responses to “The Zeljko Ivanek Hall of Fame: Julie Bowen”

  1. Beardface December 19, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

    Julie Bowen is attractive. That is all.

  2. waldinho December 22, 2011 at 8:58 am #

    How many episodes did they make? Three

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