Madam Secretary starring Téa Leoni begins its excitable run on CBS on Sunday night (8:30 pm, EST). The high stakes drama featuring Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord may not be based on Hillary Clinton, but like Clinton’s, McCord’s face sure is familiar isn’t it? That’s Tea Leoni. She is the number one “Where do I know her from” actress in Hollywood. Leoni is the ex-wife of former X-Files star David Duchovny (she appeared on the show)–and she’s been in a whole bunch of movies without ever quite becoming a star. Téa Leoni is a household face, but not yet a household name.
Leoni starred in Spanglish with Adam Sandler, Jurassic Park III, Fun with Dick and Jane (with another funnyman Jim Carrey), Deep Impact, Ghost Town and Tower Heist (with a whole bunch of funnymen like Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy). Leoni was in Bad Boys and she played Woody Allen’s wife–no easy role under any circumstances–in Hollywood Ending. As Wikipedia notes, Téa Leoni ranked #79 on one of those horrible magazine lists of the “100 Sexiest Women” back in 2000. It’s probably not that great to be #79, but Leoni is doing far finer work these days than most of those ahead of her. On a list of “sexy, funny, elegant” women, Téa Leoni would rank much higher. Madam Secretary may finally turn the versatile 48-year-old actress from a known face to a known name.