Jami Beth Gertz (born October 28, 1965) is an American actress and investor. Gertz is known for her early roles in the films Crossroads, The Lost Boys, Less Than Zero and Quicksilver, the 1980s TV series Square Pegs and 1996's Twister, as well as for her roles as Judy Miller in the CBS sitcom Still Standing and as Debbie Weaver in the ABC sitcom The Neighbors. Along with husband Tony Ressler, she is a part-owner of the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association.
Jami Beth Gertz
October 28, 1965
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Gertz was born in Chicago, Illinois, and lived in the suburb of Glenview. She attended public schools, graduating from Maine East High School. Her parents are Sharyn and Walter Gertz, who was a builder and contractor, and she has two brothers, Michael and Scott. Gertz, who is Jewish, was raised in Conservative Judaism.
She was discovered in a nationwide talent search by Norman Lear and studied drama at NYU. As a child actor, Gertz was in one episode of Diff'rent Strokes along with Andrew Dice Clay. She also had a recurring role on The Facts of Life as Blair's friend and fellow schoolmate Boots St. Clair. Gertz made her film debut in the 1981 romance film Endless Love, which was followed by a co-starring role in the 1982–83 TV sitcom series Square Pegs. She gained more significant attention with a starring role in 1987's Less Than Zero, as the friend of a doomed drug addict played by Robert Downey Jr. She also starred in the 1987 film The Lost Boys as Star, the "half vampire" girlfriend, with Kiefer Sutherland and Jason Patric.
After working in Paris as a scent designer for Lanvin, Gertz returned to the United States and landed a key supporting role in the 1996 blockbuster Twister after other films including 1986's Solarbabies and Crossroads, the 1989 film Listen to Me with Kirk Cameron, The Boyfriend School, and Jersey Girl. In the 1994 episode of Seinfeld, "The Stall", she appeared as one of Jerry's girlfriends who works as a phone sex operator and can't "spare a square" of toilet paper to Elaine in the restroom. Also in 1994 she played Sarah in the TV movie This Can't Be Love starring Katharine Hepburn, Anthony Quinn, and Jason Bateman. Gertz later played the recurring character Dr. Nina Pomerantz during the 1997 season of ER. She reportedly was offered, but declined, the role of Rachel Green, during pre-production of Friends.
In 2000, Gertz took up a recurring role on the Fox hit Ally McBeal as Kimmy Bishop, John Cage's love interest. Gertz was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. She returned to this role in one more episode as a guest star in the show's final season in 2002. Also in 2002, she portrayed comedian Gilda Radner in the television movie Gilda Radner: It's Always Something. Gertz's character on Still Standing, Judy Miller, is named after a character Radner portrayed on Saturday Night Live. Still Standing, a television sitcom in which Gertz co-starred with Mark Addy and which originally aired from 2002 to 2006, was her longest-running and most successful television show to date.
In 2003, Gertz starred as Brandy, a wanted criminal's girlfriend, in Undercover Christmas, and in 2005 Gertz played the lead role in the TV film Fighting the Odds: The Marilyn Gambrell Story. In 2009–10, she had a recurring role as Marlo Klein, wife of Ari Gold's newest business partner Andrew Klein, an agent at Miller-Gold Talent Agency, on HBO's Entourage. In 2011, she returned to broadcast television with a guest role in the Modern Family episode "Slow Down Your Neighbors". In 2011, she earned a producers' credit on the Academy Award-nominated film A Better Life, which was put in limited release throughout the month of June and early July before arriving on DVD in October.
Gertz has been married to business executive Tony Ressler since 1989. They have three sons: Oliver Jordan Ressler (born 1992), Nicholas Simon Ressler (born 1995), and Theo Ressler (born 1998).
Gertz and her husband are members of the investment group led by Mark Attanasio which purchased the MLB franchise Milwaukee Brewers. Gertz-Ressler High Academy, a member of The Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools, is named for Gertz and her husband. They also became owners of the NBA team Atlanta Hawks in 2015. Gertz represented the Hawks in the NBA Draft Lottery for the 2018, 2019, and 2020 NBA drafts.
The Giving Back Fund named Gertz and her husband the number-one donor to charity of any celebrity in 2010. Gertz serves as a board director for the Melanoma Research Alliance, the largest nonprofit funder of melanoma research.
|1981||On the Right Track||Big Girl|
|1987||The Lost Boys||Star|
|1987||Less Than Zero||Blair|
|1989||Listen to Me||Monica Tomanski|
|1989||Silence Like Glass||Eva Martin|
|1990||Don't Tell Her It's Me a.k.a., The Boyfriend School||Emily Pear|
|1994||This Can't Be Love||Sarah|
|1996||Twister||Dr. Melissa Reeves||Stinkers Bad Movie Award for Worst Supporting Actress|
Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress
|2006||Keeping Up with the Steins||Joanne Fielder|
|2013||Dealin' with Idiots||Rosie|
|2022||I Want You Back||Post-production|
|1982–1983||Square Pegs||Muffy Tepperman||Regular role; 20 episodes|
|1983||Diff'rent Strokes||Lindsay||Episode: "My Fair Larry"|
|1983||For Members Only||Monica Mitchell||Television film|
|1984||Dreams||Martha Spino||Regular role; 12 episodes|
|1983–1984||The Facts of Life||Boots St. Claire||Recurring role; 4 episodes|
|1984||Family Ties||Jocelyn Clark||Episode: "Double Date"|
|1991–1992||Sibs||Lily Ruscio||Regular role; 22 episodes|
|1994||Seinfeld||Jane||Episode: "The Stall"|
|1994||This Can't Be Love||Sarah||Television film|
|1994||Dream On||Jane Harnick||Episodes: "The Taking of Pablum - Part 1 & Part 2"|
|1994||Related by Birth||Lily||Television short|
|1995||Dream On||Martin's Lover||Episode: "Take Two Tablets, and Get Me to Mt. Sinai"|
|1995||Hudson Street||Allison||Episode: "Bells & Whistles"|
|1997||ER||Dr. Nina Pomerantz||Recurring role; 6 episodes|
|2001||True Love||Television film|
|2000–2002||Ally McBeal||Kimmy Bishop||Recurring role; 6 episodes|
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
|2002||Gilda Radner: It's Always Something||Gilda Radner||Television film|
|2003||Undercover Christmas||Brandi O'Neill||Television film|
|2005||Fighting the Odds: The Marilyn Gambrell Story||Marilyn Gambrell||Television film|
|2002–2006||Still Standing||Judy Miller||Regular role; 88 episodes |
Nominated – Young Artist Award for Most Popular Mom & Pop in a Television Series (shared with Mark Addy)
|2006||Shark||Sara Metcalfe||Episode: "Sins of the Mother"|
|2007||Lost Holiday: The Jim & Suzanne Shemwell Story||Suzanne Shemwell||Television film|
|2009–2010||Entourage||Marlo Klein||Recurring role; 5 episodes|
|2011||Modern Family||Laura||Episode: "Slow Down Your Neighbors"|
|2012–2014||The Neighbors||Debbie Weaver||Regular role; 44 episodes|
|2016||This Is Us||Marin Rosenthal||Episode: “Career Days"|
|2017||Difficult People||David's Wife||Episode: "Bernie and Blythe"|
- "Growing Up Glenview". Huffington Post. September 18, 2008. Retrieved October 9, 2014.
- Rackl, Lori. Jami Gertz talks ‘Neighbors’, Chicago Sun-Times, September 25, 2012. Accessed July 24, 2013.
- "Jami Gertz Biography (1965-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
- "Jami Gertz: Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
- Pfefferman, Naomi (April 25, 2002). "JewishJournal.com". JewishJournal.com. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
- "Jami Gertz on 'The Neighbors' – The Arty Semite – Forward.com". Blogs.forward.com. December 13, 2012. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
- Walfish, Josh (May 9, 2013). "Actress Jami Gertz discusses being Jewish in entertainment industry". The Daily Northwestern.
- O'Conner, Patricia T. "Jami Gertz". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 10, 2012. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
- Miller, Victoria Leigh. "How Jennifer Aniston Almost Missed Out on Her Emmy-Winning 'Friends' Role". Yahoo! Contributor Network. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
- "The 15 Most Charitable Celebrities in Hollywood". gotgravy.com. May 2, 2018. Retrieved September 9, 2018.
- Jewish Journal: "It’s Always Gilda - Actress Jami Gertz wants to do justice to the memory of the late SNL comedienne" By Naomi Pfefferman April 25, 2002
- "Hawks representative Jami Gertz had a great reason for being at the NBA lottery". The Washington Post. May 16, 2018. Retrieved September 9, 2018.
- Almendrala, Anna (June 15, 2011). "'A Better Life' Hits Home For Inner-City Students At Movie Screening (VIDEO)". HuffPost. Retrieved November 15, 2011.
- Bloomberg: "NBA Governors Approve $730 Million Hawks Sale to Ressler’s Group" By Scott Soshnick and Zeke Faux June 24, 2015
- ‘Scary but exciting’ role for Jami Gertz as Hawks rep at draft lottery
- "The Giving Back Fund | The Giving Back 30 2008". Givingback.org. December 19, 2011. Archived from the original on February 15, 2012. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
- Gertz Melanoma Research Alliance Board of Directors