Before we knew her as the hilarious and overbearing mother of three, Claire Dunphy, on the Emmy winning and ever so popular ABC sitcom Modern Family, Julie Bowen had been appearing on our TV screens for over 20 years. She established mainstream success in the 90s, but it wasn’t until the year 2000 that Julie landed her breakout role in NBC’s comedy/drama, Ed. The show aired for four seasons and ran from 2000-2004 where Bowen starred in it alongside her friend, still to this day, Tom Cavanagh. The show went on to be nominated for a Golden Globe, an Emmy, and won a People’s Choice Award. Once 2009 came along Bowen landed her “name to fame” role, so to call, and is a series regular on the comedy sitcom Modern Family, where she continues to play Claire Dunphy and has won two Emmys for her character. Her husband, Phil Dunphy, is played by the comical Ty Burrell. The show offers an A-list cast including Ed O’Neill, Sofia Vergara, Jess Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet and many more. Throughout the years Julie Bowen has showed us the range and depth of characters she can create and is still looking as beautiful as ever. Here are 15 interesting facts you may not have known about this incredibly talented actress.
15. She Is Fluent In Italian
The Modern Family star can do more than just act. In fact, she can speak two different languages. Julie Bowen happens to be bilingual and is fluent in English as well as Italian. Not only does she speak Italian fluently, she also studied Italian Renaissance at Brown University in 1991 where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Renaissance studies. The actress has confessed she loves traveling to Europe and once admitted, “I lived in Florence for a year during college and it was magnificent. I was 20 years old, I had long blonde hair and I didn’t pay for anything. It wasn’t all red wine and pasta – though there was a lot of red wine and pasta. It was actually very challenging too. I really loved it, though.” It seems Julie Bowen has the whole package, brains and beauty. Thank you for all that you do, Julie! Or perhaps we should say, “Grazie!”
14. She Has A Pacemaker
Something many people do not know about Julie Bowen is that she has a pacemaker. She has had it since her early twenties because of a cardiovascular condition where her regular heartbeat can drop to dangerously low levels. Bowen was officially diagnosed with hypervagotonia which causes your heart to beat too slowly. She has acknowledged that when the doctors broke the news to her she had a “crying fit” because she needed a device that was meant for “old people.” Today, Julie has come to terms with having the pacemaker and has admitted it is not that big of a deal to have one. Every six months she has to go in for a checkup and every seven years she has to have surgery to replace the heartbeat-regulating part of the device.
13. She Is Married To A Real Estate Broker… For Real
Today Julie Bowen is mostly known for her role in the critically acclaimed and Emmy winning show Modern Family. In the show, she is married to a real estate broker (played by the hilarious Ty Burrell) and in real life, she is married to a real estate investor, Scott Phillips. Let the irony sink in for a bit. The two married on September 9, 2004. The couple has three children and all are boys. Their first son, Oliver McLanahan Phillips, was born on April 10, 2007 and on May 8, 2009 she gave birth to twins named John and Gustav. Modern Family, which has been on TV since 2009 and has eight seasons under its belt, also stars many A-list actors such as Ed O’Neil, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Sofia Vergara, Eric Stonestreet and many more. You can catch Julie Bowen on Modern Family on ABC every Wednesday at 9/8c.
12. Her Breakout Role Was In The TV Show Ed
Many of us forget about the one-hour NBC dramedy which was Ed. The show starred the charming and hilarious, Tom Cavanagh, who loses his job in New York and finds out his wife is cheating on him with a mailman. He then attempts to uproot his life by opening a law practice inside a bowling alley in his hometown of Stuckeyville, Ohio. He soon reunites with old friends and decides to stick around and pursue and win the heart of the girl he loved back in high school named Carol Vessey, played by Julie Bowen. This happened to be her breakout role. The show went on to win a People’s Choice Award for Favorite Television New Comedy series and was also nominated for an Emmy. Ed was funny, goofy, captivating, and most of all relatable. Their best running gag was the $10 bets that Ed and his friend Mike (played by Josh Randall) would make with each other in an effort to see who would make the biggest fool out of themselves and to see how far they would actually go. If you have never seen the show before you can watch all of the episodes on YouTube. We definitely recommend you do!
11. She Has Won Two Emmys
Julie Bowen has been appearing on our TV screens for over a decade. What does she have to show for it? Well, the actress already has two Emmys under her belt. Julie currently stars in the critically acclaimed hit ABC comedy Modern Family as Claire Dunphy. Her performance as Claire has won her an Emmy in 2011 as well as 2012. The show Modern Family itself has won three consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy series in its first three seasons. In 2012 the show also won a Golden Globe for Best Television Series Comedy or Musical, and at the SAG awards in 2011, 2012 and 2013 Modern Family won for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. All of this goes to show what an incredible actress Bowen really is. We wish you many successes in the future, Julie. Although, we don’t think you need any luck.
10. She Was Pregnant While Shooting The Pilot Of Modern Family
Being pregnant while shooting a show is all too familiar to Julie Bowen. During the pilot episode of Modern Family she was 8½ months pregnant. When Bowen first read the script she fell in love with the show. She once told USA TODAY, “I was 8½ months pregnant with twins when I shot the pilot, so I was definitely harried.” During the pilot episode she had to hide her pregnancy by folding laundry, hiding underneath pillows, poking her head around doorways, etc. This quickly got turned into a drinking game. “Every time you realize that Julie was doing something to hide her pregnancy, you had to drink,” Julie’s older sister Molly reminisced. Perhaps we need to create our own drinking game. Every time you find Julie Bowen hilarious or hot during an episode of Modern Family you take a drink. Then again, that might lead to alcohol poisoning…
9. One Of Her Kids Broke Her Emmy Award
Sometimes something is too good to last. Julie Bowen knows this better than anyone when one of her kids accidentally broke her Emmy award. When she won for outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series she revealed that one of her kids decided to play with it… and break it. Julie admitted that her oldest son, Oliver, thought that the Emmy was some sort of toy or action figure. Bowen decided then to put it with the rest of their toys in the toy room. According to InTouch Magazine Julie said, “Oliver, thought it looked a lot like a golf ball being held up by a giant tee, so he took it outside… He broke it. He tee’d the ball – he hit the ball off the tee of the lady.” Perhaps he was auditioning for the sequel to Happy Gilmore. Like mother like son.
8. She Starred In The Movie Happy Gilmore
Remember when Adam Sandler actually used to make great movies? Such as Billy Madison, The Waterboy and of course Happy Gilmore. However, who remembers that Julie Bowen was in Happy Gilmore? We are assuming for some of you out there, at this very moment, your mind is blown! Are we right? Happy Gilmore was a 1996 comedy, romance and sports movie about a rejected hockey player (played by Adam Sandler) who puts his skills to the test on a golf course all to save his grandmother’s house. The film starred Julie Bowen as Virginia Venit, Happy’s love interest. An interesting fact that most people don’t know is Julie’s Modern Family costar Ed O’Neill makes a cameo appearance at the driving range. Another fascinating fact, Bowen revealed to Access Hollywood that there is a deleted segment of the Happy Place scene where she makes out with the dwarf dressed like a cowboy. There were so many great scenes in this film. What was your favorite?
7. She Went Into Labor While On Set!
Brace yourself for one of the craziest interesting facts about Julie Bowen. The actress went into labor on set! Yes, you just read that correctly, actual labor. While shooting Boston Legal Julie was doing a fake labor scene and actually went into labor with her son Oliver towards the end of filming it. In 2006 when Bowen was pregnant the Boston Legal producers decided to make her character Denise Bauer pregnant as well. Little did Julie know that her fake baby as well as her real one would come into the world on the exact same day! The actress told More Magazine, “I was grunting and groaning. They’re like, ‘Cut!’ and my water breaks, and I’m standing in a puddle.” A crew member ended up having to take her to the hospital. Hey Julie, at least this leaves you with a great story to tell your grand kids. Anyone else think this is the most bizarre labor story you have ever read?
6. She And Her Husband Helped Save Baby Turtles
Julie Bowen is an actress, a spokesperson, and the savior of baby turtles! What can’t this woman do? Scott Phillips, her husband, proposed to her on Thanksgiving in 2003 while she was starring on the TV show, Ed, as schoolteacher Carol Vessey. They married in 2004 and for their honeymoon they decided to go to Costa Rica. While vacationing, she and Scott were on the beach and saw baby turtles hatching. To help them survive from being attacked by predators, they both helped the newly hatched babies crawl from their nest to the ocean. God bless you Julie! Saving those baby turtles lives means more than we can possibly express. We think she deserves some sort of award for this. The woman already has two Emmys let’s throw in a Humanitarian award while we’re at it. Just keep it away from the children. They have the tendency to break such things.
5. She Is An Avid Runner
There is no denying Julie Bowen is in incredible shape, especially for a 46-year-old woman. Being an actor means you have a busy life and are always on the run. This is true for Bowen both literally and figuratively. The actress loves to hit the pavement. She has admitted that she is an avid runner and said running was the first thing she discovered she was good at. She ran throughout high school at a competitive level and is now a recreational jogger. Julie also admitted that after having twins running helped her lose the baby weight as well as regain her sanity. In addition to running, the Modern Family star loves to practice yoga and swim. Her top 5 health secrets are: don’t scrutinize yourself, remember that babies build biceps, don’t forget your sneakers, eat well before you get pregnant and cut yourself some slack. You have inspired us to get active, Julie. We can already hear the song “Let’s Get Physical” playing on repeat.
4. She Was A Series Regular On Boston Legal
Still today one of the best TV shows on television was Boston Legal. How can we forget the legal firm that was Crane, Poole and Schmidt and how we longed each week to see the episode conclude with lawyer Alan Shore (played by James Spader) and Denny Crane (played by William Shatner) sitting on top of their rooftop office sharing a cigar and a glass of scotch and reminiscing about the events that took place during the episode. Year after year, the show won Emmys and Golden Globes left and right. Julie Bowen happened to be a series regular on that show. She played Denis Bauer, an attorney for Crane, Poole and Schmidt. The show ran from 2004-2008 and had a total of 5 seasons. If you have never seen the series we highly recommend you do. Pretty soon you will find yourself repeating everywhere you go, “Denny Crane!” Indeed you will. Indeed.
3. She Is A Spokesperson For Neutrogena
For how naturally beautiful Julie Bowen is, it’s no wonder she is a spokesperson for Neutrogena, one of America’s top brands for skin care, hair care and cosmetics. She was the face of the skin care brand from 2001-2008 and returned to this gig in 2014. Bowen once wrote, “Once n always #Neutrogena girl-I’m back!” adding: “Never stopped using their products-always trusted #Neutrogena.” We can see why Neutrogena loves you so much Julie. The actress is 46 years old but you would have never guessed it. She is also the voice for Pampers, helping to promote their childcare products. With three kids it is not very hard to see why. You go Julie! Keep up the good work and the good looks! We know it won’t be too hard for you.
2. She Performed Plays In College
Julie Bowen’s love for acting started at a young age. She did attend Brown University and majored in Italian Renaissance studies but not all of her time was used hitting the books. Her love for acting shined through as well. While in College, she starred in Guys and Dolls, Stage Door and Lemon Sky. All of this helped pave her way to the successful career she has today. Julie grew up in Baltimore, Maryland with her two sisters and first got into acting by putting on plays in her backyard with them. She later used these skills in college which led her to star on many critically acclaimed movies and shows and is now one of the biggest television stars today, performing on Modern Family. It seems at a very young age Bowen was meant to be an actress. The stars have aligned correctly, creating a star of their own.
1. Her Dream Role Is To Play Lily Bart
According to an interview Julie did with People Magazine, she has stated that her dream role would be to play Lily Bart. We are assuming some of you just read that and thought Lily who? Lily Bart is a fictional character and is featured in the book called The House of Mirth, written by Edith Wharton. Lily is the main character and the novel tells the tale of her quest to find a man to raise her social status. Julie Bowen stated to People Magazine, “I love me some Edith Wharton, anything with a Bronte. I’m associated with comedy, but I’m tragic inside.” We would love to see Bowen in this role. Perhaps it is never too late to give it a shot Julie! We know we would be first in line to buy our movie ticket!