Elaine Hendrix, My Friend the Actress
by Nora Lynch
You’ll probably recognize my friend, Elaine Hendrix. I mean, she’s been in tons of movies. So, if you’ve seen The Parent Trap, or Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2, or Inspector Gadget 2, you’ll know her. Maybe you saw her in SNL’s Superstar, or Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion or the cult classic, (and one of my personal favorites) What the Bleep Do We Know?!
Even if you don’t go to the movies, you’ve likely seen her work. She’s done lots of TV appearing on hit shows such as "Maron", “Two and a Half Men”, “NCIS: Los Angeles”, “Castle”, “The Mentalist”, “Criminal Minds”, and “CSI: Miami”. She’s recurred on "Mistresses", "Anger Mangement", the new “90210″ as well as two years on the critically acclaimed CBS series “Joan of Arcadia.” She’s also done, not one, not two but three holiday TV movies: “Anything But Christmas”, “Mr. St. Nick” and “The Munster’s Scary Little Christmas.” That’s got to be some kind of record.
You might be saying, “I haven’t been to the movies in ages, and I don’t even own a TV anymore. All that reality show junk bores me.” Well, then perhaps you get out to see some good ol’ fashion live theatre?! Elaine has starred regionally portraying ‘Blanche DuBois’ in “Streetcar Named Desire” with Tony nominated director Randal Myler, on Off-Broadway doing the hit show “It’s Just Sex”, and in endless local shows from one coast to another, especially Los Angeles. As a classically-trained dancer in jazz and modern, Elaine’s original professional “home” is the stage ~ somewhere she attempts to return to as often as possible, whether it be for charity or a full production.
Whenever we go to lunch or to the mall, or wherever, she almost always gets “those looks,” that is, people kinda staring at her or peeking at her from the corner of their eyes, and stuff. Of course, she’s drop-dead gorgeous, so it’s hard to tell if she’s getting “those looks” because of that, or because people recognize her. I guess it’s a little of both, until the brave ones ask… “Aren’t you that lady from __[insert recognized project here]__?!”
If you only know Elaine from the movies, you might be a little scared of her. That’s because Movie Elaine is usually a Total Bitch. I guess it’s the cool, blonde beauty or the perfectly arched eyebrows over those impossibly blue eyes, but… she’s often cast as mean, conniving and selfish. That’s funny to me since the real Elaine is anything but. She’s warm and funny (goofy, even); the legendary Army Archerd called her “a young Carol Lombard,” while the Houston Chronicle said, “Get that girl a sitcom!” And that’s certainly more the Elaine I know – a regular girl with a great sense of humor who’s a blast to be around.
When people do approach her, they’re often surprised to find that she’s so sweet, down-to-earth and genuinely kind. I’m sure some of that is the Southerner in her – manners are important. But, mostly, it’s because that’s just who she is. Elaine Hendrix is a beating heart – full of love and compassion and kindness for… well, for everybody, really.
Which is why the most important thing to know about Elaine is the thing that’s nearest and dearest to her heart – Animal Rights. Being an advocate for the humane treatment of animals is Elaine’s greatest passion. She’s involved with numerous organizations across the country and spends a great deal of her time traveling to rescue, lobby, testify, protest, educate and build new habitats on their behalf. The girl is always going somewhere to talk to somebody about animals!
Elaine is on the board of directors Stray Rescue St. Louis, and she’s also launched a groovy multimedia project called The Pet Matchmaker. It’s mission is to provide pet parents with the information they need to choose the most suitable pet and care for that pet their entire lives, and I am proud to be its Editor-in-Chief. Elaine isn’t simply a figure head or spokesperson, either. She rolls up her sleeves and gets into the thick of each and every animal saving activity, from rescuing puppy mill dogs to protesting consulates and beyond. Elaine Hendrix isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty – including cleaning poop from cages. (There’s video to prove it!) I marvel at her energy and dedication.
When she’s not traveling for work or rescue, Elaine lives in L.A. and is truly a woman about town. This gal never sits still! She’s also a speaker, host and teaches her own acting class. Elaine has received numerous awards and honors for both her humanitarian and acting work, including the Guardian Award at the National Animal Rights Conference, two Telly Awards, (one for hosting “Pets 90210″), and two Festival Best Actress awards. She even kicked off 2013 as a featured participant on the Pet Care Foundation “Follow the Stars…Adopt a Pet” float in the Tournament of Roses, Rose Parade. Her third major parade appearance.
She actually has keys to a couple of cities, too – no kidding! They still do that! (I’ve seen the keys to Tarrent, Alabama and St. Louis, Missouri… so there!) Elaine has a Founder’s Award from the Secret City Film Festival and, perhaps her greatest honor – the mayor of St. Louis, Missouri proclaimed December 4th, “Elaine Hendrix Day”, to memorialize her work with animals. I can honestly say she’s my one and only friend with her very own Day! But as if all of this wasn’t enough, Elaine has been immortalized as four different McDonald’s Happy Meal figures based on her character ‘G2′ from Disney’s “Inspector Gadget 2.” Yes, she’s an actual Happy Meal toy ~ with billbo. You’ve got to admit that’s pretty darn cool.
She’s kind of shy about all this stuff, which is why I’m telling you. The simple truth is, to know Elaine Hendrix is to love her. I know I do. Of course, I have to get in a pretty long line that includes, not just lots of other friends and fans, but her own family of furry companions: canines Ellie and Bixby and felines Kimbo and Goodie Cornbread. But, luckily for all of us, there’s plenty of Elaine Love to go around.
photography: Alex Labosq
styling: Melissa Corabi
hair/make-up: Tracey Taylor
dress: Sue Wong