Born in Memphis, Tennessee on February 4, 1947, Jeannie's family moved to Dallas, Texas when she was 13 years old. She is the only child of Nelson (an ex-Army Captain) and Alliene (an ex-top model in Dallas and big band singer prior to her marriage).
Jeannie began taking dancing lessons at the age of three. By elementary school she was still dancing, studying tumbling, acrobatics, and taking piano lessons. During her junior year in high school, she began modeling and was soon a successful runway and catalogue model.
After high school she attended Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, Texas. As a freshman she performed in the chorus of the college production of "Camelot". Jeannie noticed that all the attention was being paid to King Arthur and Guenevere and decided she wanted to experience receiving roses onstage on an opening night. She found out the college musical was going to be "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying" the following year and bought the album and learned all the Michelle Lee songs. When audition time rolled around, her perseverance paid off and she was cast as the lead.
It was also during "Camelot" that Jeannie was spotted by the then Miss Texas who encouraged her to enter the Miss Nacogdoches competition. She won that title and subsequently many other beauty pageants including Miss Dallas, and was ultimately crowned Miss Texas Universe in 1968. One of the judges of the pageant was Dallas modeling and commercial agent Peggy Taylor. Peggy signed Jeannie during summer break, put her to work immediately doing TV commercials and became a lifelong friend to whom Jeannie attributes her "show biz" beginnings.
After transferring to SMU so she could continue her modeling career in Dallas, Jeannie auditioned for a Dodge commercial and was cast as the Dodge "Tell ‘Em Honey Sent Ya" Girl. The commercial aired in 28 states and Jeannie spent the next four years making personal appearances for Dodge at car shows, state fairs, and other openings and her face smiled down from hundreds of billboards across the country. While still modeling and making commercials, Jeannie co-starred with Jackie Cooper in a navy film "The Ballad of John Green".
Next came dinner theatre in Texas where she played the leads in "Gypsy" and "Guys and Dolls". Buddy Hackett saw Jeannie in "Guys and Dolls" and invited her to open for him in Las Vegas in the main showroom at the Sahara Hotel. Jeannie accepted, sang six songs as his opening act and had equal billing on the hotel marquis.
Soon after that, Jeannie landed the lead role in an independent film, "Storyville", opposite Mickey Rooney's son, Tim. The film was shot on location in New Orleans.
After commuting for a year between Los Angeles and Dallas, Jeannie moved to the West Coast in 1976 to pursue acting on a full time basis. While studying acting at the Film Actors Workshop on the Warner Brothers studio lot, she met fellow actor Jack Lucarelli whom she wed in May of 1980.
Soon luck and talent paid off and Jeannie signed with a wonderful agent who launched her Hollywood career. Her first TV role was a small part in "The Gemini Man" starring Ben Murphy. Soon she was cast in an episode of "Maude". Norman Lear was so impressed with Jeannie in the episode, that he cast her in her first guest-starring role playing Greg Evigan's girlfriend in the short-lived series, "A Year At The Top". Next came more guest-starring roles in such shows as "Dukes of Hazzard", "B. J. and the Bear", "Love Boat", "Fantasy Island" and "House Calls". Jeannie also did a TV movie of the week co-starring with Joe Namath and Jack Albertson titled, "Marriage is Alive and Well", and co-starred in the Disney feature film "The Devil and Max Devlin" with Bill Cosby and Elliot Gould.
Jeannie landed a starring role in the CBS pilot "Handle With Care" with Brian Dennehy and Didi Conn before starring in "Pirate's Key", which ultimately became the hit TV series, "Simon & Simon", in which she played "Janet Fowler" for two and a half of it's eight seasons.
During "Simon & Simon", Jeannie's husband, Jack Lucarelli, co-produced along with Jameson Parker, and co-starred in a feature film entitled, "American Justice". Jeannie also starred in the film along with Gerald McRaney, Jameson Parker, Wilford Brimley and Jack. Several years later Jeannie also starred in the "Simon & Simon" reunion TV movie "Simon & Simon: In Trouble Again". Jeannie had a special friendship with the cast of "Simon & Simon" which continues today.
When Jeannie's stint on "Simon & Simon" was over, she went on to star in a series for ABC called "Street Hawk" with Rex Smith and Joe Regalbuto. "Street Hawk" lasted one season and after that Jeannie starred in the CBS comedy series "Stir Crazy" which was shot on location in Vancouver. Since "Stir Crazy" she has continued to guest star in numerous TV shows including "Murder, She Wrote", "Snoops", "The New Leave it to Beaver", "Hooperman" and "JAG".
When not acting, Jeannie, an ardent animal lover, has been active in the Anti-Vivisection League, PETA, and Actors and Others for Animals. At one time she even hand raised a mountain lion, a black panther, a macaw and several Dobermans, just to name a few. She also has a degree in Nutrition, has written a novel and feature movie script with her writing partner, David L. Wise, and has recently shot a national Chrysler commercial. Jeannie and Jack owned Brentwood Actor's Workshop for several years as well.
Jeannie currently lives in the Los Angeles area with Jack and their cat, Fanny.