Leila Kenzle has been entertaining people since childhood when she staged little dancing shows for her appreciative parents during breaks in the family's dinners. "Our foyer made a great proscenium arch, and I had my first stage," recalls Kenzle. "I had a captive audience and got fed when it was over!"
Kenzle was born in Patchogue, Long Island, and raised in Rutherford, New Jersey, one of three daughters of an electrical-supply salesman and an antiques dealer. She earned her B.F.A. in theater from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, but promptly lost her desire to act and worked as a hotel telephone operator. Eventually she was coaxed into performing by a sympathetic casting director who arranged an audition for an off-Broadway role, which Kenzle eventually won.
Her big break came when she was cast as a stripper in the off-Broadway production of "Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding." In 1989 she went to Los Angeles, still unsure of her calling as an actress, but she quickly found work in the first of five television series pilots. She also appeared in the feature film "Other People's Money" and had a recurring part as the sister of Fran Drescher's character on the series "Princesses." Her other TV credits include appearances on "The Golden Girls," "thirtysomething," "The Cosby Show" and the television movie "The Charmer." Last year Kenzle co-starred with Marcia Cross ("Melrose Place") in the TV movie "All She Ever Wanted" and in the fall of 1997 stars in the TV movie "Dogmatic."
Kenzle describes her "Mad About You" character as "a really wonderful friend with a change in her life and marital status. She's really trying to find herself now."
In her spare time, Kenzle enjoys hiking and shopping for antiques. She learned to walk the high wire for an acrobatic appearance on "Circus of the Stars," and she is also active in multiple-sclerosis charities.
Kenzle says she recently derived satisfaction from producing her first short film, "Bigger Fish," a black comedy which was on the festival circuit and received 12 first place awards, including Best Short Film at South Carolina's Worldfest Charleston and Houston's Annual Worldfest.
Kenzle lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Neil Monaco, a private acting coach.