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Lauri Hendler (Teen Magazine, January 1984)
Full content for this article includes portrait and illustration.
Source: Teen Magazine, Jan 1984 v28 p40(2).
Title: Teens on the tube. (Kim Fields, Lauri Hendler, Andrea Elson)
Full Text COPYRIGHT 1984 EMAP-USA
Teens On The Tube
TUNE IN FOR A BEHIND-THE-SCREENS LOOK AT SOME OF TV'S BRIGHTEST YOUNG STARS
Lauri Hendler, 18
A favorite pastime: Taking a book to the beach in the winter when it's cool and misty
Ambition: To study at Yale
A role model: Katharine Hepburn
Someone she'd like to co-star with: Laurence Olivier
Lauri Hendler has given teens a new type of TV character to relate to with her role as the brilliant, bespectacled and boy-watching Julie on "Gimme A Break.' But, even though her current character is more gawky than glamorous, Lauri doesn't mind. Because her choracter convinced her that, "you're the most
beautiful person in the world if you feel good about yourself.'
This 18-year-old actress should definitely feel good about her acting success. The popular "Gimme A Break' series is now in its third year. And Lauri's been on the TV screen regularly since the age of 8, when she made her debut on an episode of "The Streets Of San Francisco.' She decided even then that she
wanted to make acting her career, although she admits that it was a rather impulsive decision at the time. "I realized that every time I went on a job I was out of school,' she remembers. "And I was on a set where adults were calling me Miss Hendler. And I thought, "This is so glamorous and so easy, this is what I want to do.''
Since then she's averaged a television job a year, playing in TV movies and guest-starring on a variety of series, including "Chips' and "Three's Company.'
Although she's had a top talent agent since the age of 3, she still attributes some of her success to the fact that she could read scripts at the age of 5 without her mom's help and, most of all, to luck.
In reality, Lauri's success seems to be more the result of a mixture of natural talent and hard work. While working 40 hours per week on the set of "Gimme A Break,' she also took classes at Beverly Hills High School and did well enough with her studies to be a National Merit Scholarship finalist, an honor given to less than 1 percent of the top high school seniors. Now she's
taking classes at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), while still working on her series.
In many regards, she's like her character, Julie, especially when it comes to her love of learning and funny one-liners. But in one way, she's very different. "Julie is not real sure of herself in a lot of ways,' Lauri says. "She's caught between wanting to read and study a lot, and wanting to be in the popular crowd. She's in a real transition period. I seem to have gotten through a lot of that; I've just decided I want everything.'
Since Julie and Lauri's personalities are so similar, Lauri makes a conscious effort to keep the two separate, right down to the minutes before a scene. "I make sure a stage manager tells me five minutes before they need me on stage,' she explains. "Then I turn off the lights in my dressing room and I'll sit and relax and just kind of let Lauri leave. Then I turn on the lights and look in
the mirror until I see Julie, not Lauri.'
Lauri can't wait for the day when she won't be able to walk down the street without being mobbed by fans. But, until then, she appreciates every stare, pointing finger and autograph request that is aimed at her. To her, this is the fun of being a TV teen--well, that and getting dressed up to go to "fancy, fancy, fancy' restaurants.
But in case you think an actress' life is all glitter and glamour, Lauri has this food for thought: "Glamour is just somebody else's idea of how easy your job is. Acting is really hard work.'