Elizabeth plays the lead role of Profiles magazine journalist Juliet Palmer, juggles a full-time acting career with her firm commitment to be a devoted, always-available mom. Actress in the oscar-nominated film for Best Picture, American Hustle, a successful show on Lifetime TV, a recently published book, and a weekly celebrity blog on People.com that draws 1 million-plus readers, it’s inspiring to see how she’s able to stay beautiful, healthy, and positive while ensuring she has time to be at her daughter’s side.
2012: A Busy Year! Elisabeth had a hectic 2012: starring in the Warner Brothers thriller Transit opposite James Caviezel, and teaming with Kyra Sedgwick and Vincent Donofrio on Chlorine. In 2012 she also shot the Lionsgate feature Officer Down directed by Brian A. Miller, and Darkroom, an independent feature directed by Britt Napier, produced by Michael A. Liberty and Ron Stein (The Kids Are Alright). At the same time, Elisabeth continues her regular appearance on Lifetime TV’s The Client List as Taylor Berkhalter, a mother who continually competes with Riley, the series lead character played by Jennifer Love Hewitt.Add her new book, Baby Steps: Having the Child I Always Wanted (Just Not as I Expected), released April 30, and we see a portrait of a woman who’s learned to manage a high-wire acting career with balance and grace.
Second Supporting Actress in Best Picture Nominated Film American Hustle: Elisabeth joined the cast of David O’Russell’s (nominated for Best Director) film American Hustle, where she plays a strong supporting role as Jeremy Renner’s wife. She plays alongside oscar nominated cast members Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and Christian Bale, and Robert DeNiro.
Early Years:Born in Germany and raised in New York City, Elisabeth’s childhood obsession was horsemanship, for which she trained intensively. By the time she entered Sarah Lawrence, she’d begun writing fiction and history, and it was in her college years that she fell in love with acting.After achieving her degree, she quickly found work on One Life to Live, followed by a long series of appearances on WB Television’s highly popular show, Angel.
Her Best-Known Role: Serena in Law & Order: However, most of us know her best as Serena Southerlyn, the assistant district attorney on NBC’s Law & Order, whose series creator/producer Dick Wolf praised her as “one of the finest young actresses working in television.”
She subsequently starred as Alex Mason in the ABC drama Big Shots, before returning to NBC on the cast of the cult favorite, Heroes.
The charities she supports include the Red Cross, Go Red Foundation, and Healthy Child Healthy World. She’s also actively engaged in helping children and women in need globally.
Swami Kriyananda (1926–2013)
Prominently featured in Finding Happiness is a true-life account of Swami Kriyananda, one of the foremost spiritual teachers of yoga principles in the world today.
In 1948 at age 22, J. Donald Walters became a disciple of the Indian master of yoga Paramhansa Yogananda. For the next 63 years he was the most widely known of Yogananda’s disciples throughout the world.
Kriyananda authored 150 books, composed 400 songs and choral and instrumental pieces, and was an accomplished poet, playwright, lecturer, photographer, linguist, TV and radio broadcaster. That he found time and energy to excel in these fields while founding spiritual communities on three continents is remarkable.
In 1968. he published the book that brought him renown as the “father of the spiritual community movement,” Cooperative Communities: How to Start Them and Why. The same year, he founded the first community, Ananda Village, which would be followed by seven others, including communities in the U.S., Italy, and India.
The foundation of Finding Happiness is his meeting with one of the preeminent spiritual figures of modern times, Paramhansa Yogananda, which would change not only his destiny, but that of thousands of others.
Paramhansa Yogananda (1893–1952)
Author of the best-selling spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi, India’s “spiritual ambassador to the West” came to America in 1920 and was the first great master of yoga to live and teach in the United States for most of his life. Yogananda lived in the U.S. for more than 30 years, taking citizenship in the late 1930s.
Seen briefly in archival footage, Yogananda also appears in the re-enactment scene, “The Beverly Hills Garden Party,” played by his great-grand nephew, Sujon Datta.
Yogananda’s lectures and books were extensively reviewed by the major media of the era, including Time Magazine, Newsweek, and Life. He was invited to the White House by President Calvin Coolidge. In 1925 he established an international headquarters atop Mr. Washington in Los Angeles, called Self- realization Fellowship. It was there that he would inspire the young monk Donald Walters (Swami Kriyananda) to found the first “world brotherhood colony” at Ananda Village in 1968. Yogananda continued to lecture and write until his passing in 1952.
John M. Jackson
John M. Jackson, who plays the role of Juliet’s boss at Profiles magazine, is best known for his role as Rear Admiral A. J. Chegwidden on the long-running CBS series JAG, a role he played for nine seasons. Previously, he played a JAG officer in A Few Good Men. Jackson had a recurring role in the series Wiseguy, and in 1986 he appeared in the TV film Blind Justice. He also had a recurring role as FBI Deputy Director Sam Cullen in the hugely popular Fox series Bones. His son, Conor Jackson, is a major league baseball player, most recently with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
David plays the guide who introduces investigative reporter Juliet (Elisabeth Rohm) to Ananda Village. He also served as the film’s music director for the film, and music supervisor for the soundtrack. An accomplished cellist, David began his studies at age 6 and made his public debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony at 16. He attended the Eastman School of Music where he received the Performer’s Certificate as well as his B.M. under the tutelage of Paul Katz of the Cleveland Quartet. He continued his studies at Indiana University with Janos Starker and became Principal Cellist of the Evansville Philharmonic and the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra. He was the founding cellist for the musical storytelling troupe “Tales & Scales,” where he developed his composing, improvising, and acting skills. In 1996 he moved to Portland where he joined the internationally known band Pink Martini, which took him to stages throughout the U.S. and France. He has been on the faculty of summer music festivals such as Meadowmount, Point Counterpoint, and the Ithaca Chamber Music Institute, and has performed with the Portland Opera Orchestra and the Oregon Symphony. His discography includes Sympathique with Pink Martini, and Mystic Harp 2, Secrets of Love, and Relax: Meditations for Flute and Cello for Crystal Clarity Publishers.