Mary Lucy Denise 'Marilu' Henner (born April 6, 1952) is an American actress, producer and author. She is best known for her role as Elaine O'Connor Nardo on the sitcom Taxi from 1978 to 1983. Born in Chicago, Illinois, to a Greek mother and Polish father, Henner was raised on the northwest side of Chicago in the Logan Square neighborhood. She is the third of six children. Her mother, Loretta, was president of the National Association of Dance and Affiliated Arts and ran the Henner Dance School for 20 years. Henner took her first dance class at age two. Henner started teaching dance at her familys studio when she was 14 and choreographed shows at local high schools and colleges until leaving the Chicago area during her third year of college. While a student at the University of Chicago in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, Henner originated the role of 'Marty' in the Kingston Mines production of Grease in 1971.
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