URSULA BURTON (Writer, Director / Bride). THE HAPPIEST DAY OF HIS LIFE is Ursula’s film directorial debut. She graduated from Yale University with honors, earning degrees in both Theater Studies and English Language and Literature. Working on both coasts, her theater, film, and tv credits include starring as Wanda in THE BABY DANCE, the title role in ANTIGONE, Nerrissa in THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, HEMINGWAY AND THE DOS PASSOS WARS, SAGE AND TIME, SGT. BILKO, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD, MAFIA!, DEATH OF A SALESWOMAN, DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YA-YA SISTERHOOD, THE ELLEN SHOW, “THE PRACTICE,” STRONG MEDICINE, and THE WEST WING. After producing and acting in the long running Los Angeles premiere of the musical, A…MY NAME IS ALICE, she founded FIVE SISTERS PRODUCTIONS with her sisters. Together they have produced three feature films (in which she has also appeared): JUST FRIENDS, TEMPS, and MANNA FROM HEAVEN. She wrote and directed the short satire, THE HAPPIEST DAY OF HIS LIFE, and she also plays the role of the bride in the film’s gender-reversed world. She is also currently developing a series of movies, which she will produce through FIVE SISTERS PRODUCTIONS.
JILL EIKENBERRY’s (Penny Somerset, mother of the groom) outstanding portrayal of activist counselor, Ann Kelsey on NBC-TV hit series “L.A. LAW” earned her four Emmy Award nominations, two Golden Globe nominations and a Golden Globe award. An accomplished actress with a strong list of theater, feature film and TV credits, Eikenberry recently starred in MANNA FROM HEAVEN, for which she won critics praise in her portrayal of the sweet, soft-spoken Dottie. Eikenberry’s theater credits on and off Broadway include “Beggars Opera,” “All Over Town” directed by Dustin Hoffman, “Summer Brave,” Tennessee Williams’ “Eccentricities of a Nightingale,” “Watch on the Rhine,” ”Onward Victoria,” and “Lemon Sky,” for which she received an Obie award. She also starred onstage in Wendy Wasserstein’s “Uncommon Women” and appeared in the television version opposite Meryl Streep. Eikenberry made her feature film debut in “Between the Lines” opposite John Heard, Jeff Goldblum and Lindsay Krause. She later appeared in RICH KIDS with John Lithgow, BUTCH AND THE SUNDANCE KID: THE EARLY YEARS, HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT opposite James Caan, ARTHUR (in which she played Dudley Moore’s jilted fiancee), and then reteamed with John Lithgow in THE MANHATTAN PROJECT. Having tackled theater and film, she turned to television and appeared in such TV projects as “Swansong” with David Soul, the CBS-TV movie “Orphan Train,” the CBS mini-series “Kane and Abel,” “Family Sins,” “A Stoning in Fulham County,” “My Boyfriend’s Back,” and “Cast The First Stone,” the four hour ABC mini-series “An Inconvenient Woman” opposite Jason Robards, “Ties that Bind” with Peter Coyote, “My Very Best Friend” starring opposite Jaclyn Smith, Showtime’s “Chantilly Lace” and its sequel “Parallel Lives.” She co-starred with her husband Michael Tucker in “Assault and Matrimony,” “Archie’s Wife,” “Taken Away” and “A Town Torn Apart.” Eikenberry co-produced and hosted “Destined to Live,” a one-hour documentary for NBC, which dealt with emotional aspects of breast cancer, which she herself successfully battled in 1986. Totally committed to the advancement of breast cancer education and research, Jill and Michael tour the U.S. and abroad as spokespersons for the cause.
MICHAEL TUCKER (Mrd. Somerset, father of the groom) developed interest in performing as a Baltimore-born teen when he made a chorus appearance as a “Lost Boy” in a theater presentation of “Peter Pan.” He studied drama at Carnegie Tech., then found work in stock shows and in such repertory companies as the Long Wharf Theater and Washington’s Arena Stage. Michael hooked up with Jill Eikenberry at the Arena Stage and went on to appear in the play “The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail.” Jill, who stood a few inches taller, married Michael, and they are well-known in Hollywood for being a devoted couple who often act together, affectionately known as “The Tuckerberries.” Unhampered by his short stature, Michael found work in character parts, making great strides on stage in such productions as “Moonchildren” (with Jill in 1972). He also worked in tandem with Joseph Papp in such classics as “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” “The Comedy of Errors” and “Measure for Measure.” He finally debuted on Broadway in a revival of “Trelawny of the Wells” with Meryl Streep and John Lithgow. Two years later he entered the realm of film and TV. Minor parts in “Final Chapter: Walking Tall” and “Eyes of Laura Mars” led to a breakthrough featured role in the critically-acclaimed movie DINER. Woody Allen took advantage of his talents and featured him in both THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO (1985) and RADIO DAYS. 1986 proved a big year when both he and Jill were cast as Stuart Markowitz and Ann Kelsey in the long-running law series “L.A. Law,” which ran for eight seasons. Nominated for three Emmy awards, their characters also married on the show. Both he and Jill had always maintained a sound working relationship together and decided to make mini-movie vehicles together. These included “Assault and Matrimony,” “The Secret Life of Archie’s Wife,” “A Town Torn Apart,” and “Gone in a Heartbeat.” Elsewhere, Michael has received praise for roles in such TV projects as Vampire, “Day One,” and “Tracey Takes On.” They also have appeared together in readings of “Love Letters.” More recently he and Jill enjoyed a reunion with the original cast members of their successful series in a 2002 TV-movie. Outside of acting, Michael travels around the country and speaks to breast cancer groups with Jill, a breast cancer survivor, about 15 times a year. Michael received the Good Guys Award from the National Women’s Political Caucus in recognition of his efforts on behalf of numerous causes affecting women.
JARED HILLMAN (Steven, the Groom) is an up-and-coming new face in television and film. He was a regular on “Joan of Arcadia” and played Jackson Douglas on “Veronica Mars,” as well as parts in “Boston Public,” “Three Sisters,” “Still Standing,” “Without a Trace,” and “Gilmore Girls.” Film credits include EVICTION, DIFFERENT, and THE FAVOR. From New York, Jared started in theater and moved to LA recently for his film and television work. In THE HAPPIEST DAY OF HIS LIFE, Jared stars in the film in the role of the Groom — the center of all wedding hullabaloo and planning in the gender-reversed world of the film. The subtlety of the film’s social questions presented the whole cast a creatively fulfilling challenge — to play roles typically assigned to the opposite sex, while not making any sort of commentary on that reversal. In Jared’s case, it meant celebrating all the fuss and planning involved in a wedding while keeping it all grounded in the real world, so that audiences see a natural world that, while totally foreign to our social mores, presents on-screen the questions about the traditions we accept: why, and what if?
JULIE COBB (Ms. Jacobs) has appeared in nearly a hundred television shows and films, including “The Brady Bunch,” “Little House on the Prairie,” “Designing Women,” “Home Improvement,” “Chicago Hope,” “Family Law,” “ER,” “Dr. Jeckyll and Ms. Hyde,” “Defending Your Life,” and “Judging Amy.” The daughter of Lee J. Cobb, she starred with her father in an episode of “Gunsmoke.” Her first role was in an episode of Star Trek.
SEYMOUR CASSEL (Mrd. Jacobs) has worked in over 100 films. Cassel’s early career was highlighted by his Academy Award nomination and the National Critics Award as Best Supporting Actor in John Cassavetes’ “FACES.” His eight-picture association with Cassavetes led to a New York Film Critics Award for his starring role in MINNIE AND MOSKOWITZ and an associate producer credit for SHADOWS. Cassel’s other film credits include Steve Buscemi’s TREES LOUNGE, Andrew Bergman’s IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU and HONEYMOON IN VEGAS, Adrian Lyne’s INDECENT PROPOSAL, Warren Beatty’s DICK TRACY, Randal Kleiser’s WHITE FANG, Wes Anderson’s THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS and RUSHMORE, Five Sisters’ MANNA FROM HEAVEN, Billy Crystals 61*, Jonathan Parker’s BARTLEBY, Graeme Clifford’s THE LAST DON, Barry Levinson’s TIN MEN, Don Siegel’s THE KILLERS, Dennis Hopper’s COLORS and CHASERS, and Alexandre Rockwell’s IN THE SOUP, for which he won the first ever Special Outstanding Performance Award at the Sundance Film Festival. On television, Cassel has played recurring characters on HBO’s “Tracey Takes On,” and NBC’s “Matlock,” and he was a series regular on “Under Suspicion” and “Good Company.” In addition, he has appeared in “Boston Public,” “Arli$$,” “Chicago Hope,” and “Star Trek,” as well as in the made-for-television movies “Face of a Stranger,” “Dead in the Water,” “Beverly Hills Madam,” Nicholas Roegs’ “Sweet Bird of Youth,” and Don Siegel’s “I Want to Live” and “The Hanged Man.” Cassel was a recurring guest star on “Lucky” opposite John Corbett.
DAWN DIDAWICK (Jessica Bloom) is a regular character actor in films, including ERIN BROCKOVITCH, CHRIMAS WITHT HE KRANKS, I SHOT ANDY WARHOL, “JAG,” “Ed,” and “Caroline in the City.” She is married to Harry Groener, and they play a married coupled in THE HAPPIEST DAY OF HIS LIFE.
HARRY GROENER (Mrd. Bloom) received his third Tony Award nomination for his portrayal of song and dance man Bobby Child in the Gerswhin musical “Crazy for You.” His other Broadway credits include “Oklahoma!” (Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations), “Cats” (Tony Award nomination), “Harrigan and Hart” (Drama Desk Award nomination), “Oh Brother! Is There Life After High School?,” “Sleight of Hand,” and “Sunday in the Park with George.” Groener’s other New York theater credits include “Twelve Dreams” by James Lapine, Lincoln Center, and Steve Martin’s “Picasso at the Lapin Agile.” He is known to TV audiences as “The Mayor” on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Ralph in the NBC series “Dear John” and a variety of characters on “Mad About You,” “West Wing,” “Law and Order,” “Star Trek: Voyager” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Profiler,” “Just Shoot Me,” “Quantum Leap,” “Watching Ellie,” “Philly,” and “Caroline in the City.” His film credits include: AMISTAD, DANCE WITH ME, BRUBAKER, BUDDY BOY, GHOST OF A CHANCE, ABOUT SCHMIDT, MANNA FROM HEAVEN, and ROAD TO PERDITION. Groener’s Regional Theatre credits include the role of Hans Kittel in “Ghetto” (Mark Taper Forum), Bluntshli in “Arms and the Man” (South Coast Repertory), Benedick in “Much Ado About Nothing” (Seattle Repertory Theater), Billy in “Billy Bishop Goes to War” and Feste in the “2001 Twelfth Night” (Globe Theater in San Diego). Most recently, Groener performed on Broadway in Nora Ephron’s “Imaginary Friends.” He is happily married to actress Dawn Didawick.
SUZANNE CRYER (Cynthia, the best woman) appeared in the original SOME FOLKS CALL IT A SLING BLADE and went on to star in the television series “Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place.” She appears in films and tv, including a regular on “Frasier,” “It’s Like, You Know,” and WAG THE DOG. Most people know her as the “Yada Yada” woman, as she was the character on Seinfeld who launched the national discussion of the filler phrase. Cryer went to Yale University and also Yale Drama School. She is also a stage actor, having appeared as Sterling in Warren Etheredge’s play, “Ballet of The Beast,” Emily in “What Didn’t Happen” by Christopher Shinn, and on Broadway in “Neil Simon’s Proposals.”
KIMBERLY SCOTT (Darci, brideswoman) was nominated for Broadway’s 1988 Tony Award as Best Actress (Featured Role – Play) for August Wilson‘s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.” She is a familiar face on television and in film. Films include: GUESS WHO, K-PAX, the BATMAN films, THE CLIENT, THE WATERDANCE, THE ABYSS, and TOUCHED. Among her extensive television credits, she played Carla Turner on “Family Law,” Greta on “Strong Medicine,” Officer Cuthrie in “Malibu Shores,” and Mama Lorraine on “MacGyver.”
ENRICO COLANTONI (Divorced wedding guest), hailing from Toronto, excelled at Yale University drama school and stayed in the US when he got cast in “Friday the 13th.” A recipient of numberous awards, he’s played roles in “Stargate SG-1,” “NYPD Blue,” “Justice League,” “Monk,” as well as roles in films including MONEY TRAIN, GALAXY QUEST, A.I., and FULL FRONTAL. He became a household face in the US playing the womanizing photographer Elliot DiMauro on the hit TV series “Just Shoot Me!” Currently, he plays Keith Mars on the popular show “Veronica Mars.”
PHIL LAMARR (Husband in the same suit) attended Yale University, where he was a member of the Purple Crayon of Yale improvisational comedy group. A comic voice-over actor, he’s a regular on FUTURAMA as Hermes Conrad and additional voices, SHARK TALE, MADAGASCAR, THE POWERPUFF GIRLS, THE AVENTURES OF JIMMY NEUTRON, and STAR WARS. After being in THE GEORGE CARLIN SHOW and PULP FICTION, he was a regular on MAD TV, where he attracted a large and devoted following, and has continued to appear in movies like MANNA FROM HEAVEN and other comedies. Frequently called upon to impersonate many famous celebrities, such as Chris Rock, Michael Jackson, Sidney Poitier, Eddie Murphy, Billy Crystal, Will Smith, Chris Tucker, and Morgan Freeman. His television career also includes “Family Guy,” “Barbershop,” “Reno 911!,” Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law,” “Buzz Lightyear of the Star Command,” “Kim Possible,” “Whose Line is It Anyway?,” and the hit animation show “King of the Hill.” His bright, humorous approach to taking chances makes him a popular actor with viewers and producers both.