“I wanted to do this before I was an actor. It’s really personal to me. I want
to succeed in acting, too, but I’m a little bit more driven in going out to get
(a record deal).” Marla Sokoloff
One of American talented young actresses Marla Sokoloff gained recognition and
popularity while portraying the receptionist Lucy Hatcher on the well-received
series “The Practice” (1998-2003), where she earned Screen Actors Guild
nominations for three consecutive years from 1999-2001. Additionally, she guest
starred in numerous popular series, including “Full House” (1993-95), “Party of
Five” (1995-96) and “Desperate Housewives” (2004-05). She recently appeared in
“Big Day” and “Modern Men.”
On the silver screen, the light brown-haired player is also known for starring
in such comedies as Whatever It Takes (2000), Dude, Where's My Car? (2000) and
Sugar & Spice (2001). Her more recent credits include Home of Phobia (2004), The
Tollbooth (2004) and Crazylove (2005).
“They don’t think an actress would be interested in being in a rock band. So
that’s kind of frustrating.” Marla Sokoloff
Off screen, Sokoloff is highly interested in music. She plays the clarinet,
guitar and piano, as well as writes songs. The owner of a Venus Guitar that
Courtney Love designed, she also sings and plays rhythm guitar for a band named
Smittin. In 2006, Sokoloff, whose favorite musicians are Fiona Apple, Joni
Mitchell, Led Zepplin and Stevie Nicks, released her first CD called Grateful.
On a more private note, she has been linked to actor James Franco (together from
2000-2004) and has a cat named Cleo. Her hobbies include ice skating,
gymnastics, swimming, and rollerblading.
Childhood and Family:
In Alameda County, California, Marla Lynne Sokoloff was born on December 19,
1980. Her Jewish parents, Howard Sokoloff (doctor) and Cindi Sussman (a former
caterer who now handles Marla’s career), brought up Marla and her older brother,
Jared (born in 1977), in San Francisco before they finally relocated to Los
Angeles to support Marla’s career.
As a child, Marla knew she was not interested in helping her family run their
small restaurant. Instead, she liked being in the bathroom and singing in front
of the mirror. At age 7, she appeared in her first play at school and had added
screen acting by the age of 12. During the same period, young Marla earned a
number of praises and honors for her singing talents, staging the national
anthem at the prestigious events like the Oakland A’s baseball games and for the
USO. In 1993, after graduating from Vista Grande Elementary and Los Cerros
Middle School in Danville, California, Marla moved to Los Angeles to more
professionally purse acting. While there, she also studied theater and music at
the Los Angeles County High School of the Arts.
Whatever It Takes
Marla Sokoloff hit the stage for the first time when she appeared in a school
production at age 7 and went on to perform in local theater in her hometown of
San Francisco before eventually making her way to Los Angeles to launch a
full-time career. Five years later, the praised young singer made her film debut
in Ingrid, which was unfortunately postponed until screened at the 1997 IFFM.
After moving to LA, Sokoloff guest starred in TV series “Boy Meets World” (1993)
and “Step by Step” (1994). Her first break arrived when she landed the recurring
role of Gia Mahan, the arch-rival of Stephanie (Jodie Sweeten) in the ABC sitcom
“Full House” (1993-95), starring John Stamos. In 1995, she made her debut
appearance in a TV movie with a bit part in director Melanie Mayron’s comedy
Freaky Friday and had her first released movie with the family film The
Baby-Sitters Club, for the same director that same year.
More guest spot followed such as in popular series “Home Improvement” (1995),
“3rd Rock from the Sun” (1996) and “Party of Five” (1995-96), where she was
additionally featured as the dreadful influence Jody Lynch. By year 1997,
Sokoloff had scored a regular in the Michael Lembeck-helmed comedy “Over the
Top,” starring along side Tim Curry and Annie Potts. The show, however, was
cancelled after only three episodes were aired. During 1996-97, Sokoloff also
got her next film exposure with roles in True Crime (1996, opposite Alicia
Silverstone) and the short The Date (1997).
Sokoloff’s big breakthrough came when at age 17 she joined the cast of ABC much
lauded David E. Kelley legal drama “The Practice,” along with Dylan McDermott,
Lara Flynn Boyle, Lisa Gay Hamilton and Kelli Williams, among others.
Brilliantly playing the law firm’s secretary Lucy Hatcher from 1998-2003,
Sokoloff won both the hearts of audiences and critics alike and was handed
several nods, including three Screen Actors Guilds in 1999-2001, for Outstanding
Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.
While enjoying successful stints at “The Practice,” the petite actress also
branched out to other projects. She made a guest appearance in one episode of
the well-liked “7th Heaven” (1998) and teamed up with John Hurt, Gregory Smith
and David Strathairn in the drama film The Climb (1998). As her popularity rose,
Sokoloff began starring in teen comedies like Whatever It Takes (2000, opposite
Shane West and her real life lover James Franco), the stoner Dude, Where's My
Car? (2000, with Ashton Kutcher, Seann William Scott and Jennifer Garner) and
Francine McDougall’s Sugar & Spice (2001, along side Marley Shelton, Melissa
George and Mena Suvari).
She then guest starred in “Night Visions,” “Strange Frequency” and “Friends”
(all 2001) before taking on the lead of Connie in the Lifetime television movie
A Date with Darkness: The Trial and Capture of Andrew Luster (2003). 2004-2005
saw roles in the comedy Home of Phobia (2004, costarred with Sam Huntington),
the romance Love on the Side (2004, starred Marnie Alton and Kee Chan), the
Debra Kirschne-directed comedy The Tollbooth (2004, with Tovah Feldshuh and
Ronald Guttman), the short The Drive (2005), the Reiko Aylesworth and Bruno
Campos vehicle Crazylove (2005) and Christmas in Boston (2005, TV). Meanwhile,
she had a recurring role as a potential nanny for Lynette’s (Huffman) children
named Claire in “Desperate Housewives.”
In 2006, the 26-year-old Sokoloff appeared in the pilot episode of two series:
“Big Day” and “Modern Men.” The latter comedy show is written by Warren
Lieberstein and stars Eric Lively, Josh Braaten and Max Greenfield.