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ho knew Julia Louis-Dreyfus would be the one to

ho knew Julia Louis-Dreyfus would be the one to break the "Seinfeld curse"? Seinfeld co-stars Jason Alexander and Michael Richards have tried to break away from their iconic roles in tailor-made series to no avail. Louis-Dreyfus even attempted once before to step out of Elaine Benes' shadow with her 2002 series Watching Ellie. So how has the actor finally scored big ratings, as well as critical praise, including an Emmy nomination, for her portrayal of well-meaning single mom Christine Campbell on CBS's The New Adventures of Old Christine? The answer could be as simple as recognizing the right part written for the right actor at the right time. Christine, created by Will & Grace writer Kari Lizer, has Elaine's intelligence and bravado, plus vulnerability and minus the Seinfeld selfishness. Louis-Dreyfus' mantel is already packed with honors for playing Elaine: She won an Emmy in 1996 and has an additional six nominations for the role. Although the Academy tends to reward previous winners, this year's showdown will show whether voters are ready to accept the actor in a new role.

—Lauren Horwitch

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