Lauren Michael Holly (born October 28, 1963) is an American-Canadian actress. She is known for her roles as Deputy Sheriff Maxine Stewart in the TV series Picket Fences, as Mary Swanson in the 1994 film Dumb & Dumber, and as Jenny Shepard on the TV series NCIS. She was married to comic actor Jim Carrey from 1996 to 1997.
Holly was born in Bristol, Pennsylvania. Her mother, Michael Ann Holly, is an art historian and the Starr Director of Research and Academic Program at The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, and former professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Her father, Grant Holly, is a screenwriter and professor of literature at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Holly was raised in Geneva, New York, and is a 1981 graduate of Geneva High School, where she was a cheerleader. In 1985, Holly earned an undergraduate degree in English from Sarah Lawrence College in New York. Holly, who now lives primarily in Canada with her husband and their three children, became a Canadian citizen in 2008.
In 1992, Holly, her father Grant, and their families established the 'A' Fund at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in memory of her brother, Alexander Holly, whom Holly said "was a boy filled with dreams, hopes, and plans. Although he was only fourteen when he died, he had traveled extensively in Europe and Central America, lived in New York City and Los Angeles, and these experiences produced in him a fascination for architecture and archaeology."
Her acting career began at the age of 20 when she appeared in Hill Street Blues as Carla Walicki for two episodes.
At age 23, Holly joined the cast of the ABC television soap opera All My Children as Julie Rand Chandler (1986–1989). She portrayed the comic book character Betty on television's Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again in 1990.
She appeared as Mary Swanson, Lloyd Christmas's love interest in the 1994 Jim Carrey comedy Dumb & Dumber. She portrayed Linda Lee Cadwell, the wife of martial artist and actor Bruce Lee, in 1993's Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story; a doctor in Sydney Pollack's 1995 remake of Sabrina; and Lieutenant Emily Lake in the 1996 comedy Down Periscope with Kelsey Grammer. She starred in the movie Any Given Sunday (1999) along with Jamie Foxx and Dennis Quaid.
Holly starred as small-town Deputy Sheriff Maxine Stewart in David E. Kelley's TV series Picket Fences (1992–1996). She was a member of the cast of NCIS as Director Jenny Shepard from 2005–2008, reuniting with her former Chicago Hope co-stars Mark Harmon and Rocky Carroll.