Julie Bowen (born March 3, 1970) is an Emmy Award winning American film and television actress. Bowen first appeared in film and television in 1992 in minor and supporting roles in film and television. She then gained recognition for portraying the role of Carol Vessey on Ed. Before then gaining wider fame for her potrayal of Denise Bauer on Boston Legal. The role of Claire Dunphy on Modern Family earned her two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series" for her which she has portrayed since the shows debut in September 2009. , On September 18, 2011, Bowen won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Claire Dunphy on Modern Family.
Throughout Bowen's career she has maintained supporting roles in films including Happy Gilmore (1996), Multiplicity (1996), Venus and Mars (2001), Joe Somebody (2001), Kids in America (2005), Sex and Death 101 (2007), Crazy on the Outside (2010), Jumping the Broom (2011) and Horrible Bosses (2011).
Bowen was born Julia Bowen Luetkemeyer in Baltimore, Maryland, the middle of three daughters of Suzanne (Frey) and John Alexander Luetkemeyer, Jr., a commercial real estate developer. Her older sister, Molly Luetkemeyer, is an interior designer who has appeared on Clean Sweep, and her younger sister, Annie Luetkemeyer, is a doctor at the University of California, San Francisco in the HIV/AIDS Division. Raised in suburban Ruxton, she first attended the Calvert, Garrison Forest Schools and also attended St. George's School, Newport in Rhode Island. She matriculated at Brown University, majoring in Italian Renaissance studies. In her junior year, Bowen spent a year abroad in Florence, Italy. During college, she had roles in Guys and Dolls, Stage Door, and Lemon Sky. Before graduating, Bowen had the lead role in the independent film Five Spot Jewel. Among other places, Bowen studied acting at the Actor's Institute.