“I was born with the name Jennifer. However, when I was 2 years old my guardian angel came to me in a dream and told me her name was Jenna. I've never heard the name before. She said my name was supposed to be Jenna also. After that, I refused to answer to the name Jennifer anymore. No one has called me Jennifer since then. I legally changed my name a few years later. By then even my parents were convinced it was meant to be! As for my middle name, it's Jean. Thus my full name is Jenna Jean von Oy.” Jenna von Oy
American actress and singer Jenna Von Oy is most famous for her roles of Six in the NBC sitcom “Blossom” (1991-1995), from which she was handed two Young Artist awards, and Stevie in the hit UPN series “The Parkers” (1999-2004). She also received a Young Artist nomination for her reoccurring role in the series “Lenny” (CBS, 1990) and has guest starred in various additional TV series and acted in the television films “She Cried No” (1996) and “Dying to Belong” (1997). In addition, she provided the voice of Stacey for the animated movie “The Goofy Movie” (1995). Jenna made her film debut with Oliver Stone's “Born on the Fourth of July” (1989).
Jenna ranked No. 94 on VH1's “100 Greatest Kid Stars” in 2005. She dated fellow Connecticut actor Will Friedle for six months in the early 1990s. When she is not acting, singing and writing songs, Jenna enjoys painting, cooking, traveling and photography. Her photos have appeared in several publications.
Childhood and Family:
Jennifer Jean Von Oy was born on May 2, 1977, in Stamford, Connecticut. She grew up in a very supportive and close knit family, which she mentioned had a significant role in her transformation from child star to adult actress. When she was young, she legally changed her first name to Jenna. Her paternal grandparents were from Germany which is where her last name comes from. Jenna attended the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California, for two years.
Jenna von Oy had her first taste of acting at age 5 when she landed the role of the littlest orphan Molly in a regional production of the musical “Annie.” She went on to appear in a string of commercials, most notably a Jell-O Pudding Pop commercial with Bill Cosby. After the early break, she made guest appearances in such series as CBS' “Kate & Allie” (1987) and “Monsters” (1989) and acted in the CBS miniseries “At Mother's Request” (1987). The energetic girl moved to features in 1989 when she landed a part in the Oliver Stone directed biography film “Born on the Fourth of July.” In the movie, she played the young Susanne Kovic, the sister of Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic (played by Tom Cruise).
By 1990, Jenna had debuted as a series regular on the CBS sitcom “Lenny,” portraying the oldest daughter Kelly Callahan. The role brought her a Young Artist nomination in the category of Best Young Actress Starring in a New Television Series. However, it was her scene-stealing role in the NBC comedy series “Blossom” (1991-1995) that established Jenna as a talented performer. As Six LeMeure, the talkative and neurotic best friend of the main character, she won Young Artist awards for Best Young Actress Co-starring in a Television Series (1993) and Best Youth Comedienne (1994) and a nomination in 1992 for Best Young Actress Co-starring in a Television Series. In addition to her TV role, Jenna also provided the voice of Stacey on the animated film “The Goofy Movie” (1995).
After the demise of “Blossom,” Jenna starred as Phoebe Huck in a 1995 failed series called “Family Values,” produced by Drew S. Levin, and appeared in the NBC movie “She Cried No” (1996), opposite Candace Cameron Bure and Mark-Paul Gosselaar. She also acted in “Dying to Belong” (1997), with Hillary Swank and Sarah Chalke and remained active on the small screen with guest stints in sitcoms like “Martin” and “Unhappily Ever After” (both 1997). Her episodic turn as Theresa, a young woman who throws her newborn baby in the trash, in the CBS drama “Chicago Hope” (1997), displayed her dramatic ability. The actress returned to voiceover work in 1999 with a gig on the ABC Saturday morning animated offering “Disney's Pepper Ann.”
In 1999, Jenna also began her role on the UPN comedy series “The Parkers.” Her character, the off-beat college student Stevie Van Lowe, was originally planned to appear in three episodes of the series' first season but was so popular that the producers made the character a series’ regular in early 2000. The show aired its final episode on May 10, 2004. Meanwhile, she also voiced the character Jen for the Canadian cartoon series “What's with Andy” (2001-2002) and was featured in the dramatic film “Final Breakdown” (2002).
The award winning performer next portrayed the daughter in the ABC comedy pilot “Marsha Potter Gets a Life” (2005), starring Brenda Blethyn. The same year, she also appeared as Kitty in an episode of the CBS dramatic series “Cold Case” and had a guest voice role in “Family Gay.” In 2006, she voiced Gracie for the direct-to-video comedy film “Dr. Dolittle 3,” starring Eddie Murphy.
Although she loves working in TV and film productions, Jenna attempted to expand her career into the country music scene by recording a demo CD in June 2000. She also wrote songs for the 2000 special “Where Are They Now” for VH1.
Young Artist: Best Youth Comedienne, “Blossom,” 1994
Young Artist: Best Young Actress Co-starring in a Television Series, “Blossom,” 1993