General Lois Cerullo
Veteran star of daytime soaps and primetime dramas, Rena Sofer garnered critical acclaim while playing the Daytime Emmy-winning role of the outrageous, street smart record promoter Lois Cerullo Ashton (1993-1997, 1998) on ABC's long-running daytime soap opera "General Hospital." First shot to the spotlight as the tough-talking romantic heroine Amelia 'Rocky' McKenzie (1988-1991) on the ABC drama "Loving," Sofer later played singer Eve Cleary (1998–1999), a woman with a mysterious tie to Heather Locklear's Amanda on Fox's popular soap opera "Melrose Place," the young fashion savant Vicki Costa (2002-2003) on NBC’s venerable sitcom "Just Shoot Me," and as Susan, Steve's (played by Jay Harrington) girlfriend/fiancée on the NBC short-lived adaptation of the popular UK sitcom "Coupling" (2003).
More recently, Sofer was featured in two high-profile recurring roles: on Fox's "24" as Marilyn Bauer, the wife of shady power broker Graham Bauer (played by Paul McCrane), and on NBC's "Heroes" as Heidi Petrelli, the wife of aspiring politician Nathan Petrelli (played by Adrian Pasdar). As for her film works, Sofer has appeared in A Stranger Among Us (1992), Keeping the Faith (2000) and Traffic (2000).
On a more personal note, the 5' 6" tall TV star with a dark but earthy beauty and a natural, winning smile was married to “General Hospital” co-star actor Wallace Kurth. She is currently the wife of TV director/producer Sanford Bookstaver.
Childhood and Family:
Born in Arcadia, California on December 2, 1968, Rena Sofer moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when her parents divorced. Her father is an orthodox Jewish Rabbi and her mother teaches psychology. Rena has one older brother named David Sofer, born in 1967. She attended high school with actor Gene Gabriel.
On March 31, 1995, Rena married actor Wallace Kurth (born July 31, 1958) who plays her husband on “General Hospital.” The couple welcomed a daughter, Rosabel Rosalind Kurth (born September 17, 1996), before eventually divorced in 1997. On May 18, 2003, Rena married for the second time, to TV director/producer Sanford Bookstaver (born September 1, 1973) and their wedding was featured in the February 2004 issue of InStyle Magazine. They have one daughter together, Avalon Leone Bookstaver, born in Los Angeles at 5 a.m. on August 5, 2005. Rena also has one step-daughter, Meghann Kurth, from husband's first marriage. Rena now resides in Sherman Oaks, California, with her daughter. She enjoys all kinds of athletics, including rollerblading, skiing and yoga.
Mrs. Bauer and Mrs. Petrelli
Discovered at age 15 by a New York talent agent for a modeling agency, Rena Sofer subsequently appeared in TV commercials, industrial and student films (notably the award-winning New York University picture "Theresa") and music videos. Not long after that, she landed the role of Joyce Abernathy (1987) on NBC's long-running, daytime Emmy-winning soap opera "Another World." She was subsequently shot to the spotlight as the tough-talking romantic heroine Amelia 'Rocky' McKenzie (1988-1991) on the ABC drama "Loving."
It was the role of the tough-talking, romantic heroine Amelia 'Rocky' McKenzie (1988-1991) on the ABC soap opera "Loving" which helped to catapult Sofer’s name toward spotlight. During her “Loving” stint, she also made her big-screen debut with a small role as a Hassidic wife in Sidney Lumet's drama-thriller A Stranger Among Us (1992; starring Melanie Griffith).
Next, Sofer joined the cast of ABC's long-running daytime soap opera "General Hospital," playing the outrageous, street smart record promoter Lois Cerullo Ashton (1993-1997, 1998). Her performance in the show later won a Daytime Emmy award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series and a Soap Opera Digest award for Outstanding Younger Lead Actress. Meanwhile, she also appeared in writer-director John Paragon's direct-to-video release Twin Sitters (1994), as well as in the Lifetime’s movie Hostile Advances: The Kerry Ellison Story (1996), in which she portrayed the title role of a woman who was sexually harassed at work, and the USA Network movie The Stepsister (1997).
Sofer was also spotted as a guest in a November 1996 episode of NBC sitcom "Caroline in the City" and in a May 1997 episode of NBC Emmy-winning sitcom "Seinfeld." Additionally, she joined the cast of Fox's popular soap opera "Melrose Place," playing singer Eve Cleary (1998–1999), a woman with a mysterious tie to Heather Locklear's Amanda, and starred as Suzanne Vandermeer (1999), the woman whose lawyer husband (played by John Ducey) revealed that he is a gay on ABC ensemble comedy series "Oh, Grow Up."
In the new millennium, Sofer made a significant leap back to the big screen with a small role as an involuntary love interest of Ben Stiller in Edward Norton's romantic drama comedy Keeping the Faith and as one of Catherine Zeta-Jones' friends in Steven Soderbergh's mob drama Traffic, a shorter adaptation of the British Channel 4 television series "Traffik." She also reteamed with former "General Hospital" co-star Sean Kanan in James P. Mercurio's independent romantic drama feature March (2001). Afterward, she settled back into sitcom life with a high-profile guest-starring role as Bonnie Hane (2001), Ed's (played by Tom Cavanagh) courtroom rival-turned-eventual lover in the David Letterman-produced dramedy aired on NBC, "Ed."
From 2002 to 2003, Sofer landed another regular role, as the young fashion savant Vicki Costa, a brash, opinionated Brooklyn hairstylist on the first half of the final season of NBC’s venerable sitcom "Just Shoot Me." Meanwhile, she could be seen in the 2002 made-for-television remake of the 1976 film which was adapted from Stephen King's novel, Carrie (starring Angela Bettis), playing Miss Desjarden, a sympathetic high school teacher. The next year, she went to star as Susan, Steve's (played by Jay Harrington) girlfriend/fiancée on the NBC short-lived adaptation of the popular UK sitcom "Coupling."
After starring as Christie Dunbar (2005), the doubtful wife of a blind New York City police detective (played by Ron Eldard) on ABC short-lived crime drama "Blind Justice," Sofer was featured in two high-profile recurring roles: on Fox's "24" as Marilyn Bauer, the wife of shady power broker Graham Bauer (played by Paul McCrane), and on NBC's "Heroes" as Heidi Petrelli, the wife of aspiring politician Nathan Petrelli (played by Adrian Pasdar). Being asked what does it like to be on two of the hottest shows on television, Sofer described: "It's so frickin' cool! You know, everybody asks, ‘How do you do it?’ And I'm like, ‘Well, I'm recurring on both shows, so the reality is, I can do both shows.’ And that's the best position to be in. And ‘Heroes’ just asked me to come back and do more. So once I stop airing on ‘24’ for a little while, I'll be on ‘Heroes,’ and then I'll be back on ‘24.’ It's gonna be awesome."
Sofer will soon complete a drama/thriller TV-movie called The Secret of Hidden Lake. On stage, she has also performed in a production of "North of Providence" at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York.
"You know what? I've been very lucky as an actor. I have worked all the time. Some shows I do, they get cancelled. Some, they're critically acclaimed, and then they get cancelled. And some, I'm in the last season of this or that. But I can't complain about my career. I'm one of those few actresses who works all the time, and even though I haven't done a show that literally puts me on some kind of map -- as in, that's how I'm known and that's how I'll always be known -- I'm very lucky." Rena Sofer.
- Daytime Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, “General Hospital,” 1995
- Soap Opera Digest: Outstanding Younger Lead Actress, “General Hospital,” 1995