American comedian Julia Louis-Dreyfus, perhaps best-known for her role as Elaine Benes in Seinfeld, will receive the inaugural Variety TV Impact Award at the annual Banff World Media Festival.

The prize recognizes an actor or executive who has made "a significant and meaningful impact" in television.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus portrays Vice President Selina Meyer in the HBO comedy series Veep - her third acclaimed TV series. (Bill Gray/HBO/Associated Pres)

Organizers announced the actor will be on hand to accept her award at the annual event, which celebrates some of the biggest names in the industry.

The 52-year-old performer first got her start as a regular on Saturday Night Live in the early 1980s starring alongside big names at the time, including Eddie Murphy, Billy Crystal and Martin Short.

Her most notable entrance in the TV realm would come in the 1990s when she was cast as one of Jerry Seinfeld’s friends on the massive hit — for which she was nominated for numerous prizes.

Her performance as Elaine garnered her five Screen Actors Guild Awards, five American Comedy Awards and a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy in 1996.

Seinfeld ended in 1998.

In 2002, she attempted a re-launch into series television with Watching Ellie, produced by her husband Brad Hall. It lasted two seasons.

She would hit television gold again in 2006 with The New Adventures of Old Christine, which had a five-season run on CBS. Louis-Dreyfus earned a 2006 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her performance in the first season.

She’s currently on the second season of the HBO series Veep in which she stars as a beleaguered U.S. Vice President with a bumbling staff.

Louis-Dreyfus received a nomination for producing the first season of the show, taking her total Emmy tally to 14 nominations.

The Rockie Awards honour the best in international television and digital media. Past recipients for achievement — which include the Sir Peter Ustinov Comedy Award and the NBC Universal Award of Distinction — have included Ricky Gervais, Lisa Kudrow, Eugene Levy, William Shatner, Howie Mandel, John Cleese, Martin Short and Kim Cattrall.

The Banff World Media Festival runs June 9 to 12.

With files from The Canadian Press