Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Sister Dies From Overdose

By Kelly Burch 10/18/18

Emma Louis-Dreyfus was 44.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

The half-sister of Julia Louis-Dreyfus, star of the HBO series Veep who is best known for her role as Elaine on Seinfeld, died of a cocaine and alcohol overdose while camping in California in August. 

According to the Daily Mail, Emma Louis-Dreyfus, 44, died on August 13 at a campsite in South Yuba River State Park in California. First responders were called to the campsite around 9:30 a.m. for reports of a woman who was having a seizure and unresponsive. It’s not clear whether Louis-Dreyfus died in the campsite or was pronounced dead at the hospital. 

After her death, the Nevada County Coroner's Office ruled that the cause was an accident caused by cocaine and ethanol intoxication. 

“Emma loved the city life and she also loved the countryside, particularly the Sierra Nevada and Teton mountains,” her obituary read. “One of her favorite weekend getaways was the Yuba River. It was along that river where Emma died of an apparent seizure while camping with friends near Purdon Crossing.”

Emma and Julie Louis-Dreyfus are both the daughters of deceased billionaire William Louis-Dreyfus, who had an estimated wealth of $3.4 billion when he died in 2016. Control of Emma Louis-Dreyfus’ estate, estimated to be worth $23 million, was awarded to her mother. 

Julia Louis-Dreyfus was mentioned in Emma’s obituary as a surviving family member, but the star did not publicly comment on her sister’s death.

Emma seems to have had plans to use her wealth to invest in California’s legal marijuana industry. In July, she set up a company called Etta Duane Industries in order to develop property for marijuana production. She reportedly invested $4.5 million in the venture, with a business partner investing $5,000. 

Outside of that business venture, Emma worked as a social worker. She was born and raised in New York, and graduated from Brown University with a bachelor's degree in psychology before completing a Masters in Social Welfare degree in 2002 from the University of California, Berkeley. She was a bilingual therapist who was fluent in Spanish, and recently completed a certificate in healing childhood trauma.

“In her career, Emma was a clinical social worker and family therapist, a calling that included child advocacy, community activism, training and supervision,” her obituary read.

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.