Jerri Manthey grew up an Army Brat, traveling and living mostly in Europe. She has been an actress since the age of nine with her roots planted firmly in the theatre. She was originally found in Florida by a talent scout looking to bring new talent to the west coast. After auditioning for him, he asked Jerri when she’d be able to make the big move. Two weeks and three garage sales later, Jerri traveled cross-country – following her heart and chasing her dreams. Since her big move in 1995, she has had what she refers to as “the roller coaster ride of a lifetime”. In the time she has been in Los Angeles, she has experienced various levels of success, but is “far from reaching her goals”.
Jerri’s first leading role in a feature film was in the 1996 black and white, guerilla–shot-independent, “Mr. Lucke”. She recalls, “shooting without permits and spending a great deal of time running or hiding from the police”. Her diversity as an actress is apparent through the many characters she has played: a reporter exposing a secret government experiment gone wrong in the sci-fi movie “Komodo vs. Cobra”, a conflicted woman haunted by her aborted baby in “Destiny”, and a cold blooded killer in “Widowmaker” – the latter winning her a best actress award. In the Showtime movie, “That Championship Season”, she was directed by Paul Sorvino and played opposite Vincent D’Onofrio as his jilted wife.
Jerri is also an accomplished host having worked for the Soundtrack Channel for two years. She gave sketch comedy a run with a group called “Blow Girl” in which she was an integral part of the writing, directing and producing. She refers to this as, “one of the bravest things I’ve ever done….. girls are really raunchy!”. Jerri also wrote, produced and directed and starred in a play called “Beautiful Chaos”. Selling out every weekend, the run of the play had to be extended. Jerri still claims “Beautiful Chaos” as one of her greatest achievements. She also wrote, directed and starred in the short film, “Mind of A Woman”, which she learned to edit and mix sound for. It was a personal challenge she set for herself – completing the entire project in only 48 hours!
Outside of the acting world, Jerri has also proven herself an accomplished musician and performer. In two separate bands over the course of three years, she showed she could hold up her own as a hand percussionist, singer and firedancer. Her most challenging and rewarding experience came in a group called “Deep Eddy” which held weekly residence on Wednesday nights at Harvelle’s nightclub in Santa Monica, CA. She also danced in a burlesque show in Vegas, revealing her playful, seductive side and once again showing off her abilities on stage in front of a live audience.
Jerri Manthey is one of the most recognized faces from reality television and is credited as the first true “villainess” of the genre. Her most notable appearances are on “Survivor: The Australian Outback”, “Survivor All Stars”, and most recently “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains”. She was also in the first season of “The Surreal Life”, guest judged on “Reality Bites” and “Joe Schmo”, and competed on “Battle of the Network Reality Stars” – just to name a few. A high demand “celebrity”, she has been guest host on “Talk Soup”, TV Guide’s “Hollywood 411”, “The Other Half” with Danny Bonaducci as well as multiple stints on radio show “Loveline”. Personal appearances include “David Letterman”, “Late, Late Show with Craig Kilborn”, “Howard Stern”, “Regis & Kelly”, “Jon Stewart”, “The Early Show” and various others. Magazine featured articles include: “TV Guide”, “People”, “Detour”, and “Sports Illustrated for Women”. Although confident, she still shyly admits gracing the cover of “Playboy”.
Beyond the entertainment business, Jerri’s second love is food and cooking. Since Survivor, Jerri has put herself through culinary school and started her own private chef business. She has cooked for high profile celebrities as well as yoga retreats, community gatherings, and large dinner parties. She gives cooking lessons, does craft services and catering on occasion and is currently working on a cookbook. She believes wholeheartedly that “diversity is the spice of life”.
Jerri works with various charities across the nation and in her spare time enjoys riding motocross, dirtbiking in the desert, photography, welding, writing, hiking, rollerblading, camping, road trips, traveling and her favorite yearly event since 1999 – Burning Man.