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Julia Louis-Dreyfus Speaks Out About Her Youngest Sister's Death for the First Time

People logo People 12/12/2018 Natalie Stone
Julia Louis-Dreyfus in a yellow dress posing for a picture: Julia Louis-Dreyfus Speaks Out About Her Youngest Sister's Death for the First Time © Steve Granitz/WireImage Julia Louis-Dreyfus Speaks Out About Her Youngest Sister's Death for the First Time

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is speaking out about her youngest sister’s death for the first time, four months after she was laid to rest.

“It was out of the blue,” Julia, 57, said in a New Yorker profile, published Wednesday.

Emma Louis-Dreyfus, a social worker, was on a camping trip in the Sierra Nevadas when she suffered a seizure and died Aug. 13. She was 44.

The news was delivered to Julia as she returned to work on the Veep set early that same month — months after after she underwent surgery in February and spent the summer soaking up the sun in Hawaii with her husband Brad Hall.

After Emma’s death, it was discovered that she had both cocaine and alcohol in her body.

“Given the fact that that heinous s— came out, I would simply say I’ve kept this under wraps out of reverence for my dearest Emma,” Louis-Dreyfus told the outlet, dispelling any reports that the siblings were estranged.

“It’s been a very bad period of time,” she said.

The past two years have been a very trying time for the Emmy Award-winning actress.

In September 2016, she broke down in tears on stage as she accepted her seventh Emmy Award and revealed that her father, billionaire business mogul William Louis-Dreyfus, died two days earlier. “Lastly, I’d like to dedicate this to my father, William Louis-Dreyfus, who passed away on Friday. I’m so glad that he liked Veep because his opinion was the one that really mattered,” she said.

One year later, Julia announced in September 2017 that she was diagnosed with breast cancer, just after she won her sixth consecutive outstanding lead actress Emmy for her role as Selina Meyer on Veep (which set the record for most wins for a performance in the same role for the same series).

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Thankfully now, after months of treatment, Julia is in remission.

While accepting the Mark Twin Prize for American Humor at John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in October, she reflected on the experience and how laughter aided in her recovery.

“The old cliché about laughter being the best medicine turns out to be true — which is good, because that’s what the current administration is trying to replace Obamacare with,” she said.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Brad Hall posing for a photo: Julia Louis-Dreyfus with husband Brad Hall and sons Henry and Charlie © Provided by TIME Inc. Julia Louis-Dreyfus with husband Brad Hall and sons Henry and Charlie

Julia, who shares two sons with Hall — Charlie, 21, and Henry, 26 — said the closest people in her life kept the laughs coming while she was in the hospital.

“When I was getting my hideous chemotherapy, I’d cram a bunch of family and friends into this tiny treatment room with me, and we really did have some great laughs,” she said. “Of course, I was heavily medicated and slipping in and out of consciousness, so I was probably a pretty easy audience, but my point is that laughter is a basic human need, along with love and food and an HBO subscription.”

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