Who is Elva Josephson? Inside The Personal Life of The American Actress

Elva Josephson is an American child actress and model who made waves in the 80s. She featured in several movies, but her most prominent role came in the 1980 romantic drama, The Blue Lagoon. The movie revolved around two children surviving alone on an island and discovering their sexual nature all by themselves.

The Blue Lagoon featured the likes of Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins, while Elva Josephson played a younger version of the lead female character. The movie was panned by critics, but it proved to be a hit at the box office. This gave Josephson the springboard to build her career, and she did so for a while. However, she fizzled out of public consciousness and remained an enigma to this day.

Summary of Elva Josephson’s Biography

  • Full name: Elva Josephson, also Elva Leff
  • Gender: Female
  • Date of birth: 1970’s
  • Elva Josephson’s Age: 52 years old
  • Ethnicity: Caucasian
  • Nationality: American
  • Siblings: one sister
  • Elva Josephson’s Height in Inches: 5 feet 8 inches
  • Elva Josephson’s Height in Centimetres: 173
  • Elva Josephson’s Weight: 57 kg
  • Elva Josephson’s Net worth: $250,000
  • Famous for: child actress in The Blue Lagoon

Elva Josephson is a Native of Beach Haven, New Jersey

There is a paucity of information about Elva Josephson’s early life and family background. Her exact date of birth is not known. Her parents’ names are also not available. However, we know that Elva Josephson is of American nationality and Caucasian ethnicity.

She grew up in places such as Beach Haven, New Jersey, and has at least one sibling, a sister who joined her in her early career efforts. It is also reasonable to assume that she was born around 1970. Given this, Elva Josephson is probably around 52 years old.

She Began Her Career as a Child Model

Elva Josephson spent her formative years in various parts of the United States, including Beach Haven, New Jersey. Even as a child, she was blessed with blonde good looks, so her parents helped her pursue a career in showbiz. Elva Josephson began modeling at a very young age and took part in professional shoots with other young people her age. She also appeared in commercials for many companies.

Going into showbiz at an early age must have brought a lot of fame and fortune for Elva Josephson. Still, it also came with disadvantages such as stress and interference with her education. Her parents most likely helped in this regard by managing aspects of her career. They would have also home-schooled her or hired tutors to ensure she did not abandon her educational pursuits.

She Later Switched to Acting and Made Her Debut before the Age of 10

After paying her dues as a child model, Elva Josephson switched to acting in the 1980s. Her acting debut came in the 1980 movie – Hardhat and Legs. Hardhat and Legs tell the story of a beautiful socialite who falls in love with a construction worker with a gambling problem.

The movie featured Kevin Dobson and Sharon Gless in the lead role of Sal Pacheo and Patricia Botsford, respectively. The young Elva Josephson played the role of Deedee Botsford, and the movie was well-received by critics.

Elva Josephson
Theatrical release poster of Hardhat and Legs (Image Source)

Elva Josephson was One of the Stars of the 1980 Romance Survival Drama – The Blue Lagoon

Elva Josephson is most famous for her role as the seven-year-old version of Emmeline Lestrange in the 1980 drama – The Blue Lagoon. The movie marked her second professional appearance as well as her breakthrough. The Blue Lagoon is a romance survival drama about two young cousins, Emmeline and Richard, who are stranded on an island after a shipwreck.

They spend the next several years alone on the island without human supervision. During this time, they discover many things about each other, including sex. They end up having a son together before they are eventually rescued. As earlier stated, Elva Josephson played the seven-year-old Emmeline, while popular actress, Brooke Shields, took over during Emmeline’s teen years.

The Blue Lagoon received harsh reviews from movie critics. It nevertheless performed well with the viewing public. It grossed $58.8 million on a budget of $4.5 million and was one of the year’s best performances. It would go on to achieve iconic status with magazines commemorating important anniversaries of the film’s release.

She Also Appeared in Other Movies, Including the Author! Author! alongside Al Pacino

The Blue Lagoon marked a breakthrough in Elva Josephson’s career, and she utilized the exposure to land roles in several other movies such as A Little Sex (1982), George Washington (1984), and Author! Author! (1982). Author! Author! is a comedy-drama about a struggling playwright who is faced with both professional and personal issues at the same time.

On the one hand, he tries to convince an actress to star in his play. On the other hand, his wife abandons him with their child and four stepchildren. Author! Author! featured Al Pacino in the lead role while Elva Josephson played the role of one of the step kids named bonnie. She was credited as Elva Leff in the movie. The movie performed well at the box office, although panned by the critics.

Elva Josephson
Elva Josephson and her co-stars in Author! Author! (Image Source)

Elva Josephson’s Career Stalled in the 90s

Elva Josephson’s acting career fizzled out after her appearance in CBS Schoolbreak Special in 1995. She was thus never able to transition from a child actress to an adult actor. Some people suspect Elva Josephson may be on hiatus from acting, but it doesn’t seem so.

It is more of a case of her finding it difficult to land roles and deciding to do something else with her life. Whatever that thing is, there is no doubt that she would be a success, given that it takes one that is smart to become a child actor or actress.

Elva Josephson’s Movies and TV Shows


  • Hardhat and Legs (1980)
  • The Blue Lagoon (1980)
  • A Little Sex (1982)
  • Author! Author! (1982)

TV Series

  • George Washington (TV series – 1985)
  • CBS Schoolbreak Special (short TV series -1985)

Where is Elva Josephson Now?

Elva Josephson still lives in the U.S., but that is the extent of information about her whereabouts. Since her acting career stalled, she has disappeared from public consciousness. There are also no social media accounts under her known names. This makes it difficult to know what she is up to. It also makes it difficult to know details about her present career or her love life.

There is, however, every possibility that Elva Josephson went on to achieve an appreciable level of education, possibly a college degree, before starting a career. She could be a 9-5 employee. She could also be a business executive or an entrepreneur with her own business. It is also possible that Elva Josephson got married and even had kids as well.

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