Elizabeth Banks

Elizabeth Banks

Born: February 10, 1974
Age: 44
Birthplace: Pittsfield, Massachusetts, U.S.
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Elizabeth Irene Banks (née Mitchell; February 10, 1974) is an American actress, director, and producer. Banks made her film debut in the low-budget independent film Surrender Dorothy (1998), and is known for her roles in such films as Wet Hot American Summer (2001), Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy (2002-2007), Seabiscuit (2003), The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008), Role Models (2008), The Next Three Days (2010), Pitch Perfect (2012), The Lego Movie (2014), and The Hunger Games film series (2012-2015). In 2014, she portrayed Melinda Ledbetter, the girlfriend and later wife of the Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson, in Bill Pohlad's film Love & Mercy and made her directorial debut with Pitch Perfect 2, whose $69M opening weekend gross set a record for a first-time director.

On television, Banks had a recurring role as Avery Jessup on the NBC sitcom 30 Rock, which garnered her two Primetime Emmy Award nominations. She also had recurring roles on the comedy series Scrubs and Modern Family, the latter of which earned her a Primetime Emmy Award nomination. In 2015, she reprised her role as Lindsay in Wet Hot American Summer for the Netflix miniseries Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp.

As of November 2016, Box Office Mojo ranked Banks as the 32nd-highest grossing actor of all time, and the sixth-highest grossing female actor.


Early life

Banks was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts and grew up on Brown Street, the eldest of four children of Ann (née Wallace) and Mark P. Mitchell. Her father, a Vietnam veteran, was a factory worker for General Electric and her mother worked in a bank. She has said that she grew up "Irish + WASP + Catholic".

Growing up, Banks played baseball and rode horses. She was in Little League when she broke her leg sliding into third. She then tried out for the school play, which was her start in acting. She graduated from Pittsfield High School in 1992, and is a member of the Massachusetts Junior Classical League. She attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a member of the Delta Delta Delta Sorority. She graduated magna cum laude in 1996 with a major in communications and a minor in theater arts. In 1998, she completed schooling at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, California, where she earned an MFA.


Banks changed her name to avoid confusion with actress Elizabeth Mitchell. After auditioning in New York, she was offered a role on the soap opera Santa Barbara. Taking the role would have required her to quit her education at the American Conservatory Theatre, and Banks ultimately decided to forgo the offer due to having taken out student loans to complete her degree. She made her acting debut in the 1998 independent film Surrender Dorothy, as Elizabeth Casey, and appeared in various films over the next seven years including Guy Ritchie's Swept Away before gaining more prominent widespread exposure through the 2005 comedy film The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

In August 2005, at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Banks starred in William Inge's Bus Stop as Cherie, the sexy, blonde, aspiring nightclub singer. Jeffrey Borak wrote that Banks' portrayal was acted "with poise, clarity and a shrewd feel for Cherie's complexities. Her performance is all of a piece and in harmony, stylistically, with the performances around her..." In 2005, she appeared on the series Stella, and in May 2006, she had a role in the season five finale of the NBC sitcom Scrubs as Dr. Kim Briggs, the love interest of J.D. (Zach Braff). The character appeared throughout seasons six, seven, and eight as a recurring guest star.

In 2006, Banks appeared in the American football drama film Invincible, in which she played Mark Wahlberg's love interest. Later, she and co-star Wahlberg were nominated for the "Best Kiss" award at the MTV Movie Awards. That same year, she landed the starring role in the comedy-horror film Slither.

In 2007, Banks played the female lead in the comedy film Meet Bill, alongside Aaron Eckhart and Jessica Alba. That same year, she had a small role in the Christmas comedy film Fred Claus, co-starring Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti as Santa's little helper, Charlyne. In 2008, she played the ex-wife and mother of the daughter of Ryan Reynolds lead in the comedy film Definitely, Maybe, alongside Isla Fisher and Ryan Reynolds, starred with Seth Rogen as the eponymous female lead in the Kevin Smith comedy Zack and Miri Make a Porno, and played United States First Lady Laura Bush in W., Oliver Stone's biopic of George W. Bush.

In 2009, Banks appeared in the horror film The Uninvited, a remake of the Korean film A Tale of Two Sisters. The film was about an intrusive stepmother who makes life miserable for the teen daughters of her new husband. Banks based her character, Rachel, on Rebecca De Mornay's character in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. "It was very important to me that every line reading I gave could be interpreted two ways," says Banks of her role, "So that when you go back through the movie you can see that".

Banks is a frequent co-star of actor Paul Rudd, the two having appeared in five films together to date (Wet Hot American Summer, The Baxter, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Role Models, and Our Idiot Brother). She is also a frequent co-star of actor Tobey Maguire, the two having also appeared in five films together (Spider-Man, Seabiscuit, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3, and The Details).

Banks was cast as a love interest for Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) in the fourth season of the Emmy Award-winning sitcom 30 Rock. Intended to appear in four episodes in 2010, Banks went on to become a recurring character with 13 appearances by the end of the fifth season, including her marriage in the episode Mrs. Donaghy. Her performance in season five earned her a nomination for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards.

Banks appeared in the movie The Hunger Games (2012), playing Effie Trinket, a woman from "The Capitol" who escorts the District 12 tributes to the Hunger Games. She reprised the role in the films The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013), The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014), and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (2015). Banks co-starred in the 2014 movie Every Secret Thing, playing Detective Nancy Porter investigating the disappearance of a young child with similarities to a case she had previously been involved with.

In 2014, Banks was recognized by Elle Magazine during The Women in Hollywood Awards, honoring women for their outstanding achievements in film, spanning all aspects of the motion picture industry, including acting, directing, and producing.

Banks portrayed Melinda Ledbetter Wilson, the wife of Brian Wilson, in the 2015 biopic Love and Mercy, which is based on the life of the legendary musician and founding member of The Beach Boys, as portrayed by John Cusack. After producing and appearing, as Gail, in the first Pitch Perfect film, Banks directed its sequel, Pitch Perfect 2 (2015), making her feature directorial debut. She also produced the film, and again played Gail. In 2015, she was named as a member of the Jury for the Main Competition at the 2015 Venice Film Festival. The festival is chaired by Alfonso Cuarón. Also in 2015, Banks became a spokeswoman for Realtor.com in their series of television commercials. As of mid-February 2016, Banks became the commercial face of Old Navy. She also played space alien Rita Repulsa in the 2017 Power Rangers reboot film.

Personal life

Banks met her husband, sportswriter and producer Max Handelman, on her first day at college on September 6, 1992. They were married in 2003. She and her husband had their first child, Felix, who was born through a surrogate in March 2011. In November 2012, Banks announced the birth of another son, Magnus Mitchell, also by surrogate.

Banks went through parts of conversion to Judaism, her husband's faith, and studied with rabbis. In 2013, speaking of her religion, she stated that she practices Judaism, though "I did not have my mikveh, so technically I'm not converted", but that she has "been essentially a Jew for like 15 years", adding "Frankly, because I'm already doing everything, I feel like I'm as Jewish as I'm ever going to be".

Banks was a vocal supporter of Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, involved in a rendition of Rachel Platten's single "Fight Song" with a host of other celebrities at the Democratic National Convention.



Year Title Role Notes
1998 Surrender Dorothy Vicki Credited as Elizabeth Casey
2000 Shaft Trey's friend Credited as Elizabeth Maresal Mitchell
2001 Wet Hot American Summer Lindsay
Ordinary Sinner Rachel
2002 Spider-Man Betty Brant
Swept Away Debi
Catch Me If You Can Lucy Forrest
2003 The Trade Sioux Sever
Seabiscuit Marcela Howard
2004 Spider-Man 2 Betty Brant
2005 Heights Isabel Lee
Sexual Life Sarah
The Sisters Nancy Pecket
The Baxter Caroline Swann
The 40-Year-Old Virgin Beth
Daltry Calhoun May
2006 Slither Starla Grant
Invincible Janet Cantrell
2007 Spider-Man 3 Betty Brant
Meet Bill Jess
Fred Claus Charlene
2008 Definitely, Maybe Emily Jones
Meet Dave Gina Morrison
Lovely, Still Alex
W. Laura Bush
Zack and Miri Make a Porno Miriam "Miri" Linky
Role Models Beth Jones
2009 Big Breaks Starlet Short film
The Uninvited Rachel Summers
Surrogates N/A Executive producer
2010 The Next Three Days Lara Brennan
2011 The Details Nealy Lang
Just a Little Heart Attack Woman Short film
Also director
Our Idiot Brother Miranda Rochlin
2012 Man on a Ledge Lydia Mercer
The Hunger Games Effie Trinket
What to Expect When You're Expecting Wendy Cooper
People Like Us Frankie Davis
Pitch Perfect Gail Abernathy-McKadden Also producer
2013 Movie 43 Amy Segment: "Beezel"
Directed segment: "Middleschool Date"
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Effie Trinket
2014 Little Accidents Diane Doyle
The Lego Movie Wyldstyle/Lucy Voice role
Walk of Shame Meghan Miles
Every Secret Thing Detective Nancy Porter
Love & Mercy Melinda Ledbetter
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 Effie Trinket
2015 Pitch Perfect 2 Gail Abernathy-McKadden-Feinberger Also director and producer
Magic Mike XXL Paris
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 Effie Trinket
2017 The Most Hated Woman in America N/A Producer
Power Rangers Rita Repulsa
Pitch Perfect 3 Gail Abernathy-McKadden-Feinberger Also producer; filming


Year Title Role Notes
1998 Keep Going Safety Ben's Mom Voice role
1999 All My Children Rosalie 1 episode
1999 Third Watch Elaine Elchisak Episode: "Patterns"
Credited as Elizabeth Maresal Mitchell
2000 Sex and the City Catherine Episode: "Politically Erect"
2001 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Jaina Tobias Jansen Episode: "Sacrifice"
2002 Without a Trace Clarissa Episode: "Snatch Back"
2005 Stella Tamara Episode: "Meeting Girls"
2006-09 Scrubs Dr. Kim Briggs 17 episodes
2007-08 Wainy Days Shelly 3 episodes
2007-08 American Dad! Becky Arangino / Lisa Silver (voices) 3 episodes
2008 Comanche Moon Maggie Tilton 3 episodes
2009, 2013-15, 2017 Modern Family Sal 6 episodes
2010-12 30 Rock Avery Jessup 15 episodes
2012 Family Guy Pam Fishman (voice) Episode: "Into Fat Air"
2012 Robot Chicken Mrs. Claus / Shana "Scarlett" O'Hara (voices) Episode: "Robot Chicken's ATM Christmas Special"
2012 Comedy Bang! Bang! Herself Episode: "Elizabeth Banks Wears A Red Dress"
2013 Timms Valley Beth Billings-Timms (voice) Pilot
2014 Phineas and Ferb Grulinda (voice) Episode: "Imperfect Storm"
2015 Resident Advisors Doctor Episode: "Motivational Speaker "; also producer
2015 Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp Lindsay 6 episodes
2015 Moonbeam City Chief Pizzaz Miller (voice) 10 episodes
2015 The Muppets Herself Episode: "Pig Girls Don't Cry"
2015 Saturday Night Live Herself/host Episode: "Elizabeth Banks/Disclosure"
2017 Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later Lindsay Upcoming Netflix series

Video games

Year Title Voice role
2014 The Lego Movie Videogame Wyldstyle/Lucy
2015 Lego Dimensions Wyldstyle/Lucy

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Work Result Ref.
2003 Young Hollywood Awards Exciting New Face N/A Won
2004 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Seabiscuit Nominated
2007 MTV Movie Awards Best Kiss
Invincible Nominated
2008 Detroit Film Critics Society Best Supporting Actress W. Nominated
2009 Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards Face of the Future Award N/A Won
2011 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series 30 Rock Nominated
2012 MTV Movie Awards Best On-Screen Transformation The Hunger Games Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Female Scene Stealer Nominated
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series 30 Rock Nominated
2013 CinemaCon Excellence in Acting N/A Won
Online Film & Television Association Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Modern Family Nominated
San Diego Film Critics Society Best Supporting Actress The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Nominated
2014 Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Director
Movie 43 Won
MTV Movie Awards Best On-Screen Transformation The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Nominated
2015 Austin Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actress Love & Mercy Nominated
BTVA Feature Film Voice Acting Award Best Female Lead Vocal Performance in a Feature Film The Lego Movie Nominated
Best Vocal Ensemble in a Feature Film
BTVA People's Choice Voice Acting Award Best Female Lead Vocal Performance in a Feature Film Won
Best Vocal Ensemble in a Feature Film
CinemaCon Breakthrough Filmmaker of the Year N/A Won
Florida Film Critics Circle Awards Best Supporting Actress Love & Mercy Nominated
Indiana Film Journalists Association Best Supporting Actress Runner-up
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Best Supporting Actress Won
MTV Movie Awards Best On-Screen Transformation The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 Won
Online Film & Television Association Awards Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Modern Family Nominated
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Best Supporting Actress Love & Mercy Runner-up
2016 Santa Barbara International Film Festival Virtuoso Award Won
Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture Nominated
Golden Raspberry Awards The Razzie Redeemer Award Pitch Perfect 2 Nominated

Elizabeth Banks supports the following charitable causes: Education, ALS (amyrotrophic lateral sclerosis), Music Education, Alzheimer's.

[ Source: Wikipedia ]