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Elizabeth Banks Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (30) | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 10 February 1974Pittsfield, Massachusetts, USA
Birth NameElizabeth Maresal Mitchell
Height 5' 4½" (1.64 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Elizabeth Banks was born Elizabeth Mitchell in Pittsfield, a small city in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts near the New York border, on February 10, 1974. She is the daughter of Ann (Wallace), who worked in a bank, and Mark P. Mitchell, a factory worker. Elizabeth describes herself as having been seen as a "goody two-shoes" in her youth who was nominated for the local Harvest Queen.

Banks left home to attend college at the University of Pennsylvania--from which she graduated Magna cum Laude--and went on to attend the Advanced Training Program at the prestigious American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, from which she graduated in 1996. She then moved to New York and worked in the theater, and began getting small roles in films and on television. Seeking more screen work, she moved to Los Angeles and soon began snagging supporting roles. She also had to change her name, to avoid confusion with actress Elizabeth Mitchell, and thus changed her last name to Banks.

Her first breakthrough role was as Betty Brant, the secretary of the cantankerous newspaper tycoon in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man (2002). She followed up this performance with small roles in other movies: Swept Away (2002), Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can (2002), Seabiscuit (2003) and The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005). In 2003 she won the Exciting New Face Award at the Young Hollywood Awards.

Although the winsome, beautiful Banks projected an exceptionally charming screen presence that drew comparisons to Audrey Hepburn, she primarily remained in supporting roles. Audiences began to take notice when Banks took the lead in such films as Kevin Smith's Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008) and as Laura Bush in Oliver Stone's biopic of George W. Bush, W. (2008).

In television Banks was a recurring guest star on Scrubs (2001) as Dr. Kim Briggs, the love interest of Zach Braff's J.D. In 2010 she was cast as Alec Baldwin's love interest in season four of 30 Rock (2006). Originally her character was only scheduled to appear in four episodes, but she was brought back as a recurring character for two more seasons, and earned Emmy nominations for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for two consecutive years.

Now in the spotlight, Banks appeared in back-to-back films, co-starring in Our Idiot Brother (2011), Man on a Ledge (2012), What to Expect When You're Expecting (2012) and People Like Us (2012). She also won the highly coveted role as Effie Trinket in The Hunger Games (2012). She also stars in such films as Pitch Perfect (2012), Frank or Francis, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013).

Banks married Max Handelman, a sports writer and producer, in 2003. They welcomed a son, Felix Handleman, who was born via a surrogate in March 2011.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Larry-115 (qv's & corrections by A. Nonymous)

Spouse (1)

Max Handelman (5 July 2003 - present) (2 children)

Trivia (30)

Graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996, where she was a member of Delta Delta Delta. Was the first in her family to graduate from college.
Graduated from American Conservatory Theater's Advanced Training Program in 1998.
Enjoys fantasy football as a hobby.
Was considered for the role of Susan Storm/Invisible Girl in Fantastic Four (2005), as was Fernanda Romero.
Wife of Max Handelman. She and her husband work as a production team (Brownstone Productions). They met at the University of Pennsylvania.
College friends with Todd Lieberman.
Oldest of four children in a divided house. (Her mom was for the Boston Red Sox and her dad was for the New York Yankees.).
She went through parts of the process of conversion to Judaism when marrying her husband.
Met President George W. Bush when Seabiscuit (2003) was screened at the White House.

In Oliver Stone's W. (2008), she plays the role of Laura Bush, the president's wife.
Taking a course on flying the trapeze with a girlfriend (2008).
Her father, Mark Mitchell, was a factory worker for General Electric and her mother, Ann Mitchell, worked, until recently, in a bank.
Former Brownie and Girl Scout.
Graduated from Pittsfield (Massachusetts) High School in 1992.
Poltergeist (1982) was the scariest movie she has ever seen. She saw it, with her sister, when she was eleven.
Is a major fan of David Letterman.
Turned down a role in The Crazies (2010) because the role was too similar to her character in Slither (2006), and she didn't want to repeat herself.
Got the role in Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008) after Rosario Dawson turned it down.
Bad Santa (2003) is her favorite holiday movie.
Ranked #83 in the 2011 FHM list of "100 Sexiest Women in the World.".
Has a brother named Geoff.
Has a weakness for cupcakes.
Ranked #39 in the 2010 FHM UK list of "100 Sexiest Women in the World.".
In a 2012 interview with Slate, she said that she considered her role in the 1998 independent movie, Surrender Dorothy (1998), to be one of the worst mistakes in her career, so far. She also said that it was instrumental in her decision to attend drama school, so that she could receive training that would enable her never to have to be in this type of movie, again.
Returned to work 2 months after the birth of her son Felix in order to begin filming The Hunger Games (2012).
In 2012, she threw her support behind President Barack Obama in a highly personal video testimonial on the importance of federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
Became a mother for the 1st time at age 37, when her son, Felix Handelman, was born in March 2011 via surrogate. Child's father is her husband, Max Handelman.
Became a mother for the 2nd time at age 38, when her son, Magnus Mitchell Handelman, was born--via surrogate--in November 2012, via surrogate. Child's father is her husband, Max Handelman.
Her ancestry includes English, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh.
Appeared in a commercial for L'Oreal Paris "Preference".
One of only three women to have won the Razzie Award for Worst Director. (The other two being Elaine May for Ishtar (1987) and Jennifer Chambers Lynch for Boxing Helena (1993).) Banks was actually one of several directors cited for Movie 43 (2013).

Personal Quotes (5)

I really think that we do a disservice to young people in America by not being more open about sex. Abstinence programs do not work. It's a natural, physical thing having sex.
I'm pleased that Hollywood hasn't figured out how to pigeonhole me yet..."
I love physical comedy. I love Oscar Wilde, I love [William Shakespeare] comedies, I love improv. I knew I had a knack for it at a certain level, but I came into this business as a classically trained drama student and that was my reputation. When you live in a leading lady's body, which I do, you have to constantly prove that you are funny.
Every once in a while I play a true idiot, and they're really fun to play.
[in 2013, on going through the process of converting to her husband's religion, Judaism] I did not have my mikveh, so technically I'm not converted . . . I've been essentially a Jew for like 15 years . . . I haven't had a Christmas tree in 15 years . . . My kids go to Jewish pre-school, we only celebrate Jewish holidays, I love seder . . . Frankly, because I'm already doing everything, I feel like I'm as Jewish as I'm ever going to be.

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