Elizabeth Banks biography
Date of Birth: February 10, 1974
Birth name: Elizabeth Maresal Mitchell
Originally from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Banks received her Bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania, then went on to earn a graduate degree at the American Conservatory Theater. Her first film role was in the indie film, Surrender Dorothy (1998). She next landed a small role in the Hollywood blockbuster Shaft (1999), starring Samuel L. Jackson. On television, she made guest appearances on hit shows such as Third Watch (1999), Sex and The City (2000), and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2001), before landing several more roles in big budget motion pictures such as Spider-Man (2002) starring Tobey Maguire, Swept Away (2002) starring Madonna, and Catch Me If You Can (2002) starring Leonard DiCaprio.
Her breakthrough role came with Seabiscuit (2003), playing Marcela Howard, the wife of Seabiscuit's rich owner, Charles Howard, played by Jeff Bridges. Banks auditioned three times for the director, then wrote him a letter telling him she grew up watching horse racing and really wanted the role. Four days later, she had the part. In 2003, Banks won a Young Hollywood Award for Exciting New Face.
Since then, she's played roles in a number of major motion pictures, including the hit comedy The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Spider-Man 3 (2007), Man on a Ledge (2012), The Hunger Games (2012) and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014), the romantic comedy What to Expect When You're Expecting (2012), the brother-sister drama People Like Us (2012) and the musical high school comedy Pitch Perfect (2012). She's also appeared in recurring roles on the television series Scrubs and 30 Rock. More recently, she reprised her role in Pitch Perfect 2 , as well as making her feature film directorial debut with the sequel. She starred in Magic Mike XXL (2015), The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (2015), the series Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later (2017), Power Rangers (2017) and Pitch Perfect 3 (2017). She also provides the voice of Jenny in the animated crime comedy The Happytime Murders (2018), starring alongside Melissa McCarthy.
More recently, she lent her voice to the animated sequel The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) and starred in the horror film Brightburn (2019), as a woman who adopts a boy who turns out to have powers. Next, she's directing and starring in the Charlie's Angels reboot.
Elizabeth resides in Los Angeles with her husband, Max Handelman, and their two sons, Felix and Magnus.