Banks at the New York premiere of What to Expect When You're Expecting in May 2012
|Born||Elizabeth Irene Mitchell
February 10, 1974 
Pittsfield, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Other names||Liz Banks|
|Alma mater||University of Pennsylvania
American Conservatory Theater
|Occupation||Actress, producer and director|
|Spouse(s)||Max Handelman (m. 2003)|
Elizabeth Banks (born Elizabeth Irene Mitchell; February 10, 1974) is an American actress, producer and director. Banks made her film debut in the low-budget independent film Surrender Dorothy (1998). She is best known for her roles in the films Seabiscuit (2003), The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Invincible (2006), Definitely, Maybe (2008), Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008), W. (2008), Role Models (2008), The Uninvited (2009), The Next Three Days (2010), People Like Us (2012), Man on a Ledge (2012), Pitch Perfect (2012), Movie 43 (2013), The Lego Movie (2014), and The Hunger Games film series (2012–15). Her upcoming roles include Little Accidents (2014), Every Secret Thing (2014), The Big Shoe (2014) and Pitch Perfect 2 (2015).
On television, Banks had a recurring role as Avery Jessup on the sitcom 30 Rock, which gained her two Emmy Award nominations. Previously, Banks had starred in a recurring role as Dr. Kim Briggs on Scrubs from 2006 to 2009.
Early life and education
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 was a factory worker for General Electric and her mother worked in a bank.
Growing up, she 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. Banks graduated magna cum laude in 1996 with a major in communications and a concentration in theater arts. In 1998, she completed schooling at the American Conservatory Theater and earned an MFA.
Banks changed her name to avoid confusion with actress Elizabeth Mitchell. She made her acting debut in the 1998 independent film Surrender Dorothy, as Elizabeth Casey, appeared in various films over the next seven years 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. Also that year, she landed the starring role in the comedy-horror film Slither.
In 2007, she played the female lead in the comedy film Meet Bill, alongside Aaron Eckhart and Jessica Alba. Also that year, Banks had a small role in the Christmas comedy film Fred Claus, co-starring Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti. In 2008, she played a love interest 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 thriller The Uninvited, a remake of the Korean horror 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).
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 thirteen 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, playing Effie Trinket, a woman from "The Capitol" who escorts the District 12 tributes to the Hunger Games. She continues in the role in the 2013 film The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. In a February 2013 episode, Banks reprised her role as Sal on Modern Family.
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 via a surrogate in March 2011. In November 2012, Banks announced that her family had welcomed another son, Magnus Mitchell, also born via a surrogate.
Banks is of Irish, English, Scottish, and some Dutch, ancestry, and has both a Catholic and Protestant family background. She went through parts of the process 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", and added, "Frankly, because I'm already doing everything [practicing religious rituals], I feel like I'm as Jewish as I'm ever going to be".
|1998||Surrender Dorothy||Vicki||Credited as Elizabeth Casey|
|2000||Shaft||Trey's friend||Credited as Elizabeth Maresal Mitchell|
|2001||Wet Hot American Summer||Lindsay|
|2002||Catch Me If You Can||Lucy Forrest|
|2002||Stella Shorts 1998-2002||Woman at yoga class||Short films; direct-to-DVD release|
|2003||The Trade||Sioux Sever|
|2003||Seabiscuit||Marcela Howard||Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture|
|2004||Spider-Man 2||Betty Brant|
|2005||The Sisters||Nancy Pecket|
|2005||The Baxter||Caroline Swann|
|2005||The 40-Year-Old Virgin||Beth|
|2006||Invincible||Janet Cantrell||Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss (Shared with Mark Wahlberg)|
|2007||Spider-Man 3||Betty Brant|
|2008||Definitely, Maybe||Emily Jones|
|2008||Meet Dave||Gina Morrison|
|2008||Zack and Miri Make a Porno||Miriam "Miri" Linky|
|2008||W.||Laura Bush||Nominated—Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress|
|2008||Role Models||Beth Jones|
|2009||Big Breaks||Starlet||Short film|
|2009||The Uninvited||Rachel Summers|
|2010||The Next Three Days||Lara Brennan|
|2011||The Details||Nealy Lang|
|2011||Just a Little Heart Attack||Director and star||PSA for the American Heart Association Go Red For Women campaign|
|2011||Our Idiot Brother||Miranda|
|2012||Man on a Ledge||Lydia Mercer|
|2012||The Hunger Games||Effie Trinket||Won—MTV Movie Award for Best Transformation
Nominated—Teen Choice Awards Scene Stealer: Female
|2012||What to Expect When You're Expecting||Wendy|
|2012||People like Us||Frankie|
|2012||Pitch Perfect||Gail Abernathy-McKadden||Also producer|
|2013||Movie 43||Amy||Segment: "Beezel"; also director of segment "Middleschool Date"|
|2013||The Hunger Games: Catching Fire||Effie Trinket||Nominated—San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress|
|2014||Little Accidents||Diane Doyle|
|2014||The Lego Movie||Wyldstyle/Lucy||Voice|
|2014||Walk of Shame||Meghan Miles|
|2014||Every Secret Thing||Detective Nancy Porter|
|2014||Love and Mercy||Melinda Ledbetter Wilson||In post-production|
|2014||The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1||Effie Trinket||In post-production|
|2015||The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2||Effie Trinket||Filming|
|1999||All My Children||Waitress||Cameo role|
|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"|
|Scrubs||Dr. Kim Briggs||Recurring role|
|2007–08||Wainy Days||Shelly||3 episodes|
|American Dad!||Becky Arangino
|2008||Comanche Moon||Maggie Tilton||Miniseries|
|Modern Family||Sal||2 episodes|
|2010–12||30 Rock||Avery Jessup||15 episodes
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (2011 & 2012)
|2012||Family Guy||Pam Fishman||Episode: "Into Fat Air"; voice|
|2012||Robot Chicken||Mrs. Claus / Shana 'Scarlett' O'Hara||Episode: "Robot Chicken's ATM Christmas Special"; voice|
- "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly (1246): 24. Feb 15, 2013.
- Vary, Adam B. (2008-10-20). "Elizabeth Banks Fall's First Lady Elizabeth Banks Movie Spotlight Movies Entertainment Weekly 2". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- "Elizabeth Irene Mitchell". familytreemaker.genealogy.com. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
- Jessica Willis (October 21, 2008). "From Pittsfield to the big screen". The Berkshire Eagle.
- James Mottram (2008-11-08). "Elizabeth Banks: from the top-shelf to First Lady in W.". The Times (London). Retrieved 2008-11-07.
- "About Elizabeth Banks". yahoo movies. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
- "Elizabeth Banks Was A Sexy-Flirty Latin Clubber". TeamCoco. September 24, 2012. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
- "How to Succeed in Business by Really, Really Trying". Penn Gazette. December 22, 2009. Retrieved September 11, 2013.
- Strauss, Bob (2008-10-27). "From first lady to Porno star actress: Elizabeth Banks dishes the dirt". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- Sommer, Elyse. 2005, Curtain Up.
- Borak, Jeffrey 2005. "Love blooms in a Kansas diner", Berkshire Eagle August 20, Art section.
- Elizabeth Banks is Oliver Stone's Laura Bush "Elizabeth Banks is Oliver Stone's Laura Bush - ComingSoon.net". ComingSoon.net. 2008-03-26. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- Elizabeth Banks to Head Out into the Dark Fields?
- "Elizabeth Banks: The Uninvited". SuicideGirls.com. 30 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-30.
- Elizabeth Banks Entering Dark Fields?
- Joyce Eng. "Elizabeth Banks to Guest-Star on 30 Rock". TVGuide.com.
- Modern Family. Season 4. Episode 17. 2/27/2013. ABC. http://beta.abc.go.com/shows/modern-family/episode-guide/episode-417-best-men. Retrieved 3/12/2013.
- "Celebrity Wedding: Elizabeth Banks & Max Handelman". In Style. Retrieved 2009-01-06.
- Tiger, Caroline 2010. "How to Succeed in Show Business by Really Really Trying". The Pennsylvania Gazette Jan.-Feb., Vol. 108, No. 3, pp. 46-50.
- Michaud, Sarah (March 31, 2011). "Elizabeth Banks Names 'Miracle' Baby Felix". people.com. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
- Charles, Marissa (2012-01-04). "'It was a womb issue for me': Hunger Games star Elizabeth Banks opens up about using a surrogate mother to have her son Felix". Daily Mail (London).
- Banks, Elizabeth (November 14, 2012). "IT'S A BOY!". elizabethbanks.com. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
- "Elizabeth Banks". Twitter. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
- Butnick, Stephanie (January 17, 2013). "Jewish Actress Elizabeth Banks Discusses Her Conversion With Marc Maron". Jewcy. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
- "Episode 352 - Elizabeth Banks". WTF with Marc Maron. January 14, 2013. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
- Just a Little Heart Attack at the Internet Movie Database
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Elizabeth Banks.|
- Official website
- Elizabeth Banks at the Internet Movie Database
- Elizabeth Banks at the TCM Movie Database
- Elizabeth Banks at AllMovie