Alex Borstein

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Alex Borstein
Alex Borstein by Gage Skidmore 4 (retouched).jpg
Borstein at the 2016 WonderCon
Born
Alexandrea Borstein

(1971-02-15) February 15, 1971 (age 48)
Alma materSan Francisco State University
OccupationActress, writer, producer, comedian
Years active1993–present
Spouse(s)
Jackson Douglas
(m. 1999; div. 2017)
Children2
Websitewww.alexborstein.com

Alexandrea Borstein (born February 15, 1971)[1] is an American actress, writer, producer, and comedian. She is known for voicing Lois Griffin on the animated comedy series Family Guy (1999–present), for which she received a Primetime Emmy Award from multiple nominations.

Borstein also had lead roles as various characters on the sketch comedy series MADtv (1997–2009), Dawn Forchette in the medical comedy series Getting On (2013–15), and Susie Myerson in the historical comedy-drama series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017–present), the latter of which has earned her two Primetime Emmy Awards. She had supporting roles in numerous films, including The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003), Catwoman (2004), Good Night, and Good Luck (2005), Dinner for Schmucks (2010), Ted (2012), ParaNorman (2012), and A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014).

She spent her childhood in Deerfield, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, before moving with her family to Northridge, California, a neighborhood of Los Angeles. She graduated from Chatsworth High School in 1989. Borstein is a graduate of San Francisco State University, where she studied rhetoric. She was trained in improvisational comedy at the ACME Comedy Theatre, near Hollywood, California, and was selected to join the cast of MADtv after being scouted by talent agents. Borstein was also a writer and voice actor for several television shows, including Casper, Pinky and the Brain, and Power Rangers Zeo, before joining the cast of MADtv in 1997 as a featured player, becoming a repertory player mid-season.

Early life[edit]

Borstein was born in Highland Park, Illinois, a city north of Chicago. She was raised in Deerfield, Illinois, before her family moved to California.[2] Borstein has two older brothers. Her parents, Irv and Judy Borstein, are both mental health professionals.[3][4] Borstein is Jewish.[3][5]

Her father is from Atlanta, Georgia. Her mother, a Holocaust survivor, was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary, and moved to the United States after the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.[6][7] Borstein attended San Francisco State University.[8]

Career[edit]

1993–1998: Career beginnings and MADtv[edit]

Borstein trained in improv at the ACME Comedy Theater, where she met her writing partner and future husband Jackson Douglas. Shortly after they began working together on the animated series Casper and Pinky and the Brain, Borstein left her position at an ad agency – where she had written print ads for Barbie – to become a full-time writer. In 1996, while still writing for Casper, Borstein worked on the show Power Rangers Zeo as the voice of Queen Machina, the queen of the Machine Empire.

In 1997, Borstein became a cast member on the third season of the sketch comedy show MADtv. She originally joined the cast as a featured player, but was upgraded to the repertory mid-season.

Borstein was best known on MADtv for her character Ms. Swan; her other recurring characters included Eracist Anne, "Stick Chick" Echo, singer Jasmine Wayne-Wayne, child prodigy Karen Goddard, lounge singer Shaunda, News at Six outside-the-studio reporter Sue Napersville, and Cordo the GAP troll. When Seth Green made recurring appearances on the show as mean boss Mr. Brightling, Borstein would play his mother, Mama Brightling.

1999–2009: Further success and Family Guy[edit]

Borstein at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con

While working on MADtv, Borstein met Seth MacFarlane, who was then preparing to launch the animated sitcom Family Guy on FOX. MacFarlane was originally supposed to create animated shorts for MADtv, but declined in favor of creating an independent series. MacFarlane cast Borstein as the voice of character Lois Griffin. After the show's debut in January 1999, Family Guy was cancelled by the network in 2002, but returned in 2005. As well as her role as the voice performer for Lois and several other characters (including a brief appearance as Ms. Swan in a 2005 episode), she is also a producer and staff writer. She was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for the episode "Lois Comes Out of Her Shell" in 2013.

In 2000, Borstein was cast as Sookie St. James in the WB drama Gilmore Girls. She portrayed Sookie in the pilot, but her MADtv contract prevented her from continuing in the role, which was recast with Melissa McCarthy. Borstein made recurring appearances on Gilmore Girls throughout the show's run, first as the harpist Drella and later as the stylist Miss Celine.

As a film actress, she played the school principal in The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003), the best friend of Halle Berry's character in Catwoman (2004), and an employee at CBS News in Good Night, and Good Luck (2005). She also had a small role in the movie Bad Santa (2003) and an uncredited cameo as an obnoxious coffee shop patron in the Will Ferrell movie Kicking & Screaming (2005). On some commercials, she sometimes voices Olive Oyl from Popeye and Betty Boop.

Borstein was a co-host of GSN's Celebrity Blackjack in 2004. She made at least three guest appearances, once as Lois Griffin, on the Comedy Central animated program Drawn Together.

Borstein was cast as a press secretary in the 2007 sitcom pilot The Thick of It, but the series was not picked up for broadcast. She was seen in the 2009 comedy For Christ's Sake, which was directed by her real-life husband Jackson Douglas.[9]

Borstein's production company is called Crackerpants, Inc. In 2007, they released the DVD Drop Dead Gorgeous (in a Down-to-Earth Bombshell Sort of Way), a recording of a live performance at the Alex Theatre, with opening act Teddy Towne. The title comes from one of many actual female character breakdowns Borstein reads from to illustrate sexism in the industry.[10]

2010–present: Getting On and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel[edit]

Borstein at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con

Borstein has made several supporting appearances in such comedic films as Killers (2010), Dinner for Schmucks (2010), Ted (2012), ParaNorman (2012), A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014), and The Angry Birds Movie (2016).

In 2010, Borstein joined the first season staff of the Showtime comedy-drama series Shameless, as a writer and supervising producer. In its second season, she held the position of writer and consulting producer. She also guest-starred as Lou Deckner in numerous episodes of the series, beginning in the first season episode "But at Last Came a Knock."

She also appeared as a comedian contestant on IFC's short-lived comedy-driven game show Bunk in 2012.

Borstein later starred as Dawn Forchette on the HBO comedy series Getting On, which is a remake of a UK series of the same name. The series has gained positive reviews and earned multiple Primetime Emmy Award nominations. It aired from 2013 to 2015.

In 2017, Borstein began starring as Susie Myerson in the historical comedy-drama series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, for which she received significant critical acclaim and won two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

Personal life[edit]

Borstein met actor and writer Jackson Douglas while studying improv at the ACME Comedy Theatre. Douglas proposed to her during the taping of a MADtv skit, and they were married in 1999. Douglas filed for divorce in October 2014, which was finalized in 2017.[11][12]

Borstein was pregnant when she recorded the DVD commentary for the Family Guy episode "Stewie Kills Lois", and joked about naming her baby Stewie. She and Douglas have a son born in September 2008,[13] and a daughter born in October 2012.[14]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2000 Coyote Ugly Bidding Auction Woman Uncredited
2002 Dawg Darcy Smits
Showtime Casting Director
2003 The Lizzie McGuire Movie Miss Ungermeyer
Bad Santa Milwaukee Mom
2004 Seeing Other People Tracy
Catwoman Sally
Billy's Dad Is a Fudge-Packer! Betty Henderson Short film
2005 Kicking & Screaming Obnoxious Hummer Lady Uncredited
Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story Lois Griffin / Various voices Direct-to-Video
Also writer and co-producer
Good Night, and Good Luck Natalie
2006 Little Man Janet
2007 The Lookout Mrs. Lange
2009 For Christ's Sake Mrs. Marcus
2010 Killers Lily Bailey
Dinner for Schmucks Martha
2012 Ted Helen Bennett
ParaNorman Mrs. Henscher (voice)
2014 A Million Ways to Die in the West Millie
2015 Love the Coopers Angie
2016 The Angry Birds Movie Sophie Bird / Peggy Bird (voice)
2020 Extinct (voice) In production

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1993–1994 Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Various voices[15] 4 episodes
1996 Power Rangers Zeo Queen Machina / Robocupid (voice) 42 episodes
Big Bad Beetleborgs Cataclaws (voice) Episode: "Yo Ho Borgs"
1997–2009,
2016
MADtv Herself / Various characters Main cast; 127 episodes
Also writer
1999–present Family Guy Lois Griffin / Barbara Pewterschmidt / Tricia Takanawa / Various voices Main cast; 329 episodes
Also writer, producer
2000–2005 Gilmore Girls Drella / Miss Celine / Doris 9 episodes
2002 Titus Nicky Episode: "Bachelor Party"
2002–2003 3 South Becky (voice) 3 episodes
2003 Friends Bitter Woman on Stage Episode: "The One with the Soap Opera Party"
Frasier Evelyn Episode: "Farewell, Nervosa"
2005–2019 Robot Chicken Various voices 14 episodes
2006–2016 American Dad! Doctor Gupta / Museum Curator (voice) Episodes: "Roger 'n' Me" and "Garfield and Friends"
2006 Drawn Together Lois Griffin / Various voices Episodes: "A Tale of Two Cows" and "The Lemon AIDS Walk"
2007–2009 Slacker Cats Latoyah (voice) 11 episodes
2009–2013 The Cleveland Show Hadassah Lowenstein / Lois Griffin / Various voices 17 episodes
2009 Glenn Martin, DDS Clerk (voice) Episode: "Deck the Malls"
2011–2015 Shameless Lou Deckner 5 episodes; also writer, consulting producer
2012 Hot in Cleveland Preshi Episode: "Rubber Ball"
2012–2016 Workaholics Colleen Walker 3 episodes
2012–2013 Bunheads Sweetie Cramer / Hooker Episodes: "Pilot" and "Channing Tatum Is a Fine Actor"
2013–2015 Getting On Dawn Forchette Main cast; 18 episodes
2015 Life in Pieces Lynette Episode: "Ponzi Sex Paris Bounce"
Masters of Sex Loretta Episode: "Monkey Business"
2016 Bordertown Janice Buckwald / Becky (voice) 12 episodes
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life Drella / Miss Celine Episodes: "Winter" and "Fall"
Son of Zorn Elizabeth Episode: "Return of the Drinking Buddy"
2017–present The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Susie Myerson Main cast; 18 episodes
2017 animals. Lois Griffin (voice) Episode: "Pigeons."

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role
2006 Family Guy Video Game! Lois Griffin / Various voices
2012 Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse
2014 Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff

Web[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2008–2010 Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy Various voices 6 episodes

Radio[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2015 Special Relativity[16] Nox / Lucinda

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Organization Category Work(s) Result Ref.
2006 DVD Exclusive Awards Best Screenplay (for a DVD Premiere Movie) Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story Won
[17]
Spike Video Game Awards Best Cast Family Guy Video Game! Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Good Night, and Good Luck Nominated
2008 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Animated Program Family Guy: Blue Harvest Nominated
2013 Outstanding Voice-Over Performance Family Guy: Lois Comes Out of Her Shell Nominated
2018 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Won
Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance Family Guy: Nanny Goats Won
2019 Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Nominated
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Won
Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance Family Guy: Throw It Away Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FAQ (first question)". Alexborstein.com. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  2. ^ Schleier, Curt (December 26, 2013). "Alex Borstein on 'Family Guy' and 'Getting On'". The Forward.
  3. ^ a b Phipps, Keith (November 20, 2006). "Random Rules: Alex Borstein". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved November 21, 2006.
  4. ^ "It's a MAD World". Sonic.net. October 19, 2002. Archived from the original on May 12, 2012. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  5. ^ Kveller.com "How Celebrities Celebrated Passover"
  6. ^ Thomas Smith, Kadesha (September 19, 2013). "Hemophilia Humor: NHF spokesperson Alex Borstein found success, levity in comedy". Hemaware.
  7. ^ Pfefferman, Naomi (December 13, 2017). "Alex Borstein and Her 'Maisel' Character: 'We're Both Like Little Bulldogs'". Jewish Journal. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  8. ^ Crowder, Courtney (November 12, 2014). "Alex Borstein, a woman of many voices with just the right tone likes women". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  9. ^ For Christ's Sake (2010). IMDb.com
  10. ^ Drop Dead Gorgeous (In a Down to Earth Bombshell Sort of Way), Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, 2007
  11. ^ "'Family Guy' Star Alex Borstein -- Husband Files For Divorce ... I Want Pewterschmidt Money". TMZ. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  12. ^ Corinthios, Aurelie (November 9, 2017). "Alex Borstein's Divorce Is Final: Her Ex-Husband Gets Half Her Family Guy Royalties". People. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  13. ^ "Alex Borstein and Jackson Douglas Welcome Son Barnaby". People. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  14. ^ "Alex Borstein Welcomes Baby No. 2: Henrietta". Celebrity Baby Scoop. October 8, 2012. Archived from the original on November 19, 2018. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  15. ^ "Alex Borstein - Power Rangers Central". Archived from the original on January 18, 2017. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  16. ^ "Special Relativity - A Radio Comedy starring Alex Borstein". Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  17. ^ "Alex Borstein - Awards - IMDb". Retrieved August 10, 2018.

External links[edit]