Cobie Smulders

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Cobie Smulders
Smulders in 2019 at the premiere of Spider-Man: Far From Home
Jacoba Francisca Maria Smulders

(1982-04-03) April 3, 1982 (age 42)
  • Canada
  • United States
Years active2002–present
(m. 2012)

Jacoba Francisca Maria "Cobie" Smulders[1] (born April 3, 1982)[2] is a Canadian-American[3] actress. She is known for her starring role as Robin Scherbatsky in the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother (2005–2014) and as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero franchise, starting with the film The Avengers (2012).

Smulders' other films include Safe Haven (2013), The Lego Movie (2014), Results (2015), The Intervention (2016), Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016), and The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019). She also starred in the Netflix comedy drama series A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017), the Netflix comedy series Friends from College (2017–2019), the ABC crime drama series Stumptown (2019–2020), and the FX true crime series Impeachment: American Crime Story (2021).

Smulders made her theater debut in the off-Broadway production of the Nora Ephron play Love, Loss, and What I Wore in 2010. She then made her Broadway debut in the revival of the Noël Coward comedy Present Laughter (2017) earning a Theater World Award.

Early life and education[edit]

Smulders was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, to a Dutch father and a British mother. She was raised in White Rock, British Columbia, and later moved to the affluent West Point Grey neighbourhood to attend high school at Lord Byng Secondary School. She was named after her great-aunt, from whom she gained the nickname "Cobie".[4] Smulders describes herself as "a fluent listener" of French.[5] She has four sisters.[6] Smulders was also a member of the Girl Guides of Canada as a child, participating as a Brownie (Girl Guide program for 7- to 10-year-olds).[7] In her youth, Smulders aspired to be a marine biologist.[5] She took an interest in theatre throughout high school and briefly studied at the University of Victoria before returning to acting.[5]


Smulders worked in modeling, which she later said she "kind of hated", adding that the experience made her hesitant about pursuing acting as a career: "You know, you go into these rooms, and I've had the experience of people judging you physically for so long and I was over that but, then it was like... 'Oh no, I have to actually perform. I have to do well, and I have to have a voice... and I have to have thoughts now.'"[8]


2002–2016: Early roles and breakthrough[edit]

A brunette woman smiles
Smulders at a CBS event in 2008

Smulders made her professional acting debut in 2002, with guest appearances in the UPN science fiction comedy series Special Unit 2 and the Showtime science fiction drama series Jeremiah. She subsequently made multiple appearances on television, including in the Fox supernatural drama series Tru Calling (2003), the WB superhero series Smallville (2003), and the Global space opera series Andromeda (2005). Smulders' first role as a series regular was in the short-lived 2003 ABC adventure drama series Veritas: The Quest, which ran for one season. She made her film debut in 2004 with a supporting role in the action film Walking Tall. She then had a supporting role in the 2005 comedy film The Long Weekend. That same year, she had a recurring role as Leigh Ostin in the Showtime drama series The L Word.

In 2005, Smulders was cast as television reporter and former teen pop star Robin Scherbatsky in the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother. The series concluded in 2014 after nine seasons, winning 10 Emmy Awards throughout its run.[9] For her performance, she garnered wide recognition and earned a People's Choice Award nomination.[10] In 2009, she appeared in the comedy film The Slammin' Salmon. She then appeared in the 2010 pilot episode of the HBO comedy-drama series How to Make It in America. In June 2010, Smulders made her off-Broadway debut in Delia and Nora Ephron's play Love, Loss, and What I Wore at the Westside Theatre.[11] She went on to star in the 2012 political comedy film Grassroots.

A brunette woman smiles at the camera
Smulders at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con

Smulders gained further recognition for starring as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, beginning with the 2012 superhero action film The Avengers. She received training from a Los Angeles SWAT team trainer to handle guns to portray the character.[12] Smulders reprised the role in three episodes of the ABC superhero television series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013–2015),[13] and in the films Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019), and Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019).[14][15] In 2013, she appeared in an episode of the comedy series Comedy Bang! Bang!. Smulders also starred in the romantic drama Safe Haven (2013), the comedy-drama Delivery Man (2013) and the romantic comedy They Came Together (2014).[16] Smulders voiced a Lego version of Wonder Woman in the 2014 animated film The Lego Movie. It was the first time the Wonder Woman character had a theatrical film appearance.[17]

In July 2015, she was reported to have exited the television film Confirmation because she had broken her leg; Zoe Lister-Jones was then confirmed to replace her in the role of Harriet Grant.[18] In 2015, Smulders starred in the drama film Unexpected and the romantic comedy Results. She also appeared in the documentary film Being Canadian and guest starred in the NBC variety series Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris. In 2016, she appeared in the comedy-drama The Intervention starring Melanie Lynskey, Natasha Lyonne, and Alia Shawkat as well as the action adventure film Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, the latter opposite Tom Cruise. Smulders had guest voice roles in the HBO animated series Animals (2016) and the PBS Kids animated series Nature Cat (2017–2018).

2017–present: Broadway debut and other roles[edit]

In 2017 she made her Broadway debut portraying Joanna Lyppiatt in the revival of Noël Coward's comedy Present Laughter opposite Kevin Kline. Marilyn Stasio of Variety praised Smulders in the role writing, "Smulders has a graceful, Cowardian air in the role, and makes Susan Hilferty’s costumes look even more fabulous."[19] David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Smulders looks sensational; she’s the epitome of late-’30s elegance...she carries herself with poise and assurance".[20] For her performance she was honored with a Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway debut. Her performance was filmed with Great Performances and shown on PBS.[21]

Also in 2017, she portrayed the recurring character of "Mother", also known as Mrs. Quagmire, in the Netflix black comedy drama series A Series of Unfortunate Events, based on the book series of the same name.[22] That same year, she appeared in the comedy films Literally, Right Before Aaron and Killing Gunther. From 2017 to 2019, she starred in the Netflix comedy series Friends from College, in the main role of Lisa Turner.[23] In 2018, she starred in the lead role of Joanne Skye in the comedy-drama film Songbird, also alternatively titled Alright Now. The film was improvised, and shot in the course of five days.[24] She then reprised her role as Wonder Woman in the 2019 animated sequel film The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.

A brunette woman smiles
Smulders at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con

In 2019, she guest starred as Young Lucille Bluth in three episodes of the Netflix sitcom Arrested Development and appeared in an episode of the HBO anthology series Room 104. She also starred as Dexedrine "Dex" Parios, a PTSD-stricken military veteran turned private detective, in the ABC crime drama series Stumptown, which premiered on September 25, 2019 to positive reviews.[25] She received a Critics' Choice Super Award for Best Actress in a Superhero Series nomination for her performance. The series was canceled after one season due to production delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.[26] In 2020, Smulders starred in the romantic drama film Cicada and voiced a guest appearance in the Fox animated sitcom The Simpsons.

In 2021, she portrayed media pundit Ann Coulter in the FX true crime anthology series Impeachment: American Crime Story, which received positive reviews from critics.[27] That same year, she had a voice role as Maria Hill in the Disney+ animated anthology series What If...?. In 2022, she reprised her role of Robin Scherbatsky in the first season finale of the HIMYM spinoff How I Met Your Father, which aired on Hulu.[28] Also in 2022, she starred in the Amazon Freevee coming-of-age drama series High School, based on the 2019 memoir of the same name by Tegan and Sara.[29]

In 2023, Smulders reprised her role as Maria Hill, voicing the character in the Disney Channel animated series Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur and appearing in the Disney+ limited series Secret Invasion.[30]

Personal life[edit]

Smulders became engaged to Taran Killam in January 2009 after meeting him at a mutual friend's party four years earlier.[31] They married on September 8, 2012, in Solvang, California.[32] The couple resides in Pacific Palisades, California.[33] They have two daughters.[34][35][36]

In 2015, Smulders revealed she had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 25, while shooting season three of How I Met Your Mother in 2007. She had surgery to remove two tumors from her ovaries, but the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes, resulting in the need for multiple operations over the course of two years.[37][38] In August 2019, Smulders revealed she is in remission.[39]

In 2020, Smulders announced that she became an American citizen, while still retaining her Canadian citizenship. She stated that part of her motivation to become an American citizen was due to the 2020 presidential election.[40]

She is a fan of the Vancouver Canucks.[41]

Charity work[edit]

Smulders filmed a public service announcement with Oceana, an international ocean-conservation organization, in 2014.[42][43] In May 2020, she released a clip parodying "Let's Go to the Mall", a song her character performed on How I Met Your Mother, titled "Let's All Stay at Home", to encourage the public to enforce COVID-19 lockdowns. Smulders also encouraged fans to donate to Save the Children, Canada Helps and the Daily Bread Food Bank amidst the pandemic.[44]



Year Title Role Notes
2004 Walking Tall Exotic Beauty
Ill Fated Mary [45]
2005 The Long Weekend Ellen
2006 Escape Psychotic Brunette Short film
Dr. Miracles Mrs. Peterson Short film[46]
2007 The Storm Awaits Anabella DeLorenzo Short film[47]
2009 The Slammin' Salmon Tara
2012 The Avengers Maria Hill
Grassroots Clair
2013 Safe Haven Carly Jo Wheatley
Delivery Man Emma
2014 The Lego Movie Wonder Woman Voice
They Came Together Tiffany Amber Thigpen
Captain America: The Winter Soldier Maria Hill
2015 Unexpected Samantha Abbot [48]
Results Kat
Avengers: Age of Ultron Maria Hill
Being Canadian Herself Documentary
2016 The Intervention Ruby
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Major Susan Turner
2017 Literally, Right Before Aaron Allison
Killing Gunther Lisa McCalla
2018 Avengers: Infinity War Maria Hill Uncredited cameo; post-credits scene
Songbird Joanne Skye
2019 The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part Wonder Woman Voice
Avengers: Endgame Maria Hill Cameo
Spider-Man: Far From Home [N 1]
2020 Cicada Sophie


Year Title Role Notes
2002 Special Unit 2 Zoe Episode: "The Wish"
2002 Jeremiah Deborah Episode: "Thieves' Honor"
2003 Tru Calling Sarah Webb Episode: "Brother's Keeper"
2003 Veritas: The Quest Juliet Droil Main role; 13 episodes
2004 Smallville Shannon Bell / Eve Andrews Episode: "Bound"
2005 Andromeda Jillian Rhade 2 episodes: "The Heart of the Journey (Parts 1 & 2)"
2005 The L Word Leigh Ostin 4 episodes
2005–2014 How I Met Your Mother Robin Scherbatsky Main role; 208 episodes
2010 How to Make It in America Hayley Episode: "Pilot"
2013–2015 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Maria Hill 3 episodes
2013 Comedy Bang! Bang! Herself Episode: "Cobie Smulders Wears a Black & White Strapless Dress"
2015 Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris Herself Episode: "Tyler Perry"
2016 Animals. Anni Voice, episode: "Flies."
2017 A Series of Unfortunate Events Mrs. Quagmire Recurring role; 8 episodes
2017–2018 Nature Cat Nature Dog Voice, 4 episodes
2017–2019 Friends from College Lisa Turner Main role; 16 episodes
2019 Arrested Development Young Lucille Bluth 3 episodes[49]
2019–2020 Stumptown Dexadrine "Dex" Parios Main role; 18 episodes
2019 Room 104 Marian Wallace Episode: "The Specimen Collector"
2020 The Simpsons Hydrangea Voice, episode: "Bart the Bad Guy"
2021–2023 What If...? Maria Hill Voice, 2 episodes: "What If... Thor Were an Only Child?", "What If... Happy Hogan Saved Christmas?"
2021 Impeachment: American Crime Story Ann Coulter Recurring role; 5 episodes
2022 How I Met Your Father Robin Scherbatsky Episode: "Timing is Everything"
2022 The Boss Baby: Back in the Crib Stella Chimeric Voice, episode: "The Great Medieval London Fire of 1135"
2022 High School Simone Bates Main role; 8 episodes
2023 Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur Maria Hill Voice, episodes: "OMG Issue #1", "Ride or Die"
2023 Secret Invasion 3 episodes


Year Title Role Notes
2010 Love, Loss, and What I Wore Principal character June 10, 2010 – June 26, 2010
Westside Theatre
2017 Present Laughter Joanna Lyppiatt April 5, 2017 – July 2, 2017
St. James Theatre

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2013 EWwy Award Best Supporting Actress – Comedy How I Met Your Mother Won
2014 People's Choice Award Favorite TV Gal Pals (shared with Alyson Hannigan) How I Met Your Mother Nominated
2017 Theatre World Award Present Laughter Honoree
2021 Critics' Choice Super Awards Best Actress in a Superhero Series Stumptown Nominated


  1. ^ In the post-credits scene of Spider-Man: Far From Home it is revealed that Maria Hill was Soren in disguise all along during the film.


  1. ^ "Cobie Smulders on life after "How I Met Your Mother"". CBS News. March 30, 2014. Archived from the original on October 20, 2014. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  2. ^ "UPI Almanac for Wednesday, April 3, 2019". United Press International. April 3, 2019. Archived from the original on April 3, 2019. Retrieved September 15, 2019. actor Cobie Smulders in 1982 (age 37)
  3. ^ "'How I Met Your Mother' turns 15: Cobie Smulders talks 'best job' ever and becoming a dual citizen – just like her character". Yahoo Entertainment. September 18, 2020. Retrieved March 27, 2024.
  4. ^ "Cobie Smulders on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson". YouTube. April 24, 2017. Archived from the original on 2021-10-31. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c Johnson, Brian D. (November 16, 2013). "'It's always in my back pocket': Cobie Smulders on Canadian identity". Maclean's. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
  6. ^ Billy Eichner & Cobie Smulders Answer the Web's Most Searched Questions. Wired. Event occurs at 10:16. Archived from the original on October 31, 2021. Retrieved January 29, 2019 – via YouTube.
  7. ^ "Cobie Smulders (@cobiesmulders) on Instagram". Archived from the original on December 26, 2021.
  8. ^ Zuo, Mila (September 1, 2009). "The Elusive Charm of Cobie Smulders". Venus Zine. Archived from the original on July 22, 2011. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
  9. ^ "How I Met Your Mother". Emmys. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  10. ^ Ausiello, Michael (November 5, 2013). "2014 People's Choice Awards: Glee, Grey's, Sons, Good Wife, Castle, NCIS, Gellar Among Nominees". TVLine. Retrieved June 3, 2023.
  11. ^ Fullerton, Krissie (May 28, 2010). "PHOTO CALL: Love, Loss, and What I Wore Celebrates New Cast". Playbill. Retrieved June 26, 2023.
  12. ^ Sacks, Ethan (April 29, 2012). "'The Avengers': Scarlett Johansson & Cobie Smulders are superwomen of the screen". Daily News. New York City. Archived from the original on October 7, 2014. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  13. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (July 19, 2013). "Cobie Smulders' Comic-Con Reveal: Secret 'Agents of SHIELD' Role". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on October 12, 2014. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  14. ^ Graser, Marc (October 29, 2012). "Frank Grillo to play Crossbones in 'Captain America' sequel". Variety. Archived from the original on November 1, 2012. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  15. ^ Thompson, Bob (November 7, 2013). "Vancouver's Cobie Smulders is on a roll (with video)". Calgary Herald. Calgary, Alberta. Archived from the original on November 8, 2013. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  16. ^ "Cobie Smulders Joins the 'Starbuck' Family". NextMovie. August 27, 2012. Archived from the original on August 29, 2012. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  17. ^ "The LEGO Movie review". February 5, 2014. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  18. ^ Petski, Denise (July 9, 2015). "Zoe Lister-Jones Joins HBO Movie 'Confirmation' In Recasting". Deadline Hollywood.
  19. ^ "Broadway Review: 'Present Laughter' With Kevin Kline, Cobie Smulders". Variety. April 6, 2017.
  20. ^ "'Present Laughter': Theater Review". The Hollywood Reporter. April 5, 2017. Retrieved September 1, 2023.
  21. ^ "Noël Coward's Present Laughter". PBS. October 24, 2017. Retrieved September 1, 2023.
  22. ^ "Who Do Will Arnett & Cobie Smulders Play In 'A Series Of Unfortunate Events'? Not Everything Is As It Seems". Bustle. January 14, 2017. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  23. ^ Jackson, Dory (January 12, 2019). "Cobie Smulders spills on 'Friends From College' Season 2 and whether fans should like the characters". Newsweek. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  24. ^ "Alright Now: Improvised In 5 Days". Solzy at the Movies. September 3, 2018.
  25. ^ Lawrence, Derek (September 17, 2019). "'Stumptown' is ready to bring you a type of character that 'didn't exist on television'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  26. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 17, 2020). "'Stumptown' Canceled: ABC Not Proceeding With Season 2; Cobie Smulders Series May Be Shopped Elsewhere". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 3, 2023.
  27. ^ Hailu, Selome (August 5, 2021). "Cobie Smulders to Play Ann Coulter in 'Impeachment: American Crime Story' After Betty Gilpin Exits (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved June 3, 2023.
  28. ^ Schwartz, Ryan (March 15, 2022). "How I Met Your Father Finale Shocker: Inside HIMYM Star's Top-Secret Return". TVLine. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  29. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 17, 2022). "'High School': TikTok Duo To Star In IMDb TV Dramedy; Cobie Smulders, Kyle Bornheimer Also Cast". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 3, 2023.
  30. ^ Arya, Riya (April 11, 2023). "Secret Invasion Release Date: Every Actor Confirmed For The Upcoming Film!". trendingnewsbuzz.
  31. ^ Alexander, Reagan (January 28, 2009). "HIMYM's Cobie Smulders Flashes Her New Engagement Ring". People. Retrieved November 25, 2009.
  32. ^ ""SNL's" Taran Killam Marries "How I Met Your Mother's" Cobie Smulders — Exclusive". RumorFix. September 8, 2012. Archived from the original on April 7, 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
  33. ^ "Cobie Smulders buys Pacific Palisades home for $5.6M". The Real Deal. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  34. ^ León, Anya (July 3, 2009). "It's a Girl for Cobie Smulders". People. Archived from the original on October 27, 2020. Retrieved October 27, 2020. The How I Met Your Mother actress welcomed Shaelyn Cado in May.
  35. ^ "Taran Killam and Cobie Smulders Expecting Second Child". People. October 21, 2014. Archived from the original on October 19, 2020. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  36. ^ Klassen, Anna (January 26, 2015). "'Unexpected' Star Cobie Smulders & Director Kris Swanberg On Finally Making a Pregnancy Film From the Female Perspective". Archived from the original on January 30, 2015. Retrieved January 30, 2015. I'm in Sundance and I have a three week old baby, so I can certainly relate.
  37. ^ Serico, Chris (April 23, 2015). "'I had tumors on both ovaries': Cobie Smulders reveals cancer scare". Today. Archived from the original on November 14, 2020. Retrieved April 26, 2015.
  38. ^ Corriston, Michele (April 23, 2015). "Mom of 2 Cobie Smulders Reveals Her Battle with Ovarian Cancer". People. Archived from the original on November 30, 2020. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  39. ^ "Cobie Smulders draws on cancer survival for new character". The Seattle Times. Associated Press. August 5, 2019. Archived from the original on December 5, 2019. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  40. ^ "Cobie Smulders Becomes a U.S. Citizen Ahead of the Election: 'Grateful to Have My Vote Count'". People. I am a Dual Citizen of 🇨🇦/🇺🇸 ... "I have been living in the US for 16 years now working and paying taxes, making little humans, creating a family and making this Country my home," ... "But I have been unable to Vote. I am excited to do so in this coming election in November.
  41. ^ "How the Canucks got the MCU's Cobie Smulders for their pre-game video". Vancouver Is Awesome. November 1, 2022. Retrieved April 20, 2024.
  42. ^ Wiseman, Jessica (August 6, 2014). "Photos: Rashida Jones, Cobie Smulders, and Angela Kinsey Help Protect Belizean Reefs". Oceana. Archived from the original on October 29, 2020. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  43. ^ Scott, Walter (November 23, 2013). "Cobie Smulders' Detachable Baby Bump". Parade. Archived from the original on April 7, 2019. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  44. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (May 7, 2020). "Cobie Smulders Updates 'How I Met Your Mother's' Robin Sparkles for 2020". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on January 7, 2021. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  45. ^ Bobbin, Jay (August 13, 2006). "Cobie Smulders". Zap2it. Archived from the original on April 7, 2019 – via Chicago Tribune. Movie credits: ... 'Ill Fated'...
  46. ^ Dr. Miracles Episode 3 (YouTube). OldDirtyConservatory. October 2006. Archived from the original on October 31, 2021.
  47. ^ The Storm Awaits (episode three) (YouTube). Very Advanced Productions. February 15, 2007. 03:18 minutes in. Archived from the original on October 31, 2021.
  48. ^ "NBA Star Chris Webber To Exec Produce Cobie Smulders Drama 'Unexpected'". Deadline Hollywood. January 7, 2015. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
  49. ^ Snierson, Dan (March 7, 2019). "Arrested Development: Cobie Smulders and Taran Killam to play Lucille and George Sr". Entertainment Weekly.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Michelle Monaghan (2010–2011)
Voice of
Wonder Woman
Succeeded by