Kat Dennings

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Kat Dennings
Kat Dennings Thor 2 cropped.png
Dennings at the premiere of Thor: The Dark World in 2013
Katherine Victoria Litwack

(1986-06-13) June 13, 1986 (age 36)
Years active2000–present
Partner(s)Andrew W.K. (2021–present; engaged)

Katherine Victoria Litwack (born June 13, 1986), known professionally as Kat Dennings, is an American actress. She is known for her starring roles as Max Black in the CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls (2011–2017) and as Darcy Lewis in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero films Thor (2011), Thor: The Dark World (2013), Thor: Love and Thunder (2022), and the Disney+ miniseries WandaVision (2021).

Since making her acting debut in 2000, Dennings has appeared in films including The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Big Momma's House 2 (2006), Charlie Bartlett (2007), The House Bunny (2008), Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (2008), Defendor (2009), and Suburban Gothic (2014).

Early life

Katherine Victoria Litwack was born on June 13, 1986, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.[1][2][3] Her mother, Ellen Judith Litwack, is a poet and speech therapist,[4][5] and her father, Gerald J. Litwack, is a molecular pharmacologist, and college professor and chairman. Dennings is the youngest of five children.[1][6] Her family is Jewish.[6][7][1][8] Dennings grew up in Penn Cottage, a historic house built in 1694 in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, which she claims was haunted.[9]

Beginning her career at age 9 by acting in commercials, Dennings said her family never had much money for formal acting training.[10] Her first acting job was an advertisement for potato chips that included a poisonous ingredient and never made it to market.[11] In her early years, she worked as an extra to earn her SAG card.[10]

Dennings was homeschooled; her only enrollment at a traditional school was for a half-day at Friends' Central School.[1] She graduated from high school early at age 14,[12] and moved with her family to Los Angeles to pursue acting full time under the professional surname "Dennings".[3]


2000–2003: Early career

Dennings made her professional debut with an appearance on HBO's Sex and the City in 2000, in the episode "Hot Child in the City", playing an obnoxious 13-year-old who hires Samantha to handle publicity for her bat mitzvah.[3][13] She then starred on the short-lived WB sitcom Raising Dad from 2001 to 2002 as Sarah, a 15-year-old raised by her widowed father (Bob Saget), with a pre-teen sister (Brie Larson). In 2002, Dennings appeared in the Disney Channel film The Scream Team as a teenager who stumbles into a group of ghosts. She was cast for a five-episode run on The WB's Everwood, but the role was recast with Nora Zehetner.[14]

2004–2011: Feature film debut and further roles

Dennings continued working on television, guest-starring on Without a Trace as a teen whose boyfriend goes missing, and on Less than Perfect in 2003. In February 2004, she was cast in a pilot for CBS titled Sudbury, about a family of modern-day witches, based on the 1998 film Practical Magic, but the series was not picked up.[15][16] Dennings had a recurring role on ER from 2005 to 2006 as Zoe Butler, and twice guest-starred in the CSI franchise: first on CSI, as Missy Wilson in the 2004 episode "Early Rollout". Secondly, she played Sarah Endecott on CSI: NY, in the 2005 episode "Manhattan Manhunt".

Dennings made her feature film debut in Hilary Duff's Raise Your Voice in 2004 as Sloane, a somber piano student.[17] In 2005, she landed supporting roles as the daughter of Catherine Keener's character in The 40-Year-Old Virgin and as April in Down in the Valley.[12] In 2006, Dennings played a rebellious teenager in the crime comedy film Big Momma's House 2, starring Martin Lawrence.[18]

Dennings starred in Charlie Bartlett in 2008, the story of a wealthy teenager (Anton Yelchin) who acts as a psychiatrist among students at his new public high school. She played Susan Gardner, Bartlett's love interest and the daughter of the school's Principal Gardner, played by Robert Downey, Jr..[19] Dennings appeared in The House Bunny that year, as Mona, a pierced feminist sorority girl.[20]

She also starred that year in the teen comedy romance Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, with Michael Cera. Dennings played Norah Silverberg, the daughter of a famous record producer. She was nominated for the International Press Academy's Satellite Award for Best Actress for her performance.[21]

In September 2008, Dennings was involved in a project to adapt Don DeLillo's novel End Zone as a film. Actors Sam Rockwell and Josh Hartnett were also involved, but the project was not greenlit because of its subject matter of nuclear war was considered too controversial.[22]

In 2009, Dennings appeared in The Answer Man, a film about a celebrity author whose manifestos become a sort of new Bible. She also co-starred in the Robert Rodriguez-directed dark children's film Shorts that year.[23] She played Stacey Thompson, the teenage older sister of the protagonist Toe (Jimmy Bennett).[24]

Dennings and other rising stars were featured in the August 2009 issue of Vanity Fair, photographed re-enacting scenes from famous Depression-era films. She was shown in a setting from Sydney Pollack's They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969).[25]

Dennings was cast in the romantic comedy film Liars (A to E), to be directed by Richard Linklater.[26] But the project was cancelled due to cutbacks at Miramax Films by the studio's parent company, Disney.[27] Dennings appeared in the superhero film Defendor in 2009, starring Woody Harrelson and Sandra Oh, playing a crack-addicted prostitute.[28][29]

The following year, she starred in the independent feature Daydream Nation, as a girl who moves from the city to a strange rural town, and is caught in a love triangle with her high school teacher (Josh Lucas) and a teenage drug dealer (Reece Thompson).[30] The film began shooting in Vancouver in early 2010, and was written and directed by Michael Golbach.[31] In May 2010, Dennings appeared in a music video for "40 Dogs (Like Romeo and Juliet)", a single by Austin, Texas-based musician Bob Schneider. Robert Rodriguez directed the video, which was filmed in various locations around Austin.[32]

Dennings was part of the cast of the Marvel Studios film Thor, released in May 2011, and directed by Kenneth Branagh. She played Darcy Lewis, a tech-savvy sidekick and assistant to Natalie Portman's character, Jane Foster.[33] The film went into production in January 2010, and was shot in New Mexico for six weeks in early 2010.[30]

2011–present: 2 Broke Girls and future projects

Dennings with her 2 Broke Girls co-star Beth Behrs at the 38th People's Choice Awards in January 2012

In February 2011, Dennings was cast in 2 Broke Girls, a CBS sitcom written and produced by Michael Patrick King and comedian Whitney Cummings.[34] The series debuted on September 19, 2011, and follows the lives of two underemployed girls. Beth Behrs co-stars as a Manhattan heiress who lost her inheritance, while Dennings plays a tough outspoken girl from Brooklyn.[35] Dennings liked the idea of reaching a wider audience with her work, so she accepted the role on the network sitcom.[36] On May 12, 2017, CBS canceled the series after six seasons.[37]

Dennings starred in the drama film To Write Love on Her Arms (originally titled Renee) in 2012, with Chad Michael Murray and Rupert Friend. She played Renee Yohe, a Florida teenager who struggled with substance abuse and self-injury, and who inspired the founding of the nonprofit organization To Write Love on Her Arms. The film began production in Orlando, Florida, in February 2011.[38]

In mid-2012, Dennings filmed the independent feature Suburban Gothic, playing a small-town bartender. The film premiered in 2014.[39]

Dennings introduced The Black Keys at the 55th Grammy Awards on February 10, 2013.[40] She appeared in a music video for the Hanson single "Get the Girl Back", alongside Nikki Reed. The actresses are close friends and are both fans of the pop group.[41]

The video premiered on April 4, 2013.[42] In 2013, Dennings reprised her role as Darcy Lewis in Thor: The Dark World.[43] She worked on the film and 2 Broke Girls at the same time, flying to London to film for six months between breaks on her CBS sitcom.[44]

In 2018, it was announced that Dennings would star as Abby in the comedy film Friendsgiving.[45]

Dennings starred in the Hulu comedy series Dollface, beginning in November 2019.[46][47] She reprised her role as Darcy Lewis in the Disney+ miniseries WandaVision (2021),[48] and in Thor: Love and Thunder (2022).

Personal life

In 2008, Dennings stated that Judaism "is an important part of my history, but, as a whole, religion is not a part of my life." She considers herself more ethnically and culturally affiliated than religiously so.[6]

From 2001 to 2010, Dennings maintained a blog, and also dabbled in video blogging on YouTube.[23]

Dennings lives in Los Angeles with her cat, Millie.[49] She is an animal welfare supporter.[49][50]


From 2011 to 2014, Dennings dated her 2 Broke Girls co-star Nick Zano.[51][52] From 2014 to 2016, Dennings dated singer Josh Groban.[53][54][55]

On May 6, 2021, it was confirmed that Dennings was in a relationship with musician Andrew W.K.; the two met in Los Angeles earlier that year.[56] A week later, on May 13, 2021, the couple announced their engagement on Instagram.[57]

Dennings has been a fan of W.K. since at least 2014.[58]



Year Title Role Notes
2004 Raise Your Voice Sloane
2005 Down in the Valley April
2005 The 40-Year-Old Virgin Marla Piedmont
2005 London Lilly
2006 Big Momma's House 2 Molly Fuller
2007 Charlie Bartlett Susan Gardner
2008 The House Bunny Mona
2008 Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist Norah Silverberg
2009 The Answer Man Dahlia
2009 Shorts Stacey Thompson
2009 Defendor Katerina "Kat" Debrofkowitz / Angel
2010 Daydream Nation Caroline Wexler
2011 Thor Darcy Lewis
2012 To Write Love on Her Arms Renee Yohe
2013 Thor: The Dark World Darcy Lewis
2014 Suburban Gothic Becca Thompson
2015 Hollywood Adventures Herself Cameo
2020 Friendsgiving Abby
2022 Thor: Love and Thunder Darcy Lewis Cameo


Year Title Role Notes
2000 Sex and the City Jenny Brier Episode: "Hot Child in the City"
2001–2002 Raising Dad Sarah Stewart Main role; 22 episodes
2002 The Scream Team Claire Carlyle Television film
2003 Without a Trace Jennifer Norton Episode: "Sons and Daughters"
2003 Less than Perfect Kaitlin Episode: "The Girl Next Door"
2004 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Missy Wilson Episode: "Early Rollout"
2005 Clubhouse Angela Episode: "Stealing Home"
2005–2006 ER Zoe Butler 5 episodes
2005 CSI: NY Sarah Endecott Episode: "Manhattan Manhunt"
2009 American Dad! Tanqueray (voice) Episode: "G-String Circus"
2010 American Dad! Female juror (voice) Episode: "The People vs. Martin Sugar"
2011–2017 2 Broke Girls Max George Black Main role; 138 episodes
2012 Robot Chicken Various voices Episode: "Executed by the State"
2014 40th People's Choice Awards Herself / Host Television special
2014 Sesame Street Herself Episode: "Bert's Training Wheels"
2014 The Newsroom Blair Lansing Episode: "Run"
2015 RuPaul's Drag Race Herself / Guest judge Episode: "ShakesQueer"
2015–2018 Drunk History Various 3 episodes
2017–2020 Big Mouth Leah Birch (voice) 13 episodes
2017 The Simpsons Valerie (voice) Episode: "Mr. Lisa's Opus"
2018 Dallas & Robo Dallas Moonshiner (voice) Main role; 8 episodes
Also producer
2019–2022 Dollface Jules Wiley Main role; 20 episodes
Also executive producer
2021 WandaVision Darcy Lewis Main role; 5 episodes
2021 Marvel Studios: Assembled Herself Documentary; Episode: "Assembled: The Making of WandaVision"
2021 What If...? Darcy Lewis (voice) Episode: "What If... Thor Were an Only Child?"

Music video

Year Song Artist Role Notes
2010 "40 Dogs"[59] Bob Schneider
2013 "Get the Girl Back" Hanson Love Interest
2021 "Everybody Sins" Andrew WK Lover


Year Title Role Production company
2020 The Sandman Death Audible

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
2008 Satellite Award Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist Nominated
2009 MTV Movie Award Breakthrough Performance – Female Nominated
Teen Choice Award Choice Movie Actress: Music/Dance Nominated
2012 Crystal Reel Awards Best Actress To Write Love on Her Arms Won
2014 People's Choice Award Favorite TV Gal Pals (with Beth Behrs) 2 Broke Girls Nominated
2021 Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards[60] Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series,

Anthology Series, or Television Movie

WandaVision Nominated
2022 Best Actress in a Streaming Series, Comedy Dollface Pending


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  50. ^ Dennings, Kat [@officialkat] (March 19, 2021). "This is HUGE news!! Thank you ⁦@bestfriends⁩ for everything you do for the animals. Hopefully other cities come together to follow this amazing example 🐾♥️" (Tweet). Retrieved May 10, 2021 – via Twitter.
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External links