Elizabeth Banks is an American actress whose theatrical appearances include Scrubs, Spider-Man, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, W., Zack And Miri Make A Porno, and Role Models.
Early life and education
Banks was born Elizabeth Maresal Mitchell in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, as the oldest of four children of Ann and Mark Mitchell. Her father was a factory worker for General Electric and her mother, until recently, worked in a bank. As a young child, she was a contestant on the Nickelodeon game show Finders Keepers. She graduated from Pittsfield High School in 1992 and is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania in 1996, where she was a member of Delta Delta Delta Sorority. She was the first in her family to graduate from college. In 1998, she completed schooling at the American Conservatory Theater.
Banks changed her name to avoid confusion with actress Elizabeth Mitchell. She debuted in the independent film Surrender Dorothy as "Elizabeth Casey." Banks is known for her roles in Seabiscuit, Heights, the Spider-Man films (playing the part of Betty Brant), and the cult comedy Wet Hot American Summer. She quickly gained widespread exposure through movies like The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Slither. She also plays Mark Wahlberg's love interest in the movie Invincible.
In May 2006, she appeared in the season five finale of the NBC comedy-drama Scrubs as Dr. Kim Briggs, the love interest of J.D. (Zach Braff). The character has appeared throughout season six and seven as a recurring guest star.
In 2005, she also appeared on the show Stella, as she is a long time friend of its creators/stars, the Stella comedy troupe. In 2007, Banks played the female lead in the comedy Meet Bill, alongside Aaron Eckhart and Jessica Alba. Banks also has a small role in the 2007 Christmas comedy film Fred Claus, co-starring Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti, and played a love interest in the 2008 comedy Definitely, Maybe alongside Isla Fisher and Ryan Reynolds.
Banks starred with Seth Rogen as the eponymous female lead in the Kevin Smith comedy, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, which was released on Halloween 2008. She has appeared in the thriller The Uninvited, and also as United States First Lady Laura Bush in Oliver Stone's biopic on the life of President George W. Bush, W.
Banks is a frequent co-star of actor Paul Rudd, the two having appeared in four films together to date (Wet Hot American Summer, The Baxter, The 40 Year Old Virgin, and Role Models).
On July 5, 2003, Banks married Max Handelman, who had been her boyfriend since college. She converted to Judaism upon marrying him.