Elizabeth Banks
Elizabeth Banks

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Birth Name: Elizabeth Maresal Mitchell

Date of Birth: February 10, 1974

Place of Birth: Pittsfield, Massachusetts, USA

Occupation: Actress

Height: 5' 5"

Best Known For: Seabiscuit, all 3 Spider-Man movies & Invincible

Elizabeth Banks Biography

Elizabeth Banks was born Elizabeth Maresal Mitchell on February 10, 1974, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. She is the eldest of four children and has described her herself as being a "goody two-shoes" as a child. She graduated Pittsfield High School in 1992 and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996. After college she furthered her education at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, where she completed the Advanced Training Program in 1998.

Banks moved to New York in 1998 to try to kick start a professional acting career. She began performing in theater productions and picked up some small film roles and television guest spots. She decided to pursue a film career and moved back to California, this time to Los Angeles. She picked up the name Banks and dropped Mitchell, to avoid confusion with another actress by that name.

Banks' first major film was 2000's Shaft, in which she had a minor role. The following year, however, she picked up a significant part in the comedy Wet Hot American Summer. Her big break came in 2002, when she won the role of Betty Brant, the receptionist for The Daily Bugle, in Spider-Man. Though it was a small part, the film was a huge success and garnered Banks a lot of attention. She went on to appear in the film's two sequels.

Also in 2002, Banks appeared in the Madonna/Guy Ritchie flop Swept Away, and in the highly successful Catch Me If You Can, alongside an all-star cast. In 2003, she teamed up with Tobey Maguire again, in Seabiscuit. The role was her biggest yet and the film received praise across the board, pushing her further into the spotlight.

Her performance in Seabiscuit lead to starring roles in the 2004 drama, Heights, 2005's The Baxter, and in the 2006 films Slither and Invincible opposite Mark Walhberg. Also in 2005, Banks appeared as a drunken love interest of Steve Carell in The 40 Year Old Virgin.

Banks joined the cast of Scrubs for the 2006-2007 season, playing Dr. Kim Briggs, the love interest of Zach Braff's character, J.D. She is set to stay on the show for the 2007-2008 season. In addition to her role on Scrubs, Banks will appear in the 2007 Christmas comedy, Fred Claus, starring Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti. In 2008, she will be seen in the romantic comedy Definitely, Maybe, alongside Kevin Kline, and in the sci-fi comedy, Starship Dave with Eddie Murphy.

Banks married her college sweetheart, Max Handelman, on July 5, 2003. She converted to Judaism just before marrying him.
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