Elizabeth (II) Banks filmography and biography
Date of birth: 10 February 1974, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, USA
Elizabeth (II) Banks biography
Actress Elizabeth Banks was born Elizabeth Mitchell in Pittsfield, a
small city in the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts near the New York
border, on February 10, 1974. She describes herself as having been seen
as a "goody two-shoes" in her youth who was nominated to be the local
Banks left home to attend college at the University of Pennsylvania, from which she graduated Magna cum Laude, and went on to attend the Advanced Training Program at the prestigious American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, from which she graduated in 1998. She then moved to New York and worked in the theater as well as obtaining her first roles on-screen, small parts in movies and guest-star roles on television series. Seeking more screen work, Banks moved to Los Angeles and the supporting roles soon came, and required that she change her name to avoid confusion with another actress named Elizabeth Mitchell (I) who had already established herself. Her first signal success came in her delightful, brief performance in Spider-Man, for which she is best known despite subsequent leading roles, as "Betty Brant", the secretary of the cantankerous newspaper tycoon. (Banks has reprised the role in the Spider-Man series.)
Banks followed up her performance in Spider-Man with small roles in other movies released that year, Swept Away and Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can, in which she plays a bank clerk who assists the young Frank Abagnale with vital information about bank checking policies. More recognition came with Seabiscuit, in which Banks charmed audiences playing the wife of Seabiscuit's owner "Charles Howard", and Banks was able to broker these successes into leading roles, in Michael Showalter's The Baxter and James Gunn (II)'s Slither.
The winsome, beautiful Banks projects an exceptionally-charming screen presence that has drawn comparisons to Audrey Hepburn. Though her off-screen vocabulary is at times sprinkled with Valley-speak, her performances demonstrate solid acting skill and a keen intelligence. Banks and her boyfriend since college days, Max Handelman, married in 2003.
Elizabeth (II) Banks trivia
- Graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996, where she was a member of Delta Delta Delta. Was the first in her family to graduate from college.
- Graduated from American Conservatory Theater's Advanced Training Program in 1998.
- Enjoys "Fantasy Football" as a hobby.
- Considered for the role of Susan Storm/Invisible Girl in Fantastic Four, just like Fernanda Romero (II).
- Wife of Max Handelman. She and her husband work as a production team (Brownstone Productions). They met at the University of Pennsylvania.
- College friends with Todd Lieberman.
- Oldest of four children in a divided house (Her mom was for the Boston Red Sox and her dad was for the New York Yankees).
- Converted to Judaism after marrying her husband in 2003.
- Met President George W. Bush when Seabiscuit was screened at the White House. In Oliver Stone (I)'s W. (2008/I), she plays the role of Laura Bush, the president's wife.
- Taking a course on flying the trapeze with a girlfriend (2008).
- Her father, Mark Mitchell, was a factory worker for General Electric and her mother, Ann Mitchell, worked, until recently, in a bank.
- As a young child, she was a contestant on the Nickelodeon game show, Finders Keepers.
- Graduated from Pittsfield High School in 1992.
- Poltergeist was the scariest movie she has ever seen. She saw it, with her sister, when she was eleven.
- Is a major fan of David Letterman.
- Turned down a role in The Crazies because the role was too similar with her character in Slither, and she didn't want to repeat herself.
- Got the role in Zack and Miri Make a Porno after Rosario Dawson turned it down.
- Bad Santa is her favorite holiday movie.
Elizabeth (II) Banks quotes
- I really think that we do a disservice to young people in America by not being more open about sex. Abstinence programs do not work. It's a natural, physical thing having sex.
- I'm pleased that Hollywood hasn't figured out how to pigeonhole me yet..."
- I love physical comedy. I love Oscar Wilde, I love Shakespeare comedies, I love improv. I knew I had a knack for it at a certain level, but I came into this business as a classically trained drama student and that was my reputation. When you live in a leading lady's body, which I do, you have to constantly prove that you are funny.
- Every once and a while I play a true idiot, and they're really fun to play.