Elizabeth Banks

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Now in cinemas

Elizabeth Banks plays the role of Gail-Abernathy-McKadden-Feinberger in Pitch Perfect 3.

BornElizabeth Maresal Mitchell
February 10, 1974 (age 43)
Profession Actor, Film Producer, Film Director
Spouse Max Handelman
Parents Mark Mitchell, Ann Mitchell
Freebase ]

Elizabeth Banks (born Elizabeth Irene Mitchell; February 10, 1974) is an American actress, producer and director. She made her film debut in the low-budget independent film Surrender Dorothy (1998). Banks is known for her roles in such films as Betty Brant in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films (2002–07), Seabiscuit (2003), The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Invincible (2006), Definitely, Maybe (2008), W. (2008), Role Models (2008), The Uninvited (2009), The Next Three Days (2010), People Like Us (2012), Man on a Ledge (2012), Pitch Perfect (2012), Movie 43 (2013), The Lego Movie (2014), and The Hunger Games film series (2012–15).

On television, Banks had a recurring role as Avery Jessup on the NBC sitcom 30 Rock, which gained her two Emmy Award nominations. She also had recurring roles on Scrubs and Modern Family.

Early life and education

Banks was born Elizabeth Irene Mitchell in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and grew up on Brown Street, the eldest of four children of Ann (née Wallace) and Mark P. Mitchell. Her father was a factory worker for General Electric and her mother worked in a bank. She has Irish and Scottish ancestry, and has both a Catholic and Protestant family background.

Growing up, she played baseball and rode horses. She was in little league when she broke her leg sliding into third. She then tried out for the school play which was her start in acting. She graduated from Pittsfield High School in 1992, and is a member of the Massachusetts Junior Classical League. She attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a member of the Delta Delta Delta Sorority. Banks graduated magna cum laude in 1996. In 1998, she completed schooling at the American Conservatory Theater and earned an MFA.


Banks changed her name to avoid confusion with actress Elizabeth Mitchell. She made her acting debut in the 1998 independent film Surrender Dorothy, as Elizabeth Casey, appeared in various films over the next seven years before gaining more prominent widespread exposure through the 2005 comedy film The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

In 2006, Banks appeared in the American football drama film Invincible, in which she played Mark Wahlberg's love interest. Later, she and co-star Wahlberg were nominated for the "Best Kiss" award at the MTV Movie Award.  That same year, she landed the starring role in the comedy-horror film Slither.

Banks is a frequent co-star of actor Paul Rudd, the two having appeared in five films together to date (Wet Hot American Summer, The Baxter, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Role Models and Our Idiot Brother). She is also a frequent co-star of actor Tobey Maguire, the two having also appeared in five films together (Spider-Man, Seabiscuit, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3 and The Details)

Banks appeared in the movie The Hunger Games, playing Effie Trinket, a woman from "The Capitol" who escorts the District 12 tributes to the Hunger Games. She continues in the role in the 2013 film The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Personal life

Banks met her husband, sportswriter and producer Max Handelman, on her first day at college on September 6, 1992. They were married in 2003. She and her husband had their first child, Felix, who was born via a surrogate in March 2011. In November 2012, Banks announced that her family had welcomed another son, Magnus Mitchell, also born via a surrogate.

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