Elizabeth Banks Biography

Elizabeth Banks is a contemporary American actress, director, and producer. Explore the biography below to know about her childhood, life, career, achievements and timeline.

Elizabeth Banks
Quick Facts

Birthday: February 10, 1974

Nationality: American

Famous: Millionaires Jewish Actresses

Age: 45 Years, 45 Year Old Females

Sun Sign: Aquarius

Also Known As: Elizabeth Irene Banks

Born in: Pittsfield

Famous as: Actress, Producer and Director

Height: 5'5" (165 cm), 5'5" Females


Spouse/Ex-: Max Handelman

father: Mark Mitchell

mother: Ann Mitchell

siblings: Geoff Mitchell

children: Felix Handelman, Magnus Mitchell Handelman

U.S. State: Massachusetts

More Facts

education: 1998 - American Conservatory Theater, 1996 - University of Pennsylvania, 1992 - Pittsfield High School

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Elizabeth Banks who started her career as a television actress became popular through her Broadway appearances in "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" “Invincible,” “Spiderman,” and “The Hunger Games.” She attracted male fans by her performance in “The Slither,” a comic horror film. Even from her childhood, she was tomboyish who loved riding horses and playing baseball. Her primary aim was to become an athlete but when she fractured her leg in a softball match, she concentrated on becoming an actress and worked towards achieving her goal. She is a versatile actress who has proved her excellence in all genres - drama, comedy, horror, and science fictions. Her prolific acting has won her Emmy Awards and other recognitions. Along with her husband Max Handelman, a sportswriter, she runs a production company named “Brownstone.” As a social worker, she is actively involved in the Go Red for Women campaign and in one of its awareness campaigns on heart disease she acted in the documentary, “Just a Little Heart Attack.” She is in favor of Planned Parenthood and she extended her support for President Barrack Obama who insisted on federal funding for the same.

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Elizabeth Banks
Childhood & Early Life
  • Elizabeth Irene Mitchell was born on February 10, 1974 in Pittsfield as the eldest of the four children of Mark Mitchell and Ann Mitchell. Her father Mark worked in General Electric and her mother was a bank employee.
  • She was educated at Pittsfield High School and during her school days, she participated in all kinds of sports. She switched her interest to acting when her leg was fractured in a softball game.
  • She started acting in the school plays and was excited with her new interest. After graduating from there in 1992, she enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with magna cum laude.
  • She underwent training in drama at the American Conservatory Theater. She was acclaimed as a great stage performer in productions like "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Hurly Burly" and earned MFA degree in 1998.
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  • She moved to New York in pursuit of her career and got minor roles in TV screens and films. In 1998, she made her debut appearance in “Surrender Dorothy,” a movie on drug addiction.
  • Her performance in “Surrender Dorothy” gave way to more chances in television. She acted in Gotham-based TV productions like “Third Watch” and “Sex and the City.”
  • She moved to Los Angeles in search of more opportunities on the big screen. As there was another actress by name Elizabeth Mitchell, she changed her name to “Banks” to avoid confusion.
  • In 2002, a turning point in her career came through her appearance in Sam Raimi’s “Spiderman.” Her role as Betty Brant, a secretary to a newspaper tycoon was specially customized to suit her skill.
  • Her career graph kept moving ahead with roles in “Swept Away" and “Catch Me If You Can.” Her role in “Catch Me If You Can” gained her popularity.
  • Her performance as the young wife of the owner of a racehorse in “Seabiscuit” (2003) got her nominated for Screen Actors Guild award.
  • In 2004, she continued her role as Betty Brent in "Spider-Man 2," where she proved her comic ability. The next year, she was at her best in the comic buster, "The 40-Year-Old Virgin."
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  • In 2006, she got her first major role in “Slither,” a comic horror film. Here, she proved her comic zest through her role as the wife of a man possessed by an alien.
  • She became busy in 2008 with films like “Meet Bill”. She got her biggest role as the First Lady Laura Bush in “W,” Oliver Stone’s biopic of George W. Bush.
  • In 2010, she made appearance in season four of the television sitcom, “30 Rock.” Her role as Avery Jessup, the conservative television commentator, won her two times nominations in the next two years.
  • In 2012, her acting career gained ascendance with roles in “Man on a Ledge,” “What to Expect When You're Expecting,” and “The Hunger Games.” Her supporting role in “The Huger Games” gained her popularity.
  • She earned worldwide popularity for her role as Effie Trinket In “The Hunger Games.” This resulted in the revival of her role in its sequel, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” released in 2013.
  • She also co-owns a production company named “Brownstone” along with her husband Max Handelman, a sports writer and producer. The couple have produced films like “Surrogates” and “Pitch Perfect” through their company..
Major Works
  • Her classic comic performance in “Seasbiscuits” earned her Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance. The film was rated as a box office hit and won 8 nominations in 76th Academy Awards.
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  • Her supporting role in “The Huger Games” made the film a box office hit. The film earned more than $690 million worldwide and Banks was invited to cast in its 2013 sequel, “Catching Fire.”
Awards & Achievements
  • She became prominent with her Hollywood performances in “Spider-Man,” “Swept Away,” and “Seabiscuit.” In recognition of her stupendous performances she won the “Exciting New Face Award” from the Young Hollywood Awards Team in 2003.
  • She acted in the fourth episode of the television sitcom named “30 Rock.” Her remarkable performance extended her term and won her two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.
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Personal Life & Legacy
  • She met her life partner Max Handelman on the first day of her college at the University of Pennsylvania. Their acquaintance continued and they were married in 2003.
  • Her husband is a renowned sportswriter and producer who is also the partner of her production company, “Brownstone. The couple have produced films like “Surrogates” and “Pitch Perfect”.
  • The couple have two sons Felix and Magnus Mitchell, both born through surrogates. Though she was raised in the Catholic and Protestant faith, she converted to Judaism when she married Max Handelman.
  • This American actress was a member of Delta Delta Delta, known as Tri Delta, an international sorority while she studied at the University of Pennsylvania. She was the first college graduate in her family.
  • This American actress nominated for Emmy Award for her role in “30 Rock” was careful in choosing characters. She declined to act in “The Crazies” as she felt the role resembled that of “Slither.”

1. Catch Me If You Can (2002)

  (Drama, Crime, Biography)

2. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

  (Sci-Fi, Mystery, Adventure, Thriller, Action)

3. Seabiscuit (2003)

  (History, Drama, Sport)

4. Spider-Man (2002)

  (Adventure, Action)

5. The Next Three Days (2010)

  (Romance, Drama, Thriller, Crime)

6. Love & Mercy (2014)

  (Drama, Music, Biography)

7. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

  (Action, Adventure)

8. Definitely, Maybe (2008)

  (Comedy, Romance, Drama)


MTV Movie & TV Awards
2015 Best On-Screen Transformation The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014)
2012 Best On-Screen Transformation The Hunger Games (2012)

See the events in life of Elizabeth Banks in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Elizabeth Banks Biography
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
- TheFamousPeople.com
Last Updated
- July 21, 2017

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