Elizabeth Perkins

Active - 1986 - 2016  |   Born - Nov 18, 1960 in Queens, New York, United States  |   Genres - Comedy Drama, Drama, Comedy, Children's/Family

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Born in New York and raised in Vermont, actress Elizabeth Perkins headed for Chicago after high school, where she was trained at the Goodman School of Drama. In a busy three-year period (1984-1987), Perkins co-starred in the touring company of Neil Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs, married Chicago-based actor Terry Kinney (they have since split), was featured on Broadway, and made her film debut in About Last Night... (1986). The actress went on to play Tom Hanks' vis-à-vis in Big (1988), the terminal cancer patient with whom William Hurt begins a relationship in The Doctor (1992), and the "She" to Kevin Bacon's "He" in He Said, She Said (1991). The biggest box-office hit with which Elizabeth Perkins has been associated was 1994's The Flintstones, in which she portrayed the long-suffering Wilma.

Though supporting roles in such projects as From the Earth to the Moon, 28 Days, and The Ring Two kept Perkins busy over the next decade, it couldn't help but feel like her career momentum had stalled out a bit by the mid-2000s. Fortunately for comedy fans, television writer/producer Jenji Kohan (Gilmore Girls) recognized her talent, and in 2005 Perkins began a successful four year run on the hit television series Weeds. Cast as the busybody neighbor of a suburban single mother-turned-pot dealer played by Mary-Louise Parker, the talented comic actress earned three Emmy nominations for her role in the series, though the actual award sadly slipped through her fingers each time. Nevertheless, the success appeared to reinvigorate Perkins' small screen career, with roles in Vince Uncensored, teh Closer, and How to Live WIth Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life following in quick succession.

Movie Highlights

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  • Once aspired to become a veterinarian.
  • Began her acting career in a 1984 Broadway production of Neil Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs.
  • Made her big-screen debut in the 1986 romantic comedy About Last Night.
  • First series-regular role was on the short-lived NBC sitcom Battery Park.
  • TV breakthrough came with the Showtime dramedy Weeds, which netted her several Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her performance as the high-strung Celia Hodes.