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Elizabeth Banks is an Emmy Award-nominated film and television actress known for her work in Spider-Man, 30 Rock, W., Pitch Perfect and The Hunger Games.
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Born on February 10, 1974, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, actress Elizabeth Banks has pursued a prolific film career with roles in projects like Spider-Man, Invincible, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, W. and the blockbuster The Hunger Games. She has also worked in television, with prominent roles on Scrubs and 30 Rock, for which she has received two Emmy Award nominations. Additionally, she runs the production company Brownstone.
"I'm someone who grew up believing in not everybody gets a trophy. It's okay to lose. Losing teaches you something. Having to try and going through the trials and tribulations to actually overcome, to get there to win, to triumph, that's what makes life interesting."
Elizabeth Banks was born Elizabeth Maresal Mitchell on February 10, 1974, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. During her childhood she enjoyed the outdoors and was active in sports. She broke her leg while sliding into third base during a softball match and afterwards turned to theater, enjoying the camaraderie and teamwork to be found in performance. Mitchell went on to earn her BA from the University of Pennsylvania, graduating magna cum laude, and then earned her MFA from the American Conservatory Theater from San Francisco.
Banks lived in New York for a time and acquired on-screen experience in Gotham-based TV productions like Sex and the City and Third Watch. She made her movie debut in the gender-twisting drama Surrender Dorothy and starred in the 2000 John Singleton remake of Shaft before changing her last name to Banks. (She didn't want to be confused with another thespian named Elizabeth Mitchell who later starred in the series Lost and V.)
Moving to Los Angeles, California, over the next decade, Elizabeth Banks would land roles in scores of films that spanned the gamut from comedy to drama, horror to sci-fi/fantasy. She played Daily Bugle newspaper secretary Betty Brant in Spider-Man (2002), followed by a turn later that year as a bank employee in Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can. Many other notable roles followed, including parts in The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Invincible (2006), Meet Bill (2008), Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008), Definitely, Maybe (2008) and a reprisal of her Brant role in Spider-Man's 2004 and 2007 sequels.
In 2008, Banks starred as First Lady Laura Bush in the Oliver Stone directed, George W. Bush biopic W. The following year she returned to her guest role on the medical comedy Scrubs, in which she had portrayed Dr. Kim Briggs in 2006. In addition to her movie work, Banks continued on TV with a reoccurring 30 Rock role as conservative news commentator Avery Jessup, who became romantically involved with Alec Baldwin's character Jack Donaghy. Bank received 2011 and 2012 Emmy nominations for her work.
The year 2012 was a big one for the actress, with six films being released that she starred in—among them People Like Us, The Details, What to Expect When You're Expecting and Man on a Ledge. Her biggest project that year was the screen adaptation of the bestselling Suzanne Collins series The Hunger Games.
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Learn more about the cast of The Hunger Games, the popular film series based on the trilogy by author Suzanne Collins. Starring Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen and Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark, the Hunger Games series has included a gamut of other performers, including Liam Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Donald Sutherland, Amanda Plummer, Jena Malone, Elizabeth Banks and Lenny Kravitz. Explore this group to learn more about this popular big-screen series and its cast.
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