Busy Philipps

Busy Philipps Headshot

Actress

Birth Name: Elizabeth Jean Philipps

Birth Date: June 25, 1979

Age: 45 years old

Birth Place: Oak Park, Illinois

Actress Busy Philipps exuded an effervescence that made her a natural at portraying fun-loving and vivacious characters. She first showed off her exuberance as a bully with a mouth as big as her heart on the cult hit series "Freaks and Geeks" (NBC, 1999-2000), a sharp comedy about so-called losers trying to survive 1980s-era high school. Philipps then moved on to the critical darling "Dawson's Creek" (The WB, 1998-2003), starring as a bubbly college student who shared a dorm room with the headstrong coed, Joey Potter (Katie Holmes). She also displayed her versatility with serious roles on the award-winning series "ER" (1994-2009), as well as on the sci-fi series "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" (Fox, 2008-09), where she portrayed the sympathetic neighbor of Sarah Connor (Lena Headey).

After dabbling in drama, she was pitch-perfect as a bodacious twenty-something who helped Courteney Cox get her groove back on the comedy series "Cougar Town" (ABC, 2009-12; TBS, 2013-15), a role that finally marked Philipps as one of Hollywood's most talented character actresses.

Elizabeth Jean Philipps was born on June 25, 1979 in Oak Park, IL, but was raised in Scottsdale, AZ. As a toddler, Philipps reportedly had such endless energy, her parents called her "Busy," a nickname that stuck - even appearing on her driver's license. She started acting in school productions, and was even voted Best Actress in her senior yearbook. After training at the Acting Lab of Arizona and at England's Oxford School of Drama, she performed at various community productions in the Scottsdale area. One of her earliest jobs was playing a real-life Barbie doll at a toy fair convention in New York.

In 1999, Philipps landed a supporting role on "Freaks and Geeks," a subtle yet biting look at teenage life in the 1980s, as seen through the eyes of a trio of junior high school nerds, and a group of self-proclaimed teenaged freaks. Philipps played Kim Kelly, the brash school bully who eventually befriended good girl-turned-rebel, Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini). Created by director Judd Apatow, the show appealed mostly to Gen-Xers who recognized a bit of themselves as they tried to survive high school. While the well-written series departed from the typical over-hyped, over-glamorized teen dramas that dominated the networks at that time, it failed to attract a mainstream audience and was prematurely taken off the air.

Thankfully, the show would later earn cult status, and Apatow and a good amount of the cast would go on to greater fame. After the infamous cancellation, Philipps stayed busy with guest-starring roles on the offbeat comedy series "Malcolm in the Middle" (Fox, 2000-06), the post-collegiate drama "Undeclared" (Fox, 2001-02), and appeared in various made-for-TV movies. In 2003, Philipps joined the cast of "Dawson's Creek" (The WB, 1998-2003), a popular teen drama that followed four friends living in a small coastal town, led by Dawson Leery (James van der Beek), an aspiring videographer torn between the lovelorn tomboy, Joey Potter (Katie Holmes), and the rebellious vixen, Jennifer Lindley (Michelle Williams). Philipps would portray an aspiring singer and the too-animated, over-the-top college roommate of Potter.

The actress' first lead role on a television series was the on the UPN sitcom, "Love, Inc.," in which she played a successful dating consultant who struggles with finding love. In 2006, she checked into NBC's hit series "ER," with a recurring role as a devout Christian and intern who often clashed with her more liberal-minded colleagues. On "ER," she also happened to reunite with "Freaks and Geeks" co-star Cardellini. Philipps kept up her guest appearances on television, soon landing a recurring role on the action series "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," a small screen spin-off of the blockbuster "Terminator" film franchise. On the series, Philipps portrayed Sarah Connor's (Lena Headey) pregnant and overly protective neighbor.

While filming the sci-fi program, Philipps was also pregnant with her first child, Birdie Leigh, whom she would go on to have with her screenwriter husband Marc Silverstein. After many years paying her dues, Philipps landed a role on the ABC series, "Cougar Town," a comedy that was initially about recently divorced forty-something Jules Cobb (Courteney Cox), who was forced to reenter the dating scene, along with her friends (Philipps and Christa Miller). As the show progressed, it began to focus more on how Cobb's neurotic yet endearing personality affected her personal relationships. As she often had on shows in the past, Philipps often stole scenes as Cobb's feisty and party-going best friend and the show's resident troublemaker.

After that series came to an end, Philipps co-starred in the dark comedy "Vice Principals" (HBO 2016-17) and appeared in the Amy Schumer comedy "I Feel Pretty" (2018). In 2018, Philipps co-starred in the Lena Dunham-produced comedy "Camping" (HBO 2018- ), hosted her own talk show "Busy Tonight" (E! 2018- ) and published her first book, a memoir called This Will Only Hurt A Little.

Credits

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