Caroline Rhea

Caroline Rhea Headshot

Actress • Comedian

Birth Date: April 13, 1964

Age: 59 years old

Birth Place: Westmount, Québec, Canada

Canadian-born actress and comedienne Caroline Rhea is best known for her quick wit, bubbly personality and infectious laugh. Rhea first made a name for herself as a popular stand-up performer at such career-launching venues as Catch a Rising Star before garnering national recognition with a supporting role on the long-running fantasy sitcom "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" (The WB, 1996-2003). During this prosperous time, she frequently picked up supplemental work, such as a titular role on the supernatural family comedy "Mom's Got a Date with a Vampire" (Disney Channel, 2000). After leaving "Sabrina" in 2002, she took a run at her own daytime talk program after replacing Rosie O'Donnell with "The Caroline Rhea Show" (syndicated, 2002-03) and as the host of the weight loss competition series "The Biggest Loser" (NBC, 2004- ) for its first two seasons. Occasional supporting work in feature films like the romance "The Perfect Man" (2005) and a lengthy tenure as a voiceover actress on the hit animated comedy series "Phineas and Ferb" (Disney XD, 2007-15) still allowed the busy actress time to accept the rare lead role in made-for-TV offerings like the holiday comedy "The Christmas Consultant" (Lifetime, 2012). Multi-talented and easily relatable, Rhea remained one of the more recognizable and welcomed faces on film and television.

Born April 13, 1964 in Montreal, Quebec, Caroline Gilchrist Rhea (pronounced "Ray") was one of three girls born to Marjorie and David Rhea, an antiques dealer and an obstetrician, respectively. Raised in Montreal and educated at the private all-girls school The Study, she went on to attend Dalhousie University on the island province of Nova Scotia. Rhea made her film debut with an uncredited role in the low-budget comedy sequel "Meatballs III" (1986), before moving to New York City to study stand-up comedy at the New School of Social Research in 1989. The aspiring comedienne soon cut her teeth at several area comedy clubs, most notably Catch a Rising Star, before becoming a popular performer on the circuit. Television appearances were the next natural step, with Rhea booking guest shots on "The Daily Show" (Comedy Central, 1996- ) and "Comic Strip Live (syndicated, 1989-94). The ambitious Rhea also wrote her own segment for the stand-up movie "Fools for Love" (VH1, 1993), before joining the cast of her first network sitcom, the exceptionally short-lived "Pride and Joy" (NBC, 1995), as the wife of Jeremy Piven.

The following year, Rhea played Drew Carey's girlfriend in a pair of episodes of "The Drew Carey Show" (ABC, 1995-2004) then landed the plum role of frothy witch Hildy Spellman, one of two protective aunts to Melissa Joan Hart's Sabrina on the hit comedy "Sabrina The Teenage Witch" (ABC, 1996-2000/TheWB, 2000-03). Rhea remained with the series until its penultimate season, providing many of the series' best belly laughs during its lengthy run. During this period, Rhea was also extraordinarily busy with other projects, including a cameo as herself in the pilot episode of Larry David's acclaimed series "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (HBO, 2000- ). She made a feature film appearance in the wrestling comedy "Ready to Rumble" (2000) and enjoyed a rare lead as a single parent set up with a toothsome stranger by her mischievous kids in the family comedy "Mom's Got a Date with a Vampire" (Disney Channel, 2000). With her effervescent personality, she was a highly sought after celebrity guest, appearing regularly on "Hollywood Squares" (NBC, 1998-2002) and late night talk shows like "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (NBC, 1993-2009) and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" (NBC, 1992-2009; 2010- ).

In 2002, Rhea was handpicked as Rosie O'Donnell's replacement to host her own daytime talk show after O'Donnell decided to hang it up after her own successful run. Rhea had been a frequent guest and substitute host for O'Donnell during the last two seasons of "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" (syndicated, 1996-2002), making the selection of Rhea a natural choice. Unfortunately, the transition was not as smooth as one may have hoped, as "The Caroline Rhea Show" (syndicated, 2002-03) debuted to substantially lower ratings than its predecessor and was cancelled within its first season. Undeterred, Rhea soon reappeared in the holiday comedy feature "Christmas with the Kranks" (2004) and signed on as the host of the reality weight loss competition "The Biggest Loser" (NBC, 2004- ) for two seasons before being replaced by Allison Sweeney in 2005. Never out of work for long, Rhea was next seen in a supporting role in the Hilary Duff vehicle "The Perfect Man" (2005) and as Ilsa Shickelgrubermeiger-Von Helsing del Keppelugerhofer, a hilariously recurring character on the first season of "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody" (The Disney Channel, 2005-08).

Rhea landed one of the steadiest - and likely, cushiest - roles of her career when she was asked to voice the mother of a thrill-seeking genius and his English stepbrother on the hugely popular cartoon "Phineas and Ferb" (Disney XD, 2007-15). One of the constant gags on the long-running series involved the futile attempts by the boys' sister (Ashley Tisdale) to bring their outlandish summer projects to the attention of the eternally preoccupied Linda Flynn (Rhea). Somehow finding time in her busy schedule, Rhea briefly co-starred with Rue McClanahan and Olivia Newton-John on "Sordid Lives: The Series" (Logo, 2008), a made-for-cable sitcom, described by its creator Del Shores as "a black comedy about white trash." After a turn in the direct-to-DVD dance romance "Love N' Dancing" (2009), Rhea played the matriarch of a busy family looking to squeeze the most out of the season in the family comedy "The Christmas Consultant" (Lifetime, 2012), co-starring David Hasslehoff as the eponymous holiday helper.

By Bryce P. Coleman

Credits

Extended FamilyStream

Guest Star
Lanna Telsoup
Series
2023

Live with Kelly and MarkStream

Guest
Talk
2023

Lopez vs. LopezStream

Guest Star
Jana
Series
2022

LOL: Last One Laughing Canada

Contestant
Show
2022

Celebrity Wheel of FortuneStream

Guest
Game Show
2021

Celebrity Name That TuneStream

Guest
Series
2021

Debbie Macomber's A Mrs. Miracle ChristmasStream

Actor
Gloria Merkel
Movie
2021

Disney Channel Halloween House PartyStream

Actor
Special
2020

Feeding America Comedy Festival

Actor
Show
2020

More Funny Women of a Certain AgeStream

Actor
Special
2020

Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the UniverseStream

Voice
Mom
Movie
2020
100%

Nashville Squares

Guest
Game Show
2019

Caroline & Friends: The Game

Host
Show
2019

The Kelly Clarkson ShowStream

Guest
Talk
2019

Access Daily

Guest
Show
2019

Sydney to the Max

Actor
Judy
Show
2019

25 Words or LessStream

Contestant
Game Show
2018

Caroline & Friends

Host
Show
2018

Entertainment Weekly Cast Reunions

Guest
Show
2018

A Christmas in Tennessee

Actor
Madame Claus
Movie
2018

Daily Blast Live

Guest
Show
2017

Funny You Should Ask

Guest
Game Show
2017

Funny You Should Ask

Guest Star
Game Show
2017

The Sunday Project

Guest
Show
2017

Live with Kelly and Ryan

Guest
Talk
2017

Live with Kelly and Ryan

Host
Talk
2017

Talk Show the Game ShowStream

Guest
Game Show
2017

A Very Sordid Wedding

Actor
Noleta Nethercott
Movie
2017

Bruno & Boots: This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall

Actor
Eugenia Scrimmage
Movie
2017

Bruno & Boots: The Wizzle War

Actor
Eugenia Scrimmage
Movie
2017

Match GameStream

Guest
Game Show
2016

To Tell the TruthStream

Guest
Game Show
2016

Bruno & Boots: Go Jump in the Pool

Actor
Ms. Scrimmage
Movie
2016

Celebrity Food Fight

Contestant
Show
2015

The Santa Claus Brothers Special

Actor
Show
2015

Celebrity Family FeudStream

Guest
Game Show
2015

Phineas und Ferb: Geheimakte O.O.C.A.

Voice
Linda Flynn-Fletcher
Movie
2015

Phineas and Ferb Save Summer

Actor
Linda Flynn-Fletcher
Show
2014

Manhattan Love StoryStream

Guest Star
Coach Reisner
Series
2014
27%

The Meredith Vieira Show

Guest
Talk
2014

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonStream

Guest
Talk
2014

Phineas und Ferb: Star Wars

Voice
Linda Flynn-Fletcher
Movie
2014

Phineas and Ferb: Perrysodes

Actor
Mom
Show
2013

Take Me to Your Mother

Guest Star
Show
2013

MaronStream

Guest Star
Herself
Series
2013
75%

Phineas und Ferb: Mission Marvel

Voice
Linda Flynn-Fletcher
Movie
2013

NickMom Night Out

Host
Show
2012

Live! With Kelly and Michael

Guest
Talk
2012

Baby DaddyStream

Guest Star
Jennifer
Series
2012

Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town

Actor
Mrs. Diston
Movie
2012

The Christmas Consultant

Actor
Maya Fletcher
Movie
2012

LIVE with Kelly

Guest
Show
2011

LIVE with Kelly

Guest
Talk
2011

Don't Tell the Bride

Narrator
Show
2011

2 Broke GirlsStream

Guest Star
Bonnie
Series
2011

Cake Walk

Actor
Show
2011

Cake Walk

Host
Show
2011

Cake Walk: Wedding Cake Edition

Host
Show
2011

The Blame Game

Guest
Show
2011

Caroline Rhea & Friends

Actor
Show
2011

The Gayle King Show

Guest
Show
2011

Phineas and Ferb: The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension

Voice
Linda Flynn-Fletcher
Movie
2011

George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight

Guest
Show
2010

The Marriage Ref

Guest
Show
2010

Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation

Voice
Linda Flynn-Fletcher
Show
2009

Larry the Cable Guy's Hula-Palooza Christmas Luau

Actor
Show
2009

The Joy Behar Show

Guest
Show
2009

Watch What Happens Live With Andy CohenStream

Guest
Talk
2009

Sordid Lives: The Series

Actor
Show
2008

The Wendy Williams Show

Guest
Talk
2008

Love N' Dancing

Actor
Bonnie
Movie
2008

Fast Girl

Actor
Movie
2008

Phineas and FerbStream

Voice
Linda Flynn-Fletcher
Series
2007

To Be Fat like Me

Actor
Madelyn
Movie
2007

Comics Unleashed With Byron Allen

Guest
Talk
2006

Comics Unleashed With Byron Allen

Guest Star
Talk
2006

The Biggest Loser: Special Edition

Host
Show
2006

One-Night Stand: Caroline Rhea

Actor
Show
2005

ET Canada

Guest
Show
2005

The Suite Life of Zack & CodyStream

Guest Star
Series
2005

Idealny facet

Actor
Gloria
Movie
2005

The Perfect Man

Actor
Gloria
Movie
2005

The Biggest Loser

Host
Show
2004

Christmas with the KranksStream

Actor
Candi
Movie
2004
5%

The Caroline Rhea Show

Host
Talk
2002

Live With Regis and Kelly

Guest
Show
2001

Halifax Comedy Festival

Actor
Show
2000

Caroline's Comedy Hour

Guest
Show
2000

Ready to Rumble

Actor
Eugenia King
Movie
2000

Mom's Got a Date With a Vampire

Actor
Lynette Hanson
Movie
2000

Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm

Actor
Show
1999

The Daily Show With Jon StewartStream

Guest
Talk
1999

Man on the MoonStream

Actor
Fridays Melanie
Movie
1999
64%

Behind-the-Scenes at the American Comedy Awards

Actor
Show
1998

The View

Guest
Talk
1997

All-Star T.G.I.F. Magic

Host
Show
1997

Just for Laughs

Actor
Show
1996

Sabrina the Teenage WitchStream

Actor
Series
1996

Sabrina the Teenage WitchStream

Guest Star
Series
1996

The Drew Carey ShowStream

Guest Star
Series
1995

Pride & Joy

Actor
Carol Green
Show
1995

Late Night With Conan O'Brien

Guest
Talk
1993

One-Night Stand

Actor
Show
1989

News aboutCaroline Rhea