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Elisha Cuthbert
Elisha Cuthbert at 2015 TCA (cropped).jpg
Cuthbert in November 2015
Elisha Ann Cuthbert

(1982-11-30) 30 November 1982 (age 40)
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Actress
  • model
Years active 1996–present
Dion Phaneuf
(m. 2013)
Children 2
Elisha signature.jpg

Elisha Ann Cuthbert Phaneuf (/əˈlʃə/; born 30 November 1982) is a Canadian actress and model. As a child actress, she made her first televised appearance as an extra in the Canadian horror-themed series for children Are You Afraid of the Dark? and co-hosted Popular Mechanics for Kids. She made her feature film debut in the 1997 Canadian family-drama Dancing on the Moon. Her first major lead role came in the 1998 drama film Airspeed (No Control) alongside Joe Mantegna. In 2001, she starred in the movie Lucky Girl, for which she received her first award, the Gemini Awards.

After moving to Hollywood in 2001, she was cast as Kim Bauer in the series 24, her first big role in an American production, alongside Kiefer Sutherland. For this role, she was nominated for Screen Actors Guild Awards twice. In 2003, she played Darcie Goldberg in the college comedy Old School and Carol-Anne in Love Actually. Cuthbert received wide recognition for her breakout role as Danielle in the 2004 teen comedy film The Girl Next Door, being nominated for Best Breakthrough Performance at the 2005 MTV Movie Awards, and for her next role as Carly Jones in the 2005 House of Wax, for which she received two nominations for the Teen Choice Awards, including Best Actress: Action/Adventure/Thriller. Subsequently, Cuthbert appeared in the lead role in the drama The Quiet (2005) and the horror Captivity (2007). This role, along with Are You Afraid of the Dark?, 24 series and House of Wax, established her as a scream queen.

From 2011 to 2013, Cuthbert starred as Alex Kerkovich in the three seasons of the ABC comedy Happy Endings. From 2016 to 2020, she had a recurring role as Abby Phillips on the Netflix series The Ranch, before becoming a main cast member in the series' second season. She received praise for her performance on the Canadian comedy series Jann (2020), being nominated for the Canadian Screen Awards for Best Performance in a guest role.

In 2013, Maxim magazine named her "TV's most beautiful woman".

Early life

Elisha Ann Cuthbert was born in Calgary, Alberta, the daughter of Patricia, a housewife, and Kevin, an automotive design engineer. She grew up in Greenfield Park, Quebec. In 2000, she graduated from Centennial Regional High School and moved to Los Angeles at the age of 17. As a child, she participated in Girl Guide programs as a member of Girl Guides of Canada.


Early work

When she was nine, Cuthbert started modeling children's clothing and also became a foot model. She made her first televised appearance as an extra in Are You Afraid of the Dark?, a horror-themed series for children; she later became a regular on the show. Cuthbert co-hosted Popular Mechanics for Kids with Jay Baruchel, filmed in Montreal. Her reporting captured the attention of Hillary Clinton, who invited her to the White House.

Cuthbert landed a role in a feature film in the family drama Dancing on the Moon (1997). She appeared in other Canadian family films and in an airplane thriller, Airspeed. In 2000, Cuthbert co-starred in Believe, a Canadian film with Ricky Mabe. The following year she starred in the Canadian television movie, Lucky Girl, and was awarded a Gemini Award for her performance.


The cast of 24 2009
Cuthbert with cast of 24 at a screening for the 24 season 7 finale

Soon after moving to Hollywood, she was cast as Kim Bauer, daughter of federal agent Jack Bauer, in the television series 24. She appeared in the show's first three seasons, but not in its fourth; she guest-starred in two episodes in the fifth season. She also reprised her role as Kim Bauer in 24: The Game and again guest-starred in five episodes of the seventh season and in two episodes of the eighth season.

She began her Hollywood film career with small roles in Old School, which grossed $87 million. Her next film, Love Actually, earned $246.4 million worldwide.

Her first break in a major film role was in 2004, The Girl Next Door. The film was compared to Risky Business although Cuthbert said her character was not directly based on Rebecca De Mornay's. Critics were divided; some praised the film for boldness, while others, notably Roger Ebert, called it gimmicky and exploitative. Ebert wrote that he saw Cuthbert's character as "quite the most unpleasant character I have seen in some time." The View London said: "Cuthbert is surprisingly good, too – aside from being drop dead gorgeous, she also proves herself a capable comic actress in the Cameron Diaz mould". Cuthbert won two nominations for the MTV Movie Awards for Best Kiss and Best Breakthrough Performance.

In her next film, Cuthbert starred with Paris Hilton and Chad Michael Murray in the 2005 remake of the horror film House of Wax. In one scene, her character attempted to open her mouth while her lips were sealed with glue. For realism, she used Superglue over prosthetics. House of Wax was largely panned, critics citing a range of flaws. It was called "notable for having some of the most moronic protagonists ever to populate a horror film," though of those characters, critics tended to think Cuthbert "did the best". Though it received negative reviews the film was a box office success, which grossed $70 million worldwide. The Houston Chronicle cited Cuthbert as an exception. Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle said of the film, "Elisha Cuthbert's matter-of-fact, likable quality helps. Seeing her turn into wax would be as bad as seeing that happen to Glenda Farrell (the star of the 1933 version)." The Movie said: "The performances are always professional and understated in their believable cogency, particularly Cuthbert, a talented, beautiful young actress who has proven time and again just what a multilayered and promising future she has ahead of her. Cuthbert digs into the role of Carly with strength, determination, and horrified realism; you believe as you watch her that she is going through these things and forget all about the actor playing the part, which is the biggest compliment of all. Brian Orndorf of said: "[Paris] Hilton ... only plays her known personality in the film. She's overshadowed by the strong work from the rest of the cast, notably Chad Michael Murray and especially Elisha Cuthbert, who gives the film a strong dose of enthusiasm with her Jamie Lee Curtis-esque performance." Cuthbert was nominated at Teen Choice Awards in two categories Choice Movie: Actress – Action / Adventure / Thriller and Choice Movie: Rumble.

Elisha Cuthbert in 2009
Cuthbert promoting 24 in May 2009

Cuthbert's next film was the indie film The Quiet. She was a co-star and co-producer. She played Nina, a 17-year-old cheerleader. Cuthbert looked to her younger cousin as her inspiration in portraying a teenager. The Quiet, distributed by Sony Pictures Classics, premiered at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival and received a limited release in Los Angeles and New York City on 25 August 2006 before expanding regionally in the US on September 1. Cuthbert initially wanted to play the part of the silent Dot, but director Jamie Babbit cast Camilla Belle in the role instead after Thora Birch pulled out. Babbit reasoned "To me, Dot has to be someone you could believe would be invisible in high school. You look at Elisha, this beautiful woman with the most perfect body you've ever seen, and you think, there's no high school in America where this girl could be invisible. No matter how much hair and makeup I do, it's not going to happen." The Daily Californian conceded that "Despite the plot's failings, Cuthbert does a convincing job in her role, exuding an outer shell so tough that when her inner, softer layers emerge, it's a natural change of character. Empire Movies agreed, commenting "this is Elisha Cuthbert's best film performance to date. Cuthbert's Nina has the majority of the most graphic and disturbing dialogue in the film, especially during one particular lunchroom scene where the camera is close up on Cuthbert and Belle's faces."

Cuthbert appeared in the music video for Weezer's "Perfect Situation" in early 2006, playing the group's fictional original singer who threw a tantrum that led to Rivers Cuomo, the roadie, becoming the band's frontman. She also had a small role in Paris Hilton's music video for the song "Nothing in This World".

In 2007, Cuthbert appeared in Captivity, a thriller centered on a fashion model taunted by a psychopath who imprisons her in a cellar. She was nominated for a Razzie award as Worst Actress and Teen Choice Awards for Choice Movie Actress: Horror/Thriller for the movie. The film grossed $10.9 million at the box office. The critic Stephen Whitty of the Newark Star-Ledger said, "When, in the last few minutes, Cuthbert finally slipped her bonds and began looking for her tormentors, I knew exactly how she felt." The View London said: "The worst Cuthbert struggles to make her character sympathetic because the script doesn't give her anything to work with, while Daniel Gillies is too creepy-looking to convince as a potential love interest."

In He Was a Quiet Man, Cuthbert played Vanessa, a quadriplegic; she starred alongside Christian Slater. The film was in limited release in 2007, and it was released on DVD in early 2008. The critic Peter Bradshaw in his review for The Guardian praised Cuthbert's performance, writing that she "is very good". In 2008, Cuthbert appeared in My Sassy Girl, a remake of a Korean film, starring with Jesse Bradford. Nikhat Kazmi of The Times of India said the "Elisha is cute and their zany affair keeps the reels rolling in an unusual love story with the usual heartbreak and happy home-comings". Although Lacey Mical (Callahan) Walker of Christian Spotlight on Entertainment was not impressed by Bradford performance, she praised Cuthbert's, saying, "Elisha Cuthbert's talent rises above the character she was given to play, and she almost saves the bitter first half with a stellar performance".

Her next film was the family comedy, The Six Wives of Henry Lefay with Tim Allen, in which she played his daughter. She starred in the Canadian miniseries Guns. She was a judge in season two, episode two of Project Runway Canada. Designers were challenged to create a "party dress" for her. Cuthbert reprised her character Kim Bauer in the seventh season of 24 for five episodes. She was to star in the CBS drama pilot Ny-Lon, playing a New York literacy teacher/record-store clerk who embarks on a transatlantic romance with a London stockbroker. The project, based on a British series starring Rashida Jones and Stephen Moyer, was cancelled.

In December 2009, ABC said Cuthbert had joined the cast of The Forgotten in a recurring role as Maxine Denver, a Chicago professional. It was expected for Cuthbert to play the role of Trixie in sports action- comedy film Speed Racer (2008), but Christina Ricci was eventually chosen.


From April 2011 to May 2013, Cuthbert starred as Alex Kerkovich for three seasons on the ABC ensemble comedy Happy Endings alongside Eliza Coupe, Zachary Knighton, Adam Pally, Damon Wayans Jr., and Casey Wilson. Despite critical acclaim and having a cult following, the show was canceled by ABC after the conclusion of its third season on 3 May 2013. Cuthbert was nominated for the Online Film & Television Association Award in 2012 and 2013 in the category of "Best Cast in a Comedy Series" and TV Guide Awards for Favorite Cast. The series was also nominated for 28 other awards including the Satellite Awards for Best Series comedy television or music. Cuthbert's performance received positive reviews from critics. In 2013, she was regarded as a promising contender for an Emmy Award in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series category, however she was not nominated.

In 2012, Cuthbert was host of the American Music Awards. In October 2012, she appeared in The Gaslight Anthem's music video "Here Comes My Man", playing the girlfriend of a man who mistreats her until she imagines a romantic relationship with a character in a film and chooses to end her real relationship.

In 2013, she appeared on the cover of Maxim, which named her TV's Most Beautiful Woman.

In February 2014, Cuthbert signed to play the female lead role in Liz Feldman and Ellen DeGeneres' NBC sitcom pilot One Big Happy. Cuthbert stars as Lizzy, a lesbian who gets pregnant just as her straight male best friend Luke (played by Nick Zano) meets and marries the love of his life, Prudence. Six episodes of the show were ordered on 9 May 2014, and it debuted mid-season in early 2015. The series was canceled after one season.

In 2015, Cuthbert joined Seann William Scott in a sequel to the 2011 comedy Goon. Goon: Last of the Enforcers began production in June in Toronto. Liev Schreiber and Alison Pill reprised their roles from the first film.

In 2016, Cuthbert joined the cast of Netflix's The Ranch, a comedy series. In 2020, she started the film Eat Wheaties!. She is set to star the horror movie The Cellar, Bandit and the comedy Friday Afternoon in the Universe. For her performance in the comedy series Jann (2020), she was nominated for the Canadian Screen Awards for Best Guest Performance.

Public image

Elisha Cuthbert in Grey Cup 2009
Cuthbert at 97th Grey Cup in 2009

She was included in the list of The 15 Best Comedy Supporting Actresses of the 2011–2012 TV Season and 2012–2013 TV Season. The Canadian Business named her one of the most powerful Canadians in Hollywood.

Personal life

Cuthbert has two younger siblings and enjoys painting. She is also an ice hockey fan. In 2005, she maintained a blog on the NHL website, though she did not post for most of the season.


Cuthbert and hockey player Dion Phaneuf, then the captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced their engagement in September 2012, They married on 6 July 2013 at St. James Catholic Church in Summerfield, Prince Edward Island. Living in Ottawa during the hockey season, Cuthbert and Phaneuf spend their summers at their waterfront estate outside New London, Prince Edward Island in his parents' home province. The couple have two children together, a daughter born in 2017 and a son in 2022.



Year Title Role
1997 Dancing on the Moon Sarah
Nico the Unicorn Carolyn Price
1998 Airspeed Nicole Stone
1999 Believe Katherine Winslowe
Time at the Top Susan Shawson
2000 Who Gets the House? Emily Reece
2003 Love Actually American Goddess Carol
Old School Darcie Goldberg
2004 Girl Next Door, TheThe Girl Next Door Danielle
2005 House of Wax Carly Jones
Quiet, TheThe Quiet Nina Deer
2007 Captivity Jennifer Tree
He Was a Quiet Man Vanessa
2008 My Sassy Girl Jordan Roark
Guns Frances Dett
2009 Six Wives of Henry Lefay, TheThe Six Wives of Henry Lefay Barbara "Barby" Lefay
2014 Just Before I Go Penny Morgan
2017 Goon: Last of the Enforcers Mary
2020 Eat Wheaties! Janet Berry-Straw
2022 Cellar, TheThe Cellar Keira Woods
Bandit Andrea
Friday Afternoon in the Universe Eleanor


Year Title Role Notes
1997–2000 Popular Mechanics for Kids Herself Host
1999–2000 Are You Afraid of the Dark? Megan Main role, 24 episodes
2000 Mail to the Chief Madison Osgood Television movie
2001 Largo Winch Abby Episode: "Dear Abby"
2001 Lucky Girl Katlin Palmerson Television movie; also known as My Daughter's Secret Life
2001–10 24 Kim Bauer Main role, 79 episodes
2004 MADtv Herself / Kim Bauer 1 episode: 24 parody
2008 Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Herself Episode: "Jim and Derrick"
2008 NY-LON Edie Failed television pilot
2008 Family Guy New Bedford (voice) Episode: "Tales of a Third Grade Nothing"
2010 Forgotten, TheThe Forgotten Maxine Denver Recurring role, 6 episodes
2011–13 Happy Endings Alex Kerkovich Main role, 57 episodes
2013 24/7 Winter Classic: Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Detroit Red Wings Herself
2015 One Big Happy Lizzy Main role, 6 episodes
2016–2020 The Ranch Abby Phillips-Bennett Recurring role (season 1); main role (seasons 2–4)
2020 Canada's Drag Race Herself Guest host, Episode: "Eh-laganza Eh-xtravaganza"
2020 Jann Liz Guest host, episode: "Tomato, Tomato" (season 2)


Year Title Role Notes
2012 Happy Endings: Happy Rides Alex Kerkovich Directed 1 episode
2015 The Plateaus Elisha 2 episodes; web series

Music videos

Year Title Artist Role
2004 "She Will Be Loved" (Version 1) Maroon 5 Love Interest, appears in the unfinished first version.
2005 "Perfect Situation" Weezer Lead Singer of "Weeze"
2006 "Nothing in This World" Paris Hilton Popular Girl
2012 "Here Comes My Man" The Gaslight Anthem Girlfriend
2015 "Make Our Own Way" Little Brutes Was the theme song to Cuthbert's now cancelled show One Big Happy

Video games

Year Title Role
2006 24: The Game Kim Bauer

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2001 Gemini Awards Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series Lucky Girl Won
2002 Online Film Critics Society Best Cast in a Drama Series 24 Nominated
2003 Online Film Critics Society Best Cast in a Drama Series 24 Won
2003 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Female Breakout Star 24 Nominated
2003 Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award Best Ensemble Love Actually Won
2003 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series 24 Nominated
2003 Online Film & Television Association Award Best Ensemble Love Actually Nominated
2005 MTV Movie Awards Best Kiss The Girl Next Door Nominated
2005 MTV Movie Awards Best Breakthrough Performance, Female Girl Next Door, TheThe Girl Next Door Nominated
2005 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series 24 Nominated
2005 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actress: Action/Thriller House of Wax Nominated
2005 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Rumble House of Wax Nominated
2006 Spike Video Game Awards Best Female Interpretation of a Supporting Character 24: The Game Nominated
2006 Online Film & Television Association Award Best Cast in a Drama Series 24 Nominated
2007 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actress: Horror/Thriller Captivity Nominated
2008 Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Actress Captivity Nominated
2009 Online Film & Television Association Award Best Cast in a Drama Series 24 Nominated
2012 Online Film & Television Association Award Best Ensemble in a Comedy series Happy Endings Nominated
2021 Canadian Screen Awards Best Performance of a guest role in a Comedy Series Jann Nominated

See also

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