American Pie star celebrates 60th birthday
Jennifer Coolidge will turn 60 on August 28th. She has starred in numerous films since 1995 and can still be seen in comedies to this day.
Jennifer Audrey Coolidge was born on August 28, 1961 in Boston, Massachusetts. After studying there at Emerson College and later at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, she devoted herself to her dream of being a serious actress. She started out in an improvisational theater in Los Angeles, where she found her talent for comedy. At the age of 32 she got her first TV role in the cult series “Seinfeld” – but only for one episode.
Breakthrough with “American Pie”
After an extra role in “Austin Powers – Spy in a secret missionary position” (1999), she had her international breakthrough as a comedy actress in the same year with the youth film “American Pie”. In it she played the mother of the party animal Steven Stifler (Seann William Scott, 44), Jeanine Stifler, who especially turned the head of the character Paul Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas, 40). Coolidge was also in front of the camera for the sequels “American Pie 2” and “American Pie – Now we are getting married”. In 2001 she played the role of Paulette Bonafonte in “Naturally Blond” alongside Reese Witherspoon (45).
From then on, Jennifer Coolidge shone again and again in comedic supporting roles, such as in “Zoolander” (2001) or in parodies such as “Date Movie” (2006). She had her longest-running role so far in the comedy series “2 Broke Girls”, in which from 2012 she played Polish Sophie Kaczyński for five years. In 2015 she did voice acting jobs for “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and “Emoji-Der Film” (2017). In the music video “Thank U, Next” by Ariana Grande (28), she slipped back into her role as hairdresser Paulette Bonafonte from “Naturally Blonde” in 2018. Over the years, however, their figures hardly differed. She always embodied the sexy middle-aged woman, who often stood out for her naive demeanor.
The dream of serious acting
Even more than 20 years after she played “Stifler’s Mom” for the first time, many fans still think of her as the sexy “American Pie” mother. But the 60-year-old never wanted to become a comedy actress. She longed for more than supporting roles in comedies. She told the Australian magazine “Female” that she emulated Oscar winner Meryl Streep (72) in her college years. “I’ve wanted to be a serious actress all my life. I took it very seriously and took a different path,” said Coolidge.
She didn’t even find her family funny, but rather strange. “My brother was the funniest one in the family, it’s so bizarre.” But then Coolidge used a talent for herself, as she revealed. She was always good at imitating people. She found her funny side in the improvisational theater “The Groundlings” in Los Angeles and found that she can make viewers laugh, although that was not her career goal.
“A character actress who happens to be doing comedy”
After many years in the business, the 60-year-old does not see herself strictly as a comedy actress. In the “Female” interview she said, “I’m a character actress who happens to be doing comedy.” Even years after her success in various comedies, Jennifer Coolidge has not given up the dream of the serious character actress.
In 2020 she got a more serious role in the thriller “Promising Young Woman”, which can currently be seen in German cinemas. In the film, she plays the worried mother of an adult woman who moves from club to club pretending to be drunk and then teaching men a lesson. In March of this year she was also seen in the film drama “Swan Song” alongside the German actor Udo Kier (76). The strip premiered at the South by Southwest Festival in Texas.
In July 2021, Coolidge got a leading role in the dramedy series “White Lotus”, which is available on the streaming service “HBO Max”. In it she plays Tanya McQuoid, a troubled woman who recently suffered the death of her own mother. In the series, various holiday guests of a hotel are highlighted, whose dark secrets reveal more with each passing day.
Commitment to the environment and animals
In addition to her acting successes, Jennifer Coolidge has been committed to animal and environmental protection for years. Together with comedy colleague Chris Kattan (50) she moderated the celebration of the 30th birthday of the sea protection organization “Sea Sheperd”. She also works for sanctuaries and regularly supports fundraising campaigns for the American Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. For several years now, the actress has also been eating a vegetarian diet.