“Freak” Kim Kelly
Getting her start in acting in the third grade, Busy Philipps later gained recognition for her roles in various popular TV series. She played tough girl freak Kim Kelly on NBC’s critically acclaimed teen drama comedy series "Freaks and Geeks" (1999-2000), portrayed Audrey Liddell (2001-2003), the fun-loving, outgoing and seemingly oversexed roommate of Joey (played by Katie Holmes) and the love interest of Pacey (played by Joshua Jackson), on the WB primetime teen drama series "Dawson's Creek," and played the energetic, pragmatic Denise Johnson on UPN’s sitcom "Love, Inc." (2005-2006). She currently plays Hope Bobeck (2006-present), a devout-Christian medical intern, on the internationally successful NBC medical drama "ER."
On the big screen, Philipps, who made her film debut with a starring role in the disappointing teen drama “The Smokers” (2000; alongside Dominique Swain and Thora Birch), has starred in the acclaimed “Home Room” (2002), as well as played supporting roles in the Wayans brothers’ comedy “White Chicks” (2004) and “Mummy an' the Armadillo” (2004). She will act alongside Patrick Dempsey in an upcoming comedy movie titled “Made of Honor.”
The 5' 6" pretty blonde was one of Maxim magazine's “Hot 100 Women of 2001” list. From 1997 to 2001, she dated Colin Hanks, whom she met at Loyola Marymount College.
Childhood and Family:
Born on June 25, 1979, in Oak Park, Illinois, Elizabeth Jean Philipps grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona. Her parents gave her the nickname “Busy” because as a 6-month-old baby, she was always moving. The nickname has stuck with her since and even appears on her driver's license.
Philipps went to Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Arizona, where she was taught by one of the greatest High School Theatre teachers, Deborah Carrick. She then studied theater at Loyola Marymount University at the same time as Colin Hanks and Linda Cardellini (her Freaks and Geeks and ER costar). She also studied at a summer program at Oxford School of Drama, in Oxford, England, which she completed in 1998.
Philipps is the godmother of Matilda Rose (born in 2005), daughter of “Dawson’s Creek” co-star Michelle Williams and actor Heath Ledger.
In the third grade, Busy Philipps made her acting debut as Wilbur the pig in her elementary school production of E. B. White's 1952 children's book, "Charlotte's Web." Bitten by the acting bug, she went on to perform in Scottsdale’s community theater and took her first professional gig away from home at age seventeen when Mattel recruited her to play Barbie at New York City's Toy Fair.
After completing a summer program at the Oxford School of Drama in 1998, Philipps wrote and produced two of her own plays for the Actors Lab of Arizona. She took part in an audition for the WB teen sci-fi series "Roswell" (1999), but didn't get a part. She then auditioned for the role of former good girl Lindsay Weir on NBC’s critically acclaimed teen drama comedy series "Freaks and Geeks" (1999-2000), but was cast as tough girl freak Kim Kelly, girlfriend of heartthrob Daniel (played by James Franco) and best friend of Lindsay (the role eventually went to Linda Cardellini).
During her stint in "Freaks and Geeks," Philipps also appeared in the short-lived drama series "Saving Graces," alongside Michael Houston King, and was spotted as a guest in an episode of the Fox long-running, seven-time Emmy-winning sitcom starring Frankie Muniz, "Malcolm in the Middle." Additionally, she made her feature film debut in writer/director Kat Slater's disappointing teen drama “The Smokers” (2000), in which she played the lead role of Karen, the wild girl who leads a group of rebellious teenage girls through increasingly crazy antics. The film also stars Dominique Swain and Thora Birch.
Following the demise of "Freaks and Geeks," Philipps joined the cast of the WB’s primetime teen drama series "Dawson's Creek," playing the regular role of Audrey Liddell (2001-2003), the fun-loving, outgoing and seemingly oversexed roommate of studious college freshman Joey (played by Katie Holmes). She first appeared in the first episode of the show's fifth season and made her last appearance in its 22nd episode of the show's sixth season. Her performance in the hit series later earned her a nomination at the Teen Choice Awards for TV - Choice Sidekick.
Meanwhile, Philipps was also featured in the MTV TV movies “Anatomy of a Hate Crime,” a poignant and absorbing drama based on the true story of the 1998 murder of openly homosexual college student Matthew Shepard (played by Cy Carter), and “Spring Break Lawyer” (both in 2001), a comedy in which she co-starred with Brad Raider and Sean Murray. She also guest starred in an episode of the WB short-lived drama/fantasy/comedy series "Dead Last," starring Sara Downing, Tyler Labine and Kett Turton, and in two episodes of Fox’s sitcom "Undeclared."
In 2002, Philipps starred opposite Erika Christensen, Victor Garber and Agnes Bruckner in Paul F. Ryan's independent teen drama film, “Home Room,” in which she played Alicia Browning, a troubled outsider who is the key witness of a high school shooting. She also acted opposite Marisa Coughlan in the drama/mystery TV movie “Criminology 101” (2003).
When "Dawson's Creek" came to end in 2003, Philipps went on to appear in the Wayans brothers' comedy movie “White Chicks” (2004). She also teamed up with Johnathon Schaech, Lori Heuring, Betty Buckley, Clare Kramer and Brad Renfro in J.S. Cardone's film version of his own stage play, “Mummy an' the Armadillo” (2004). On the small screen, she starred with Macaulay Culkin in an unsold comedy TV series pilot, “Foster Hall” (2004), in which she played the wife of Christopher Moynihan's character.
2005-2006 saw Philipps play the regular role (originally intended for Shannen Doherty) of Denise Johnson, an energetic, pragmatic, young woman who helps Holly Robinson Peete, on UPN’s sitcom "Love, Inc.," based on Elana Berkowitz's best-selling article in the New York Times. Unfortunately, the show was canceled after its first season.
During that time, she also provided her voice in an episode of Fox’s satirical animated TV series "American Dad" and ABC’s Family/Toon Disney animated series "Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!," as well as appeared in two episodes of ABC’s drama series "Life As We Know It." She also co-starred with Dana Davis, Peter Dinklage and Dave Foley in the made-for-television comedy movie “Testing Bob” (2005).
After "Love, Inc.," Philipps joined the cast of the internationally successful NBC medical drama "ER," playing Hope Bobeck (2006-present), a devout-Christian medical intern. Meanwhile, she also guest starred in an April 2007 episode of HBO’s Emmy-winning dramatic comedy starring Adrian Grenier, "Entourage," and made her feature writing debut in Josh Gordon and Will Speck's skating comedy film starring Will Ferrell and Jon Heder, “Blades of Glory” (2007).
Philipps is currently on set and will soon wrap up her upcoming film titled “Made of Honor,” a comedy directed by Paul Weiland starring Patrick Dempsey, Michelle Monaghan, Kevin McKidd and Kelly Carlson.