PROFILE
Name:
Caroline Rhea
Birth Date:
April 13, 1964
Birth Place:
Montréal, Québec, Canada
Height:
5' 8" (1.73 m)
Nationality:
Canadian
Famous for:
Her role as Hilda on ABC's Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1996-2002)
BIOGRAPHY
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Caroline Rhea_010312
Sabrina the Teenage Witch's Aunt

Background:

Canadian born comedienne and actress Caroline Rhea is perhaps most known to sitcom fans for playing Hilda Spellman on the hit ABC and (later) The WB series “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” (regular, 1996-2002; recurring, 2003). She is also known for replacing Rosie O'Donnell as the hostess of her syndicated talk show, retitled “The Caroline Rhea Show.” The show ran for a single season between September 2002 and June 2003. Rhea was the original host of the NBC reality television show “The Biggest Loser” until Alison Sweeney replaced her at the end of the third season. She is the voice of Mother Linda Flynn-Fletcher on the Disney Channel series “Phineas and Ferb” (2007-?).         

Met at a Comic Relief fund raiser, Rhea and boyfriend Bob Kelty, a special projects director for nonprofit organizations, were engaged in April 1999. The couple was planning a wedding for 2003, but split up in April of that year. Rhea went on to have a long term relationship with the Fort Lauderdale, Florida born comedian Costaki Economopoulos, who is five years her junior. The couple welcomed a daughter, Ava Rhea Economopoulos, on October 21, 2008, and became engaged later on December 31, 2010. According to Economopoulos, they have parted ways. Rhea currently lives in Los Angeles and New York, but often spends her leisure time in Kennebunk, Maine.    


Gilchrist

Childhood and Family:

In Montréal, Québec, Canada, Caroline Gilchrist Rhea, who would later be popular as Caroline Rhea, was born on April 13, 1964, to an American father and a Canadian mother. Her father, David Rhea, was an obstetrician and gynecologist, while her mom, Marjorie, was an antiques dealer. The youngest of three girls, her sisters names are Celia and Cynthia. She attended The Study, an all girls private school in Westmount, Quebec and Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. At age 25, she left Canada for the United States to study stand-up comedy at NYC's New School of Social Research.  

On October 20, 2008, the 44 year old Caroline gave birth to her first child, daughter Ava Rhea Economopoulos. She and the child's father, Costaki Economopoulos, are no longer together.


The Caroline Rhea Show

Career:

23 year old Caroline Rhea had her first taste in front of the film cameras while still in Canada when she landed a small part in “Meatballs III: Summer Job” (1987), the third installment in the “Meatballs” film series, starring Sally Kellerman, Patrick Dempsey and Al Waxman. She moved to NYC in 1989 to study comedy, and while waiting for her first break, she worked as a waitress for a caterer.

Rhea honed her comedy skills by performing in several area comedy clubs, including Catch a Rising Star, which has become a home for big names like Billy Crystal, Robin Williams, Jon Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld, Rosie O'Donnell, Garry Shandling,Tim Allen and Whoopi Goldberg, among others. She soon acquired a reputation in the NYC competitive comedy circuit. Her profile gained further boost with appearances on television shows like MTV's “Half-Hour Comedy Hour,” “Comic Strip Live,” “Caroline's Comedy Hour,” “Six Comics In Search of a Generation” and “Women Aloud.” She also wrote for and appeared in a short lived sketch comedy series on VH1 called “Fools for Love” (1993).
 
Rhea decided to leave NYC for Los Angeles to find further opportunities. Her efforts paid off when she landed her first network series opposite Jeremy Piven in the NBC half hour comedy series “Pride & Joy” (1995). Unfortunately, the show quickly shut down after one season. Rhea's big break arrived when she won the role of Aunt Hilda in the supernatural/fantasy sitcom series “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” starring Melissa Joan Hart as Sabrina. The show ran on ABC during its first four seasons from September 27, 1996 to May 5, 2000 and then moved to The WB Television Network, where it would run for three additional seasons from September 22, 2000 until April 24, 2003. Rhea was a regular player during the first six seasons and a recurring one in the final season.

During her stint at “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” Rhea kept herself busy by taking other projects. She had a featured role as casting director in the comedy film “The Shot” (1996), which was directed and helmed by and starring Dan Bell, played Bonnie, Drew Carey’s girlfriend, in two episodes of the popular ABC sitcom “The Drew Carey Show” (1996), contributed voices to an episode of the Emmy Award winning animated series “Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist” called “Big Fat Slug” (1997), was cast along with Jim Carrey, Danny DeVito, Courtney Love, Paul Giamatti, Vincent Schiavelli and Jerry Lawler in the Miloš Forman directed biopic “Man on the Moon” (1999), about the American entertainer Andy Kaufman, and portrayed Eugenia King in the Brian Robbins directed, Steven Brill written comedy film “Ready to Rumble” (2000), starring David Arquette, Oliver Platt and Scott Caan. She starred as Lynette Hansen in the made for television film “Mom's Got a Date with a Vampire” (2000), opposite Matt O'Leary, Laura Vandervoort and Myles Jeffrey, appeared with David Hyde Pierce, Beverly D'Angelo, John Goodman and Christopher Lloyd in the film “Happy Birthday” (2001), directed by actress Helen Mirren, portrayed Mrs. Claus in Disney Channel's TV film, “The Santa Claus Brothers” (2001), and voiced Mrs. Konquist in an episode of “Fillmore!” (2002).

Outsides of acting, Rhea became a correspondent in Comedy Cental's “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” in 1996, and in 1998, she was named a regular on the new syndicated version of “Hollywood Squares,” a gig she held until 2002. Around 2001-2002, she occasionally substituted as guest host on “The Rosie O' Donnell Show” before eventually hand-picked by O' Donnell as her replacement. Regarded as the successor to “The Rosie O'Donnell Show,” her syndicated variety/talk show, “The Caroline Rhea Show,” ran for a season from September 2, 2002 until June 1, 2003.

After the cancellation of her show, Rhea became the host of the NBC reality series “The Biggest Loser” from 2004 to 2006, and was replaced by “Days of our Lives” actress Alison Sweeney in 2007. She also served as the show's producer. Rhea played the role of Candi in in the holiday comedy film “Christmas with the Kranks” (2004), directed by Joe Roth and starring Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis and Dan Aykroyd, and appeared with Hilary Duff, Heather Locklear and Aria Wallace in Mark Rosman's comedy, “The Perfect Man” (2005), where she played a co-worker of Jean. During 2005-2006, she had a recurring role as Ilsa in the Disney Channel sitcom “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.”  

After co-starring as Madelyn in the Lifetime TV film “To Be Fat Like Me” (2007), Rhea started her voice role of Linda Flynn-Fletcher, who is Phineas and Candace's mother and and stepmother to Ferb, on the Disney Channel animated television comedy/musical series “Phineas and Ferb,” which premiered on August 17, 2007. In 2008, she was cast as Maddie in the family/sport movie “Fast Girl,” opposite Mircea Monroe, Justin Guarini and Dwier Brown, and returned to series television by playing Noleta Nethercott, the next-door neighbor of Sissy (played by Beth Grant) on Logo's sitcom, “Sordid Lives: The Series,” which ran from July 23, 2008 until October 29, 2008. She next supported Amy Smart, Tom Malloy, and Billy Zane in the Robert Iscove directed dance film “Love N' Dancing” and appeared in the TV film “ Larry the Cable Guy's Hula-Palooza Christmas Luau” (both 2009). In 2011, she began her hosting gig on the television series “Cake Walk: Wedding Cake Edition,” which premiered on September 7, 2011.

Rhea played Amelia in the pilot of the comedy series “Local Talent,” which premiered in 2012. She portrayed Mrs. Diston in the the made for television film “Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town,” which premiered in Canada on February 12, 2012.     


Awards:

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