“You don’t necessarily always want to be with someone who works in your business. It takes a certain kind of couple that are both actors to be able to make it, and it takes a certain kind of ego and lack of competition and ability to really sustain a relationship while you’re spending a lot of time apart. I'm with a cinematographer. He’s very stable, and I’m highly neurotic - so it works.” Elizabeth Perkins
A renowned American actress, Elizabeth Perkins has distinguished herself with an eclectic mix of movie, television and stage roles. Making her film debut in an adaptation of David Mamet’s play, About Last Night (1986), she got her huge break two years later with her role as Tom Hanks’ vis-à-vis in the successful comedy Big, and went on to receive critical praise for her performances in Barry Levinson’s Avalon (1990) and The Doctor (1991). Perkins further built good reputation with roles in such films as the box-office hit The Flintstones (1993, as the long-agony Wilma), I’m Losing You (1999), 28 Days (2000), the animated hit Finding Nemo (2003), Jiminy Glick in Lalawood (2004), The Ring Two (2005) and Must Love Dogs (2005).
On the small screen, Perkins has been acted in a number of television movies since making her debut in 1993. She landed her first regular role on 2000’s comedy series “Battery Park” (NBC), as Madeleine Dunleavy. Currently, the Emmy nominated actress enjoys a massive success with her role as Celia Hodes on the popular Showtime series “Weeds” (2005-?), where she earned several nominations, including an Emmy and two Golden Globes.
Off camera, Perkins was named one of 12 Promising New Actors of 1986 in John Willis’ Screen World list. She is the best friend of actress Diane Lane. Commenting about her friendship with lane, she said, “Diane Lane and I have been really good friends for about 12 years now, so we usually spent every lunch together and after work and before work.”
On a more personal note, 5’ 8” tall Perkins has been married twice. Her first husband was actor Terry Kinney, from whom she is divorced and has a daughter, Hannah. She is now the wife of cinematographer Julio Macat, the father of her three stepsons, Maximillian, and twins Alexander and Andreas. Her romantic life has also been linked to an Englishman, Maurice Phillips.
Childhood and Family:
Elizabeth Perkins was born on November 18, 1960, in Queens, New York to Pamela Perkins, a carnival performer, and James Perkins. Her paternal grandparents were Greek immigrants who anglicized their surname from Pisperikos to Perkins when they immigrated to the United States. After the divorce of her parents in 1963, Elizabeth, along with her two older sisters, was raised in her maternal grandmother’s 600-acre farm in Guilford, Vermont near Brattleboro. After high school, she moved to Chicago and spent three years at Chicago’s Goodman School of Drama at DePaul University, where she graduated in 1981 with BFA in acting.
On March 27, 1984, Elizabeth married Chicago actor Terry Kinney (born January 29, 1954), but the bond later ended in divorce. She tied the knot with her current husband, Argentinian-born cinematographer Julio Macat, in June 17, 2000. The two has been together since 1993.
“My nickname among my group of friends is ‘Mother,’ and I tend to take care of everybody.” Elizabeth Perkins
Elizabeth, who earned nickname “Mother,” has a daughter named Hannah Jo Phillips, who was born on September 1, 1991. She also becomes the stepmother of Julio’s three sons, Maximillian (born 1989) and twins Alexander and Andreas (born 1992).
A graduate of the prominent Goodman Theater School, Elizabeth Perkins headed to New York in the early 1980s and launched her professional career with a costarring gig in the touring company of Neil Simon’s “Brighton Beach Memoirs” (1983), a role she reprised the following year in Broadway. Subsequently, she worked in numerous of ensemble companies, like the Steppenwolf Theater and The New York Shakespeare Festival.
In 1986, Perkins made her screen debut in Edward Zwick’s comedy About Last Night . . ., playing the wisecracking pal of Demi Moore. This movie adaptation of David Mamet’s 1972 play about the singles scene “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” also starred Rob Lowe and James Belushi. The amber-eyed actress next portrayed gal friend to Judd Nelson in Bob Clark’s From the Hip (1987) and Jeff Daniels in the drama Sweet Hearts Dance (1988) before having a career breakthrough with her role as Tom Hanks’ toy company co-worker, Susan, in Big (1988), a popular comedy feature directed by Penny Marshall. At the end of the decade, she acted in the sci-fi short Teach 109, which aired on PBS’s “American Playhouse” in 1990.
1990 saw Perkins play Tom Berenger’s foe in Alan Rudolph’s unsatisfactory Love at Large and gain critical acclaim for her performance as the troublesome wife of Aidan Quinn in the ensemble of Barry Levinson’s Avalon. She went on to give fine acting in 1991’s The Doctor, in which played a terminal cancer patient who makes William Hurt sentient of his heartlessness. The same year, she also costarred with Kevin Bacon in the drama film He Said, She Said. The dark-haired actress then could be seen in the warm, nostalgic Indian Summer (1993), the blockbuster hit The Flintstones (1993, as the long-agony Wilma), the lukewarm remake of Miracle on 34th Street (1994) and the ensemble Moonlight and Valentino (1995, opposite Whoopi Goldberg, Kathleen Turner, Gwyneth Paltrow and Shadia Simmons). 1995 also found Perkins on the stage in a Los Angeles production of John Patrick Shanley’s “Four Dogs and a Bone,” directed by movie director Larry Kasdan.
After this, Perkins, who made her TV movie bow in 1993’s based-on-fact drama For Their Own Good, concentrated more on television. She starred as a Catholic woman who adopted her ex-employer’s son to protect him from the Holocaust in the “Mamusha” segment of Showtime’s “Rescuers: Stories of Courage: Two Women” and a mother who finds out her late son has been replicated in the NBC film Cloned (both 1997). The next year, she portrayed astronaut wife Marilyn Lovell in the HBO highly celebrated miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon.” Perkins returned to filmmaking with a forceful turn as a committed AIDS activist in the grim I’m Losing You (1999) and a feature role in the Antonio Banderas-helmed Crazy in Alabama (1999).
A supporting role as the besieged sister of Sandra Bullock in Betty Thomas’28 Days is Perkins’ opening work in the new millennium before she was cast as the arrogant wife of a man whose lesbian aunt had recently died in the “1961” segment of HBO’s If These Walls Could Talk 2 (2000). She continued to make her TV series debut as a regular in the NBC sitcom “Battery Park” (2000), playing Madeleine Dunleavy. Next up for Perkins were starring roles in the live-action/animated Cats & Dogs (2001), opposite Jeff Goldblum, the Showtime drama What Girls Learn (2001), as a mother with breast cancer, and the CBS drama My Sister’s Keeper (2002), with Kathy Bates. Following a supporting part in the teen romantic comedy Try Seventeen (2002), she provided the voice of Coral in the animated hit Finding Nemo (2003), acted in David Mamet’s Gilded Stones (2004), appeared with Martin Short in the comedy Jiminy Glick in Lalawood (2004), played Joyce Sordino in the made-for-TV film Speak (2004) and had a voice over work in the series “King of the Hill” (2004). 2005 found supporting roles in such movies as thriller The Ring Two, the romantic comedy Must Love Dogs (as Diane Lane’s sister), the coming of age story Fierce People (with Donald Sutherland), the independent Kids in America and the comedy The Thing About My Folks.
However, Perkins’ career did not receive much boost until she joined the cast of the new Showtime series “Weeds,” which debuted in 2005. Starring as Celia Hodes, upstanding PTA mother, opposite Mary-Louise Parker and Justin Kirk, she netted five nominations, two Satellitte for Outstanding Actress in a Series, Comedy or Musical (2005) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (2006), two Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (2006- 2007), and an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (2006). The show itself has become a hit.