Decades before becoming a pop culture icon and an award-winning actress, Coolidge grew up in Boston, graduating from Emerson College in 1985 with a theater degree. The Legally Blonde star later moved to New York to further hone her acting chops at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
The White Lotus actress began her onscreen career in the early ’90s, starring in a 1991 episode of Seinfeld before moving on to more memorable roles later that decade in A Night at the Roxbury and Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. Coolidge’s breakout role was as Stifler’s Mom in the 1999 raunchy teen sex comedy American Pie, later reprising her role in the long-running franchise in American Pie 2, American Wedding and American Reunion. She soon reunited with American Pie costar Eugene Levy in Christopher Guest‘s A Mighty Wind, which was released one year later. The Massachusetts native went on to appear in multiple Guest films, including Best in Show, For Your Consideration and more.
Coolidge’s star only continued to rise in the 2000s, thanks to fan-favorite films like Legally Blonde, A Cinderella Story, Zoolander and many more. She notably starred in a 2003 episode of Friends, in which she famously played Monica (Courteney Cox) and Phoebe’s (Lisa Kudrow) old roommate Amanda Buffamonteezi.
As the Watcher star’s acting career stretched into the 2010s and 2020s — with starring roles on 2 Broke Girls, in the Oscar-nominated A Promising Young Woman and in Ariana Grande‘s “Thank U, Next” music video — she quickly began hitting her stride.
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The entertainment industry entered the “Jenaissance” once The White Lotus premiered in 2021. Coolidge earned multiple nominations — and multiple awards — for her portrayal of Tanya on the critically-acclaimed HBO series. In September 2022, she won her first-ever Emmy for the role, which she later followed up in early 2023 with a Golden Globe and two SAG Award wins.