Jennifer Coolidge is a versatile character actress and experimental comedienne, best known for playing Stifler's mom in American Pie (1999).
She was born on August 28, 1961, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, to Gretchen (Knauff) and Paul Constant Coolidge, a plastics manufacturer. Young Coolidge was dreaming of becoming a singer. She attended Norwell High School and Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, and earned her bachelor's degree in theatre in 1985. She moved to New York and joined the Gotham City improv group. Then, she headed to Los Angeles where she became a long-running member of "The Groundlings" comedy troupe. Coolidge made her television debut in a guest role on NBC's Seinfeld (1989), playing a voluptuous masseuse who won't offer her professional services to boyfriend Jerry in a 1993 episode. The following year, she had a regular gig on ABC's short-lived sketch series She TV (1994), then briefly became a cast member and writer on another short-lived sketch comedy series, Fox's Saturday Night Special (1996) produced by Roseanne Barr.
Coolidge made her big screen debut as a nurse in Not of This Earth (1995), then in the courtroom comedy Trial and Error (1997). Then, she appeared in small roles in several more feature films, and also continued her television work. Coolidge had her breakthrough role in American Pie (1999), as a boozed-up and sultry mom who seduces her son's classmate with the comment that she liked her scotch and men the same way: aged 18 years. She recreated the character in the sequel American Pie 2 (2001). Then, she reprized her role as "Paulette" opposite Reese Witherspoon in the "Legally Blonde" franchise. Although, she lost the part of "Lynette Scavo" on Desperate Housewives (2004) to Felicity Huffman, Coolidge graced several TV comedies as well, with major guest appearances on Frasier (1993) and Sex and the City (1998). Then, she landed a recurring role in the ABC sitcom Joey (2004), as "Bobbie Morgenstern", Joey's agent, appearing in 37 episodes over two seasons.
Eventually, Coolidge emerged as a versatile character actress with her no-holds-barred approach to comedy and her vanity-free comfort with playing uninhibited, unappealing characters, and delivering lines with sexual innuendo. Her talent shines in a range of characters, from a gold-digging dog owner in Best in Show (2000), to a scheming wife of an elderly mogul in Down to Earth (2001), to an opportunistic mother in American Dreamz (2006). Coolidge's gift for altering her appearance and manner, as well as her mastery of timing, shines in her perfectly hideous performance as "Fiona", a wicked stepmother in A Cinderella Story (2004) opposite Hilary Duff, for which Coolidge won a 2005 Teen Choice Award. Her lasting collaboration with director Christopher Guest continues in For Your Consideration (2006).
She has been sharing her time between her two homes, one is in Hollywood, California, and one in New Orleans, where she bought a historic mansion before the Hurricane Katrina hit the city, and then became involved in its restoration.More