Elisha Ann Cuthbert (born November
30, 1982) is a Canadian actress. Cuthbert is known as the former co-host
of the Canadian children's television series Popular Mechanics for Kids.
She had her first lead role in the 2003 feature film Old School and
starred the following year in The Girl Next Door. She has also had
starring roles in the 2005 House of Wax film and the 2007 horror film
Captivity. Her most prominent role is as Kim Bauer in the American
action-thriller television series 24.
Cuthbert was born in Calgary, Alberta, the daughter of Patricia, a
homemaker, and Kevin, an automotive design engineer. She has two younger
siblings, Jonathan and Lee-Ann, and she grew up in Greenfield Park, near
Montreal, Quebec. In 2000, she graduated from Centennial Regional High
School and moved to Los Angeles at the age of 17 to pursue an acting
When she was nine, Cuthbert started modeling for various lines of
children's clothing and also became a foot model. She made her first
televised appearance as an extra in the horror-themed series for children
Are You Afraid of the Dark?; she later became a series regular. Cuthbert
also co-hosted Popular Mechanics for Kids, which was filmed in Montreal.
Her reporting captured the attention of then–First Lady Hillary Clinton,
who invited her to visit the White House.
Cuthbert landed her first role in a feature film in the family drama
Dancing on the Moon (1997). She appeared in several other Canadian
family-themed movies and an airplane thriller, Airspeed. Cuthbert starred
in the Canadian television movie Lucky Girl in 2001 and was awarded a
Gemini Award for her performance.
Soon after her move to Los Angeles, Cuthbert was cast in the role of Kim
Bauer, daughter of federal agent Jack Bauer in the television series 24.
She appeared in the show's first three seasons, but not in its fourth; she
guest-starred in only two episodes in the fifth season. She also reprised
her role as Kim Bauer in 24: The Game and again guest-starred in five
episodes of the seventh season.
Cuthbert auditioned for the role of Mary Jane Watson in the Spider-Man
film, but the role went to Kirsten Dunst.
She began her Hollywood film career with small roles in Old School and
Love Actually in 2003.
Cuthbert's next film, The Girl Next Door, cast her in her first lead role
as an ex–porn star, Danielle, opposite Emile Hirsch. Cuthbert had initial
reservations about taking the part, but was persuaded by director Luke
Greenfield into accepting. She researched the role, speaking to actual
adult actresses from Wicked Pictures and Vivid Entertainment. Upon its
release, the film received comparisons to Risky Business, – although
Cuthbert claims her character was not directly based on Rebecca De
Mornay's character. Critics were divided; some praised the film for its
boldness, while others, notably Roger Ebert, decried it as gimmicky and
exploitative Ebert wrote that he saw Cuthbert's character Danielle as
"quite the most unpleasant character I have seen in some time."
In her next big-screen outing, Cuthbert starred with Paris Hilton and Chad
Michael Murray in the 2005 remake of the classic horror film House of Wax.
Cuthbert, along with the rest of the cast, was made up to look haggard. In
one scene, her character was to attempt to open her mouth while her lips
were sealed with glue. For the sake of realism, Cuthbert opted for real
superglue over prosthetics. Despite her efforts, House of Wax was largely
panned, with critics citing a range of flaws. It was called "notable for
having some of the most moronic protagonists ever to populate a horror
film," though out of those characters, critics tended to think Cuthbert
"fares the best." Though receiving negative reviews the film was a box
office success. Others noted Cuthbert as an "exception," playing her role
"earnestly" and "fine."
Cuthbert's next film project was the indie film The Quiet, which she not
only co-starred in but also co-produced and helped finance. She played
Nina, a temperamental 17-year-old cheerleader who suffers from sexual
abuse. Cuthbert looked to her younger cousin for inspiration as to how to
play a teenager. The Quiet, distributed by Sony Pictures Classics,
premiered at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival and received a
limited release in Los Angeles and New York City on August 25, 2006,
before expanding regionally on September 1.
Cuthbert appeared in the music video for Weezer's "Perfect Situation" in
early 2006, where she played the group's fictional original singer who
threw a tantrum that led to Rivers Cuomo, the unlikely roadie, becoming
the frontman of the band. Cuthbert also had a small role in Paris Hilton's
music video for the song "Nothing In This World".
In 2007, Cuthbert appeared in the film, Captivity, a thriller centered
around a fashion model taunted by a psychopath who has imprisoned her in a
cellar, a role for which she was nominated for a Razzie award as "worst
In He Was a Quiet Man, Cuthbert played Vanessa, a quadriplegic, starring
opposite Christian Slater. The film was in limited release in 2007, and it
was released on DVD in early 2008.
In 2008, Cuthbert appeared in My Sassy Girl, a remake of a Korean film,
starring alongside Jesse Bradford. Her next film is the family comedy The
Six Wives of Henry Lefay with actor Tim Allen, in which she plays his
daughter. She is one of the stars in the Canadian mini-series Guns, due to
premiere sometime in 2009 and has appeared as a guest judge in season two,
episode two of Project Runway Canada, where designers were challenged to
create a "party dress" for Cuthbert.
Cuthbert reprised her character Kim Bauer in the seventh season of 24. She
also was scheduled to star in the CBS drama pilot Ny-Lon, playing a New
York literacy teacher/record-store clerk who embarks on a transatlantic
romance with a London stockbroker. The project, which was based on a
British series starring Rashida Jones and Stephen Moyer, has since been
Cuthbert is slated to voice Cleo, "the feline daughter of a wealthy kitty
litter baron," in Cat Tale, an animated film set in a civilized world of
cats and dogs.
On December 7, 2009, it was announced that Elisha has joined the cast of
The Forgotten in a recurring role. ABC announced that she will play Maxine
Denver, a strong and successful Chicago professional who is forced to put
her skepticism of "amateur detectives" aside when The Forgotten Network
begins investigating a case close to home.
Cuthbert, who enjoys painting, is an ice hockey fan and Los Angeles Kings
season-ticket holder. In 2005, she maintained a blog on the NHL website,
though she did not post for most of the season. She was once involved
romantically with then-Los Angeles Kings player Sean Avery, and she is now
dating Dion Phaneuf of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Her relationship with the
latter two hockey players turned into a minor scandal when her
ex-boyfriend, Avery, told a Canadian reporter in December 2008, "I'm
really happy to be back in Calgary. I love Canada and I just wanted to
comment on how it's become a common thing for guys in the NHL to fall in
love with my sloppy seconds, I don't know what that's about." Avery was
suspended six games for the remarks, and was not invited to rejoin his
team, the Dallas Stars, following his suspension.
Cuthbert regularly secures a place in FHM and Maxim's annual "hottest
women" lists. Her highest ranking was #4 in the 2008 UK Edition of FHM's
100 Sexiest Women in the World list. She was ranked #14 in 2003, #10 in
2004, #5 in 2005, #22 in 2006, #10 in 2007 and #7 in 2009. The U.S.
Edition ranked her #53 in 2003, #63 in 2004, and #54 in 2006. She was not
listed in the U.S. 2005 list. Cuthbert was ranked #10 by AskMen.com
readers in the list "Top 99 Women of 2007." Maxim named her #92 in its
2006 Hot 100 list, #6 in 2008, and #43 in 2009, and the magazine features
her in its Girls of Maxim Gallery. As of 2006, Cuthbert has stated that
she would refuse to be photographed nude in film roles or magazines and
uses body doubles whenever necessary, specifying that she would "like to
keep some things to herself."