Alex Borstein is an American actress, voice actress, writer and comedian. She is well known for her long-running role as Lois Griffin on the animated television series "Family Guy," and as a cast member on the sketch comedy series "MADtv." A native of Highland Park, Illinois, Borstein is a graduate of San Francisco State University, where she studied rhetoric. She was trained in improvisational comedy at the ACME Comedy Theatre, near Hollywood, California, and was selected to join "MADtv" after being scouted by talent agents who noticed her work at the theatre. She was a writer and voice actor for several television shows, including "Casper," "Pinky and the Brain" and "Power Rangers: Zeo" before joining the cast of "MADtv" as a featured player, and later as a repertory player in 1997.
Borstein was perhaps best known on "MADtv" for her character Ms. Swan; her other recurring characters included Eracist Anne, "Stick Chick" Echo, singer Jasmine Wayne-Wayne, child prodigy Karen Goddard, lounge singer Shaunda, News at Six's outside-the-studio reporter Sue Napersville, and Cordo the GAP troll. When Seth Green made recurring appearances on the show as mean boss Mr. Brightling, Borstein would play his mother, Mama Brightling.
While working on "MADtv," Borstein met Seth MacFarlane, who was then preparing to launch the animated sitcom "Family Guy" on FOX. MacFarlane cast Borstein as the voice of key character Lois Griffin. After the show's debut in January 1999, "Family Guy" was cancelled by the network in 2000 and 2002 but returned in 2005 and is still on air today. As well as her role as the voice performer for Lois and several other characters throughout the series (including a brief appearance as Ms. Swan in a 2005 episode), Borstein is also a producer and staff writer. She has made at least three guest appearances, once as Lois Griffin, on the Comedy Central animated program "Drawn Together."
In 2000, Borstein was cast as Sookie St. James in the WB drama "Gilmore Girls." She portrayed Sookie in the pilot, but her "MADtv" contract prevented her from continuing in the role, which was recast with Melissa McCarthy. Borstein made recurring appearances on "Gilmore Girls" throughout the show's run, first as the harpist Drella.
As an actress, she has made appearances in such films as "Killers" and "Dinner for Schmucks." She played the school principal in "The Lizzie McGuire Movie," the best friend of Halle Berry's character in "Catwoman," and an employee at CBS News in "Good Night, and Good Luck." She also had an uncredited cameo in the Will Ferrell movie "Kicking & Screaming" as an obnoxious coffee shop patron. She had a small role in the movie "Bad Santa" as well.
In 2010, Borstein joined the first season staff of the Showtime dramedy "Shameless," as a writer and supervising producer. In its second season she held the position of writer and consulting producer. She also guest starred in the first season episode "But at Last Came a Knock," as Lou Deckner.
She stars in the cast of The Marvelous Mrs.Maisel as Susie Myerson. She has won a Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role on this show.
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