Elizabeth Jean "Busy" Philipps (born June 25, 1979) is an American actress. She is best known for her roles on the television series ''Freaks and Geeks'' (1999–2000), ''Dawson's Creek'' (2001–2003), ''Love, Inc.'' (2005–2006) and ''ER'' (2006–2007), for her abortion access advocacy, and for her portrayal of Laurie Keller on the ABC series ''Cougar Town'' (2009–2015), for which she received a Critics' Choice Television Award. She has also appeared in supporting roles in numerous films, such as ''The Smokers'' (2000), ''Home Room'' (2002), ''White Chicks'' (2004), ''Made of Honor'' (2008), ''He's Just Not That Into You'' (2009), ''The Gift'' (2015), and ''I Feel Pretty'' (2018). From 2018 to 2019, Philipps hosted her own television talk show ''Busy Tonight'', on E!.


Philipps was born in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. She received the nickname "Busy" as a child; sources conflict on whether the nickname came from her parents or a babysitter named Susie. Busy stated on her late-night talk show, ''Busy Tonight,'' that her mother gave her the nickname, but stated during her book tour that her babysitter gave her the nickname. This was clarified on an episode of ''Comedy Bang! Bang!'' when she confirmed to host Scott Aukerman that it was her babysitter, in his quest to achieve Wikipedia clout. She attended Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Arizona. In her memoir she revealed that she was raped at age 14 by her then-boyfriend, whom she refers to as "Trey" in the memoir. Though she found the event emotionally scarring, she did not consider it rape until decades later. She disclosed in her book and on ''Busy Tonight'' that she had an abortion at 15. She attended Loyola Marymount University at the same time as ''Freaks and Geeks'' costar Linda Cardellini and Colin Hanks; she dated Hanks for several years after they left school.


While still in high school, Philipps worked the toy-fair circuit as a real-life Barbie ("Cool Teen Skipper"). Among the people who saw her at a toy convention was actress Sharon Stone, who was impressed with Philipps' performance and told Philipps that she would be a star. Her first major role was Kim Kelly in the 1999-2000 comedy-drama TV series ''Freaks and Geeks''; Philipps appeared in all but one of the show's 18 episodes (the exception being the episode "Chokin' & Tokin). She made her film debut in the comedy ''The Smokers'' in 2000, and had various small appearances on television. In 2001, Philipps was cast as Audrey Liddell in the teen drama ''Dawson's Creek''. She was a series regular in seasons 5 and 6, appearing in 46 episodes, before the show finished in 2003. Her portrayal of Audrey earned Philipps a Teen Choice Awards nomination in the category of "TV - Choice Sidekick". Philipps then appeared in several films, including ''Home Room'' (2002) and ''White Chicks'' (2004). She was cast in the UPN sitcom ''Love, Inc.'', in a role originally intended for Shannen Doherty. The show lasted for one season (2005–2006). In 2006, she had a major recurring role as Hope Bobeck on ''ER'', alongside her ''Freaks and Geeks'' co-star Linda Cardellini. During her second year on ''ER'', her character was written out as heading to South America to "fulfill her Christian mission". Philipps had a co-credit for the storyline of the 2007 comedy film ''Blades of Glory''. A year later, Philipps returned to being in front of the camera with a supporting role in ''Made of Honor''. Philipps also made appearances in ''He's Just Not That Into You'' as the character of Kelli Ann and on an episode of ''How I Met Your Mother''. From 2009 to 2015, Philipps portrayed Laurie Keller in the television series ''Cougar Town''. She routinely contributed to the ''Thrilling Adventure Hour'', a live stage radio show. Her primary recurring character is the Red Plains Rider. On a 2010 appearance on ''Chelsea Lately'', Philipps commented that she auditioned for the hit television show ''Glee'' just one week after giving birth, following a pregnancy during which she gained 80 pounds. Philipps starred on the HBO series ''Vice Principals'', which premiered in 2016 and ended in 2017. In 2017, Philipps signed on as co-lead opposite Casey Wilson in Tina Fey's comedy pilot, ''The Sackett Sisters'', for NBC, but the series was not picked up. In 2018 and 2019, Phillips played the role of Sheba Goodman in season 4 of Netflix’s ''Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt''. Philipps had a late-night talk show called ''Busy Tonight'', which aired on E! from October 28, 2018 to May 16, 2019. It was cancelled the same day Phillips was nominated for a 2019 Critics Choice Award. In August 2020 she began hosting a podcast, ''Busy Philipps is Doing Her Best'', along with former ''Busy Tonight'' writers Caissie St. Onge and Shantira Jackson.


Philipps' memoir, ''This Will Only Hurt a Little'', was released October 18, 2018. Her memoir includes a passage in which the actress describes a physical altercation that took place between James Franco and herself while on the set of ''Freaks and Geeks.'' Philips said she was "bummed" by the amount of attention drawn to just this incident in the book, saying the story was not new, and that she meant for it "to illustrate a larger point about the way women are treated in this business and in life."

Political views

After the Alabama Legislature's May 14, 2019 passage of House Bill 314 (also known as the "Human Life Protection Act"), Philipps advocated that women speak out if they had abortions. On May 14, she invoked the hashtag, #YouKnowMe (established on February 18) to her 370,000 followers on Twitter, with her call for testimonies:
1 in 4 women have had an abortion. Many people think they don't know someone who has, but #youknowme. So let's do this: if you are also the 1 in 4, let's share it and start to end the shame. Use #youknowme and share your truth.
On the previous week she revealed on her ''Busy Tonight'' TV show that she had an abortion at age 15. On June 4, 2019 Philipps gave a testimonial before the House Judiciary Committee, defending the right for women to have access to more abortion clinics. In doing so, Philipps talked about her own experience with abortion, saying:
I am a human being that deserves autonomy in this country that calls itself free, and choices that a human being makes about their own bodies should not be legislated by strangers who can’t possibly know or understand each individual’s circumstances or beliefs.

Personal life

Philipps married screenwriter Marc Silverstein in 2007. They have two children, born in 2008 and 2013. Her older child, Birdie, came out as gay in 2020 and uses they/them pronouns. Philipps uses her podcast to advocate for the LGBTQ community and support parents of gay teens.




Awards and nominations


External links

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PopGurls Interview: Busy Philipps
{{DEFAULTSORT:Philipps, Busy Category:1979 births Category:20th-century American actresses Category:21st-century American actresses Category:Actors from Oak Park, Illinois Category:Actresses from Scottsdale, Arizona Category:Actresses from Illinois Category:American film actresses Category:American memoirists Category:American podcasters Category:American television actresses Category:American women memoirists Category:American women podcasters Category:Late night television talk show hosts Category:Living people Category:Loyola Marymount University alumni