Elisha Cuthbert – Renowned Canadian Actress


Spring 2024

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Elisha Cuthbert got her start in the entertainment industry early and there was no question of the path in life she was supposed to follow. She was on camera as young as nine years old, beginning her career modelling children’s clothing. Her first opportunity to be on television came in the form of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, an iconic horror-themed TV show for kids. She started as an extra, but was eventually invited to be a regular on the show. Later she would go on to co-host Popular Mechanics for Kids with How to Train Your Dragon voice actor, Jay Baruchel.

Being involved in shows that now invoke a sense of nostalgia were the early days for Elisha Cuthbert. And she could have stopped there, but the entertainment industry continued to beckon her. As soon as she was old enough, at 17, she made the decision to move from the town where she grew up—Greenfield Park, Quebec—and leave for Los Angeles, where she could pursue full-time acting as a career.

Cuthbert was the star of plenty of Canadian productions, including the television movie Lucky Girl, which won her a Gemini Award. However, her career truly began to flourish soon after moving to Hollywood. In 2001, she was cast as Kim Bauer in the crime thriller series 24, working alongside Kiefer Sutherland. 24 lasted for nine seasons, concluding in 2014 with Cuthbert starring in 79 episodes. Her acting as Kim Bauer led to two nominations for Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Alongside 24, Cuthbert was venturing back to her Are You Afraid of the Dark? roots and joining the casts of various horror productions, including a 2005 remake of House of Wax and Captivity. Her continued appearances in horror and crime dramas inspired others to hand her the title of “a scream queen.” 

However, it wasn’t all blood and gore for Cuthbert. She was also proving herself adept at feel-good films and comedy. She starred in the well-known film Love Actually—and the next year, she was receiving wide recognition for her role as Danielle in the teen comedy, The Girl Next Door. Her work in the comedy got her a nomination for Best Breakthrough Performance at the 2005 MTV Movie Awards.

Cuthbert was succeeding in every genre of film she got involved in. Even her work in horror was drawing her critical acclaim. Though House of Wax could be considered a flop, based on reviews from critics, Cuthbert stood out as one of the film’s better aspects. Critics from The Movie said of her performance: “The performances are always professional and understated in their believable cogency, particularly Cuthbert, a talented, beautiful young actress who has proven time and again just what a multilayered and promising future she has ahead of her. Cuthbert digs into the role of Carly with strength, determination, and horrified realism; you believe as you watch her that she is going through these things and forget all about the actor playing the part, which is the biggest compliment of all.” Approval from critics wasn’t the only type of accolade House of Wax brought Cuthbert, though. She earned two nominations for Teen Choice Awards, including Best Actress: Action/Adventure/Thriller.

Cuthbert, since arriving in Hollywood and even before then, has been renowned for her acting skills and the depth she brings to every character she plays, regardless of movie genre. But beauty is also associated with her name. Since she entered the Hollywood film scene as an adult, she has been on multiple “Top Women” lists in magazines like FHM and Maxim, amongst others, as well as AskMen.com and BuddyTV. She was ranked no less than 30 times on multiple lists by various publications admiring women for their beauty.

Cuthbert spent a lot of time splitting her days between Ottawa, Toronto, and the waterfront of Prince Edward Island, seemingly never forgetting her Canadian origins. She is married to a now-retired hockey player, who was a former captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Dion Phaneuf. The pair have a daughter and son together.

Jacob Carmichael | Staff Writer

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