If you don’t know who Jennifer Coolidge is, then you’re actually wrong – you do. This actress has been gracing our screens in a range of diverse roles in both film and TV, from the American Pie series, to Friends and its spin-off Joey, to Nip/Tuck, and beyond. She is a great actress who is instantly recognizable, from her large lips to her blonde hair and her squinting expressions.
She has managed to build a character for herself which doesn’t just get her typecast – it actually leads to castings, as she is inherently funny and seems to be the perfect fit for a lot of roles. She somehow often gets cast as an agent, as if she resembles the perfect agent caricature that others in Hollywood recognize and knowingly laugh at. Once you have seen her for the first time, she is instantly unforgettable, and you will know her when you see her again. Even if you don’t know her name, you will absolutely recognize her voice, her face, and her on-screen personality.
Since she’s known mostly by a stereotype rather than as a real person, it’s interesting to go a little deeper into her history and find out more about her. We had a good, long read across the length and breadth of the internet and dipped out the interesting facts so that you don’t have to go to all of that effort. Here are 15 things you didn’t know about Jennifer Coolidge – and didn’t realize until now that you wanted to!
15 She’s A Distant Cousin Of The 30th US President
It turns out that Jennifer’s surname is no accident or coincidence. She really did inherit it from one of the most famous bearers of the name, the man who probably springs immediately to mind: 30th President Calvin Coolidge, who was in office between 1923 and 1929. She says, “I’m his distant cousin. In the third grade, I did a report on Calvin Coolidge, and I remember—after doing all the research—thinking that he wasn’t very impressive and that I should’ve picked Lincoln.” There are enough presidents out there these days that it’s likely many people are distantly related to them somehow, but it's pretty cool to have a close enough connection that you still share the same, instantly recognizable surname. A little less cool if you don’t even think the guy is all that interesting yourself. Still, we can’t choose our family – at not least those born before us!
14 She’s Allergic To Glue
So what, I hear you ask? Well, first of all, it’s pretty interesting to find someone who is allergic to glue, of all things. It’s probably a pretty rare allergy to have, and we have to wonder whether it applies to all glues or just some types. Either way, there’s another interesting part to this story. Her characters are often pretty garish, and so it’s natural for them to wear false fingernails, which she did in A Cinderella Story. But how do you attach false nails when you can’t use glue? The answer, it turns out, is tape. So, there you have it – when you see Jennifer’s role in that film, know that her nails are held on with nothing more than tape. Somehow, it actually seems to fit in with the character, who wasn’t the nicest or the most real of the film.
13 She’s 5'10'' And Has Killer Measurements
Alright, so you could probably figure this one out just by looking at her, but what you most likely didn’t know are her measurements. She stands tall at 5 foot 10, which is almost enough to be a catwalk model. Her body measurements are a staggering 40-34-37, which is all the more impressive for a woman of her age. You can see how her body has brought in a legion of fans by the fact that we actually know those measurements, since many actresses would prefer to keep them secret, if possible. But Jennifer seems to be proud of her body – and why not? She worked and paid for it, after all! It’s not a bad thing to be known for, especially when it goes along with the fact that she is also funny and a great actress. She does apparently have a lot of young, male fans who want to recreate American Pie with her, and you can see why.
12 She Was Nearly Lynette Scavo On Desperate Housewives
When Desperate Housewives hit screens, it became an instant hit and ran for so long that each of the characters entered a crazy world of storylines that became increasingly unbelievable – but still pretty entertaining. The show could have been a little different, however, as Jennifer was in the running to take the role of Lynette Scavo, which eventually went to Felicity Huffman instead. Things were very close, with Jennifer being the main contender for the role right up until the last moment. It’s a shame for her that she didn’t get the role as it would have been a massive vehicle for her career, but at the same time, we wouldn’t want to change anything about the show now that it’s over. It also gave her the opportunity to take on some other roles that she is now known for, such as her part in Joey.
11 She Actually Likes Younger Men
Who does Jennifer Coolidge date, you ask? Well, if you were born any time after she was, then you might be in the right target group. She said it in her own words: “I always date younger men. For some reason, that's just the way it's gone, because younger guys have always asked me out and I accept.” If you were fantasizing about Jennifer and you’re a bit older than she is, then you might want to also fantasize about a fake ID and some convincing plastic surgery work. Shot of Botox, anyone? It seems that it hasn’t been a conscious decision for her but rather something that just happens, so maybe she could be convinced to go a bit older for the right man. It’s interesting that she dates toyboys because it’s something that would really fit with her on-screen characters, particularly her famous role in the American Pie series.
10 She Owns A Historic Mansion
Jennifer obviously knows a bit about investing, and she decided to use her earnings to buy something that could be worth a little more in the future. She chose a historic mansion in New Orleans… right before Hurricane Katrina struck. In retrospect, it wasn’t the best of investments, but that didn’t put Jennifer off. While the mansion did receive some damage, she was able to get renovations to both repair and strengthen the original structure. The mansion might not still have the same historic value once some parts have been changed, but at least it will be a stable building which can actually be put to use, and that might even end up being worth a bit more for resale. By the time all the renovations are included, however, it’s doubtful that she would still be able to make a profit on her investment.
9 She Wanted To Be A Singer
Though Jennifer is now well-established as a comedy actress, things weren’t always set to be that way. Actually, she wanted to be a singer when she was a child, and this was an ambition that she harbored for a while. By the time that she attended Emerson College in Boston, graduating in 1985, she had realized where her talents truly lay and studied theatre. After that, she moved to New York, where she joined the Gotham City improv group, honing her reaction and comedy skills. Seeing that comedic acting was definitely the way for her to go, she then moved to Los Angeles to try to break the film industry and became a long-running member of The Groundlings comedy troupe there. That was where she ended up getting her first TV role, and later her first film role, allowing her to grow her star and become a more familiar face.
8 We’re Not Sure If She’s Single Or Not
Due to how closely guarded her private life is, we really honestly don’t know whether Jennifer is married, dating, single, cohabiting, or other. We do know that she has dated a lot: she says, “Thank God for Stifler's mom. I don't know if life would be this fun if I didn't have that. As a single woman, I reap the benefits of being Stifler's mom.” She was known to be dating actor Chris Kattan back in 2001, but after that relationship fell apart, she has been keeping mum on any new developments. It seems that she was devastated by the break-up and couldn’t bear to go public with another relationship after that. A couple of times she has alluded to seeing someone, but has never named names or appeared in public with a man on her arm. In fact, she’s more likely to be seen with her pet dog, who is usually around when it comes to selfie time.
7 Her First Role Was On Seinfeld
When you have your first role as an actress, ideally you want it to be on the biggest show possible. You want to be seen by a lot of people, you want to be recorded and remembered in the future, and you also want to be around current big stars who might teach you a thing or two. Jennifer really lucked out by getting a role on Seinfeld. She played the masseuse who refused to give Jerry a massage because it was her profession. She said, "The minute I was on that show, I was able to support myself just acting. It opened so many doors." We can believe it, too, as it was a memorable performance that really set the tone for the roles that she continues to take now. She’s definitely one for making her mark, and she managed it with that one.
6 She’s "Willing To Be Ugly"
Now, before you get all righteous about this entry, know that this is something that Jennifer has said herself. She reckons that she’s funny because of her looks, and because she isn’t a glamour queen like some of her fellow actresses. She was quoted as saying, “Girls are supposed to be feminine and demure. Comedy isn't about that, so you just have to unlearn it. Certain women are so pretty, they can't go weird enough to be funny. You have to be willing to be ugly. I'm lucky my face can look so hideous.” So, there you have it – if you want to get into comedy and you’re a woman, take the risk and get ugly. Get fat, even – why not? This advice is from someone who has managed to forge a career most would be jealous of, so it is not to be sniffed at.
5 She’s The Best Part Of Spoof Movies
Jennifer was given roles in a number of spoof titles, such as Date Movie and Epic Movie. Ultimately, both films are hardly regarded as classics, but they did do a lot for Jennifer’s career when she was regarded as the shining light that stood out against the overwhelming darkness of the movies. Reviews said that she was spot-on with her impressions and character acting. One reviewer wrote that “the humor is coarse and occasionally funny. The archly bombastic score ... is the only thing you might call witty. But happily, Jennifer Coolidge and Fred Willard show up ... to add some easy, demented class.” By all accounts, she was the only reason that the movies did even half as well as they did. Which isn’t to say that they did well – Date Night, for example, has a 6 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
4 She Does Stand-Up Comedy
You probably didn’t even imagine looking up whether Jennifer performs live, but she does, and by all accounts, she’s good at it. She loves the live shows and has become known as a great stand-up comic, although she may not quite be on the same level as the really famous faces in the scene. "The standup thing has been really fun, really seeing the United States instead of reading about it," Coolidge says. "Standup is just dirtier, a far more risqué kind of thing.... I talk about the strange stuff guys say when they're trying to get you to sleep with them, I talk about sex, being single again, really weird Hollywood auditions. I think people will be really interested in it and laugh." It’s the kind of show that you might just want to catch, not that you know it’s around – watch out for her next tour.
3 She’s Not All Real
It may not startle you to hear this after having had a look at her, but apparently, Jennifer Coolidge is not 100 percent the person she was when she was born. She’s had a lot of procedures done to enhance her looks, and it shows. These include Botox injections, facial fillers, and a facelift. As she ages, it’s getting more and more obvious that some parts of her face are not falling in the natural way that they do with others. It’s also rumored that she has had breast implants, which would not be surprising given the rest of the list. Her 40-inch bust was one of the reasons that she sparked quite a bit of interest in her early career, so if she has had them done as the rumors suggest, it seems like it was a very good investment to make back when she was younger.
2 She LOVES Meryl Streep
When she first started out in college and chose to study theatre, Jennifer was completely obsessed with Meryl Streep. She wanted to be just like her and become a dramatic actress, but of course, she quickly realized that her talents lay more towards the comedic side. When she moved to LA and auditioned for the Groundlings, that was the moment that her dreams of being Meryl were over. Instead, she was moving in a different direction, but it seems like it was a good way to go for her. As just another Meryl wannabe, she might not have ended up getting very far at all. With her comedic prowess, she has certainly done a lot better – and she wouldn’t be getting those dramatic roles with her current appearance, either! She definitely has a more comedic look now, thanks to the cosmetic procedures she has had done and her striking blonde mane of hair.
1 She Hates Phoneys
There are few amongst us who really enjoy a phoney, but Jennifer has a nose capable of sniffing one out and isn’t afraid to cut them out of her life. She’s had this talent for a long time, as she revealed in an interview: “I have always felt this way, even when I was a kid. Ever since I was about seven I have been able to sniff out a phoney. I always remember this neighbor who would ask me to babysit for her. She looked like Jayne Mansfield, and I remember babysitting for, like, five hours and she would pay me 80 cents, with a phoney smile. I used to go home fuming to my mum.” That’s definitely a warning to anyone who tries to play her false, whether at work or in her personal life: she will be onto you! It’s a scary thought.