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Piper Lisa Perabo (/ˈpɛrəb/ (About this soundlisten); born October 31, 1976)[1] is an American film and television actress. Since her breakthrough role in Coyote Ugly (2000), her films have included Lost and Delirious (2001), Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005), The Prestige (2006), Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008) and Looper (2012). She portrayed CIA Agent Annie Walker, the lead role on the USA Network spy drama series Covert Affairs (2010–14), for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress.[2]

Piper Perabo
Piper Perabo Comic-Con 2, 2011.jpg
Perabo at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con
Piper Lisa Perabo

(1976-10-31) October 31, 1976 (age 43)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Years active1988–present
Stephen Kay (m. 2014)

Early lifeEdit

Perabo was born in Dallas, Texas,[3] the daughter of Mary Charlotte (née Ulland), a physical therapist, and George William Perabo, a lecturer in poetry at Ocean County College.[4] She is of English, German, and Irish (father) and Norwegian (mother) descent; her surname is sometimes mistakenly described as Portuguese.[5][6] She grew up in Toms River, New Jersey.

Perabo's parents named her after actress Piper Laurie.[4] She is the eldest of three children with two brothers, Noah (born 1979) and Adam (born 1981). She graduated from Toms River High School North in 1994,[7] and earned a bachelor's degree in theater from Honors Tutorial College at Ohio University in 1998.[8] In 1996, she attended the Trinity/La MaMa Performing Arts Program.[9] She also studied Latin, physics, and poetry in her final year.[10][11][12]

Perabo was first noticed a year before she graduated from college. She was in New York City, visiting her then-boyfriend, and accompanied him to an audition. Casting director Denise Fitzgerald spotted her and asked her to read for a part. She was not cast, but when Fitzgerald found out that she did not have any representation, she made phone calls on Perabo's behalf and found her an agent.[13][14]


After graduating, Perabo moved to New York, where she worked as a waitress.[15][16] She also studied acting at the La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club and had roles in various plays.[13] She was cast in her first feature film just a month after moving to the city, Marc Levin's comedy Whiteboyz.[16] In 2000, she was cast in the romantic musical comedy-drama film Coyote Ugly as Violet "Jersey" Sanford, for which she won an MTV Movie Award for Best Music Moment for "One Way or Another".[17][18] Despite the film's mixed response from critics, it was a box office success, grossing over $113 million worldwide. She also appeared in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle as Everyone's Favorite FBI agent Karen Sympathy.

After the success of Coyote Ugly, Perabo decided to focus on independent films.[19] In 2001, she starred in an independent Canadian drama called Lost and Delirious, playing a boarding school student who falls in love with a female classmate (played by Jessica Paré). The film was met with mixed reviews, but the performances of Perabo, Paré and co-star Mischa Barton were, however, widely praised.[20] Perabo's performance in particular received critical acclaim, which Loren King of the Chicago Tribune remarked was her "breakout performance".[21] Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman called her "an actress of glittering ferocity" and her performance "a geyser of emotion".[22] Jim Lane of the Sacramento News & Review said that "Perabo is a revelation, wild and fiery — it's a breakthrough performance, astonishing in its fervency"[23] and Roger Ebert praised her performance for its sincerity and "wonderful abandon and conviction".[24]

The next year she starred as a French exchange student in the independent comedy Slap Her... She's French, which was shelved in North America for two years, then released under the new title She Gets What She Wants. The film was released under its original title in Europe. She had a role as the eldest Baker child, Nora, in Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), a role she reprised in the film's 2005 sequel. Her other films include The I Inside (2003), Perfect Opposites (2004), George and the Dragon (2004), The Cave (2005), Imagine Me & You (2005), Edison (2005), The Prestige (2006), and Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008). She appeared as a nutritionist on the Fox show House, in an episode entitled "Resignation".

Perabo at the premiere of Looper at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012

In 2008, Perabo made her off-Broadway debut in the Neil LaBute play Reasons to Be Pretty.[13][25] As the play's run was coming to an end, she read the script for the USA Network television spy series Covert Affairs: "I was reading movie scripts and I wasn't finding anything that was really speaking to me and my agent suggested that I read [the Covert Affairs script]. And I hadn't thought about doing television, but when I read it, it kind of changed everything for me. She's such a powerful character, she's so smart, the action is so intense, and I really thought it would be fun to do."[26][27] The following year, she was cast as CIA field agent Annie Walker, the lead character in Covert Affairs.[28][29] For her work on Covert Affairs, she received a nomination for the 2010 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama.[30][31] The series ran for five seasons, from 2010 to 2014.[32]

In September 2012, Perabo had a supporting role in the time travel thriller Looper. In December 2012, she was cast as a recurring character on the sitcom Go On. Her character, Simone, is a former member of Matthew Perry's character's support group, returning to the group and becoming his love interest. Perabo was originally scheduled to appear in three episodes, but this was increased to four.[33] Perabo next had a starring role in the thriller Into the Grizzly Maze.[34] She starred as Julia George in the ABC TV series Notorious in 2016.[35] In June 2018, it was announced that Perabo was cast as Sara in the Netflix comedy series, Turn Up Charlie.[36]

Personal lifeEdit

In 2013, Perabo became engaged to Stephen Kay, director and writer of film and television. On July 26, 2014, Perabo married Stephen Kay in New York City, New York.[37] The two have no children, but Perabo is stepmother to Kay's daughter.[38]

Perabo has been close friends with actress Lena Headey since they starred together in the 2005 films The Cave and Imagine Me & You.[39] She speaks fluent French[19] and is an advocate for LGBT rights and women's political leadership and serves on the Advisory Board of VoteRunLead.[40] She is the part-owner of the prohibition-themed bar, Employees Only, in West Village, Manhattan, which opened in 2005, and the restaurant, Jack's Wife Freda, in SoHo, Lower Manhattan, which opened in 2012.[41][42]



Year Title Role Notes
1997 Single Spaced The Dame Short film
1999 Knuckleface Jones That Girl Short film
1999 Whiteboyz Sara
2000 Coyote Ugly Violet "Jersey" Sanford
2000 The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle FBI Agent Karen Sympathy
2000 Followers Girl at Party
2001 Lost and Delirious Pauline "Paulie" Oster
2002 Slap Her... She's French Genevieve Le Plouff Also known as She Gets What She Wants
2002 Flowers Iris
2003 Cheaper by the Dozen Nora Baker
2004 Perfect Opposites Julia Bishop
2004 The I Inside Anna
2004 George and the Dragon Princess Luna
2005 Edison Willow Summerfield
2005 Karas: The Prophecy Yurine Voice; English version
2005 The Cave Charlie
2005 Imagine Me & You Rachel
2005 Good Morning Baby Gabriella Short film
2005 Cheaper by the Dozen 2 Nora Baker-McNulty
2005 Perception Jen
2006 10th & Wolf Brandy
2006 First Snow Deirdre
2006 The Prestige Julia McCullough
2007 Because I Said So Mae Wilder
2007 In Vivid Detail Leslie Short film
2008 Beverly Hills Chihuahua Rachel Ashe
2008 The Lazarus Project Lisa Garvey
2009 Sordid Things Tabitha White
2009 Carriers Bobby
2010 Ashes Bettina
2012 Looper Suzie
2015 Into the Grizzly Maze Michelle
2017 Black Butterfly Laura
2017 Tough Love Woman Short film
2019 Angel Has Fallen Leah Banning [43]
TBA Spontaneous Angela Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2006 The Prestige: Now That's Magic Julia McCullough TV Special documentary
2007 House Honey Episode: "Resignation"
2008 Backdrop NYC Leslie Episode: "Beauty Vision"
2008 The Prince of Motor City Meg Riley Television film
2009 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Calista Haslum Episode: "Folie à Deux"
2010–14 Covert Affairs Annie Walker Lead role; 75 episodes
2013 Go On Simone 4 episodes
2016 Notorious Julia George Lead role; 10 episodes
2016 ABC Fall Preview Special Herself / Host TV Special
2019 Turn Up Charlie Sara Main cast


Year Title Role Notes
2008 Reasons to Be Pretty Carly Lucille Lortel Theatre
2015 Lost Girls Maggie Lucille Lortel Theatre

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Work Result
2001 Blockbuster Entertainment Award Favorite Female - Newcomer Coyote Ugly Nominated
2001 MTV Movie Award Best Music Moment Coyote Ugly Won
2001 MTV Movie Award Breakthrough Female Performance Coyote Ugly Nominated
2004 Teen Choice Award Choice Movie: Liplock (shared with Ashton Kutcher) Cheaper by the Dozen Nominated
2006 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Feature Film - Young Ensemble Cast Cheaper by the Dozen 2 Nominated
2011 Golden Globe Award Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series - Drama Covert Affairs Nominated
2011 Gracie Award Outstanding Female Actor in a Breakthrough Role Covert Affairs Won
2017 People's Choice Award Favorite Actress in a New TV Series Notorious Nominated


  1. ^ "Piper Perabo News, Piper Perabo Bio and Photos". Retrieved April 30, 2012.
  2. ^ Gelman, Vlada (January 6, 2015). "USA Network Cancels Covert Affairs". TVLine. United States: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  3. ^ According to the State of Texas. Texas Birth Index, 1903–1997. At
  4. ^ a b Curiel, Jonathan (September 8, 2002). "Putting the right accent on a career / "Coyote Ugly's' Piper Perabo switches genres with "Slap Her ... She's French'". The San Francisco Chronicle.
  5. ^ "Piper Perabo". IMDb.
  6. ^ "Piper Perabo interview with Craig Ferguson".
  7. ^ O'Sullivan, Eleanor. "COYOTE BEAUTIFUL Toms River's Piper Perabo finds herself in `Lost and Delirous'", Asbury Park Press, July 8, 2001. Accessed February 3, 2011. "Perabo, who grew up in Toms River and graduated in 1994 from Toms River High School North, stars in Lost and Delirious, a gritty drama about the love affair between two adolescent schoolmates at a posh Canadian boarding school."
  8. ^ "Hollywood actress returns to OHIO for guest lecture". Outlook. January 11, 2010. Archived from the original on August 5, 2012. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
  9. ^ Andersson, Chris. Trinity/La MaMa Archives: 1994 - 2004. 47 Great Jones St, 4th Fl, New York, NY 10012: Trinity College.
  10. ^ "Alumna Piper Perabo nominated for Golden Globe". h. December 20, 2010. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  11. ^ "Alumna Piper Perabo nominated for Golden Globe". December 20, 2010. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  12. ^ Jae-Ha Kim (September 2002). "Piper Perabo". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  13. ^ a b c "Piper Perabo". June 19, 2008. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  14. ^ "Piper Perabo, 'Covert Affairs' Star, On The Biggest Misconception About Women In Hollywood". The Huffington Post. April 4, 2013. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  15. ^ Elizabeth Gilbert (July 2000). "Piper Pours a Pint". GQ. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  16. ^ a b Melissa Kory (March 1, 2010). "The Blast Interview: Piper Perabo". Blast Magazine. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  17. ^ "MTV Movie Awards". Mtv. June 2, 2001. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
  18. ^ Reynolds, Simon; Fletcher, Rosie (August 26, 2018). "Where are the cast of Coyote Ugly now?". Digital Spy. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  19. ^ a b "Exclusive Interview: Piper Perabo for "Slap Her, She's French"". August 29, 2001. Archived from the original on June 28, 2013. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  20. ^ "Lost and Delirious". murphysmoviereviews. December 21, 2001. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
  21. ^ "`Lost' a welcome break from summer's light fare". Chicago Tribune. July 13, 2001. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
  22. ^ "Lost and Delirious (2001)". Entertainment Weekly. August 3, 2001. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
  23. ^ "Lost and Delirious". Sacramento News & Review. August 23, 2001. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
  24. ^ "LOST AND DELIRIOUS". July 13, 2001. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
  25. ^ Antrim, Taylor. "Staging Around". Archived from the original on June 29, 2009. Retrieved July 3, 2009.
  26. ^ Brian Gallagher (July 12, 2010). "Piper Perabo Takes Us Inside the Spy World of Covert Affairs". Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  27. ^ Emma Brown (June 25, 2010). "In Between Scenes with Covert Affairs' Piper Perabo". RTVW. Archived from the original on November 13, 2013. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  28. ^ "Development Update: Thursday, July 2". The Futon Critic. July 2, 2009. Retrieved May 8, 2010.
  29. ^ "Covert Affairs". USA Network. Retrieved August 13, 2010.
  30. ^ "The 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards Nominations | Official Website of the HFPA and the Golden Globe Awards". December 14, 2010. Archived from the original on May 5, 2012. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
  31. ^ "Actress Piper Perabo Breaks Leg In TV Show Stunt". January 21, 2011. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  32. ^ Gelman, Vlada (January 6, 2015). "USA Network Cancels Covert Affairs". TVLine. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  33. ^ "'Covert Affairs' Star Piper Perabo Books Arc on NBC's 'Go On'". The Hollywood Reporter. December 3, 2012. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  34. ^ "Piper Perabo Joins Thomas Jane And Billy Bob Thornton In Red Machine". Cinemablend. February 1, 2012. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  35. ^ Ausiello, Michael (October 25, 2016). "Notorious' Season 1 Order Cut at ABC". TVLine. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  36. ^ White, Peter (June 27, 2018). "'Covert Affairs' Piper Perabo & 'Turn's JJ Feild Join Idris Elba's Netflix Comedy 'Turn Up Charlie'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  37. ^ "Piper Perabo and Stephen Kay Tie the Knot". People. July 27, 2014. Retrieved July 27, 2014.
  38. ^ "The Sweet Reason Why Piper Perabo Feels Like She 'Hit the Jackpot'". Us Weekly. March 22, 2019. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  39. ^ Lee, Michael J (March 22, 2007). "Piper Perabo". Interview. Radio Free Entertainment.
  40. ^ "New Give a Damn PSAs Premiere on the USA Network Today!". Give a Damn Campaign. October 21, 2010. Archived from the original on October 19, 2015.
  41. ^ Emma Brown. "Piper Perabo's Culinary Affairs". Interview Magazine. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  42. ^ Emma Brown (January 27, 2006). "Piper Perabo From "Coyote Ugly"". ClubPlanet. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  43. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (February 13, 2018). "Piper Perabo Boards Gerard Butler-Toplined Sequel 'Angel Has Fallen'". Retrieved February 13, 2018.

External linksEdit