Eliza Dushku

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Eliza Dushku
Eliza Dushku 2012 Shankbone.JPG
Dushku at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Struck by Lightning.
BornEliza Patricia Dushku
(1980-12-30) December 30, 1980 (age 33)
Watertown, Massachusetts, U.S.
CitizenshipAmerican and Albanian
Years active1992–present
Partner(s)Rick Fox (2009–2014)
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Eliza Dushku
Eliza Dushku 2012 Shankbone.JPG
Dushku at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Struck by Lightning.
BornEliza Patricia Dushku
(1980-12-30) December 30, 1980 (age 33)
Watertown, Massachusetts, U.S.
CitizenshipAmerican and Albanian
Years active1992–present
Partner(s)Rick Fox (2009–2014)

Eliza Patricia Dushku (/ˈdʊʃk/;[1] born December 30, 1980) is an American actress known for her television roles, including starring as Faith on Buffy the Vampire Slayer[2] and its spinoff series Angel. She starred in two Fox series, Tru Calling and Dollhouse.[3] She is also known for her roles in films, including True Lies, The New Guy, Bring It On, Wrong Turn and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back,[4] as well as her voice work on video games.

Early life[edit]

Dushku was born in Watertown, Massachusetts, the daughter of Philip R. Dushku, an administrator and teacher in the Boston Public Schools, and Judith "Judy" (née Rasmussen), a political science professor.[5] Dushku's father is an Albanian American from the city of Korçë and her mother is of Danish and English descent.[6][7] She has three brothers.[8] Dushku attended Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill, and graduated from Watertown High School.[citation needed]


Early career[edit]

Dushku came to the attention of casting agents when she was 10. She was chosen in a five-month search for the lead role of Alice in the film That Night. In 1993, Dushku landed a role as Pearl alongside Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio in This Boy's Life, a role that she said opened a lot of doors.[citation needed] The following year, she played the teenage daughter of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis in True Lies. She had parts as Paul Reiser's daughter in Bye Bye Love, as Cindy Johnson in Race the Sun, and roles in a television movie and a short film.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer[edit]

Dushku intended to attend Suffolk University in Boston, where her mother taught at the time,[8][9] but her agent asked her to submit a videotape audition for a show starring another of his clients, Sarah Michelle Gellar. After reading the script, Dushku rushed to a local Claire's to purchase dark makeup and other appropriate accessories for the part,[9] which was for Faith on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. When she began her work on that series, Dushku was still a minor, and had to receive emancipation to work the production's long hours. She later recalled with amusement that the judge who handled her emancipation case, who was an avid fan of that show, said that she would sign the emancipation order if she could get a signed photo from Dushku.[8]

Dushku at the 2009 San Diego Comic Con.

After completing high school, Dushku returned to acting with the role of Faith on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a Slayer much more troubled than the main character Buffy Summers. Though initially planned as a five-episode role, the character became so popular that she stayed on for the whole third season and returned for a two-part appearance in season four, after which the remainder of her original story arc was played out as part of the first season of the Buffy spin-off series Angel. Repentant and rededicated, Faith returned as a heroine in other episodes of Angel and in the last five episodes of Buffy. Dushku was inundated with piles of fan mail from legions of prisoners. She said:

I've been getting fan mail from maximum security penitentiaries and death row. What are the authorities thinking of in playing a show with young teenage girls to Death Row inmates? They write everything – disgusting things that you don't even want to know about. And they send me pictures – "Oh, here's a picture of me before I was incarcerated!" – and there's some guy sat on the sofa with a bottle of beer and a moustache, and a big gut. It's so creepy. Way more creepy than Buffy.[10]

Subsequent roles[edit]

In 2000, Dushku starred in the hit cheerleader comedy Bring It On.[4] She followed that up with Soul Survivors,[4] reuniting her with Race the Sun co-star Casey Affleck. In 2001, she appeared in The New Guy with DJ Qualls and City by the Sea with Robert De Niro and James Franco.[4] The latter film garnered attention from a wider adult audience and several good reviews. The same year, Kevin Smith invited Dushku to be a part of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.[4]

In 2003, Dushku starred in the horror film Wrong Turn[4] and The Kiss, an independent comedy-drama. Starting that same year, she starred in a new Fox TV series, Tru Calling, where she played the main character, medical student Tru Davies. After having a grant pulled out from under her, Tru is forced to take a job at a local morgue where she discovers her power to "re-live" the previous day over again if one of the deceased asks for her help to change what has happened. Dushku turned down a role in a spin-off of Buffy The Vampire Slayer which would have been about Faith. She has had many roles as a "bad girl" in movies and relishes the opportunities. In an interview with Maxim in May 2001, Dushku says of her roles, "It's easy to play a bad girl: You just do everything you've been told not to do, and you don't have to deal with the consequences, because it's only acting."[11]

Dushku starred in an Off-Broadway production entitled Dog Sees God from December 2005, playing "Van's sister", a character paralleled with Lucy Van Pelt from the Peanuts comic strip on which the play production is based. She quit in February 2006 along with other members of the cast amidst rumors of abuse from the producer, which were later dismissed.

She played the lead character on Nurses, a hospital comedy/drama for Fox. This was the second Fox pilot in which she was cast, but not broadcast.[12] She appeared in the Simple Plan music video, "I'm Just a Kid", as the band's love interest, as well as Nickelback's video for "Rockstar".


On October 1, 2005, she announced at Wizard World Boston that shooting had begun for Nobel Son in which she would star with Alan Rickman, Danny DeVito, Bill Pullman, and Peter Boyle. The movie was released at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival.[13] Another project is On Broadway, an independent movie filmed in her native Boston. The movie is receiving great reviews[14] and a few of them highlight Dushku's performance. It is shown in independent film festivals and has won six awards.

Dushku has had roles in five video games. She voiced the role of Yumi Sawamura in the English-language version of Yakuza for the PlayStation 2, which was published and developed by Sega, and released in September 2006. Dushku also stars as Shaundi, one of the lead characters in Saints Row 2, which was developed by Volition and published by THQ.[15] It was released in North America on October 14, 2008, for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. She was the voice talent for the role of Rubi Malone, the main character in the game WET. She appeared at Spike TV's 2008 Video Game Awards in December 2008.[3] Danielle Nicolet took over the role of Shaundi in Saints Row: The Third.

Variety announced on August 2, 2006, that Dushku would co-star with Macaulay Culkin in Sex and Breakfast, a dark comedy written and directed by Miles Brandman. A reviewer described Dushku as "charming" and giving the character "an edge."[16] The movie was released in Los Angeles on November 30, 2007, and on DVD on January 22, 2008. She starred in Open Graves, a 2008 horror-thriller about a satanic game co-starring Mike Vogel. She played the main character in The Thacker Case and The Alphabet Killer, both thrillers based on real-life events, one of them directed by Rob Schmidt with whom she had worked on Wrong Turn. Both movies were released in 2008.[17] The Alphabet Killer contains Dushku's first topless scene.[18] The film earned mixed reviews, but reviewers praised Dushku's performance, commenting "Eliza Dushku commands the screen but cannot reconcile the script's conflicted and increasingly idiotic agendas."[19] She appeared in Bottle Shock, a drama about Napa valley wine.[2] The film was directed by Randall Miller, who helmed Nobel Son.[2][20]

Dushku at 2009 Comic Con

On August 26, 2007, Dushku signed a development deal with Fox Broadcasting Company and 20th Century Fox. Under the pact, the network and the studio would develop projects tailor-made for the actress as well as approach her with existing pitches and scripts.[21]

Subsequently, it was announced on October 31 that Dushku had lured Joss Whedon, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, back to TV, as they agreed to create a show called Dollhouse. Dushku produced the show and played the main character, 'Echo', which aired on Fox during the 2008–09 TV Season. In an interview, Dushku talked about how Dollhouse and her reconnection with Whedon came about:

I invited Joss Whedon to lunch after I did the business deal with Fox. We'd had a cool relationship in the past and I so wanted to do something else, and I wanted to get back into a television show. I had him on the brain for sure but I hadn't called him yet, but I sort of took a leap of faith and set things up with Fox and then called Joss. We went to a four-hour lunch where I just sort of used my womanly wiles. No, we've become such good friends, kind of like brother and sister and kind of like he was my watcher, my handler from when I first moved out to L.A. when I was 17 and I was a little bit of a wild child. He's watched me and helped me and taught me over the years. I told him how bad I wanted and needed him back and he accepted and here we are.[22]

Dushku described Whedon as "my favorite genius ... favorite friend ... big brother ... and the only person out here I've ever wholeheartedly trusted, because he's never let me down."[23] Dollhouse was renewed for a second season. The producers cited their confidence in the strength of Joss Whedon's fan base and high DVR numbers as their reasons for keeping the show. FOX cancelled Dollhouse on November 11, 2009. The show officially wrapped filming on the second and final season on December 16, 2009.

Dushku was the voice actor for contract killer "Rubi Malone" in the action video game Wet.[24] She also secured exclusive rights to make "The Perfect Moment", a film based on the life of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and enlisted the help of Ondi Timoner.[2]

In 2010, Dushku provided her voice for Noah's Ark: The New Beginning and appeared in the film Locked In.[25] She also guest-starred in an episode of CBS' comedy The Big Bang Theory[26] which aired on November 4, 2010.[27]

In 2011, Dushku featured alongside Jayson Floyd in "One Shot", a short action clip on YouTube directed by and starring Freddie Wong, which was released on May 13, 2011.[28] In August of the same year, Dushku visited Albania with a crew from the Travel Channel and Lonely Planet to film a documentary entitled Dear Albania, promoting tourism in her father's country of origin.[29][30][31][32]

Dushku has a lead role in an online animated "motion comic" series, titled Torchwood: Web of Lies, based on the BBC series' Torchwood: Miracle Day.[33]

In June 2012, Dushku starred with Katie Cassidy, Gina Gershon, and Michelle Trachtenberg in The Scribbler directed by John Suits and produced by Gabriel Cowan.[34]

Personal life[edit]

Dushku at Fan Expo Canada in Toronto, 2011

Dushku resides in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, California.[35] She visited her father's family in Albania in 2006 after receiving an invitation from Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha. She visited Kosovo and got an Albanian Eagle tattoo on the back of her neck.[36][37] While on her second visit to Albania in 2011, she applied for Albanian citizenship and obtained the Albanian passport and ID Card. She became an honorary citizen of Tirana,[38] and was given the honorary title of Tirana Ambassador of Culture and Tourism in the World by Tirana mayor Lulzim Basha.[39][40] Additionally, she was given honorary citizen status in her father's home town of Korçë, Albania.

She is the founder and CEO of Boston Diva Productions[citation needed] and serves on the board of directors of the THRIVEGulu organization (The Trauma Healing and Reflection Center in Gulu), an organization dedicated to helping the survivors of war (including former child soldiers) in Northern Uganda. As a role model to campus leaders for her activism, Dushku was invited by the Millennium Campus Network (MCN) as a national keynote speaker and honored as a Global Generation Award winner alongside US Secretary of State John Kerry at MCN events in 2011.[41]

Dushku openly suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).[42][43]

She began dating former Los Angeles Lakers basketball player Rick Fox in October 2009, and in August 2010 the couple confirmed that they were living together.[44][45] It was announced on June 24, 2014 that the pair had split.[46]

Dushku announced in December 2011 that she had decided to switch to a vegan diet after watching the documentary Forks over Knives.[47]

Dushku, who had originally intended to attend college in Boston before her big break on Buffy altered those plans, announced in March 2014 at the Emerald City Comicon that she would be attending college later that year.[9]

On June 22, 2014, the Boston Globe reported that Dusku had left Los Angeles and moved back to Boston and was planning to attend college.[48]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Her performance in Tru Calling garnered Dushku two nominations in 2004: for a Teen Choice Award as Choice Breakout Star – Female, and for a Saturn Award as Best Actress in a Television Series. Maxim magazine ranked Dushku 6th on the "Hot 100 Women of 2009" list.[49] Dushku was nominated in 2009 for a Scream Award for Best Science Fiction Actress for her role of Echo,[50] and she was named Ambassador for the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show Entertainment Matters program in October 2011.[51]


1992That NightAlice Bloom
1993This Boy's LifePearl
1994Fishing with GeorgePiper ReevesShort film
1994True LiesDana Tasker
1995Bye Bye LoveEmma
1996Race the SunCindy Johnson
2000Bring It OnMissy Pantone
2001Jay and Silent Bob Strike BackSissy
2001Soul SurvivorsAnnabel
2002New Guy, TheThe New GuyDanielle
2002City by the SeaGina
2003Stan Winston: Monster MogulHerselfShort film
2003Wrong TurnJessie Burlingame
2003Kiss, TheThe KissMeganVideo
2006Last Supper, TheThe Last SupperWaitressShort film
2007On BroadwayLena Wilson
2007Nobel SonCity Hall
2007Sex and BreakfastRenee
2008Bottle ShockJoe
2008Alphabet Killer, TheThe Alphabet KillerMegan PaigeAssociate producer
2008Coverup, TheThe CoverupMonica Wright
2009Open GravesErica
2010Locked InRenee
2011Batman: Year OneSelina Kyle/Catwoman (voice)Animated film
2011DC Showcase: CatwomanSelina Kyle/Catwoman (voice)Short animated film
2012Noah's Ark: The New BeginningZalbeth (voice)Animated film
2012Dear AlbaniaElizaDocumentary/Director
2013Jay & Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon MovieLipstick Lesbian (voice)Animated film
2014The ScribblerSilkPost-production
2014Midnight RiderRitaCancelled
1995JourneyCatTV movie
1998–2003Buffy the Vampire SlayerFaith20 episodes
2000–2003AngelFaith6 episodes
2002King of the HillJordan Hilgren-Bronson (voice)Season 7 Episode 1: "Get Your Freak Off"
2003–2005Tru CallingTru Davies26 episodes
2005That '70s ShowSarahSeason 7 Episode 15: "It's All Over Now"
2007NursesEve MorrowTV movie
2007Ugly BettyCameron AshlockSeason 2 Episode 9: "Giving Up the Ghost"
2009–2010DollhouseEcho/Caroline Farrell27 episodes/Producer
2010Big Bang Theory, TheThe Big Bang TheoryFBI Special Agent Angela PageSeason 4 Episode 7: "The Apology Insufficiency"
2010RuPaul's Drag RaceHerself (Guest Judge)Season 3 Episode 7: "Face, Face, Face of Cakes"
2011Herd MentalityCaseyTV movie
2011RobotomyShockzana (voice)Season 1 Episode 10: "From Wretchnya with Love"
2011White CollarRaquel LaroqueSeason 3 Episode 9: "On The Fence"
2011The Cleveland ShowHerself (voice)Season 2 Episode 22: "Hot Cocoa Bang Bang"
2011The GuildHerselfSeason 5 Episode 8: "Social Traumas"
2011Torchwood: Web of LiesHollu Mokri (voice)7 Episodes/Animated TV series
2011The LeagueKristenSeason 3 Episode 10: "The Light of Genesis"
2011–2012Leap YearJune Pepper5 Episodes/Consulting Producer
2013–presentHulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk, Waitress (Voice)Animated TV series
2013The SaintPatricia HolmTV movie
Video games
2003Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos BleedsFaith
2005YakuzaYumi Sawamura/Mizuki Sawamura
2008Saints Row 2Shaundi
2009WetRubi Malone
2011Fight Night ChampionMegan McQueen
Music Videos
2002"I'm Just a Kid" - Simple PlanPopular girl
2006"Rockstar" - NickelbackCameo

See also[edit]

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  1. ^ "It's 'Dush' like 'push'." Eliza Dushku, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, February 23, 2004. [1][dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d Tatiana Siegel (February 25, 2009). "Eliza Dushku focuses on photog film". Variety. Retrieved September 7, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "Spike TV's Video Game Awards". Variety. December 15, 2008. Retrieved September 7, 2009. [dead link]
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Eliza Dushku – CreditsByRole". Variety. September 7, 2009. Retrieved September 7, 2009. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Eliza Dushku, the Next Wonder Woman?". PARADE Magazine. January 29, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Eliza Patricia Dushku's Ancestry". Wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved February 24, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Ancestry of Bill Richardson". Wargs.com. Retrieved February 24, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c Lafferty, Hanna (November 25, 2013). "Super Megafest 2013: Eliza Dushku Panel". Emertainment Monthly. 
  9. ^ a b c Tramountaanas, George A. (March 29, 2014). "ECCC: Eliza Dushku Talks 'Buffy,' 'Dollhouse' and Going Back to College". Comic Book Resources.
  10. ^ "E.D.t.v.:: the eliza dushku news channel". eliza-dushku.com. Archived from the original on September 2, 2003. Retrieved April 23, 2009. 
  11. ^ Paul Young (May 2001). "Faith No More". Maxim. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. [dead link]
  12. ^ Schneider, Michael; Adalian, Josef (March 11, 2007). "Dushku joins Fox's 'Nurses'". Variety. Retrieved March 20, 2007. 
  13. ^ "Nobel Son review". Aintitcool.com. May 7, 2007. Retrieved February 24, 2011. 
  14. ^ Femia, Michael (April 30, 2007). "On Broadway At the Independent Film Festival of Boston". Bostonist. Retrieved July 13, 2008. 
  15. ^ Pavlacka, Adam (September 12, 2008). "Saints Row 2 Singleplayer/Co-Op Preview". WorthPlaying. 
  16. ^ John Anderson (November 29, 2007). "Sex and Breakfast (Review)". Variety. Retrieved September 7, 2009. [dead link]
  17. ^ Jacks, Brian (May 15, 2007). "Eliza Dushku Joins The Force For ‘Alphabet Killer’". MTV Movies Blog. Retrieved July 13, 2008. 
  18. ^ "Eliza Dushku topless in The Alphabet Killer". Egotastic. December 22, 2008. Retrieved December 22, 2008. 
  19. ^ Ronnie Scheib (December 17, 2008). "The Alphabet Killer". Variety. Retrieved September 7, 2009. 
  20. ^ Campbell, Christopher (July 20, 2007). "Eliza Dushku and Bill Pullman Join 'Bottle Shock'". Cinematical. Retrieved July 13, 2008. 
  21. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (August 27, 2007). "Dushku busy with Fox TV". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007.  August 26, 2007
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  23. ^ Michael Schneider (October 31, 2007). "Joss Whedon preps Fox series". Variety. Retrieved September 7, 2009. 
  24. ^ Sassoon, Alex (September 15, 2009). "Wet Hands-On – PlayStation 3 Previews at GameSpot". Gamespot.com. Retrieved February 24, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Eliza Dushku is Locked In". Dreadcentral.com. Retrieved February 24, 2011. 
  26. ^ "The Big Bang Theory Geeks Out for Eliza Dushku". TV Guide. Retrieved September 23, 2010. 
  27. ^ "Eliza guest-star in CBS' comedy". Entertainment Tonight. November 4, 2010. Retrieved February 24, 2011. 
  28. ^ "One Shot ft. Eliza Dushku". YouTube (via Freddie Wong). May 13, 2011. Retrieved May 13, 2011. 
  29. ^ "Dear Albania by Eliza Dushku". YouTube. Retrieved October 15, 2012. 
  30. ^ Dushku, Eliza (September 2, 2011). "Why You Must Visit Albania". Huffington Post. Retrieved March 11, 2012. 
  31. ^ Press, Associated (August 8, 2011). "Eliza Dushku in Albania - BostonHerald.com". News.bostonherald.com. Retrieved October 15, 2012. 
  32. ^ "Eliza Dushku në Tiranë, promovon vlerat turistike të Shqipërisë". Koha.net. August 6, 2011. Retrieved August 7, 2011. 
  33. ^ Hibberd, James (June 2, 2011). "Eliza Dushku to star in 'Torchwood' online animated series". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  34. ^ Fleming, Mike. "'The Scribbler' Starts Production With Katie Cassidy Starring". Deadline.com. Retrieved July 1, 2013. 
  35. ^ Maeda, Wendy (August 28, 2007). "Eliza Dushku shows us L.A.". The Boston Globe. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  36. ^ Beggy, Carol; Mark Shanahan (June 8, 2006). "Dushku Wears Her Heritage Proudly". Boston Globe. p. E9. Retrieved July 13, 2008. 
  37. ^ "Dushku finds Tru Calling in Albania homeland". The Boston Herald. June 8, 2006. p. 019. 
  38. ^ "Bashkia e Tiranës - Bashkia e Tiranës". Tirana.gov.al. Retrieved October 15, 2012. 
  39. ^ "Eliza Dushku me Bashen ambasadore e Tiranes". YouTube (via kushtha). August 7, 2011. Retrieved August 7, 2011. 
  40. ^ "Basha: Eliza Dushku, ambasadore nderi e Tiranës në botë". Botasot. August 7, 2011. Retrieved August 7, 2011. [dead link]
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  42. ^ "Eliza Dushku Discusses Her Career, Favorite TV Shows, Plus 'Punk'd'". February 23, 2012. Retrieved February 5, 2014. 
  43. ^ "Eliza Dushku Returns to TV in 'Dollhouse'". February 13, 2009. Retrieved February 5, 2014. 
  44. ^ "Eliza Dushku Confirms She's Dating Rick Fox". Americansuperstarmag.com. October 15, 2009. Retrieved February 27, 2011. 
  45. ^ Shira, Dahvi (August 13, 2010). "Eliza Dushku and Rick Fox Love Living Together". People. Retrieved February 27, 2011. 
  46. ^ "Eliza Dushku and Rick Fox Break Up". eonline.com. June 24, 2014. Retrieved June 24, 2014. 
  47. ^ "Eliza Dushku Goes Vegan". MindBodyGreen. December 7, 2011. Retrieved April 25, 2012. 
  48. ^ "Eliza Dushku leaves LA and moves back home". Boston Globe. June 22, 2014. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  49. ^ "2009 Hot 100". Maxim.com. Retrieved February 24, 2011. 
  50. ^ «Eliza Dushku is nominated at the Scream Awards 2009»[dead link] on Spike.com, 01
  51. ^ "Eliza Dushku Named Ambassador for 2012 CES Entertainment Matters Program" (Press release). Consumer Electronics Association. October 27, 2011. 

External links[edit]