Kat Dennings

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Kat Dennings
Kat Dennings Thor 2 cropped.png
Dennings at the premiere of Thor: The Dark World, October 2013
BornKatherine Litwack[1]
(1986-06-13) June 13, 1986 (age 28)[2]
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.[3]
Years active2000–present
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Kat Dennings
Kat Dennings Thor 2 cropped.png
Dennings at the premiere of Thor: The Dark World, October 2013
BornKatherine Litwack[1]
(1986-06-13) June 13, 1986 (age 28)[2]
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.[3]
Years active2000–present

Kat Dennings (born Katherine Litwack;[1] June 13, 1986) is an American actress. Starting with a role in an episode of the HBO dramedy series Sex and the City, Dennings has since appeared in the films The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Big Momma's House 2, Charlie Bartlett, Raise Your Voice, The House Bunny, Defendor, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, Thor, and Thor: The Dark World. She stars alongside Beth Behrs in the CBS television series 2 Broke Girls.

Early life

Dennings was born and raised in the Bryn Mawr area, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[1] Her mother, Ellen Judith Litwack, is a poet and speech therapist,[4][5] and her father, Gerald J. Litwack, is a molecular pharmacologist, and college professor and chairman. Dennings is the youngest of five children, including an older brother, Geoffrey S. Litwack.[1][6] Her family is Jewish.[6][7]

Dennings was homeschooled; her only enrollment at a traditional school was for a half-day at Friends' Central School.[1] She graduated from high school early, at the age of 14.[8] She moved with her family to Los Angeles, California, so that she could act full-time. She adopted the name Dennings as her professional name when she was younger.[9] According to Dennings, as stated in Interview magazine in 2007, her parents initially considered her idea of pursuing an acting career to be "the worst idea ever."[10]


Dennings began her career in commercials at the age of 10.[1] Her first acting job was an ad for potato chips.[8] Dennings made her professional debut with an appearance on HBO's Sex and the City in 2000, in the episode "Hot Child in the City", playing an obnoxious 13-year-old who hires Samantha to handle publicity for her bat mitzvah.[9][11] She then starred on the short-lived WB sitcom Raising Dad from 2001 to 2002 as Sarah, a 15-year-old raised by her widowed father (Bob Saget), with a pre-teen sister (Brie Larson). In 2002, Dennings appeared in the Disney Channel film The Scream Team as a teenager who stumbles into a group of ghosts. She was cast for a five-episode run on The WB's Everwood, but the role was recast with Nora Zehetner.[12]

Dennings continued working on television, guest-starring on Without a Trace as a teen whose boyfriend goes missing, and on Less than Perfect in 2003. She was cast in a pilot for CBS titled Sudbury, about a family of modern-day witches, based on the 1998 film Practical Magic, but the series was not picked up. Dennings had a recurring role on ER from 2005 to 2006 as Zoe Butler, and guest-starred on CSI: NY as Sarah Endecott, in the 2005 episode "Manhattan Manhunt".

Dennings made her feature film debut in Hilary Duff's Raise Your Voice in 2004 as Sloane, a somber piano student.[13] In 2005, she landed supporting roles in The 40-Year-Old Virgin as Catherine Keener's character's daughter, and in Down in the Valley.[8] She played a rebellious teenager in the 2006 film Big Momma's House 2, starring Martin Lawrence.[14]

Dennings starred in Charlie Bartlett in 2008, the story of a wealthy teenager (Anton Yelchin) who acts as a psychiatrist for his new public high school. She played Susan Gardner, Bartlett's love interest, and the daughter of the school's principal (Robert Downey, Jr.).[10] Dennings appeared in The House Bunny that year, as Mona, a pierced feminist sorority girl.[15] She also starred in the teen romance, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, with Michael Cera. Dennings played Norah Silverberg, the daughter of a famous record producer, and was nominated for the International Press Academy's Satellite Award for Best Actress for the performance.[16] In September 2008, Dennings hoped to make Don DeLillo's novel, End Zone into a film. Actors Sam Rockwell and Josh Hartnett were involved, but the project was not greenlit because of its controversial subject matter of nuclear war.[17]

In 2009, Dennings appeared in The Answer Man, a story about a celebrity author whose manifestos become a sort of new Bible. She also co-starred in the Robert Rodriguez-directed dark children's film Shorts that year.[18] She played the protagonist Toe (Jimmy Bennett)'s teenage older sister, Stacey Thompson.[19] Dennings and other rising stars were featured in the August 2009 issue of Vanity Fair, re-enacting scenes from famous Depression-era films, hers being Sydney Pollack's They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969).[20] Dennings was cast in the romantic comedy film Liars (A to E) in 2009.[21] However, the Richard Linklater-directed project was cancelled due to cut backs at Miramax Films by the studio's parent company, Disney.[22]

Dennings with her 2 Broke Girls co-star Beth Behrs at the 38th People's Choice Awards in January 2012

Dennings appeared in the superhero film Defendor in 2009, starring Woody Harrelson and Sandra Oh, playing a crack-addicted prostitute.[23][24] The following year, she starred in the independent feature Daydream Nation as a girl who moves from the city to a strange rural town, and is caught in a love triangle with her high school teacher (Josh Lucas) and a teenage drug dealer (Reece Thompson).[25] The film began shooting in Vancouver in early 2010, and was written and directed by Michael Golbach.[26] In May 2010, Dennings appeared in a music video for "40 Dogs (Like Romeo and Juliet)", a single by Austin, Texas-based musician Bob Schneider. Robert Rodriguez directed the video, which was filmed in various locations around Austin.[27]

Dennings was part of the cast of the Marvel Studios film Thor, released in May 2011, and directed by Kenneth Branagh. She played Darcy Lewis, a tech-savvy, shy sidekick and assistant to Natalie Portman's character, Jane Foster.[28] The film went into production in January 2010, and was shot in New Mexico for six weeks in early 2010.[25]

Dennings began starring in 2 Broke Girls in 2011, a CBS sitcom written and produced by Michael Patrick King and comedian Whitney Cummings. The comedy follows the lives of two underemployed girls. Beth Behrs co-stars as a Manhattan heiress who lost her inheritance, while Dennings plays a tough outspoken girl from Brooklyn.[29] Dennings liked the idea of reaching a wider audience with her work, so she accepted the role on the network sitcom.[30] CBS renewed the series for a fourth season in 2014.[31]

Dennings starred in Day One in 2012, with Chad Michael Murray and Rupert Friend. She played Renee Yohe, a Florida teenager who struggled with substance abuse and self-injury, and who inspired the founding of the nonprofit organization To Write Love on Her Arms. The film began production in Orlando, Florida in February 2011.[32] In mid-2012, Dennings filmed the independent feature Suburban Gothic, playing a small-town bartender.[33]

Dennings introduced The Black Keys at the 55th Grammy Awards in February 2013.[34] She appeared in a music video for the Hanson single "Get the Girl Back", alongside Nikki Reed. The actresses are close friends and are both fans of the pop group.[35] The video premiered on April 4, 2013.[36] In 2013, Dennings reprised her role, Darcy Lewis, in Thor: The Dark World.[37] She worked on the superhero film and 2 Broke Girls at the same time, flying to London to film for six months between breaks on her CBS sitcom.[38]

Personal life

Dennings blogged from January 2001 until February 20, 2010, on her website and also transitioned into video blogging on YouTube.[18][39] She enjoys reading and is a friend of author Andrea Seigel. Dennings stated to The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles that Judaism "is an important part of my history, but, as a whole, religion is not a part of my life." The article went on to say that she considers herself more ethnically and culturally affiliated than religiously so.[6] In December 2008, Dennings told BlackBook magazine, "I don't drink and I don't smoke and I don't like being around people who do."[40]

In October 2014 it was confirmed that Dennings was dating singer-songwriter Josh Groban. [41]

In 2013, The New York Times reported that Dennings practices Transcendental Meditation.[42]


Dennings at the showing of Daydream Nation at the Ryerson Theatre in 2010
2002Scream Team, TheThe Scream TeamClaire CarlyleTelevision film
2004Raise Your VoiceSloane
2005Down in the ValleyApril
200540-Year-Old Virgin, TheThe 40-Year-Old VirginMarla Piedmont
2006Big Momma's House 2Molly Fuller
2007Charlie BartlettSusan Gardner
2008House Bunny, TheThe House BunnyMona
2008Nick and Norah's Infinite PlaylistNorah Silverberg
2009Answer Man, TheThe Answer ManDahlia
2009ShortsStacey Thompson
2009DefendorKaterina "Kat" Debrofkowitz/Angel
2010Daydream NationCaroline Wexler
2011ThorDarcy Lewis
2012Day OneRenee Yohe
2013Thor: The Dark WorldDarcy Lewis
2014Suburban GothicBecca
2000Sex and the CityJenny BrierEpisode: "Hot Child in the City"
2001–2002Raising DadSarah StewartMain cast; 22 episodes
2003Without a TraceJennifer NortonEpisode: "Sons and Daughters"
2003Less than PerfectKaitlinEpisode: "The Girl Next Door"
2004CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationMissy WilsonEpisode: "Early Rollout"
2005ClubhouseAngelaEpisode: "Stealing Home"
2005–2006ERZoe Butler5 episodes
2005CSI: NYSarah EndecottEpisode: "Manhattan Manhunt"
2009American Dad!Tanqueray (voice)Episode: "G-String Circus"
2010American Dad!Female juror (voice)Episode: "The People vs. Martin Sugar"
2011–present2 Broke GirlsMax BlackMain cast
2012Robot ChickenVarious voicesEpisode: "Executed by the State"
201440th People's Choice AwardsHerselfHost

Awards and nominations

YearAwardNominated workResult
2008Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or ComedyNick and Norah's Infinite PlaylistNominated
2009MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough PerformanceNick and Norah's Infinite PlaylistNominated
2009Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actress: Music/DanceNick and Norah's Infinite PlaylistNominated
2014People's Choice Award for Favorite TV Gal Pals (with Beth Behrs)2 Broke GirlsNominated


  1. ^ a b c d e f Rys, Richard (October 2008). "Exit Interview: Kat Dennings". Philadelphia (Metrocorp). Retrieved October 4, 2008. 
  2. ^ Dan Gross. ""Charlie Bartlett" star Dennings talks about her Philly fondness". Philly.com. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  3. ^ Leiren, Mark (April 8, 2011). "Daydream Nation director Michael Goldbach emerges from Don McKellar's shadow | Georgia Straight". Straight.com. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  4. ^ Abcairn, Robin (August 26, 2006). "Swag!." The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on August 12, 2008.
  5. ^ "Charlie Bartlett – Kat Dennings interview." IndieLondon. Retrieved on October 4, 2008.
  6. ^ a b c Klein, Amy (October 29, 2008). "'Nick and Norah' star Kat Dennings is infinitely Jewish, in her own way". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Retrieved October 31, 2008. 
  7. ^ Elkin, Michael. "Kid Kat: A local suburban teen plans on 'Raising Dad'," The Jewish Exponent, July 19, 2001.
  8. ^ a b c Maher, Kevin (January 29, 2009). "Kat Dennings offers directors a touch of va-va-voom". The Times. Times Newspapers. Archived from the original on June 15, 2011. Retrieved January 29, 2009. 
  9. ^ a b Gross, Dan (February 18, 2008). "Dan Gross: 'Charlie Bartlett' co-star Kat Dennings fond of Philly roots." Philadelphia Daily News. Retrieved on August 12, 2008.
  10. ^ a b Cosgrove, Julia (August 2007). "Kat Dennings: giving vapid portrayals of teenage girls the high-heeled boot." Interview.
  11. ^ "It's Evening in America." Vanity Fair. May 2012. Page 153.
  12. ^ "Ch. 3 is wooing a familiar Philly face – Nancy Glass." Philadelphia Inquirer. December 16, 2002.
  13. ^ Gates, Anita (October 8, 2004). "Lost Your Voice? Head West Young Woman.." The New York Times. Retrieved on November 18, 2009.
  14. ^ Lemire, Christy (January 25, 2006). "'Big Momma's House 2' is a one-joke movie." Associated Press. msnbc.com. Retrieved on June 19, 2010.
  15. ^ "No 'Bunny' knows funny." Sun News. August 21, 2008. Retrieved on June 18, 2010.
  16. ^ "Satellite nod for Ricky Gervais." Metro. December 1, 2008. Retrieved on June 18, 2010.
  17. ^ Slotek, Jim (September 8, 2008). "Dennings revels in her dark side." Toronto Sun. Retrieved on September 8, 2008.
  18. ^ a b Miller, Jenni. "'Nick and Norah' Star Kat Dennings " . Premiere. Retrieved from Internet Archive June 23, 2011.
  19. ^ Gire, Dann (August 20, 2009). "Subversive comedy 'Shorts' long on imagination." Daily Herald. Retrieved on August 23, 2009.
  20. ^ "Ain’t We Got Style?." Vanity Fair. August 2009. Retrieved on June 18, 2010.
  21. ^ Swart, Sharon (July 27, 2009). "Richard Linklater favors 'Liars'." Variety. Retrieved on August 2, 2009.
  22. ^ Collura, Scott (November 17, 2009)."Linklater's Latest Un-Link-Likely." IGN. Retrieved on November 18, 2009.
  23. ^ Kilday, Gregg (October 3, 2008). "Kat Dennings negotiating to play 'Defendor'." The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved on October 4, 2008.
  24. ^ Debruge, Peter (October 24, 2008). "Kat Dennings – 10 Actors to Watch." Variety. Retrieved on October 28, 2008.
  25. ^ a b "EXCLUSIVE: Kat Dennings Speaks Out on Thor, Daydream Nation and Her Possible Directorial Debut." MovieWeb. April 7, 2010. Retrieved on April 11, 2010.
  26. ^ McNary, Dave (January 7, 2010). "Dennings caught in 'Daydream'." Variety. Retrieved on January 10, 2010.
  27. ^ Kim, Brandon (May 4, 2010). "Exclusive Robert Rodriguez Music Video Premiere." Independent Film Channel. Retrieved on May 6, 2010
  28. ^ McNary, Dave (November 24, 2009). "Kat Dennings joins 'Thor' cast." Variety. Retrieved on November 25, 2009.
  29. ^ Huver, Scott. (May 5, 2011). "Kat Dennings Gets Her Comic Book Movie Wish, Sans Workouts." Popcornbiz. NBC Washington. Retrieved on May 10, 2011.
  30. ^ Amatangelo, Amy. (October 2, 2011). Kat Dennings loves playing tough gal on new CBS sitcom." Boston Herald. Retrieved on October 29, 2011.
  31. ^ Levin, Gary (March 13, 2014). "CBS picks up most of its series for next season". USA Today. Retrieved March 13, 2014. 
  32. ^ Moore, Roger (February 24, 2011). "'Renee,' starring Kat Dennings, Chad Michael Murray and Rupert Friend, gets underway in Orlandos". Orlando Sentinel. Tribune Company. Archived from the original on February 27, 2011. Retrieved March 15, 2011. 
  33. ^ Kaufman, Amy (November 5, 2013). "With 'Thor: The Dark World,' Kat Dennings hammers out a new phase". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 6, 2013. 
  34. ^ Braiker, Brian; Keller, Emma G (February 10, 2013). "The Grammys 2013 – as it happened". The Guardian. Retrieved March 30, 2013. 
  35. ^ "Nikki Reed: Dennings shares Hanson obsession". Belfast Telegraph. March 1, 2013. Retrieved March 30, 2013. 
  36. ^ Graham, Mark (April 4, 2013). "EXCLUSIVE VIDEO PREMIERE: Hanson, "Get The Girl Back"". VH1. Retrieved July 25, 2014. 
  37. ^ Patten, Dominic (August 21, 2012). "‘2 Broke Girls’ Kat Dennings Back In ‘Thor 2’". Deadline.com. Archived from the original on August 22, 2012. Retrieved August 21, 2012. 
  38. ^ Sacks, Ethan (November 6, 2013). "'Thor: The Dark World' star Kat Dennings endured own hero's journey to make film". New York Daily News. Retrieved November 8, 2013. 
  39. ^ "Kat Dennings". YouTube. Retrieved May 7, 2014. 
  40. ^ Horkins, Tony (December 7, 2008). "The New Regime: Kat Dennings." BlackBook. Retrieved on December 10, 2008.
  41. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvYOY188OxE
  42. ^ Claire Hoffman (February 22, 2013). "David Lynch Is Back … as a Guru of Transcendental Meditation". New York Times. Archived from the original on February 23, 2013. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 

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