Alex Borstein

Alex Borstein

Borstein at WonderCon, March 2016
Born Alexandrea Borstein
(1971-02-15) February 15, 1971
Highland Park, Illinois, U.S.
Alma mater
Occupation Actress, voice actress, writer, producer, comedian
Years active 1992–present
Television MADtv
Family Guy
Getting On
Power Rangers
Spouse(s) Jackson Douglas (m. 1999; div. 2014)
Children 2
Parent(s) Irv Borstein (father)
Judy Borstein (mother)

Alexandrea "Alex" Borstein (born February 15, 1971)[1] is an American actress, voice actress, writer, producer and comedian. She has performed the long-running role as Lois Griffin on the animated television series Family Guy, and as a cast member on the sketch comedy series MADtv. A native of Deerfield, Illinois, Borstein is a graduate of San Francisco State University, where she studied rhetoric. She was trained in improvisational comedy at the ACME Comedy Theatre, near Hollywood, California, and was selected to join MADtv after being scouted by talent agents who noticed her work at the theatre. She was a writer and voice actor for several television shows, including Casper, Pinky and the Brain, and Power Rangers: Zeo, before joining the cast of MADtv as a featured player, and later as a repertory player in 1997.

Early life

Borstein was born in Highland Park, Illinois, a suburb north of the city of Chicago, in 1973 (according to her own official website), though some sources still say 1971. She was raised in Deerfield, Illinois.[2] Borstein has two elder brothers. Her parents, Irv and Judy Borstein, are both mental health professionals.[3][4] Borstein is Jewish.[5] Her mother was raised in Budapest, Hungary, and moved to the United States after the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.[6] Borstein attended San Francisco State University in San Francisco, California.


Borstein trained in improv at the ACME Comedy Theater, where she met her writing partner and future husband Jackson Douglas. Shortly after they began working together on the animated series Casper and Pinky and the Brain, Borstein left her position at an ad agency – where she had written print ads for Barbie – to become a full-time writer. In 1996, while still writing for Casper, Borstein worked on the show Power Rangers Zeo as the voice of Queen Machina, the queen of the Machine Empire.

In 1997, Borstein became a cast member on the third season of the sketch comedy show MADtv. She originally joined the cast as a featured player, but was upgraded to the repertory mid-season.

Borstein was best known on MADtv for her character Ms. Swan; her other recurring characters included Eracist Anne, "Stick Chick" Echo, singer Jasmine Wayne-Wayne, child prodigy Karen Goddard, lounge singer Shaunda, News at Six outside-the-studio reporter Sue Napersville, and Cordo the GAP troll. When Seth Green made recurring appearances on the show as mean boss Mr. Brightling, Borstein would play his mother, Mama Brightling.

While working on MADtv, Borstein met Seth MacFarlane, who was then preparing to launch the animated sitcom Family Guy on FOX (MacFarlane was originally supposed to create animated shorts for MADtv, but declined in favor of creating an independent series). MacFarlane cast Borstein as the voice of character Lois Griffin. After the show's debut in January 1999, Family Guy was cancelled by the network in 2002 but returned in 2005; as well as her role as the voice performer for Lois and several other characters throughout the series (including a brief appearance as Ms. Swan in a 2005 episode), Borstein is also a producer and staff writer. She has made at least three guest appearances, once as Lois Griffin, on the Comedy Central animated program Drawn Together.

In 2000, Borstein was cast as Sookie St. James in the WB drama Gilmore Girls. She portrayed Sookie in the pilot, but her MADtv contract prevented her from continuing in the role, which was recast with Melissa McCarthy. Borstein made recurring appearances on Gilmore Girls throughout the show's run, first as the harpist Drella and Miss Celine.

As an actress, she has made appearances in such films as Killers and Dinner for Schmucks. She played the school principal in The Lizzie McGuire Movie, the best friend of Halle Berry's character in Catwoman, and an employee at CBS News in Good Night, and Good Luck. She also had an uncredited cameo in the Will Ferrell movie Kicking & Screaming as an obnoxious coffee shop patron. She also had a small role in the movie Bad Santa. On some commercials, she sometimes voices Olive Oyl from Popeye and Betty Boop. She also had a minor role in the film Ted, in 2012.

Borstein was a co-host of GSN's Celebrity Blackjack in 2004. In addition, she also appeared as a comedian contestant on IFC's short-lived, comedy-driven game show Bunk in 2012.

Borstein was cast as a press secretary in the 2007 sitcom pilot The Thick of It, but the series was not picked up for broadcast. She was seen in the 2009 comedy For Christ's Sake, which was directed by her real-life husband Jackson Douglas.[7]

Borstein at 2010 Comic-Con

In 2010, Borstein joined the first season staff of the Showtime comedy-drama Shameless, as a writer and supervising producer. In its second season she held the position of writer and consulting producer. She also guest starred in the first season episode "But at Last Came a Knock", as Lou Deckner.

Borstein's production company is called Crackerpants, Inc. In 2007, they released the DVD Drop Dead Gorgeous (In a Down-to-Earth Bombshell Sort of Way), a recording of a live performance at the Alex Theatre, with opening act Teddy Towne. The title comes from one of many actual female character breakdowns Borstein reads from to illustrate sexism in the industry.[8]

Borstein was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for her Family Guy episode "Lois Comes Out of Her Shell" (2013). Borstein appeared on an American version of the comedy Getting On; the series has gained positive reviews.

Personal life

Borstein is divorced from actor and writer Jackson Douglas, whom she met while studying improv at the ACME Comedy Theatre. Douglas proposed to her during the taping of a MADtv skit; the couple married in 1999. Douglas filed for divorce in October 2014.[9] In the DVD commentary for the Family Guy episode "Stewie Kills Lois" – at the time she was pregnant – she joked about the possibility of naming her baby Stewie. They have a son named Barnaby Borstein Douglas (born c. 2008) and a daughter named Henrietta Borstein Douglas (born October 1, 2012).[10]


Year Title Role Notes
2000 Coyote Ugly Bidding Auction Woman Uncredited
2003 The Lizzie McGuire Movie Miss Ungermeyer
Bad Santa Milwaukee mom
2004 Seeing Other People Tracy
Catwoman Sally
Billy's Dad Is a Fudge-Packer! Betty Henderson Short film
2005 Kicking & Screaming Obnoxious Hummer Lady Uncredited
Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story Lois Griffin, Various voices Also writer
DVDX Award for Best Screenplay (for a DVD Premiere Movie) (2006)
Good Night, and Good Luck Natalie Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture (2006)
2006 Little Man Janet
2007 The Lookout Mrs. Lange
2009 For Christ's Sake Mrs. Marcus
2010 Killers Lily Bailey
Dinner for Schmucks Martha
2012 Ted Helen Bennett
ParaNorman Mrs. Henscher (voice)
2014 A Million Ways to Die in the West Millie
2016 The Angry Birds Movie Sophie Bird, Peggy Bird (voice)
2017 Cars 3 Edie McVroom (voice)
Year Title Role Notes
1993–1994 Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Various voices[11] 4 episodes
1996 Power Rangers Zeo Queen Machina, Robocupid (voice) 42 episodes
Big Bad Beetleborgs Cataclaws (voice) Episode: "Yo Ho Borgs"
1997–2009 MADtv Herself, Various characters 124 episodes; also writer
Family Guy Lois Griffin, Tricia Takanawa, Various voices Also writer, producer
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance (2013)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (2008)
2000–2005 Gilmore Girls Various characters 8 episodes
2002 Titus Nicky Episode: "Bachelor Party"
2002–2003 3 South Becky (voice) 3 episodes
2003 Friends Bitter Woman on Stage Episode: "The One with the Soap Opera Party"
Frasier Evelyn Episode: "Farewell, Nervosa"
2005–present Robot Chicken Various voices Recurring role
2006 American Dad! Doctor Gupta (voice), Museum curator (voice) Episode: "Roger 'n' Me", "Garfield and Friends"
Drawn Together Jelly Donuts Leader, Lois Griffin, AIDS Walk Coordinator (voice) 2 episodes
2007 Slacker Cats Latoyah (voice) 2 episodes
2008–2009 Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy Various voices 3 episodes
2009–2013 The Cleveland Show Lois Griffin, Various voices 16 episodes
2009 Glenn Martin, DDS Clerk (voice) Episode: "Deck the Malls"
2011–present Shameless Lou Deckner Also writer, consulting producer
2012 Hot In Cleveland Preshi Episode: "Rubber Ball"
2012–2014 Workaholics Montez's Wife 2 Episodes
2012 Robot Chicken DC Comics Special Wonder Woman, Various voices TV Special
2012–2013 Bunheads Sweetie Cramer, Hooker 2 episodes
2013–2015 Getting On Dawn Forchette Main cast
2015 Life in Pieces Lynette Episode: "Ponzi Sex Paris Bounce"
2016 Bordertown Janice Buckwald, Becky (voice)
2016 MADtv Ms. Swan 1 episode
2016 Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life Miss Celine / Drella 2 episodes
Video games
Year Title Role Notes
2006 Family Guy Video Game! Lois Griffin, Various characters Spike Video Game Award for Best Cast (2006)
2012 Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse Lois Griffin, Various characters
2014 Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff Lois Griffin, Various characters
Year Title Role Notes
2015 Special Relativity[12] Nox, Lucinda


  1. "FAQ (first question)". Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  3. Phipps, Keith (2006-11-20). "Random Rules: Alex Borstein". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2006-11-21.
  4. "It's a MAD World". 2002-10-19. Archived from the original on 2012-05-12. Retrieved 2012-07-25.
  7. For Christ's Sake (2010).
  8. Drop Dead Gorgeous (In a Down to Earth Bombshell Sort of Way), Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, 2007
  10. "Alex Borstein Welcomes Baby No. 2: Henrietta". Celebrity Baby Scoop. October 8, 2012. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  11. Alex Borstein - Cast Guide - Power Rangers Central
  12. "Special Relativity - A Radio Comedy starring Alex Borstein". Retrieved 2015-05-18.

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