Is there anyone alive who doesn’t love Jennifer Coolidge? The veteran actress, whose career has lasted more than three decades, has at last received the kind of adulation from the public that her acting skills have long warranted. Her performance as a troubled heiress searching for peace in the first two seasons of “The White Lotus” is one of the most lauded in recent years, bringing her an armful of golden statues and a new career as showbiz’s reigning queen of awards show acceptance speeches.
Coolidge’s film career, however, looms just as large, with a key role in two film franchises (“Legally Blonde” and “American Pie”), as well as three mockumentary spoofs (“Best in Show,” “A Mighty Wind” and “For Your Consideration”) by Christopher Guest. In addition, Coolidge has worked with a remarkable range of directors, from German auteur Werner Herzog to Oscar winner Emerald Fennell.
So as she soars to even greater heights in her career, let’s raise a glass to this one-of-a-kind actress by counting down her 10 greatest roles of all time. Scroll through our photo gallery above (or click her for direct access) for Jennifer Coolidge’s movies and TV shows ranked.
Coolidge’s friend Mike White wrote for her the role of a lifetime — Tanya McQuoid, a suddenly-rich woman who is searching for serenity even while grieving for her dead mother — in his black comedy series “The White Lotus,” for which Coolidge won her first Emmy Award. During the series’ two seasons, White’s scripts have featured the comedy for which Coolidge is celebrated, but Coolidge brought something extra to the table — a pronounced empathy for Tanya. Yes, she might be a bit ditzy at times, but Coolidge made her feel like a real person to us, one who, despite her wealth, is suffering emotionally and only wants a little peace in her life. For her performance as Tanya, Coolidge also won her first Golden Globe and was nominated for her third Screen Actors Guild Award.
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