Piper Lisa Perabo (Pear-a-bow; born October 31, 1976)[1] is an American stage, film and television actress. Since her breakthrough role in Coyote Ugly (2000), she has appeared in films such as 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). Since 2010, she has played Annie Walker on the USA Network series Covert Affairs, for which she has been nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress.


 [hide*1 Early life

Early life[edit]Edit

Perabo was born in DallasTexas,[2] the daughter of Mary Charlotte (née Ulland), a physical therapist, and George William Perabo, a professor of poetry at Ocean County College.[3] She is of EnglishGermanIrish, and Norwegian descent; while her surname is sometimes described as Portuguese, it originates in Germany, where her paternal grandfather's family came from.[4][5][6] She grew up in Toms River, New Jersey.

Perabo's parents named her after actress Piper Laurie.[3] 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] She also studied Latin, physics, and poetry in her final year.[9][10][11]

Perabo was first noticed a year before she graduated from university. 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 didn't have any representation, she made phone calls on Perabo's behalf and found her an agent.[12][13]


After graduating, Perabo moved to New York, where she worked as a waitress.[14][15] She also studied acting at the La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club and had roles in various plays.[12] She was cast in her first feature film just a month after moving to the city, Marc Levin's comedy Whiteboyz.[15] In 2000, she was cast in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle as FBI agent Karen Sympathy. Her next film role was in Coyote Ugly as Violet "Jersey" Sanford, for which she won an MTV Movie Award for Best Music Moment for "One Way or Another".[16]

After the success of Coyote Ugly, Perabo made a conscious decision to move away from blockbusters and focus on independent films.[17] 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. The film was met with mixed reviews, but her performance was widely praised,[18] with Loren King of the Chicago Tribune calling it her "breakout performance".[19] Entertainment Weekly'Owen Gleiberman called her "an actress of glittering ferocity" and her performance "a geyser of emotion".[20] 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",[21] and Roger Ebert praised her performance for its sincerity and "wonderful abandon and conviction".[22]

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 anutritionist on the Fox show House, in an episode entitled "Resignation".

In 2008, Perabo made her Off-Broadway debut in the Neil LaBute play Reasons to Be Pretty.[12][23] 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."[24][25] The following year, she was officially cast as CIA agentAnnie Walker, the lead character in Covert Affairs.[26][27]

In August 2010, Perabo injured her knee filming an episode of Covert Affairs.[28] After the finale of the first season it was announced that the second season would begin in summer of 2011. For her work on Covert Affairs, she received a nomination for the 2010 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama.[29] Perabo broke her leg the day before shooting finished for the second season finale of Covert Affairs.[30]

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 the support group that Matthew Perry's character is a member of, returning to the group and becoming a love interest of his. Perabo was originally scheduled to appear in three episodes, but her arc was increased to four.[31] Perabo next has a starring role in the thriller Endangered, scheduled for release in 2013.[32]

Personal life[edit]Edit

Perabo has been close friends with actress Lena Headey since they starred together in the 2005 films The Cave and Imagine Me & You.[33] She speaks fluent French,[17] and is an advocate of LGBT rights.[34] As of 2013, she is engaged to Stephen Kay.[35][36] 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.[37][38]



Year Title Role Notes
1997 Single Spaced The Dame Short film
1999 Knuckleface Jones That Girl Short film
1999 Whiteboyz Sara
2000 The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle FBI Agent Karen Sympathy
2000 Coyote Ugly Violet "Jersey" Sanford
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 Luma
2005 Edison Willow Also known as Edison Force
2005 Karas: The Prophecy Yurine Voice
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 The Prince of Motor City Meg Riley Television film
2008 Beverly Hills Chihuahua Rachel
2008 The Lazarus Project Lisa Garvey
2009 Sordid Things Tabitha White
2009 Carriers Bobby
2010 Ashes Bettina
2012 Looper Suzie
2013 Endangered Michelle Also known as Red Machine


Year Title Role Notes
2007 House Honey Episode: "Resignation"
2008 Backdrop NYC Leslie Segment: "In Vivid Detail"
2001 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Calista Haslum Episode: "Folie à Deux"
2010–present Covert Affairs CIA Agent Annie Walker 52 episodes
2012–2013 Go On Simone 4 episodes


Year Title Role Notes
2008 reasons to be pretty Carly Lucille Lortel Theatre

Awards and nominations[edit]Edit

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 Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series - Drama Covert Affairs Nominated
2011 Gracie Outstanding Female Actor in a Breakthrough Role Covert Affairs Won
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