Alex Borstein
Borstein at the 2016 WonderCon
Alexandrea Borstein

(1971-02-15) February 15, 1971 (age 53)
Alma materSan Francisco State University (BA)
  • Actress
  • comedian
  • writer
  • producer
Years active1993–present
Jackson Douglas
(m. 1999; div. 2017)

Alexandrea Borstein (born February 15, 1971)[1] is an American actress, comedian, writer, and producer. She is best known for voicing Lois Griffin in the animated comedy series Family Guy (1999–present), for which she won a Primetime Emmy Award. She gained further acclaim for starring as Susie Myerson in the comedy-drama series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017–2023), which earned her two Primetime Emmy Awards.

Borstein also had lead roles as various characters on the sketch comedy series MADtv (1997–2009) and as Dawn Forchette in the medical comedy series Getting On (2013–2015). She had supporting roles in numerous films, including Showtime (2002), Bad Santa (2003), Kicking & Screaming (2005), Little Man (2006), Killers (2010), Ted (2012), A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014), Love the Coopers (2015), and Extinct (2021).

Early life

Borstein was born in Highland Park, Illinois, a city north of Chicago. She was raised in Deerfield, Illinois, before her family moved to Northridge, California, a neighborhood of Los Angeles.[2] She graduated from Chatsworth High School in 1989. She has two older brothers. Her parents, Irv and Judy Borstein, are both mental health professionals.[3][4] She has stated that she is of Hungarian and Mongolian descent.[5] She is Jewish.[3][6]

Her father is from Atlanta. Her maternal grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary, and immigrated to the United States after the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.[7][8] Borstein is a graduate of San Francisco State University, where she studied rhetoric.[9]


1993–1998: Career beginnings and MADtv

Borstein trained in improvisational comedy at the ACME Comedy Theater, near Hollywood, where she met her writing partner and future husband Jackson Douglas. Shortly after they began working together on the animated series The Spooktacular New Adventures of 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 after being scouted by talent agents. 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 (owner of the Gorgeous Pretty Beauty Nail Salon); 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.

1999–2009: Further success and Family Guy

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 twice in 2000 and 2002, but eventually returned in 2005. As well as her role as the voice performer for Lois and several other characters (including a brief appearance as Ms. Swan in a 2005 episode), she is also a producer and staff writer. She was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for the episode "Lois Comes Out of Her Shell" in 2013.

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. Borstein made recurring appearances on Gilmore Girls throughout the show's run, first as the harpist Drella and later as the stylist Miss Celine.

As a film actor, she played Ms. Ungermeyer the school principal in The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003), the best friend of Halle Berry's character in Catwoman (2004), and an employee at CBS News in Good Night, and Good Luck (2005). She also had a small role in the movie Bad Santa (2003) and an uncredited cameo as an obnoxious coffee shop patron in the Will Ferrell movie Kicking & Screaming (2005). On some commercials, she sometimes voices Olive Oyl from Popeye and Betty Boop.

Borstein was a co-host of GSN's Celebrity Blackjack in 2004. She made at least three guest appearances, once as Lois Griffin, on the Comedy Central animated program Drawn Together.

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 then husband Jackson Douglas.[citation needed]

Borstein's production company is called Crackerpants, Inc. In 2007, it 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 Teddy Towne as the opening act. The title comes from one of many female character breakdowns Borstein reads from to illustrate sexism in the industry.[10]

2010–present: Getting On and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Borstein at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con

Borstein has made several supporting appearances in such comedic films as Killers (2010), Dinner for Schmucks (2010), Ted (2012), ParaNorman (2012), A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014), and The Angry Birds Movie (2016).

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

She also appeared as a comedian contestant on IFC's short-lived comedy-driven game show Bunk in 2012.

Borstein starred as Dawn Forchette on the HBO comedy series Getting On, which is a remake of a UK series with the same name. The series has gained positive reviews and earned multiple Primetime Emmy Award nominations. It aired from 2013 to 2015.

From 2017 to 2023, Borstein starred as Susie Myerson in the Amazon Prime Video historical comedy-drama series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, for which she received significant critical acclaim and won two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

Personal life

Borstein met actor and writer Jackson Douglas while she was studying improv at the ACME Comedy Theatre. Douglas proposed to her during the taping of a MADtv skit and they were married in 1999. Douglas filed for divorce in October 2014 and it was finalized in 2017.[11][12]

Borstein was pregnant while she recorded the DVD commentary for the Family Guy episode "Stewie Kills Lois"; she joked about naming her baby Stewie. She and Douglas have a son and a daughter.[13][14]

Borstein, who is a carrier of hemophilia herself,[15] is a longtime advocate for the National Hemophilia Foundation.[16]

Religious beliefs

According to Borstein, "We do Shabbat every Friday night. I'm not [someone] that goes to temple all the time—I'm a High Holidays temple goer, and that's about it. But there are traditions," she said in an interview. "Having a mother and a grandmother who are Holocaust survivors, I feel a large responsibility to continue that culture and those traditions—not necessarily the dogma, but what it feels like to be Jewish. I want to instill that in my kids."[17]



Year Title Role Notes
2000 Coyote Ugly Bidding Auction Woman Uncredited
2002 Dawg Darcy Smits
Showtime Casting Director
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 Direct-to-video
Also writer and co-producer
Good Night, and Good Luck Natalie
2006 Little Man Janet
2007 The Lookout Mrs. Lange
2010 Killers Lily Bailey
Dinner for Schmucks Martha
For Christ's Sake Mrs. Marcus
2012 Ted Helen Bennett
ParaNorman Mrs. Henscher (voice)
2014 A Million Ways to Die in the West Millie
2015 Love the Coopers Angie
2016 The Angry Birds Movie Sophie Bird / Peggy Bird (voice)
2021 Extinct Mali (voice)
2022 The Bad Guys Chief Misty Luggins (voice)


Year Title Role Notes
1993–1994 Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Various voices[18] 4 episodes
1996 Power Rangers Zeo Queen Machina / Robocupid (voice) 42 episodes
Big Bad Beetleborgs Cataclaws (voice) Episode: "Yo Ho Borgs"
MADtv Herself / Various characters Main role; 134 episodes
Also writer
1999–present Family Guy Lois Griffin / Barbara Pewterschmidt / Tricia Takanawa / Various voices Main role; 409 episodes
Also writer and producer
2000–2005 Gilmore Girls Drella / Miss Celine / Doris 9 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"
2005–2022 Robot Chicken Various voices 16 episodes
2006–2016 American Dad! Doctor Gupta / Museum Curator (voice) Episodes: "Roger 'n' Me" and "Garfield and Friends"
2006 Drawn Together Lois Griffin / Various voices Episodes: "A Tale of Two Cows" and "The Lemon AIDS Walk"
2007–2009 Slacker Cats Latoyah (voice) 10 episodes
2009–2013 The Cleveland Show Hadassah Lowenstein / Lois Griffin / Various voices 17 episodes
2009 Glenn Martin, DDS Clerk (voice) Episode: "Deck the Malls"
2011–2015 Shameless Lou Deckner 5 episodes; also writer and consulting producer
2011 Night of the Hurricane Lois Griffin (voice) Television special
2012 Hot in Cleveland Preshi Episode: "Rubber Ball"
2012 Robot Chicken DC Comics Special Wonder Woman / Giganta / Woman at Bar (voice) Television special
2012–2016 Workaholics Colleen Walker 3 episodes
2012–2013 Bunheads Sweetie Cramer / Hooker Episodes: "Pilot" and "Channing Tatum Is a Fine Actor"
2013–2015 Getting On Dawn Forchette Main role; 18 episodes
2015 Life in Pieces Lynette Episode: "Ponzi Sex Paris Bounce"
Masters of Sex Loretta Episode: "Monkey Business"
Robot Chicken DC Comics Special III: Magical Friendship Wonder Woman (voice) Television special
2016 Bordertown Janice Buckwald / Becky (voice) Main role; 12 episodes
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life Drella / Miss Celine Episodes: "Winter" and "Fall"
Son of Zorn Elizabeth Episode: "Return of the Drinking Buddy"
2017 Animals. Lois Griffin (voice) Episode: "Pigeons."
2017–2023 The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Susie Myerson Main role; 43 episodes
2021 Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens Wilma (voice) Episode: "Tales From the Blackout"
2022 Resident Alien Carlyn Episode: "Girls' Night"
2023 Alex Borstein: Corsets & Clown Suits Herself Television special

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2006 Family Guy Video Game! Lois Griffin / Various voices
2012 Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse
2014 Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff
2022 Warped Kart Racers Lois Griffin


Year Title Role Notes
2008–2010 Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy Various voices 6 episodes


Year Title Role Notes
2015 Special Relativity[19] Nox / Lucinda

Awards and nominations

Year Organization Category Work(s) Result
2006 DVD Exclusive Awards Best Screenplay (for a DVD Premiere Movie) Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story Won
Spike Video Game Awards Best Cast Family Guy Video Game! Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Good Night, and Good Luck Nominated
2008 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Animated Program Family Guy: Blue Harvest Nominated
2013 Outstanding Voice-Over Performance Family Guy: Lois Comes Out of Her Shell Nominated
2018 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Won
Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance Family Guy: Nanny Goats Won
2019 Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Nominated
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Won
Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance Family Guy: Throw It Away Nominated
2020 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
2022 Nominated
2024 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance Family Guy: A Bottle Episode Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Nominated


  1. ^ "FAQ (first question)". Archived from the original on March 17, 2019. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  2. ^ Schleier, Curt (December 26, 2013). "Alex Borstein on 'Family Guy' and 'Getting On'". The Forward.
  3. ^ a b Phipps, Keith (November 20, 2006). "Random Rules: Alex Borstein". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved November 21, 2006.
  4. ^ "It's a MAD World". October 19, 2002. Archived from the original on May 12, 2012. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  5. ^ Stern, Marlow (12 November 2013). "'Family Guy' Star Alex Borstein Is Ready for Her HBO Close-Up". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 28 June 2022.
  6. ^ "How Celebrities Celebrated Passover"
  7. ^ Thomas Smith, Kadesha (September 19, 2013). "Hemophilia Humor: NHF spokesperson Alex Borstein found success, levity in comedy". Hemaware.
  8. ^ Pfefferman, Naomi (December 13, 2017). "Alex Borstein and Her 'Maisel' Character: 'We're Both Like Little Bulldogs'". Jewish Journal. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  9. ^ Crowder, Courtney (November 12, 2014). "Alex Borstein, a woman of many voices with just the right tone". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  10. ^ Drop Dead Gorgeous (In a Down to Earth Bombshell Sort of Way), Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, 2007
  11. ^ "'Family Guy' Star Alex Borstein -- Husband Files For Divorce ... I Want Pewterschmidt Money". TMZ. 30 October 2014. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  12. ^ Corinthios, Aurelie (November 9, 2017). "Alex Borstein's Divorce Is Final: Her Ex-Husband Gets Half Her Family Guy Royalties". People. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  13. ^ "Alex Borstein and Jackson Douglas Welcome Son Barnaby". People. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  14. ^ "Alex Borstein Welcomes Baby No. 2: Henrietta". Celebrity Baby Scoop. October 8, 2012. Archived from the original on November 19, 2018. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  15. ^ Grant, Drew (5 November 2013). "Family Gal". The New York Observer. Retrieved 20 April 2023.
  16. ^ "National Hemophilia Foundation and Takeda Partner with Alex Borstein to Raise Awareness of von Willebrand Disease". Retrieved 2021-10-22.
  17. ^ Frick, Evelyn (December 10, 2021). "18 Things to Know About Alex Borstein". heyalma. Retrieved April 3, 2023.
  18. ^ "Alex Borstein - Power Rangers Central". Archived from the original on January 18, 2017. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  19. ^ "Special Relativity - A Radio Comedy starring Alex Borstein". Retrieved May 18, 2015.