Alex Borstein
Alex Borstein


Alexandrea "Alex" Borstein
February 15, 1973
Highland Park, Illinois, U.S.



Alexandrea "Alex" Borstein (born February 15, 1973) is an American actress, writer, producer and comedian. She is well known for her 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. Borstein has two elder brothers. Her parents, Irv and Judy Borstein, are both mental health professionals. She and her family are Jewish. Her mother is from Budapest, Hungary. 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 perhaps 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 favour of creating an independent series). MacFarlane cast Borstein as the voice of key 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.

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.

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 can be seen in the upcoming comedy For Christ's Sake, which is directed by her real-life husband Jackson Douglas.

In 2010, Borstein joined the first season staff at 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 Come a Knock", as Lou Deckner.

Borstein's production company is called Crackerpants, Inc. In 2007, they released the DVD Drop Dead Gorgeous, 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.

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 is currently appearing in an American version of the comedy Getting On, the series has gained positive reviews.

Personal Life

Borstein is married to 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. 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 2008) and a daughter named Henrietta Borstein Douglas (born October 1, 2012).



Year Title Role
2000 Coyote Ugly Bidding Auction Woman
2003 The Lizzie McGuire Movie Ms. Angela Ungermeyer
Bad Santa Milwaukee Mom
2004 Seeing Other People Tracy
Catwoman Sally
2005 Kicking & Screaming Obnoxious Lady
Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story Lois Griffin
Good Night, and Good Luck Natalie
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
2014 A Million Ways to Die in the West Millie


Year Title Role
1993-1994 Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Madame Woe, Karate Tournament Intercom Announcer, Lip Syncher, Bloom of Doom
1996 Power Rangers Zeo Queen Machina
Big Bad Beetleborgs Cataclaws
1997-2009 MADtv Herself, Various Characters
1999-2003 and 2005-present Family Guy Lois Griffin
2000-2005 Gilmore Girls Sookie St. James
2002 Titus Nicky
2002-2003 3 South Becky
2003 Friends Bitter Woman on Stage
Frasier Evelyn
2004 Celebrity Blackjack Herself
2005-present Robot Chicken Various Characters
2006 American Dad! Doctor Gupta
Drawn Together Jelly Donuts Leader, Lois Griffin, AIDS Walk Co-ordinator
2007 Slacker Cats Latoyah
2008-2009 Seth MacFarlane's Cavaclade of Cartoon Comedy Various Characters
2009-2013 The Cleveland Show Lois Griffin
2009 Glenn Martin, DDS Clerk
2011-present Shameless Lou Deckner
2011 Night of the Hurricane Lois Griffin
2012 Hot in Cleveland Preshi
Bunk Herself
Robot Chicken DC Comics Special Wonder Woman
Family Guy: 200 Episodes Later Herself
2012-2013 Bunheads Sweetie Cramer, Hooker
2012-2014 Workaholics Montez's Wife
2013-present Getting On Dawn Forchette
2015 Bordertown Janice Buckward, Becky

Video Games

Year Title Role
2006 Family Guy Video Game! Lois Griffin
2012 Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse Lois Griffin
2014 Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff Lois Griffin