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Why Alex From Happy Endings Looks So Familiar

June has been a big month for additions to Netflix. Not just because of great new original films and TV shows, but also because of the classics that are finding their way onto the platform. One of the best is the canceled-too-soon cult classic sitcom "Happy Endings." The show, about six friends bumbling their way through life and love in Chicago, has garnered a fervent following since its debut thanks to its unique comedic energy and instantly iconic characters.

Although the series is a true ensemble piece, the action kicks off when one member of the core friend group, Alex (Elisha Cuthbert), makes the shocking choice to leave her fiance Dave (Zachary Knighton) at the altar on their wedding day to skate away with a man who crashes the ceremony on rollerblades. Eventually, that inciting storyline fades. Alex is later able to fully settle into her role as the terminally ditzy one of the group who is best known for her love of ribs and owning a boutique with a name nobody can pronounce.

Many of the cast members of "Happy Endings" have become almost synonymous with their characters from the show. While you may feel that way about Cuthbert, "Happy Endings" is far from the first and certainly not the last place you may have seen her.

Here's why Elisha Cuthbert looks so familiar.

Cuthbert got an early start to her acting career

If you're a child of the late '90s/early '00s, then there's a good chance you've been a fan of Cuthbert for longer than you realize. She was a part of the ensemble of two popular shows aimed at young audiences that aired around that time. On "Popular Mechanics for Kids," she was one of the hosts that led viewers through a series of fun educational activities. She also joined the cast of "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" as Megan, one of the members of the Midnight Society. Those shows helped launch her career, but it was her next big TV role that catapulted her into stardom.

2001 saw Cuthbert co-starring on the hugely popular thriller series "24" as Kim Bauer, daughter of series protagonist Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland). Her character was a fixture on the series in the first few seasons and continued to make guest appearances throughout the show's run.

The role remains one of her signature performances, but as she told TV Equal during a 2009 interview, it's not a part that defines her. "I'm not one of those actors that likes to keep it the same. '24' has really taught me that because everyone associates or a lot of people associate me with Kim Bauer," she said, continuing, "So when I go off to do other projects it's been a big important thing to do, to kind of get away from that look, that Kim Bauer look and try other things."

With her future roles, she did just that.

Cuthbert had a memorable cameo in Love, Actually and starred in The Girl Next Door

The '00s saw Cuthbert parlaying her TV success into the world of film. She had small roles in both the Will Ferrell, Luke Wilson, and Vince Vaughn comedy "Old School" and perennial Christmas favorite "Love, Actually." In the latter, she had a memorable cameo that saw her popping up at the end of the film alongside January Jones, Ivana Miličević, and Shannon Elizabeth as one of the flirtatious American women that Colin (Kris Marshall) meets after flying to Minnesota.

Cuthbert also got several leading roles during this period. She starred as Danielle, a retired adult film actor who becomes the object of a teenager's obsession in the comedy "The Boy Next Door." The horror genre also proved to be a wellspring of work for Cuthbert. She was the star of the remake "https://www.looper.com/184549/the-worst-movie-remakes-of-all-time/," which is perhaps better known for co-starring Paris Hilton, and the torture porn flop "Captivity."

Despite moving into the realm of movies, Cuthbert didn't stray far from TV. The 2010s saw her making her mark by starring in several sitcoms.

You may have recently seen Cuthbert on a popular Netflix sitcom

Cuthbert kicked off the 2010s with "Happy Endings," which ran for three seasons on ABC before being canceled. It might be a surprise to fans of her character Alex's particular blend of golden retriever style manic energy but Cuthbert found the rhythms of the highwire sitcom to be a challenge. During a 2012 interview with Collider, she said that when she returned to the series after a filming break "it took me two days to get back into the pace and speed, keeping up with the rest of the actors." She went on to explain, "I do come from a more subdued, subtle form of acting ... Even though it's different, I'm comfortable in it."

Based on that assessment, her sitcom work that has come after "Happy Endings" is likely more in her wheelhouse. She was the star of the Ellen DeGeneres produced comedy "One Big Happy," where she played a gay woman named Lizzy whose plan to have a child with her best male friend is complicated when he falls in love with a woman. That series only lasted for one season, but her next project had more longevity.

Cuthbert was one of the co-stars of the Netflix sitcom "The Ranch," about a football player named Colt Bennett (Ashton Kutcher) who moves home to his family's Colorado ranch after his career bottoms out. Cuthbert played Abby, Colt's high school girlfriend with whom he rekindles a relationship.

"The Ranch" ran for four seasons, coming to an end at the beginning of 2020. After rediscovering "Happy Endings" on Netflix, fans are no doubt excited to see what she does next.