Kat Dennings was born Katherine Litwack on June 13, 1986 Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Her father, Gerald J. Litwack, is a molecular pharmacologist and college professor and chairman. Her mother, Ellen Judith Litwack, is a poet and speech therapist. Kat is the youngest of five, she has an older brother named Geoffrey, and a sister named Debbie. Kat’s family is Jewish.
Kat was homeschooled and the only traditional school she ever attended was Friends’ Central School for a day and a half. When Kat was fourteen she graduated from high school and moved to L.A. with her family in 2002 so that Kat could start acting full time even though at one point in her youth her parents thought acting career was “the worst idea ever ”. Around that time Kat took on her stage name Dennings.
Kat’s career started at the age of 10 when she starred in her first commercial for potato chips. A few years later, in 2000 she made her professional debut in the hit show Sex and the City in an episode called “Hot Child in the City” playing an obnoxious 13-year-old who hires Samantha to handle publicity for her bat mitzvah. In 2001 she got a role in the short-lived series “Raising Dad” as Sarah, a 15-year-old raised by her widowed father, with a pre-teen sister. In 2002 Kat got a role in “The Scream Team”, a Disney Channel movie, as a teenager who stumbles into a group of ghosts. She was also cast for a five episode run on The WB’s “Everwood”, but the role was later recast with Nora Zehetner.
Kat continued working in television for a while with guest-starring roles on “Without a Trace”, as a teen whose boyfriend goes missing, and on “Less Than Perfect”, in 2003. She was cast in a pilot for CBS, “Sudbury”, about a family of modern-day witches but the series wasn’t picked up. Kat had a recurring role on “ER” from 2005–2006 as Zoe Butler, and guest-starred on “CSI: NY” as Sarah Endecott, in the episode “Manhattan Manhunt”, in 2005.
Kat’s feature film debut came in 2004 when she starred in the movie “Raise Your Voice” as Sloane. In 2005, she landed supporting roles in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and in “Down in the Valley”. She played a rebellious teenager in “Big Momma’s House 2” in 2006.
Nick and Norah’s + Satellite Award Nomination
In 2008 Kat starred in “Charlie Bartlett”, the story of a wealthy teenage who acts as a psychiatrist for his new public high school. Kat appeared in “The House Bunny” that year, as a Mona. She also starred in the teen romance, “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist”, with Michael Cera. Kat played Norah Silverberg, the daughter of a famous record producer, and was nominated for the International Press Academy’s Satellite Award for Best Actress for the performance. In September 2008, Kat hoped to make Don DeLillo’s novel, End Zone into a film. Actors Sam Rockwell and Josh Hartnett were involved, but the project was not greenlit because of its controversial subject matter of nuclear war.
2009 was another busy year for Kat. She appeared in “The Answer Man”, a story about a celebrity author whose manifestos become a sort of new Bible. She also co-starred in the dark children’s film, “Shorts”. Kat and other rising stars were featured in the August 2009 issue of Vanity Fair, re-enacting scenes from famous Depression-era films, hers being “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” from 1969. Kat was cast in the romantic comedy “Liars (A to E)”. The Richard Linklater-directed project was cancelled however, due to cut backs at Miramax Films by the studio’s parent company, Disney.
In 2010 Kat had quite a few movies lined up starting with “Defendor” where she played a crack-addicted prostitute. She next starred in the independent feature “Daydream Nation” as a girl who moves to a strange rural town, and is caught in a love triangle with her high school teacher and a teenage drug dealer. In May Kat appeared in a music video for “40 Dogs (Like Romeo and Juliet)”, a single by Bob Schneider. Robert Rodriguez directed the video.
Thor, 2 Broke Girls and her Hollywood Breakthrough
Kat was part of the cast of the Marvel Studios film “Thor”, released in May 2011, and directed by Kenneth Branagh. She played Darcy Lewis, a tech-savvy, shy sidekick and assistant to Natalie Portman’s character, Jane Foster.[The film went into production in January 2010; Kat shot in New Mexico for 6 weeks in early 2010.
In 2011, Kat got cast in the now hit show “2 Broke Girls”. The CBS television sitcom written and produced by Michael Patrick King and comedian Whitney Cummings follows the lives of two under-employed girls. Beth Behrs co-stars as a Manhattan heiress who lost her inheritance, while Kat plays a tough outspoken girl from Brooklyn. Kat liked the idea of reaching a wider audience with her work, so she accepted the role on the network sitcom.
Kat also starred in the 2012 movie “Renee”, in which she will play the title character Renee Yohe. Coming up for Kat is the drama “Lives of the Saints”. In August 2012, it was reported that Kat would reprise her role as Darcy Lewis in “Thor: The Dark World”.
Apart from acting Kat likes blogging and has been doing so since January 2001, and later transitioned into video blogging on YouTube. She is an avid reader. Kat stated to The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles that Judaism “is an important part of my history, but, as a whole, religion is not a part of my life”. The article went on to say that she considers herself more ethnically and culturally affiliated than religiously so. In December 2008, Kat told BlackBook magazine, “I don’t drink and I don’t smoke and I don’t like being around people who do.”
In an interview with The Times in January 2009, Kat stated, “I don’t have a boyfriend. I have friends, girl friends, great friends. We just hang out in other’s places and have one-on-one bonding time.” Later, in an interview with Daydream Nation co-star Josh Lucas and interviewer David Poland, Kat admitted to having a boyfriend. As of November 2011, she lives in an apartment in Los Angeles’s San Fernando Valley.