No longer just another pretty face, Elizabeth Mitchell is an Other. Which is a whole other thing entirely.

Lost No Longer

At the moment, there are a handful of entertainment-industry celebs considered hometown notables: Jessica Simpson, Kelly Clarkson, Erykah Badu, anyone named Something-or-Other Wilson, maybe Angie Harmon, possibly Morgan Fairchild (though, at this late date, dunno) and anyone else in which Alan McGill has an interest. To that list, you can probably go ahead and pencil in Elizabeth Mitchell.

Till now, she's been one of those recognizable faces in mostly forgettable movies; Molly and The Santa Claus 2, anyone? (Thought not.) She did have a a recurring role as Dr. Kim Legaspi on ER about five years back--if memory serves, she was Dr. Weaver's would-be girlfriend--and played Rob Lowe's girlfriend on the ill-fated The Lyon's Den, but the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts grad never had a role that made her anything other than a trivia question. Till now: She's a standout on this season's Lost, on which she plays Juliet, one of the so-called Others. (I could tell you more, but since I don't watch the show, just read this instead.)

She's famous enough now to merit a profile in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, which subscribers will get, read and forget tomorrow. The link's not up yet, so here are a few highlights:

Juliet is soothing, conflicted, clinical, ferocious, and maybe a smidge flirty, while keeping her intentions murkier than swamp water. It's a performance that could vault Mitchell beyond I-know-I-know-her-from-somewhere territory, a nifty feat for a 36-year-old actress who's bounced around for more than a decade in projects memorable (Gia) and ephemeral (Significant Others). But trying to convince her of such a possibility is akin to coaxing answers from an Other. "Oh, God, I can't even imagine in any way, shape, or form that I'd ever break through," she says incredulously. "I'm such a chameleon; I don't think there's enough people can latch onto. I think of myself as an oddity."

The daughter of Dallas lawyers, Mitchell grew up a theater-nerd loner. "I never had any big Hollywood dreams," she says, sprawled out barefoot on an East Oahu beach near the home she shares with her improv comedian husband, Chris, and 1-year-old son, C.J. "There was nobody going, 'You're gonna be a star!' It was more like, [sweetly patronizing] 'Oh, you do love it, don't you?' I had terrible acne, frizzy hair, and I was scrawny and paunchy at the same time.... I definitely didn't take Hollywood by storm."

Actually, I think her folks live in Highland Park. At least, that's what her little sister Kate said when she was an intern at the paper version of Unfair Park a few years ago. --Robert Wilonsky

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