Elizabeth Perkins (born November 18, 1960) is an American film, television and theater actress.
Her paternal grandparents were Greek emigrants from Thessaloniki (Salonika) who anglicized their surname from "Pisperikos" to "Perkins" when they immigrated to the United States. Perkins was raised in Colrain, Massachusetts; her parents divorced in 1963. After finishing high school at Northfield Mount Hermon School she spent three years in Chicago studying acting at the famous Goodman School of Drama. In 1984, she made her theatrical debut on Broadway in Neil Simon's "Brighton Beach Memoirs", and afterward worked in a number of ensemble companies, including The New York Shakespeare Festival and the Steppenwolf Theater. She has always considered theater work to be a priority in her career.
She was listed as one of the twelve "Promising New Actors of 1986" in John Willis' Screen World, and has since landed numerous film roles. Perkins made her film debut in 1986 in Edward Zwick's About Last Night... and had a career breakthrough co-starring with Tom Hanks in Big. She received critical acclaim for her performance in Barry Levinson's Avalon, and was the standout actor opposite William Hurt in The Doctor (1991), receiving critical acclaim for her performance as a terminal cancer patient.