Ever since her first appearance as Darcy Lewis in Marvel’s Thor, there has been no denying the presence of actress Kat Dennings. Beautiful and funny in her own quirky way, Dennings could easily win America’s sweetheart as her quick-witted and snarky dialogue has become just as memorable as the roles she’s played.
She has not one, but two successful characters that she’s made into mainstream staples of pop culture and actually has an impressive resume of acting credits since the early 2000s. For someone who’s been in the industry for twenty years and is only 35 years old, the 5′ 3″ Dennings has certainly accomplished a lot.
Kat Dennings’ career
Born Katherine Victoria Litwack on June 13, 1986 in Pennsylvania, Dennings started acting in commercials at age 9. Never receiving any formal acting training, she was homeschooled for most of her life until she enrolled at Friends Central School. She later graduated from the school at age 14 and afterwards, her family decided to move to Los Angeles so she could pursue acting full time under the stage name “Dennings.”
She got her first professional television debut on HBO’s Sex in the City in 2000 on the episode “Hot Child in the City,” in which she played an obnoxious, wealthy 13-year-old who hires Samantha to handle publicity for her upcoming baby mitzvah. In 2001, she landed a role on the WB sitcom Raising Dad as 15-year-old Sarah Stewart alongside fellow MCU star Brie Larson, who played her sister, Emily. The show also included former Full House star Bob Saget, who played their widowed father, Matthew. Unfortunately, the sitcom proved to be a bomb and after only a year, WB cancelled it in 2002.
That same year, Dennings snagged a lead role in the Disney Channel film The Scream Team as a teenager who stumbles into a group of ghosts. For a while, Dennings continued to work in television with guest roles on several popular shows. She had a minor role on the police drama Without A Trace as a teen whose boyfriend went missing in 2003 and made a random appearance on the sitcom Less Than Perfect in 2004.
She then snagged a recurring role as Zoe Butler on ER from 2005 to 2006. During her time on ER, Dennings even managed to guest star twice on two different CSI installments as two separate characters. She first guest starred in CSI as Missie Wilson in the 2004 episode “Early Roll Out” before returning to play Sarah Endecott on CSI: New York in the 2005 episode “Manhunt.”
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Just because she had more television acting credits during 2003 and 2006 doesn’t mean that she wasn’t making any progress in film acting. While she was grinding on the television circuit, Dennings also made her feature film debut in Hilary Duff’s Raise Your Voice in 2004 as the quiet piano student Sloane. The film itself bombed at the box office, but it unknowingly opened a door for Dennings to a much more successful mainstream classic. In 2005, she landed the role of Catherine Kenner’s daughter alongside rising funnyman Steve Carell in The 40 Year Old Virgin. The film was an immediate comedy hit due to its hilarious premise and Dennings soon became a star, at least in the supporting actress category.
It was enough for producers to cast her in another big comedy, and in 2006 Dennings starred alongside comedian Martin Lawrence as a rebellious teenager in the crime comedy film Big Momma’s House 2. After that, her career really started to take off. In 2008, she landed a lead role in the film Charlie Bartlett, which followed the story of a wealthy teenager who creates a psychiatric practice at his public high school. Dennings played Bartlett’s love interest, Susan Gardner, in the film, and once again starred alongside a future MCU alum, Robert Downey Jr.
The stars were starting to align for Dennings around this time and were seemingly helping steer her toward her eventual role in the MCU. Over time, she and the studios who cast her began to realize that her biggest strength was her ability to make audiences laugh, which was unique for an actress with no formal acting or comedy training. From 2008 to present day, Dennings has made sure to capitalize on that strength.
In 2008, she was cast in the teen dramedy Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist alongside fellow rising comedy star Michael Cera. Her performance was not only charming and funny, but it also earned her a Satellite Award For Best Actress.
The turn to superhero films began in 2009, when Dennings starred in the superhero film Defendor opposite Venom star Woody Harrelson (are you marveling at the coincidences yet?) and Sandra Oh. Once again in a supporting role, Dennings played a crack-addicted prostitute and as usual, she killed the role with her charm and quirky humor.
The movie didn’t make huge waves with audiences (otherwise you would have actually heard of it), but Dennings’ supporting role was clearly enough to impress somebody at Disney. Two years later, she was cast in Marvel’s Thor, which was released in 2011. Since it takes at least two years to make and release a film, that means Dennings began working on Thor shortly after Defendor was released. In the Marvel film, she played the tech-savvy sidekick Darcy Lewis to Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster. Once again, Dennings’ supporting role was a highlight of the film and it soon opened more doors for the young actress.
Later in 2011, Dennings was approached to star in the CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls alongside Beth Behrs. The show followed the lives of two underemployed girls working as waitresses in a small upstart diner and resonated well with working-class audiences. It ran for six seasons until CBS cancelled the series in 2017.
During her time on 2 Broke Girls, Dennings reprised her role as Darcy Lewis in Thor: The Dark World and managed to stay in close contact with Disney and Marvel Studios. She never knew for sure how long her tenure in the MCU would last, but she was always ready in case her character was ever needed again.
Thanks to her character’s popularity and Dennings’ consistently funny performances, she finally managed to land her first leading role in 2019 as Jules Wiley in the Hulu original series Dollface. The show did so well on Hulu that it was renewed for a second season in 2020.
Thanks to that open line of communication with Marvel, Dennings is still not done with the character Darcy Lewis. She reprised the role again as a supporting character in the Disney Plus original series WandaVision and recently returned as the animated version of herself in What If…? in 2021. Even though she hasn’t always been the main star, Dennings has built an impressive resume of work during her twenty-year career.
What is Kat Dennings’ net worth?
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Kat Dennings is currently worth $25 million. Not bad for an actress who spent most of her career playing supporting roles.
After being around for twenty years with that much money in her bank account at 35 years old, it would be natural to assume that Dennings has settled down and had kids by now, but that’s not quite the case.
What is Kat Dennings’ relationship status?
Dennings has dated a few actors in Hollywood, but has never been in any long-term relationships that we know of. Recently, however, she began dating musician Andrew W.K. in 2021 during the Covid-19 pandemic and things went so well that the couple announced their engagement in May.
Given that Dennings doesn’t have a track record when it comes to long-term relationships and her current one is moving at a rapid pace, it’s possible that this, too, may not last long. However, the couple seems to be very much in love, so there is hope that Dennings has finally found her soul mate.
Even if she hasn’t, Dennings still has plenty of time ahead of her. With her own Hulu show and a consistent gig with Marvel, the rest of her life can only get better from here, significant other or not. After all of her hard work over the years, Kat Dennings is deserving of whatever version of Happily Ever After she chooses.