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Way Back When: Elisabeth Moss

Elisabeth Moss Mad Men

You know Elisabeth Moss as ad executive Peggy Olson on AMC’s ‘Mad Men,’ where she stakes a claim for women in a man’s world, but in today’s Way Back When, we take you back for a look at her earlier career.

‘Escape to Witch Mountain’

In Disney’s second adaptation of ‘Escape from Witch Mountain,’ Elisabeth Moss plays Anna, an orphan living in a group home who discovers, along with a friend there, that she has paranormal abilities and that a nearby mountain holds the key to discovering where they came from. If you were growing up in the ’90s and watching the Disney channel a lot, you’ll also recognize co-star Erik Von Detten:

‘Girl, Interrupted’ (NSFW Language)

In 1999, Moss played the character of pyromaniac Polly “Torch” Clark in ‘Girl, Interrupted,’ alongside Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie. The film follows Susanna (Ryder), a young woman admitted to a mental hospital for depression in the 1960s. Moss’ character has a scarred face, so she may be difficult to recognize, but in the clip below she’s the one who speaks after Clea Duvall, starting with “Yeah, me too.”


Moss starred in this award-winning 2003 indie film about a teen girl who wakes up pregnant, with no memory of having had sex, so she determines that she’s pregnant with the child of God — because, well, obviously. The trailer:

‘The West Wing’

Moss starred in 25 episodes of Aaron Sorkin’s ‘The West Wing’ during its seven-year run. She played Zoey, the youngest daughter of President Bartlet (Martin Sheen), and in the clip below, she brings a French friend home who has some negative opinions of her father:

‘The Attic’

In this 2007 direct-to-video horror flick, released the same year as the first season of ‘Mad Men,’ Moss plays a young woman who enters a house with some friends and finds some scary crap in the attic, of course:

Excedrin Commercial

Around the time that ‘Mad Men’ began, Elisabeth Moss made this soothing commercial for Excedrin:

next: see jason bateman before he was famous

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