Caroline Gilchrist Rhea (born April 13, 1964) is a Canadian stand-up comedian and actress who was the original host of the reality television show The Biggest Loser on NBC until she was replaced by Alison Sweeney after the end of the third season. She is also known for her role as Hilda Spellman from Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, and for replacing Rosie O'Donnell as the hostess of her syndicated talk show, renamed The Caroline Rhea Show. Rhea provides the voice for Linda Flynn-Fletcher, the mother of Phineas and Candace Flynn, on the Disney Channel series Phineas and Ferb.
Her film debut was as a bikini-clad extra in the film Meatballs III, shot on location near Montreal. She moved to New York in 1989 to study stand-up comedy at the New School for Social Research.
Rhea has said that her true training came from her first gigs at the comedy club, Catch a Rising Star. Performing around New York City, she quickly gained a reputation in the city's competitive comedy scene. These performances were augmented with appearances on MTV's Half-Hour Comedy Hour, Comic Strip Live and Caroline's Comedy Hour. She decided to move to Los Angeles for a career in Hollywood, debuting in NBC television series Pride & Joy co-starring with Jeremy Piven. She gained fame for her role as Aunt Hilda on the ABC and (later) The WB's Sabrina the Teenage Witch, as well as being a regular on the latest incarnation of Hollywood Squares.
In 2002, Rhea landed her own syndicated daytime talk show, The Caroline Rhea Show. Rosie O'Donnell hand-picked Rhea as her replacement. In 2004, Rhea became the first host of the series, The Biggest Loser on NBC, a weight loss reality show in which overweight members of two teams try to lose the most weight. After her 3rd season, Rhea was replaced by Alison Sweeney. In 2005, Rhea was in the movie The Perfect Man, playing a co-worker of Jean (Heather Locklear).
She has appeared in Comic Relief 8, as well as the Ms. Foundation's "Women of Comedy from Caroline's Comedy Club" (no relation to Rhea). She appeared as a contestant in 2001 on a special edition of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, winning $125,000 for charity. She had her own stand-up special as part of Bravo's three-part Funny Ladies series, along with Joan Rivers and Paula Poundstone. Rhea has had a recurring role on the hit Disney Channel Original Series, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody as Ilsa Shickelgubermeiger-Von Helsing der Keppelugerhofer, an inspector turned manager of the rival hotel. In the series, she is well known for a large mole on her cheek. She has appeared on Disney's Mom's Got a Date with a Vampire as the mother and also Christmas with the Kranks in 2004. She has competed on Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown and GSN's World Series of Blackjack.
She now does the voice of Linda Flynn in Phineas and Ferb, an animated show with Ashley Tisdale, Mitchel Musso, and Alyson Stoner. Rhea will next appear on the upcoming Fox animated series Two Dreadful Children. Caroline Rhea also plays Noleta Nethercott on the TV series Sordid Lives: The Series. She has also been in the original Lifetime Television movie To Be Fat Like Me with Kaley Cuoco. Rhea stars as a down on her luck waitress alongside Justin Guarini and Mircea Monroe in the Marvista Entertainment production of Fast Girl. Rhea has also done a live webcast with author, Meg Cabot.
Rhea currently hosts the television series Cake Walk: Wedding Cake Edition, which premiered September 7 2011.