Jacoba Francisca Maria “Cobie” Smulders, better known as just Cobie Smulders (born April 3, 1982), is a well-known actress, best known for her role as Robin Scherbatsky in the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother and as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films and TV shows. Her performances in both comedic and action-packed roles have solidified her place in Hollywood and she’s well-known among Millennials, Generation Z, and even Generation Alpha.
Smulders, who initially had ambitions to become a marine biologist, gained interest in theater during high school and transitioned into the world of acting. She made her professional acting debut in the early 2000s — a guest appearance in the UPN science fiction comedy series, Special Unit 2. This article digs into Cobie Smulders’ career, life, upcoming projects, and her roles in MCU and HIMYM in detail.
Background and Life: Is Cobie Smulders Canadian?
Smulders was born in Vancouver, British Columbia — so yes she’s a Canadian in real life (not just in How I Met Your Mother). With a Dutch father and a British mother, she has a rich cultural background. Plus, she even understands French well — although she isn’t fluent. Smulders was raised in White Rock, and she later moved to West Point Grey for her high school years at Lord Byng Secondary School.
“Cobie” is a nod to her great-aunt, from whom she got the nickname. She was raised with four sisters and as a child, Smulders participated in the Girl Guides of Canada as a Brownie. Before acting, Smulders dabbled in modeling but never became too fond of it. However, she did have a knack for acting, and from starring in a hit sitcom series to starring in Marvel, she has come a long way.
She Played Robin Scherbatsky in “How I Met Your Mother’
Robin Scherbatsky was one of the five major characters on the show. She was quirky, fun, and beautiful. But most importantly, she was passionate. She was serious about her career more than anything else — she wanted to become a well-known news anchor and when the time came, she prioritized it over love! Robin had moved to New York from Canada and connected with four people in a bar McLaren (Ted, Barney, Lily, and Marshall).
Initially, Robin had a linear character arc. But eventually, as writers explored her character more, they wanted to add a “sparkle” to her character, revealing her past as a childhood star back in Canada, known as Robin Sparkles. The role eventually was loved by many, became a source of so many humorous moments on the show, and even compelled Cobie Smulders to sing, be all goofy, and push her limits. It remains her most iconic role to date.
Cobie Smulders Battled With Ovarian Cancer at the Age of 25
At the age of 25 — this was precisely the time when How I Met Your Mother’s cast was filming for season 3 — Cobie Smulders got diagnosed with ovarian cancer. This was back in 2007 and although she had good resources and a great oncologist, there just wasn’t so much that could be done. “I remember doing crazy Google searches and panicking. To try and understand my disease better. I was talking to my doctors obviously but it was a mess.” Smulders told in an interview with People in 2018.
She went into control mode and tried to control everything she could through diet and exercise. Thankfully, her surgeon helped her get through it and saved enough of her ovaries (just about one-third to have two kids). Smulders bravely fought it and won her fight with cancer and has two beautiful daughters now.
She Played Maria Hill in the MCU
Cobie Smulders, acclaimed for her sitcom stints, took a turn into the superhero realm as S.H.I.E.L.D Agent Maria Hill, making her debut in 2012’s The Avengers. A trusted ally of Nick Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson, Hill showcased her analytical prowess throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s tapestry while aiding superheroes in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Infinity War, and Spider-Man: Far From Home, among others.
Maria Hill’s character arc progressed from a fierce S.H.I.E.L.D. operative to a crucial strategic contributor within the vast MCU, always working from the shadows. She was actually one of the last iconic figures from Phase One until her recent appearance in MCU’s Secret Invasion Episode 1. It remains to be seen if her character will return to the MCU after the ends of the Secret Invasion, however the actress believes this is the end of the line for her character, “There is a multiverse now, so anything is possible. But I’m pretty sure this is it.” She said in an interview with Vanity Fair.
Cobie Smulders’ Movies, TV Shows, and Career Highlights
Apart from her evergreen roles in HIMYM and MCU, Cobie Smulders is known for her performance in Safe Haven, The Intervention, and Friends From College, among the 50+ more film and TV credits in her roster. In the acclaimed series, Stumptown, she delved into the detective realm, earning a 2021 Critics’ Choice Super Award nomination for Best Actress in a Superhero Series.
Smulders also has a penchant for the stage. In 2010, she graced the Westside Theatre in Love, Loss, and What I Wore. In 2017, she performed at St. James Theatre in Present Laughter, which won her a Theatre World Award. Earlier, her work in How I Met Your Mother bagged her an EWwy Award in 2013 and a People’s Choice nomination in 2014.
Where is Cobie Smulders Now?
Her most recent work is in a TV series High School as Simon Bates. She also has an upcoming rom-com named Cupid & Me in production but only a little is known about it at the moment. Cobie Smulders was recently spotted at different events but her life mostly is focused on her two daughters that she has had with her husband, Taran Killam whom she married in 2012.