Jenna Fischer
Jenna Fischer May08 cropped.jpg
Fischer in 2008
Born Regina Marie Fischer
(1974-03-07) March 7, 1974 (age 43)
Fort Wayne, Indiana, U.S.
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Alma mater Truman State University (BA)
Occupation Actress
Years active 1998–present
Spouse(s) James Gunn (m. 2000; div. 2008)
Lee Kirk (m. 2010)
Children 2

Regina Marie "Jenna" Fischer (born March 7, 1974)[1] is an American actress. She is widely known for her portrayal as Pam Beesly Halpert on the NBC comedy series The Office, for which she received critical acclaim and was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series at the 2007 Primetime Emmy Awards.

Since then, Fischer has appeared in various films such as Blades of Glory (2007), Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007), The Promotion (2008), and Hall Pass (2011) before playing Janice in the The Giant Mechanical Man, a film directed by her husband Lee Kirk. She recently starred as Rhonda McNeil in the NBC's comedy-drama series You, Me and the Apocalypse.


Early lifeEdit

Fischer was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. Her mother, Anne (née Miller), is a history teacher; and her father, James E. "Jim" Fischer, is an engineer.[2] She has one younger sister, Emily, a third grade teacher.[3] She first performed at the age of six, when she participated in an acting workshop taught by her mother at Henry School in St. Louis, a workshop also attended by actor Sean Gunn, with whom she grew up.[4]

Fischer attended Pierremont Elementary School in Manchester, Missouri, and Nerinx Hall High School, a private all-girls Catholic school, in Webster Groves, Missouri.[5] She holds a Bachelor of Arts in theatre, as well as a minor in journalism, from Truman State University, where she originally enrolled as a pre-law history major.[6]


Career developmentEdit

Fischer first began her career working in professional theatre. While attending college in Missouri, she performed with a touring Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre group[7] and, upon her move to Los Angeles, began performing Commedia dell'arte with the Zoo District Theatre. Her performance in the company's musical adaptation of the film Nosferatu led to her first agent.[8] She struggled to break into film and television, telling NPR that her first paying film job was a "sex education video for [psychiatric] patients upon their release from UCLA Medical Center".[9] In a Myspace blog written specifically to advise actors beginning their own career,[8] she explained that it took three years before landing her first televised speaking role, a part on Spin City.[8]

She continued to spend the next few years of her career appearing in bit parts in small indie films, such as Employee of the Month, Lucky 13, and The Specials, as well as guest spots on the television shows Six Feet Under, That '70s Show, Cold Case, Miss Match, Strong Medicine, Undeclared, What I Like About You, and Off Centre.

Fischer appeared in friend Peter Alton's 2002 short subject film Les Superficiales. Fischer met Alton at the Zoo District Theatre group, and he later co-wrote and narrated her self-produced film, Lollilove.[10] In 2003, she held a starring role in The Girl's Guide to Summer, a 2003 Instant Films short (a competition similar to the nationally held 48 Hour Film Project, only based in Los Angeles) directed by Instant Film's co-founder (and camera operator) Charles Papert.[11]

Fischer in March 2009, at the Inside the Office panel discussion at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences


While her film career was slowly taking off, Fischer took matters into her own hands, writing, directing and starring in her own mockumentary, LolliLove, her only directing credit. The film co-starred her then-husband James Gunn, as well as friends Linda Cardellini, Judy Greer, Lloyd Kaufman and Jason Segel. She began participating in The Artist's Way, a self-led creativity seminar in book form. "From doing that book I got this idea... When we started it, it wasn’t even supposed to be a real movie. It was just going to be an improv project for James and I to amuse ourselves with."[12] Utilizing a camera she gave Gunn as a wedding present, she filmed preliminary improvisational interviews with her friends in the faux documentary format that would later bring her fame on The Office. "I really feel it was divine intervention that I chose to work in this medium for a year," she said in an interview. "It was the super best practice I could have ever gotten for the possibility of being on the show."[13][not in citation given]

Lollilove premiered at the St. Louis International Film Festival, the hometown of Fischer and Gunn, in November 2004, and was also shown at the TromaDance Film Festival. For her role in the film, Fischer was awarded a Screen Actors Guild Emerging Actor Award.[14][not in citation given] Despite the film's contribution to her career, she admitted to a St. Louis arts and entertainment magazine[15] that the experience dissuaded her from any future directing:

The Office and feature filmsEdit

In 2005, after a succession of mostly improvised auditions similar to her Lollilove experience, Fischer landed the role of Pam Beesly on what would become the NBC hit, The Office, based on the original BBC series. Before her initial audition, casting director Allison Jones advised Fischer, "Dare to bore me."[16] Fischer herself spent several years working as a receptionist and administrative assistant in Los Angeles offices, much like her television counterpart, while struggling to achieve success, and thus felt she was well-suited to the role.[17] "I'm so attached to Pam's journey," she told NPR in 2009. "I just love playing this character so, so much."[16] She received a Primetime Emmy Award[18] nomination in 2007.

Soon after The Office premiered, Fischer was focused on the show's success; in an April 2005 interview with her alma mater's student newspaper, she said: "Honestly it would be great to get to play Pam for a long, long time .... I don't have real big aspirations to be a movie star. I would love to be on a long-running hit TV show. You end up playing a defining role."[6] As The Office grew into a success, Fischer's film acting career became more established. In 2006, she co-starred in her then-husband's film, Slither, and in 2007, she filmed supporting roles in The Brothers Solomon, with Will Arnett and Will Forte, Blades of Glory, with Will Ferrell, John Heder, Amy Poehler, and Will Arnett, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, alongside John C. Reilly, with whom she co-starred again in 2008's The Promotion, also starring Seann William Scott.

In 2009, Fischer completed filming on the movies Solitary Man, and the indie A Little Help, which opened in the summer of 2010 at the Seattle International Film Festival. Also that summer, she completed filming on the Farrelly Brothers comedy Hall Pass, which was released in February 2011.

Other workEdit

Fischer appeared on Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown in 2006, participating in the show's eighth tournament, shot in New Orleans, Louisiana, and playing for Catholic Charities' Tsunami Relief.

In 2007, Fischer starred in the music video for Willie Wisely's single "Through Any Window", directed by longtime friend John Cabrera; the opportunity arose because she knew Wisely from work he had done on soundtracks for LolliLove and Tromeo and Juliet, one of her husband's films.[19]

In December of the same year, during the Hollywood writer's strike, Fischer appeared at Sacred Fools Theater Company in episode 25 of Darque Magick, a serialized play written and directed by Jenelle Riley.[20]

In July 2009, Fischer played left field for the National League team in the Taco Bell All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game as part of the MLB All-Star Week festivities, held at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri, where she grew up.[citation needed]

In March 2010, Fischer returned to the area to co-chair an annual auction for Nerinx Hall High School, her alma mater. At the event, she auctioned off a set visit to The Office and multiple autographed props from the show.[21]

Fischer was named an official spokeswoman for Proactiv Skincare Solutions in 2009[22] and was announced as the voice behind the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board Grilled Cheese Academy website[23] in 2010.

Fischer was named as producer of the mid-August through October 2010 run of the critically acclaimed play Sad Happy Sucker, written by her husband Lee Kirk and directed by friend Sean Gunn. The play previously ran as a theatre workshop in February and March 2007.[24]

After finishing The Office, Fischer starred in the Off-Broadway play Reasons to Be Happy, written and directed by Neil LaBute, which ran from May to June 2013.[25]

Jenna Fischer stars in the world premiere of Steve Martin's comedy, Meteor Shower at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, California from July 30 to September 18, 2016. Fischer is working alongside actor Greg Germann, Alex Henrikson and Josh Stamberg.[26]

In April 2017, Fischer starred in an episode of the Houzz series My Houzz, in which she surprised her sister with a kitchen, living room and dining room renovation. [27]

Personal lifeEdit

Fischer modeling at The Heart Truth Fashion Show 2008

After Fischer moved to Los Angeles, her childhood friend Sean Gunn helped her get a part in a showcase and then introduced her to his brother, screenwriter James Gunn.[6] That small part in a showcase also led to Fischer getting her first manager.[6] Fischer married James Gunn on October 7, 2000.[28] They announced their separation in September 2007.[29] In a June 2008 interview, Fischer confirmed that she and Gunn had finalized their divorce.[30] They remain friends, and in 2010 Fischer helped Gunn with casting her The Office co-star Rainn Wilson in Gunn's film Super.[31]

In June 2009, Fischer's engagement to screenwriter Lee Kirk was announced,[32][33] and they married on July 3, 2010.[34][35] Fischer and Kirk announced pregnancy with their first child in May 2011. On September 24, 2011, Fischer gave birth to her son named Weston Lee Kirk[36] Fischer gave birth to their second child, a daughter Harper Marie Kirk born May 25, 2014.[37][38][39][40]

Fischer is passionate about animal rescue, and she is involved with the Los Angeles organizations Kitten Rescue and Rescue Rover.[41] Before The Office, she worked for three years doing hands-on rescue work for the organizations.[42] She regularly fosters cats and hosted Kitten Rescue's annual silent auction in 2008, 2009, and 2010.[43]



Year Title Role Notes
1998 Channel 493 Rane
Born Champion Wendy Miller
2002 Les superficiales Itchy French Girl Short film
2003 Doggie Tales, Vol. 1: Lucky's First Sleepover Kelsey Voice
2004 Employee of the Month Whisper
Women, TheThe Women Leslie Short film
LolliLove Jenna Gunn also director/co-writer
2005 The 40-Year-Old Virgin Woman #1 Uncredited
2006 Slither Shelby
2007 Blades of Glory Katie Van Waldenberg
Brothers Solomon, TheThe Brothers Solomon Michelle
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story Darlene Madison
2008 Promotion, TheThe Promotion Jen Stauber
2009 Solitary Man Susan Porter
2010 Little Help, AA Little Help Laura Pehlke
2011 Hall Pass Maggie
2012 Giant Mechanical Man, TheThe Giant Mechanical Man Janice
2013 Are You Here Alli
2014 Kiss Me Vera
2017 Brad's Status Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2001 Undeclared Betty & Sorority Girl Episode 1.01 "Prototype"
Episode 1.04 "Sick in the Head"
2002 Off Centre Melanie Episode 1.17 "The Backup"
What I Like About You Kim Episode 1.08 "Copy That"
2003 Strong Medicine Camille Freemont Episode 4.11 "Maternal Mirrors"
Miss Match Connie Episode 1.04 "Kate in Ex-tasy"
2004 Cold Case Dottie (1943) Episode 2.02 "Factory Girls"
2005 That '70s Show Stacy Wanamaker Episode 7.12 "Don't Lie to Me"
Six Feet Under Sharon Kinney Recurring role
Episode 5.01 "A Coat of White Primer"
Episode 5.02 "Dancing for Me"
2005–2013 Office, TheThe Office Pam Beesly Main cast
188 episodes
Also Producer
2012 Dan Vs. Amber (voice) Episode 3.01 "Dan Vs. Anger Management"
2014 Comedy Bang! Bang! Herself Episode: "Jenna Fischer Wears a Floral Blouse & Black Heels"
2015 Newsreaders Kelly Spears Episode 2.13 "The FMK Killer; Newsreaders: Behind the Scenes"
You, Me and the Apocalypse Rhonda MacNeil Main cast; 10 episodes
Also associate producer
2016 The Mysteries of Laura Jennifer Lambert Recurring role
Episode 2.13 "The Mystery of the Dark Heart"
Episode 2.14 "The Mystery of the Political Operation"
Episode 2.16 "The Mystery of the End of Watch"
The Grinder Kelly Episode 1.18 "Genesis"
Drunk History Katharine Wright Episode 4.6 "Siblings"

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
2004 St. Louis International Film Festival Screen Actors Guild Emerging Actor Award[citation needed] LolliLove Won
2005 TromaDance Film Festival Independent Soul Award (as director)[citation needed] Won
2007 Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series The Office Nominated
2007 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Won
2008 Won
2009 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Comedy Actress Nominated
2009 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
2010 Nominated
2010 St. Louis International Film Festival Outstanding Achievement in Film N/A Won[44]
2011 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series The Office Nominated


  1. ^ Brady, James (November 21, 2007). "In Step With...Jenna Fischer". Parade Magazine. Retrieved June 10, 2009. 
  2. ^ De La Hunt, Amy (November 18, 2015). "Jenna Fischer Dishes on Her New British Comedy-Drama". Alive Magazine. Retrieved February 25, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Georgia L. Stosberg Fischer Obituary: View Georgia Fischer's Obituary by St. Louis Post-Dispatch". March 8, 2008. Retrieved October 3, 2013. 
  4. ^ St. Louisan Jenna Fischer is more than ready for "The Office", Post-Dispatch Television Critic, Thursday, March 24, 2005
  5. ^ Glaus, Heidi (May 16, 2015). "Nerinx Hall graduate Jenna Fischer is returning to NBC". USA Today. Retrieved February 27, 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Alumna works in "The Office" on NBC". Truman State University Index. April 7, 2005. Retrieved March 5, 2011. 
  7. ^ [1] Archived June 9, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ a b c "Myspace". Retrieved October 3, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Jenna Fischer, Keeping It Real at 'The Office'". NPR. June 3, 2008. Retrieved October 3, 2013. 
  10. ^ A March 15, 2006 article by Jenelle Riley in Entertainment News Wire
  11. ^ Brown, August. "Entertainment - entertainment, movies, tv, music, celebrity, Hollywood - -". Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  12. ^ "JAMES GUNN & JENNA FISCHER – tastes like chicken". Retrieved October 3, 2013. 
  13. ^ Retrieved August 5, 2010.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  14. ^ [2] Archived December 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ "The LolliLove Interview: Jenna Fischer". December 16, 2005. Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b "Jenna Fischer, Keeping It Real at 'The Office'". NPR. June 3, 2008. Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  17. ^ Ulster, Laurie (March 24, 2015). "'The Office' Cast: Where Are They Now?". The Biography Channel. Retrieved February 26, 2017. 
  18. ^ "Jenna Fischer | Academy of Television Arts & Sciences". Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  19. ^ [3] Archived December 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  20. ^ "SERIAL KILLERS - Darque Magick". Sacred Fools. Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Nerinx - AuctioNerinx". Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  22. ^ [4] Archived July 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  23. ^ "Jenna Fischer narrates Grilled Cheese Academy". OfficeTally. Retrieved October 25, 2010. 
  24. ^ "Jenna Fischer and husband Lee Kirk revive play 'Sad Happy Sucker'". September 10, 2010. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  25. ^ Brantley, Ben (June 11, 2013). "'Reasons to Be Happy,' by Neil LaBute -". The New York Times. Retrieved March 15, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Meteor Shower at the Old Globe". Retrieved August 31, 2016. 
  27. ^ "The Office's Jenna Fischer Surprises Her Sister with the Most Amazing Home Makeover: 'She Is One of Those People Who Is Always Giving to Others'". Retrieved April 10, 2017. 
  28. ^ "The Office Cast Biographies - Jenna Fischer as Pam Beesly". Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Office actress Fischer, husband separate". Reuters. September 5, 2007. Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Jenna Fischer Gently Breaks The Divorce News To MySpace Friends". Archived from the original on June 2, 2016. Retrieved May 1, 2016. 
  31. ^ "A Conversation With Director James Gunn". St. Louis Magazine. Archived from the original on August 12, 2014. Retrieved November 25, 2014. 
  32. ^ Wang, Cynthia (January 14, 2013). "The Office Star Jenna Fischer Is Engaged - Engagements, Jenna Fischer". Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Jenna Fischer engaged!". OfficeTally. Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Jenna Fischer Weds Lee Kirk". National Ledger. July 5, 2010. Retrieved July 8, 2010. 
  35. ^ "Jenna Fischer marries; newlywed Megan Fox returns home". USA Today. July 5, 2010. 
  36. ^ Hammel, S (10/3/11) Jenna Fischer Welcomes Son People News
  37. ^ "Jenna Fischer Welcomes Daughter Harper Marie – Moms & Babies – Celebrity Babies and Kids - Moms & Babies -". 
  38. ^ "Baby News: Jenna Fischer Gives Birth". Entertainment Tonight. October 3, 2011. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  39. ^ Christie D'Zurilla (October 3, 2011). "Jenna Fischer of 'The Office' has a new baby son". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  40. ^ "Jenna Fischer and Husband Welcome a Baby Girl—See Her Adorable Photo! - E! Online". E! Online. June 13, 2014. 
  41. ^ Harrington, Maureen. Jenna Fischer: 'A Little' Crazy About Cats, People, September 12, 2008.
  42. ^ "a 2008 Myspace blog entry by Fischer". Retrieved October 25, 2010. 
  43. ^ "Jenna Fischer Hosts Fur Ball". September 16, 2008. Retrieved October 25, 2010. 
  44. ^ "SLIFF 2010 Review: A LITTLE HELP". WeAreMovieGeeks. November 20, 2010. Retrieved February 7, 2016. 

External linksEdit