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Jennifer Westfeldt (born February 2, 1970) is an American actress and screenwriter known for the 2001 hit independent film Kissing Jessica Stein, her 2004 Tony nomination for Wonderful Town, and her 2011 film Friends with Kids.
Jennifer Westfeldt at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival
February 2, 1970 |
|Alma mater||Yale University|
|Occupation||Actress and writer|
|Partner(s)||Jon Hamm (1997–2015)|
Westfeldt was born in Guilford, Connecticut, the daughter of Constance "Connie" (née Meyers), a therapist, and Patrick McLoskey Westfeldt, Jr., an electrical engineer. Westfeldt's mother is Jewish. She graduated from Guilford High School and attended Yale University, where she sang with the a cappella group Redhot & Blue.
Westfeldt started her career as a New York-based theater actor, and has starred in over 25 Off-Broadway and regional productions. She first came to Hollywood in 1997. That year, she co-wrote and starred in an Off-Broadway play with Heather Juergensen called Lipschtick: The Story of Two Women Seeking The Perfect Shade that caught the attention of Hollywood studios. It was optioned by Radar Pictures and made into Kissing Jessica Stein, in which Westfeldt and Juergensen starred.
In 2001, Westfeldt starred as Jessica in Kissing Jessica Stein. The film was an extended version of one of the sketches Westfeldt and Juergensen had written for Lipschtick. For her role, Westfeldt won the Golden Satellite Award for Best Actress in A Comedy, an Indie Spirit nomination for Best First Screenplay with Juergensen, and a Special Jury Prize for Writing and Acting at the Los Angeles International Film Festival. The film also won the Audience Award for Best Feature at the Los Angeles International Film Festival, the Audience Favorites Award at the Chicago International Film Festival, the Audience Award at the Miami Film Festival, Best Feature at the Louisville Jewish Film Festival, and the GLAAD Media Award.
In 2004, Westfeldt starred opposite Paul Schneider in the film How to Lose Your Lover. Westfeldt wrote, produced, and starred alongside Chris Messina in Ira & Abby, which premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June 2006, and was released by Magnolia Pictures in September 2007. Westfeldt won Best Actress at The HBO US Comedy Arts Festival for her performance as Abby, and the film won the Audience Award for Best Feature at the Los Angeles Film Festival, the Jury Prize for Best Feature at the HBO US Comedy Arts Festival, and the Audience Award at The Boston Jewish Film Festival.
In 2011, she wrote, produced, starred and made her directorial debut in Friends with Kids. The cast included Westfeldt's boyfriend, Jon Hamm. The film was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2011, and was released by Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions in March 2012.
Westfeldt was cast in a series regular role for Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place alongside Ryan Reynolds, Traylor Howard and Richard Ruccolo during its first season on ABC in 1997. In 2001 she was featured in three episodes of Judging Amy. In 2007, she was cast as the lead of ABC's Notes from the Underbelly, directed and executive produced by Barry Sonnenfeld. Notes ran for two seasons on ABC. Her recent television credits include memorable arcs on ABC's hit Grey's Anatomy, as well as starring in the TV movie Before You Say I Do (2009) opposite David Sutcliffe. Additional television credits include appearances in The Gene Pool, Dante, Hack, Snoops, and The Untitled New York Project.
Westfeldt has starred in over 25 Off-Broadway and regional productions. She made her 2004 Broadway debut in a revival of Wonderful Town. Her performance won her a Theatre World Award, a Drama League Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut and a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical. Her stage work includes the world premiere of Joe Gilford's Finks at the Powerhouse Theater, opposite Josh Radnor (2008); the world premiere of Cusi Cram's A Lifetime Burning at Primary Stages (2009); Three Sisters at LA Theaterworks (2011) and the world premiere of Stephen Belber's The Power of Duff at the Powerhouse Theater, opposite Greg Kinnear (2012).
In 1997, Westfeldt began a relationship with actor Jon Hamm. They owned homes in Los Angeles and the Upper West Side in New York City. In an interview discussion about his relationship with Westfeldt, Hamm said: "We may not have a piece of paper that says we're husband and wife, but after 10 years, Jennifer is more than just a girlfriend. What we have is much deeper and we both know that. To me, people [should] get married when they're ready to have kids, which I'm not ruling out." In April 2009, Hamm and Westfeldt formed their own production company, Points West Pictures. Hamm and Westfeldt are advocates of animal rescue and have adopted a mixed breed dog named Cora from the Much Love Animal Shelter in California. In September 2015, Hamm and Westfeldt announced they were ending their relationship.
Awards and nominationsEdit
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|2002||Kissing Jessica Stein||Jessica Stein||Golden Satellite – Best Actress in a Comedy – 2003|
|Kissing Jessica Stein||Acting and Writing||Los Angeles Film Festival – Special Jury Award – 2001|
|Kissing Jessica Stein||Acting and Writing||Los Angeles Film Festival – Audience Award, Best Feature – 2001|
|Kissing Jessica Stein||Acting and Writing||Chicago International Film Festival – Audience Award – 2001|
|Kissing Jessica Stein||Acting and Writing||Miami International Film Festival – Best Feature – 2001|
|Kissing Jessica Stein||Acting and Writing||GLAAD Media Award – 2003|
|Kissing Jessica Stein||Acting and Writing||Deauville Film Festival – Grand Special Prize nomination|
|2003||Kissing Jessica Stein||Acting and Writing||Indie Spirit nomination, Best Screenplay|
|Wonderful Town||Eileen Sherwood||Theater World – Outstanding Broadway Debut – 2004|
|Wonderful Town||Eileen Sherwood||Drama League Award|
|2004||Wonderful Town||Eileen Sherwood||Tony Award nomination, Best Supporting Actress in a Musical|
|2007||Ira & Abby||Abby||HBO US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen – Best Actress|
|Ira & Abby||Acting and Writing||HBO US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen – Best Feature|
|Ira & Abby||Abby||Puerto Vallarta Film Festival – Best Actress|
|Ira & Abby||Abby||Boston Jewish Film Festival – Audience Award, Best Feature – 2006|
- "Jennifer Westfeldt". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
- "Jennifer Westfeldt: Biography". TVGuide.com. Retrieved October 21, 2010.
- "meyers westfeldt". Google news. July 15, 1994. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
- "jennifer-westfeldt connie". Google news. March 7, 2002. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
- Rosen, Steven (September 13, 2007). "Film: Opposites attract—and seek therapy—in 'Ira & Abby'". Jewish Journal. Retrieved March 12, 2012.
...the 36-year-old Jewish-raised, Yale-educated actress...
- Bloom, Nate. "Interfaith Celebrities: The Long Line of Interfaith Indianas". InterfaithFamily.com. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
- "Kissing Jessica Stein". Variety.com. May 2, 2001. Retrieved October 21, 2010.
- "Jennifer Westfeldt- Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved April 25, 2013.