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Jenna Fischer (born March 7, 1974) is an American actress, film director and writer. She has appeared in several films including Blades of Glory, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and The Promotion, but is most widely known for playing Pam Beesly Halpert on the NBC sitcom The Office.

Early life

Fischer was born Regina Marie Fischer in Fort Wayne, Indianamarker, the daughter of Anne and Jim Fischer. She has one younger sister, Emily, and was raised in St. Louis, Missourimarker. She has gone by the first name Jenna since she was born.

She attended Pierremont Elementary School and later attended Nerinx Hall High Schoolmarker, a private, all-girls Catholic school, in suburban Webster Grovesmarker. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre, as well as a minor in Journalism, from Truman State Universitymarker, where she originally enrolled as a pre-law major. Before landing her role as Pam Beesly on The Office, Fischer worked as a receptionist and administrative assistant while auditioning for roles on the side. She has stated in interviews that she can type 85 words per minute with 90 percent accuracy.


Television and feature films

Before landing her breakthrough role on The Office, Fischer spent the first several years of her career appearing primarily in bit parts in small indie films and guest spots on television shows. Her television credits include roles on Six Feet Under, That '70s Show, Cold Case, Miss Match, Strong Medicine, Undeclared, What I Like About You, Off Centre and Spin City.

In 2004 Fischer wrote, directed, and starred in the mockumentary LolliLove, co-starring her now ex-husband James Gunn, Linda Cardellini, Judy Greer, Lloyd Kaufman and Jason Segel. The film premiered at the St. Louis International Film Festival (the hometown of Fischer and Gunn) in November 2004, as well as the TromaDance Film Festival. For her role in the film, Fischer was awarded a Screen Actors Guild Emerging Actor Award. Her experience on the low-budget film (principal photography cost $1500, mostly for food) discouraged her from any future directorial aspirations, as she told a St. Louismarker arts and entertainment magazine:

Fischer spoke about her career aspirations in an April 2005 interview with The Index, the student newspaper at Truman State Universitymarker, her alma mater:

Fischer has expressed a desire to take on more dramatic film roles in the future, telling a reporter at the 2009 Golden Globe awards: "Yes, [I want to play a serious role.] When I saw Amy Adams in Doubt, I was just, 'Oh, I'd love to do that someday.' She's so talented and I'd like to follow in her footsteps. She does everything — drama, comedy."

Fischer's film credits include Employee of the Month, Slither, Lucky 13, The Specials, The Brothers Solomon, Blades of Glory, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, and The Promotion.

Other work

Prior to The Office, Fischer's short subject work included the 2002 film Les Superficiales, a Peter Alton film; Alton later co-wrote and narrated LolliLove. Fischer had a starring role in a 2003 Instant Films short called The Girl's Guide to Summer, directed by Instant Film's co-founder (and camera operator) Charles Papert.

In 2006 she appeared on Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown, appearing in the show's eighth tournament, shot in New Orleans, Louisianamarker. Fischer played for Catholic Charities' Tsunami Relief and went out in second place.

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.

In December 2007, during the Hollywood writer's strike, Fischer appeared at Sacred Fools Theatre in episode 25 of Darque Magick, a serialized play written and directed by Jenelle Riley.

In 2009, Fischer recorded a voiceover of a commercial for Proactiv Skincare Solutions.

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. The event was held at Busch Stadiummarker in St. Louis, Missourimarker, where Fischer grew up.

Personal life

On October 7, 2000, Fischer married filmmaker James Gunn, the brother of Fischer's lifelong friend Sean Gunn. On September 5, 2007, Fischer and Gunn announced they were separating after nearly seven years of marriage. In a radio interview during the publicity tour of The Promotion, she said that her divorce was finalized.

In May 2007, while attending the NBC upfronts for her role in The Office, Fischer fell down a flight of stairs in a Manhattanmarker lounge and fractured her back in four places. After a twelve-week recovery, she returned to the set in time for the fourth season's first episode.

Fischer is currently engaged to writer Lee Kirk.

Fischer has a cat named Andy, whom she rescued while in college. Fischer is involved with the animal organizations Kitten Rescue and Rescue Rover in Los Angelesmarker. In 2008, she hosted an event for Kitten Rescue that included a silent auction for the organization.

Fischer is godmother to Isabel Lieberstein, the daughter of The Office co-star and close friend Angela Kinsey.

Fischer, along with several of her Office co-stars, regularly updates her MySpace blog with behind-the-scenes anecdotes of upcoming episodes of The Office.



Year Film Role Other notes
2003 Melvin Goes to Dinner Hostess
2004 Employee of the Month Whisper
The Women (short) Leslie
LolliLove Jenna Co-writer and director
2005 The 40-Year-Old Virgin Woman #1 Background in a bar scene
2006 Slither Shelby
2007 Blades of Glory Katie Van Waldenberg
The Brothers Solomon Michelle
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story Darlene Madison
2008 The Promotion Jen Stauber
2009 Solitary Man completed
2010 A Little Help Laura post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2001 Spin City Waitress Episode "A Shot in the Dark: Part 2"
Undeclared Betty 2 episodes
2002 Off Centre Melanie Episode "The Backup"
What I Like About You Kim Episode "Copy That"
2003 Strong Medicine Camille Freemont Episode "Maternal Mirrors"
Miss Match Connie Episode "Kate in Ex-tasy"
2004 Cold Case Dottie 1943 Episode "Factory Girls"
2005 That '70s Show Stacy Wanamaker Episode "Don't Lie to Me"
Six Feet Under Sharon Kinney 2 episodes
2005–present The Office Pam (Beesly) Halpert Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2006, 2007)

Nominated: Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (2007)

Nominated: Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2008)

Awards and nominations

Year Group Award Result Film/Television series
2004 St. Louis International Film Festival Screen Actors Guild Emerging Actor Award Won LolliLove
TromaDance Film Festival Independent Soul Award Won
2006 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Won The Office
2007 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Won
Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
2008 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
2009 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress: Comedy Nominated


  1. Fischer's biography at the Internet Movie Database
  2. KMOX 1120 Chats with Jenna Fischer
  3. Pam/Jenna Myspace Blog, a 2008 entry by Fischer on her MySpace blog
  4. The Office: Your Questions Answered!, an April 2006 entry by Fischer in the TV Guide Insider blog
  5. Alumna works in "The Office" on NBC, Interview with student newspaper of Fischer's alma mater
  6. [1] Jenna Fischer Interview
  7. The Office Season Finale Party: Jenna Fischer Tumbles, Breaks Back at NPR
  8. Jenna Fischer Biography at NBC's The Office website
  9. Jenna Fischer profile from Variety magazine
  10. The LolliLove Interview: Jenna Fischer (December 2005), from an arts and entertainment magazine in St. Louis
  11. 2009 E! Red Carpet Interview
  12. Quick shoot artists, an August 2003 article from the Los Angeles Times (includes a link to the film itself)
  13. Willie Wisely & Jenna Fischer: Kodak Moment from Harp
  14. Darque Magick from the Sacred Fools Theatre website
  15. Myspace Blog
  16. Official List of St. Louis Game Participants
  17. Office actress Fischer, husband separate (September 2007), Reuters.
  18. WMMR Interview (June 2008)
  19. The Office Season Finale Party: Jenna Fischer Tumbles, Breaks Back, The National Ledger, May 2007.
  20. Harrington, Maureen. Jenna Fischer: 'A Little' Crazy About Cats, People, 12 September 2008.
  21. Jenna Fischer Hosts Fur Ball
  22. Tonight Show, February 2009.
  23. Screen Actors Guild Honors Outstanding Film and Television Performances..., a January 2007 press release from the SAG Awards website
  24. 'Sopranos,' 'The Office' Win SAG Ensemble Awards, a January 2008 TVWeek article
  25. 2007 Emmy Award Reactions
  26. Teen Choice Awards 2009

External links

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