Childhood & Early Life
Jenna Fischer was born Regina Marie Fischer, on March 7, 1974, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She spent her childhood in St. Louis, Missouri. She has Swiss-German, Scots-Irish, English, and Bohemian ancestry. Her father, James Fischer, is a plastic engineer, and her mother, Anne Miller, is a history teacher. She has a younger sister, Emily, who is also a school teacher.
At the age of six, Fischer attended an acting workshop conducted by her mother, who was a teacher at the ‘Henry School’ in St. Louis. She gave the first performance of her life at this workshop. Actor Sean Gunn, a childhood companion of Fischer, was also a part of this workshop.
Fischer attended the ‘Pierremont Elementary School’ in Manchester. She graduated from the ‘Nerinx Hall High School’ in Missouri. Later, she attended the ‘Truman State University,’ for her ‘Bachelor of Arts’ in theatres and a minor in journalism. While attending the university, Fischer performed with the ‘Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre.’
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After graduation, Fischer worked as a receptionist at several places. For a brief period, she worked as a telephonic psychic too. In 1998, Fischer started performing ‘Commedia dell’arte’ with the ‘Zoo District Theatre.’ In her first paid role, she appeared in a sex education video meant for psychiatric patients. It was released by the ‘Ronald Regan UCLA Medical Center.’ After this initial stint, Fischer struggled for three years before getting work in television shows and movies.
In 2000, Fischer played a college girl in the film, ‘The Specials.’ It was a comic movie based on the daily lives of super-heroes. Fischer met her first husband, James Gunn, during the shooting of this movie. He was the scriptwriter of ‘The Specials.’ In 2004, Fischer appeared as ‘Whisper’ in the dark comedy movie, ‘Employee of the Month.’ She also performed as a guest artist in television shows, such as ‘Six Feet Under,’ ‘Miss Match,’ ‘Strong Medicine,’ and ‘What I Like About You.’
In 2004, Jenna Fischer directed and starred in a mockumentary, ‘LolliLove.’ Fischer and her husband, James Gunn, played the main characters in the movie. It was the story of a couple, who decided to bring happiness in the lives of homeless people by giving them lollipops with inspiring slogans written on the wrappers. This was the only directorial attempt by Fischer. ‘LolliLove’ premiered at the ‘St. Louis Film Festival’ and also screened at the ‘TromaDance Film Festival.’ For her performance in the film, Fischer was honored with the ‘Screen Actors Guild Emerging Actor’ award.
Fischer participated in ‘The Artist’s Way,’ a creativity seminar based on the book of the same name, written by Julia Cameron. The seminar was aimed at assisting artists to gain better confidence through various self-help techniques. After attending the seminar, Fischer was inspired to take the camera and direct the mockumentary, ‘LolliLove.’ Though her directorial debut was a success, Fischer did not direct any film afterwards. She, however, continued with her acting career.
In 2005, Fischer performed in the comedy sitcom, ‘The Office,’ which was aired on ‘NBC’ network. It was a game changer for Fischer. She played ‘Pam Beesly’ in the series. Her character was a shy, but assertive woman, who worked as a receptionist. As Fischer herself had previously worked as a receptionist, she was able to relate with the character, and she gave a flawless performance. The series was aired from 2005 to 2013, and Jenna Fischer shot to fame with it. In 2007, she received a ‘Primetime Emmy Award’ nomination for ‘Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.’
In 2006, Fischer performed in the horror film, ‘Slither.’ In 2007, she appeared as ‘Katie’ in the comedy movie, ‘Blades of Glory,’ directed by Josh Gordon. In the same year, she played ‘Darlene Madison Cox’ in the movie, ‘Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.’ It was a comic movie that mimicked biopic movies. Fischer’s character was based on the famous American actor and comedian, June Carter. In 2011, Fischer played ‘Maggie,’ the wife of one of the lead characters, in the movie, ‘Hall Pass.’ It was a comedy movie directed by Farrelly Brothers.
In 2006, Fischer participated in the game show, ‘Celebrity Poker Showdown,’ aired on ‘Bravo’ network. In 2007, she starred in the music video, ‘Through Any Window,’ for the music composer, Willy Wisely. In 2009, she was named as the official spokeswoman for ‘Proactiv Skincare Solutions.’
In 2012, she played the lead role in ‘The Giant Mechanical Man,’ directed by her husband Lee Kirk. In the film, Fischer played ‘Janice,’ a single woman in her thirties, who faces difficulty in confessing her love to her best friend. In 2015, she played ‘Rhonda McNeil’ in the comedy-drama miniseries, ‘You, Me and the Apocalypse.’ She is currently acting in the sitcom, ‘Splitting Up Together,’ aired on the ‘ABC’ network.
Jenna Fischer has married twice. She married screenwriter James Gunn on October, 7, 2000, but the couple divorced in 2008. They have no children.
In 2009, Fischer announced her engagement to director and screenwriter, Lee Kirk. They got married on July 3, 2010. The couple has a son, Weston Lee Kirk, and a daughter, Harper Marie Kirk.
Jenna Fischer is a passionate animal lover. She is actively associated with animal rescue organizations, such as ‘Kitten Rescue,’ and ‘Rescue Rover.’ She fosters cats and has conducted annual ‘Fur Ball Gala’ for ‘Kitten Rescue’ in 2008, 2009, and 2010. She has done hands-on rescue operations for these organizations.
Fischer is an ardent baseball fan. She supports ‘St. Louis Cardinals’ baseball team. In 2009, she played for ‘National League’ team in ‘Taco Bell All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game,’ which was held in her hometown, St. Louis.
Fischer was deeply attached to her character ‘Pam Beesly’ in the sitcom ‘The Office.’ During the initial days of the show, Fischer said in an interview, “I don’t have big aspirations to be a movie star. I would love to be on a long-running hit TV show.”