Childhood & Early Life
Jillian was born Jillian Leigh Bell, on April 25, 1984, in Las Vegas, Nevada, to Tanzy and Ron Bell. She has an elder sister, Breanna Bell.
Jillian was just 8 when she began training in “improv.” In 2002, she graduated from 'Bishop Gorman High School' and then moved to Los Angeles, California, where she joined ‘The Groundlings.' She has also attended 'The Straitjacket Society,' a Los Angeles-based underground sketch-comedy group founded in 2005.
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Jillian began her career in 2006, with the TV short 'Crossbows & Mustaches,' as ‘Denise.’ Following this, she appeared in five episodes of 'Preppy Hippies.' Jillian auditioned for the 'NBC' late-night variety show 'Saturday Night Live' but was not selected. However, in September 2009, host and actor Seth Meyers offered Jillian an opportunity to write an episode for the show. She then wrote an episode of 'Saturday Night Live’ that aired in 2009 and featured Jennifer Lopez.
Jillian played ‘Maureen,’ an assistant wearing skimpy clothes at work, in an episode of the 'HBO' comedy 'Curb Your Enthusiasm.' She appeared as ‘Eleanor’ in the 'CBS' sitcom 'Worst Week.' She had a brief role in the 2011 comedy 'Bridesmaids' and was seen as ‘Jennifer Putnam’ in the 'TNT' comedy–drama 'Franklin & Bash.'
Jillian got her first prominent TV role in the 'Comedy Central' sitcom 'Workaholics.' She guest-starred as ‘Jillian Belk’ in the first season and later made recurring appearances in the subsequent seasons, for 44 episodes, till the seventh season.
Jillian's remarkable performance in 'Workaholics' caught the attention of film director Paul Thomas Anderson, who later cast her in the brief role of ‘Susan Gregory’ in the 2012 drama film 'The Master.' The two reunited in the 2014 neo-noir 'Inherent Vice,' in which she was seen as ‘Chlorinda.’
In 2011, Jillian made a brief appearance as ‘Amanda’ in an episode of the 'NBC' sitcom 'Friends with Benefits' and played ‘Renata’ in six episodes of the 'CBS' comedy 'Partners.' Following this, she bagged her next recurring role (eight episodes), as ‘Dixie’ in the fourth and the concluding season of the 'HBO' sports comedy 'Eastbound & Down.'
Jillian gave her first voice-over performance in the 2013 adult animated series 'High School USA!' She voiced the character ‘Miriam’ in the episode 'Rumsprinabreakers.' Her subsequent voice roles were as ‘Melody’ in the 2014 'Disney Channel' series 'Gravity Falls' and as ‘Beyonce/Laura’ in the 2015 adult animation 'Lucas Bros Moving Co.'
In 2015, Jillian was seen in two comedy flicks, as ‘Lorraine Conyers’ in 'Goosebumps' and as ‘Betsy Greenberg,’ wife of ‘Isaac Greenberg,’ played by Seth Rogen, in 'The Night Before.’ She voiced the recurring character (20 episodes) ‘Titanium Lex’ (‘the Lightning’) in the 'Sony Crackle' stop-motion animated comedy 'SuperMansion.' She has also voiced ‘Helene the Lunch Mom’/‘the Yoga Instructor’ in the 2016 video game-based computer-animated comedy film 'The Angry Birds Movie.'
Jillian was cast as a pimp named ‘Trina’ in the 2016 comedy film 'Office Christmas Party.' The same year, she released her first creative venture, the comedy series 'Idiotsitter.' The sitcom premiered as a web series on 'Comedy Central's 'CC: Studios' on February 26, 2014, and was then picked up as a 'Comedy Central' series on January 14, 2016.
Jillian created the show with fellow actor Charlotte Newhouse. While Jillian played ‘Gene Russell,’ Charlotte played ‘Billie Brown.’ Jillian's character was rich and spoiled and served house arrest, while Charlotte's character mentored her.
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In 2016, Jillian made a brief appearance in an episode of the 'IFC' sketch comedy 'Portlandia' and voiced the character ‘Dorothy Clementina’ from the 'Fox' live-action/animated sitcom 'Son of Zorn.' Following this, she played ‘Miss Holly,’ a lewd guidance counselor, in the 2017 comedy film 'Fist Fight.'
Jillian did a TV commercial for the black comedy flick 'Rough Night,' in which she played the character ‘Alice.’ Her next voice-over was for the animated series 'Dogs in a Park.' She voiced ‘Mandy’ (in the episode 'Better Off Sled') and ‘Nat’ (in the episode 'V for Valentine-detta') in the 'Fox' animated sitcom 'Bob's Burgers.'
Jillian provided additional voices in the 2018 animated musical comedy 'Charming.' She portrayed the real-life character Clara Bracken McMillen, a researcher who contributed to her husband Alfred Kinsey's reports on human sexuality, in the 'Comedy Central' educational comedy series 'Drunk History.'
Jillian Guest starred as herself in an episode of the 'YouTube Premium' action comedy series 'Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television,' titled 'The Rhy Chromosome.' She played the titular character ‘Brittany Forgler’ in the 2019 comedy 'Brittany Runs a Marathon.' The film premiered at the 'Sundance Film Festival.' She also served as the executive producer of the film.
Jillian played ‘Cynthia’ in the 2019 comedy 'Sword of Trust.' The film premiered at the 'South by Southwest' festival. She will be seen playing one of the lead characters, ‘Violet Hart,’ in the upcoming animated comedy 'Bless the Harts,' which is scheduled to premiere on 'Fox’ on September 29, 2019.
Jillian's future project includes the upcoming science-fiction comedy 'Bill & Ted Face the Music,' which will release in August 2020. Jillian will play a therapist named ‘Dr. Taylor Wood.’ She is also set to appear in the upcoming comedy flick 'El Tonto.'
Family & Personal Life
In an interview with Larry King in January 2016, Jillian revealed being in a relationship. She further revealed that the name of her boyfriend was Alex Hanloff and that he worked as a French-speaking tour guide. Jillian also revealed her seriousness about the relationship and described it as “extremely sexual.” Unfortunately, she does not get to see him often, as he is mostly on tours.
Jillian acknowledges actor-writer Amy Poehler as her creative influence, while her father and grandmother are her inspirations as a comedy actor.
Jillian describes her grandmother, who was a Romanian, as an outspoken personality and known for her signature leather pants. She later developed a character based on her grandmother for the 'Groundlings Writing Lab.' Jillian credits the character for being able to make her way to the 'Groundlings Sunday Company.'