Kate Flannery is an American actress, renowned for her performance as Meredith Palmer on the NBC sitcom ‘The Office’. She is one of the best drama-comedy actresses in Hollywood, and her two ‘Screen Actors Guild Awards’ (SAG) testify that. Her other notable credits on the small screen include shows like ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’, ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’, ‘New Girl’, ‘Jessie’ and ‘Another Period’. Kate is also considered one of the best stage actresses. Some of her best-known stage performances include ‘See Jane Sing’, ‘Love, Loss, and What I Wore’ and ‘Two Lost Souls’. The actress is also quite in-demand as a voice artist. She has lent her voice to animated series like ‘The Life & Times of Tim’, ‘Steven Universe’ and ‘OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes’. Not just limited to TV, Kate has also starred in a number of critically acclaimed movies, such as ‘Cooties’, ‘4th Man Out’, ‘Fishbowl California’; and NETFLIX’s - ‘Tenured’ & ‘Slow Learners’.
Rise to Stardom
The comedic actress Kate Flannery began her career on stage. She was initially part of ‘The Second City’s National Touring Company’, where she quickly made a name for herself thanks to her ‘improvisation’ skills. She remains a part of the original members of ‘Chicago’s Annoyance Theater’. Her natural wit and comic timing played a big role in helping her establish as a stage actress. She was seen in a number of shows, which included hits like ‘The Miss Vagina Pageant’ and ‘The Real Live Brady Bunch’.
Her comedy routine ‘The Lampshades’ has been running in the USA since 2001. It was performed at the ‘U.S. Comedy Arts Festival’ in Aspen and was once awarded ‘Best Saturday Comedy Show of the Year’ by ‘LA Weekly’. In 2013, Kate went on to team up with the comic legend Jane Lynch for the cabaret ‘See Jane Sing’. The pairing was such a hit that they ended up working together in the live production of Lynch’s holiday album ‘A Swingin’ Little Christmas’ in 2016. At present, they are working together on their third cabaret act ‘Two Lost Souls’ (2019). Apart from these, some of Kate’s best-known on-stage performances have been in Nora Ephron’s ‘Love, Loss, and What I Wore’ (2008), ‘Valley of the Dolls’, ‘The Phacts of Life’ and ‘Three Feet Under’.
Kate has enjoyed an equally impressive career on TV and in movies. She made her movie debut in 1999 with the role of Tonia in ‘Can’t Stop Dancing’. In the same year, she was also seen in the comedy movie ‘Trick’. In 2001, she made her TV debut with the recurring role of Bunny in the series ‘Spyder Games’. In 2002, she acted in the direct-to-video movie ‘Life Without Dick’ before appearing in several episodes of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ and ‘Saturday Night Live’. Her performances in the popular TV series endeared her to the audiences, who were not familiar with the world of theatre and ‘improv’.
In 2005, Kate was cast in the role of the alcoholic, sexually licentious and socially unsuitable, Meredith Palmer, in the NBC sitcom ‘The Office’. She continued playing that role until 2013, and it has become her most recognized role to date. It also won her two ‘Screen Actor Guild Awards’ in 2007 and 2008. She reprised the role in the series, ‘The Office: The Accountants’ (2006), ‘The Office: The Outburst’ (2008), ‘The Office: Blackmail’ (2009), ‘The Office: The 3rd Floor’ (2010) and ‘The Ofiice: The Podcast’ (2011).
Some of her other notable performances were for the TV series, ‘American Housewife’ (2016) and ‘Young Sheldon’ (2019). She was also seen in the YouTube series ‘Liza on Demand’ in 2018. Her voice acting roles include the animated series Steven Universe’ (2015 – 2018) and ‘OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes’ (2017 – present).
Kate has delivered some critically acclaimed performances in movies as well. A few of her notable film roles are ‘Home’ (2014), ‘Cooties’ (2014), ‘Tenured’ (2015), and ‘Slow Learners’ (2015). She also earned praise for her performances in films like ‘4th Man Out’ (2015), ‘Stuck’ (2018), and ‘Fishbowl California’ (2018).
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Family & Personal Life
Katherine ‘Kate’ Patricia Flannery was born on June 10, 1964, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Her mother’s name is Joan Donnelly and her father’s name is Thomas A. Flannery. She is of Irish-American descent. She has six siblings, including her twin sister. She went to ‘St. Colman-John Neumann School’ and then to ‘Archbishop John Carroll High School’ in Pennsylvania. Later, she attended the ‘Shenandoah University’, in Winchester, Virginia. She the enrolled in the ‘University of the Arts’, Philadelphia, from where she graduated eventually.
Kate Flannery started dating NBC photographer Chris Haston in 2006 while she was working in ‘The Office’. They got married after some time. However, after years of companionship, they hit a rough patch when rumors began to surface that Chris was having extra-marital affairs with a number of women.