Childhood & Early Life
Teri Polo was born Theresa Elizabeth Polo, on June 1, 1969, in Dover, Delaware. Her mother, Jane Polo, is a homemaker, and her father, Vincent Polo, is a stereo systems engineer. She has two brothers, Mike and Steve.
At the age of 5, Polo started attending ballet classes. She studied ballet for 13 years. At the age of 13, Polo attended the ‘School of American Ballet’ in New York. By 15, she became a dancer for the ‘Delaware Regional Ballet.’
Polo attended ‘Dover High School’ in Delaware. When she was 16, she won a modeling contest conducted by the magazine ‘Seventeen.’ Soon, she dropped out of school and moved to New York to pursue her acting and modeling career. She also signed a contract with the petite division of the modeling agency ‘Elite.’
Continue Reading Below
Teri Polo made her acting debut in 1988, with the ‘CBS’ series ‘TV 101.’ Polo played ‘Amanda Hampton’ in the series. After 13 episodes, the series was canceled due to low ratings and other controversies.
In 1990, Polo played ‘Christine Daaé’ in the ‘NBC’ miniseries ‘The Phantom of the Opera.’ It was directed by Tony Richardson. Her character, ‘Christine,’ was depicted as an aspiring singer in love with ‘The Phantom.’ Polo played her part perfectly.
Teri Polo was chosen to be part of the last season of the TV series ‘Northern Exposure.’ The successful ‘CBS’ show ran from 1990 to 1995. Polo played the recurring character ‘Michelle Schowdowski Capra,’ a reporter and the wife of ‘Phil Capra.’ The show garnered a lot of eyeballs, and Polo was noticed in her role.
In 1998, Polo appeared as ‘Detective Ash’ in the series ‘Brimstone.’ In 2005, she joined the cast of the sixth and seventh seasons of the political drama series ‘The West Wing.’ The series featured her as ‘Helen Santos,’ the wife of a ‘Democratic’ presidential candidate. It was a recurring role.
In the 1990s, Polo acted in several movies such as ‘Mystery Date,’ ‘Passed Away,’ and ‘The House of the Spirits.’ In 2000, Teri was selected to play the lead role of ‘Pam Byrnes’ in the American comedy movie ‘Meet the Parents.’ The movie narrated the story of a male nurse trying to cast a good impression on his girlfriend’s family. Polo played the role of the girlfriend.
In 2003, Polo starred in the TV movie ‘Straight from the Heart,’ which premiered on ‘Hallmark.’ It was the TV adaptation of a romantic novel by Pamela Wallace. Polo played the lead character, photographer ‘Jordan Donovan.’ In 2004, Polo played ‘Pam Byrnes’ in the sequel to the movie ‘Meet the Parents,’ titled ‘Meet the Fockers.’ In 2010, the next movie of the series, ‘Little Fockers,’ was released. Teri’s character, ‘Pam,’ was portrayed as the mother of 5-year-old twins, in this movie.
In 2005, Polo posed nude for ‘Playboy.’ She was also featured in the women’s fashion magazine ‘InStyle.’ In 2002, Polo secured the fortieth position on the ‘Maxim Hot 100’ list.
In 2009, Polo starred in the movie ‘2:13.’ The same year, she appeared in the movies ‘The Hole’ and ‘The Beacon.’ She has made guest appearances in a number of TV series such as ‘The Practice,’ ‘Felicity,’ and ‘Ghost Whisperer.’
In 2013, Teri Polo grabbed a career-defining role. She was selected to play ‘Stef Adams Foster’ in the American sitcom ‘The Fosters.’ The series revolved around the life of a lesbian couple trying to raise their children. Polo appeared as ‘Stef,’ a police officer, a mother, and the lesbian partner of ‘Lena Adams Foster.’ The show has been in the news for its delicate and controversial subject. The last and fifth season of the show ended in June 2018. However, ‘Freeform’ has announced a spin-off.
Teri Polo married photographer Anthony Moore in April 1997. In 2002, they had a son, Griffin. However, the couple, divorced in 2005.
In 2006, Polo met drummer Jamie Wollam on the sets of a video. They married soon and had a daughter, Bayley. However, the couple separated in 2012.
Polo has never avoided questions about posing nude for ‘Playboy.’ She once stated, “It was one of the best experiences of my life. I’m very proud. We shouldn’t be ashamed of the human body.”
Polo shares a wonderful relationship with her ‘The Fosters’ co-star Sherri Saum. She was once quoted saying, “I have more chemistry with Sherri than I’ve ever had with any male counterpart.” This has led people to believe that Polo is gay.