Jenna Fischer (Pamela Morgan Beesly-Halpert)

Jenna Fischer was born Regina Marie Fischer in Fort Wayne, Indiana on March 7th, 1974. She was named for her grandmother. Her parents are Jim and Anne Fischer and she has a younger sister named Emily. She attended a private Catholic all-girls high school called Nerinx Hall that she still strongly supports to this day.

As a child, Jenna studied acting and was involved in the theater at school. She used to watch the television show "Cheers" and fantasize about being a part of an ensemble cast. When she graduated from high school, her intentions were to immediately head to California to begin her acting career but her parents advised her to attend college first. She majored in theater with a minor in journalism at Truman State University. After graduation, she moved back home to St. Louis where she worked as a secretary for one year while saving up money for her big move to California.

Upon arriving in California, her first paying gig was for a sex-education video targeted at psychiatric patients. Her first televised speaking part was on "Spin City", three years after she arrived in California. She appeared in a few indie films such as "Employee of the Month" and "The Specials". There were also a few spots on television shows including "Six Feet Under", "That 70's Show", and "What I Like About You".

Jenna Fischer's early appearances. Click image to enlarge.

Due to an idea inspired by working through "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron, Jenna and her then husband James Gunn (brother to Sean Gunn who played Kirk on "Gilmore Girls" with whom Jenna took her first acting class as a child) created a mockumentary called "Lollilove". Fischer would go on to say that this side project was a great training ground for her to be able to go on and audition, successfully, for "The Office". "It was the best practice I could have ever gotten for the possibility of being on the show." The film earned her a Screen Actor's Guild award but taught her that she'd prefer to stick with acting as she finds directing to be exhausting.

In 2005, Fischer caught her big break when she booked the part of Pam Beesly on "The Office", what she would describe as the "Cheers" of her generation. Upon learning that she'd gotten the part, she hoped that John Krasinski had been cast as Jim because she couldn't imagine anyone else getting that role. And even when the series came to an end, she acknowledged that she would not have been able to be Pam without John being Jim.

Fischer states that being cast in "The Office" was her wildest dream come true.

“I want to be a regular character on a long-running, ensemble, comedy, television show that is innovative, award-winning and ground-breaking. A show in which I’ve been cast because of my unique contribution to my character, where my input and point-of-view are encouraged. A show in which I get to help develop my character and I don’t have to worry about being hot. And shoots in LA so I don’t have to move.”

In 2010, Jenna married Lee Kirk, a screenwriter later turned director who appeared in S6E16 "The Delivery" of The Office in which he played Pam's male lactation consultant, much to her TV husband Jim's discomfort. The couple gave birth to their first child, Weston Lee Kirk on September 24, 2011.

Jenna Fischer with her family in 2012

Lee Kirk directed the indie flick "The Giant Mechanical Man" in 2012 which stars Jenna as the female lead. We highly recommend this movie to Office fans, as the central love story is VERY similar to the dynamics of Jim and Pam, if a bit grittier. The film is currently available on Netflix.

The Giant Mechanical Man (2012) Starring Jenna Fischer
and directed by husband Lee Kirk.

Since "The Office" has come to an end, Jenna has been working in the theater. She recently starred in an off-broadway play "Reasons to Be Happy", which Fischer enjoyed so much that she intends to seek out more theater projects. She also has two upcoming films in the works: "Kiss Me", a film about a teenager with scoliosis in which she stars with Emily Osment and "You Are Here", a comedy with an all-star cast. Both are expected to release later this year.

In the meantime, you can keep up with Fischer by following her on Twitter.