Jenna Fischer

Jenna Fischer, who plays the receptionist on "The Office," is secretly a glamorous, Emmy-nominated actress.
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Jenna Fischer wants you to know that she types 85 word per minutes. She worked as a secretary in real life, until she quit her job in order to become an actress. She now plays a secretary/receptionist on "The Office."

"I always wanted to be an actor," Fischer writes in the blog that she shares with the character she plays in "The Office," - Pam Beesly. But Fischer grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and "when you grow up in a place like St. Louis that is sort of like saying, 'I want to be a superhero when I grow up."

Fischer got something of a head start. She started taking acting lessons from the age of five with Sean Gunn, who played Kirk on the "Gilmore Girls." When she grew up, she married Gunn's brother, writer-director James Gunn.


Photos: Jenna Fischer, 9 - 5 For Years
Still, for the first five years after she moved to Los Angeles, she earned less than $2,000 from acting, and supplemented it with temp jobs.

Before getting cast in "The Office," Fischer appeared in single episodes in a slew of television series, including "Six Feet Under," "That '70s Show," "Cold Case," and "Spin City," and has acted in a handful of feature films as well, including "Slither," written and directed by her husband.

Fischer also wrote, directed and starred in the feature film "Lollilove," a mock documentary about a well-intentioned couple with an odd solution to the homeless problem. She spent four years on the film. The experience convinced her of one thing: "I think I'll stick to acting."

In what she surely saw as a triumph, Fischer's role in her film won her the Screen Actors Guild Emerging Actor Award at the St. Louis Film Festival, her hometown.