Jennifer Westfeldt

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Jennifer Westfeldt
Jennifer Westfeldt TIFF 2, 2011.jpg
Jennifer Westfeldt at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival
Born (1970-02-02) February 2, 1970 (age 50)
Alma mater Yale University
OccupationActress and writer
Partner(s) Jon Hamm (1997–2015)

Jennifer Westfeldt (born February 2, 1970) [1] [2] is an American actress and screenwriter known for the 2001 independent film Kissing Jessica Stein , her 2004 Tony nomination for Wonderful Town , and her 2011 film Friends with Kids .


Early life

Westfeldt was born in Guilford, Connecticut, the daughter of Constance "Connie" (née Meyers), a therapist, and Patrick McLoskey Westfeldt, Jr., an electrical engineer. [3] [4] [5] Westfeldt's mother is Jewish. [6] She graduated from Guilford High School and attended Yale University, where she sang with the a cappella group Redhot & Blue. [2]

Acting career

Westfeldt started her career as a New York-based theater actor, and has starred in over 25 Off-Broadway and regional productions. She first came to Hollywood in 1997. That year, she co-wrote and starred in an Off-Broadway play with Heather Juergensen called Lipschtick: The Story of Two Women Seeking the Perfect Shade that caught the attention of Hollywood studios. It was optioned by Radar Pictures and made into Kissing Jessica Stein , in which Westfeldt and Juergensen starred.

In 2001, Westfeldt starred as Jessica in Kissing Jessica Stein. The film was an extended version of one of the sketches Westfeldt and Juergensen had written for Lipschtick. [7] For her role, Westfeldt won the Golden Satellite Award for Best Actress – Musical or Comedy, an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best First Screenplay with Juergensen, and a Special Jury Prize for Writing and Acting at the Los Angeles International Film Festival. [8] The film also won the Audience Award for Best Feature at the Los Angeles International Film Festival, the Audience Favorites Award at the Chicago International Film Festival, the Audience Award at the Miami Film Festival, Best Feature at the Louisville Jewish Film Festival, and the GLAAD Media Award.

In 2004, Westfeldt starred opposite Paul Schneider in the film How to Lose Your Lover. Westfeldt wrote, produced, and starred alongside Chris Messina in Ira & Abby , which premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June 2006, and was released by Magnolia Pictures in September 2007. Westfeldt won Best Actress at the HBO US Comedy Arts Festival for her performance as Abby, and the film won the Audience Award for Best Feature at the Los Angeles Film Festival, the Jury Prize for Best Feature at the HBO US Comedy Arts Festival, and the Audience Award at the Boston Jewish Film Festival.

In 2011, she wrote, produced, starred and made her directorial debut in Friends with Kids . The cast included Westfeldt's boyfriend, Jon Hamm. The film was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2011, and was released by Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions in March 2012.

Westfeldt was cast in a series regular role for Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place alongside Ryan Reynolds, Traylor Howard, and Richard Ruccolo during its first season on ABC in 1997. In 2001, she was featured in three episodes of Judging Amy . In 2007, she was cast as the lead of ABC's Notes from the Underbelly , directed and executive produced by Barry Sonnenfeld. Notes ran for two seasons on ABC. Her recent television credits include memorable arcs on ABC's hit Grey's Anatomy , as well as starring in the TV movie Before You Say I Do (2009) opposite David Sutcliffe. [9] Additional television credits include appearances in The Gene Pool, Dante , Hack , Snoops , and The Untitled New York Project.

In 2010, she was a guest star on Numb3rs and the show 24 . She first appeared in the first four episodes of season eight and returned in the final episodes of the series.

She provided the voice of Kit Luntayne in the Martha Speaks episodes "Cora! Cora! Cora!" and "Cora Encore!"

Westfeldt has starred in over 25 Off-Broadway and regional productions.[ citation needed ] She made her 2004 Broadway debut in a revival of Wonderful Town . Her performance won her a Theatre World Award,[ citation needed ] a Drama League Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut[ citation needed ] and a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical. [10] Her stage work includes the world premiere of Joe Gilford's Finks at the Powerhouse Theater, opposite Josh Radnor (2008); the world premiere of Cusi Cram's A Lifetime Burning at Primary Stages (2009); Three Sisters at L.A. Theatre Works (2011) and the world premiere of Stephen Belber's The Power of Duff at the Powerhouse Theater, opposite Greg Kinnear (2012). In 2014, she starred alongside Chloë Grace Moretz in the Off-Broadway play The Library directed by Steven Soderbergh. [11] [12] [13]

She played Pauline Brooks in the TV Land series Younger in 2017.

Personal life

In 1997, Westfeldt began a relationship with actor Jon Hamm. They owned homes in Los Angeles and the Upper West Side in New York City. In an interview discussion about his relationship with Westfeldt, Hamm said: "We may not have a piece of paper that says we're husband and wife, but after 10 years, Jennifer is more than just a girlfriend. What we have is much deeper and we both know that. To me, people [should] get married when they're ready to have kids, which I'm not ruling out." In April 2009, Hamm and Westfeldt formed their own production company, Points West Pictures. Hamm and Westfeldt are advocates of animal rescue and have adopted a mixed-breed dog named Cora from the Much Love Animal Shelter in California. In September 2015, Hamm and Westfeldt announced they were ending their relationship.



2001 See Jane Run UnknownFilm debut
2001 Kissing Jessica Stein Jessica SteinAlso co-producer/writer
Los Angeles IFP/West Film Festival Award for Best Screenplay
Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical
Nominated - Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay
2004How to Lose Your LoverVal
2005 Keep Your Distance Melody Carpenter
2006 Ira & Abby Abby WilloughbyAlso executive producer/writer
Boston Jewish Film Festival Award for Audience award
US Comedy Arts Festival Award for Best Actress
2011 Friends with Kids Julie KellerAlso director/producer/writer
201610 CrosbyElegant WomanShort film
2016LemonPenelopeShort film
2017Circus KidsDocumentary; Producer


1998 Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place Melissatelevision debut
series regular; 13 episodes
1998-2001 Holding the Baby Kelly O'Malleyseries regular; 13 episodes
1999 Snoops Irene HollisEpisode: "Separation Anxiety"
2000 Judging Amy Leisha Eldon3 episodes
2001The Gene PoolJane AndersonTelevision Movie
2003 Hack Emily Carson2 episodes
2003Untitled New York PilotCatherineTelevision Movie
2005 Numb3rs Dr. Karen FisherEpisode: "Man Hunt"
2005DanteunknownTelevision Movie
2007 Wainy Days NoraEpisode: "Dorvid Days"
2007-2010 Notes from the Underbelly Lauren Stoneseries regular; 23 episodes
2009 Private Practice Jen HarmonEpisode: "Ex-Life"
2009 Before You Say 'I Do' Jane GardnerTelevision Movie
2009 Grey's Anatomy Jen Harmon3 episodes
2010 24 Meredith Reedrecurring role; 6 episodes
2012 Martha Speaks Kit (voice role)Episode: "Cora! Cora!/Cora Encore!"
2012 Childrens Hospital Jessica MeetcherEpisode: "Behind the Scenes"
2014 Girls Annalise Pressler-GoingsEpisode: "Only Child"
2017 Younger Pauline Turner-Brooksrecurring role; 9 episodes


2003-2004 Wonderful Town Eileen SherwoodBroadway musical

Further reading

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  13. Rooney, David (January 16, 2014). "Steven Soderbergh to Direct Off-Broadway Play Starring Chloe Grace Moretz". The Hollywood Reporter.