Phyllis Smith

Phyllis SmithPhyllis Smith is an American film and television actress who is best known for playing Phyllis Lapin-Vance on The Office. Born in St. Louis, Missouri. Phyllis Smith started her career as a ballet dancer with The St. Louis Civic Ballet and The St. Louis Dance Theater. She was also a professional jazz dancer under Raoul Appel.
In the late 70’s she was chosen as a cheerleader for the old St. Louis Cardinals football team. Throughout the 80’s Phyllis toured the country as a dancer and skit performer with the Vaudeville Burlesque show, Able’s Baggy Pants Burlesque and later with the Mercer Brother’s show “Giggles Galore. (“No stripping, but I did wear feathers,” says Smith). She was forced to quit dancing after suffering a knee injury. Phyllis later worked in Hollywood as an actress and in casting; she was working as a casting associate on “The Office” when she was offered the role of Phyllis, a character created specifically for her — a soft-spoken saleswoman who tends to disagree with the pompous office manager Michael Scott. On June 24, 2008, Phyllis appeared with the cast of The Office on Celebrity Family Feud. In 2011, Phyllis played a supporting role in the movie, “Bad Teacher”, with Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, and Jason Segel. Phyllis Smith (born July 10, 1951) is an American actress and casting associate. She is best known for playing Phyllis Vance in the television series The Office and her critically acclaimed voice role as Sadness in the film Inside Out. She currently has a regular role on the Netflix series The OA. Smith was born in The Hill, a neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri. She graduated from the University of Missouri–St. Louis in 1972 with a degree in elementary education. In the 1970s and 1980s, she worked as a dancer, a cheerleader for the old St. Louis Cardinals football team, and a burlesque performer. She said that there was “no stripping, but I did wear feathers. She was forced to quit dancing after suffering a knee injury. She later worked in Hollywood, California, as an actress and in casting. Smith was working as a casting associate on The Office when she was offered the role of Phyllis Vance, a character created specifically for her: a soft-spoken saleswoman who tends to disagree with the pompous office manager Michael Scott. She received Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2006 and 2007 for her performance in The Office in the category “Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.” In June 2008, Smith appeared with the cast of The Office on Celebrity Family Feud. In 2011, she played a supporting role in the film Bad Teacher. In 2015, she voiced the character Sadness in the Pixar film Inside Out, receiving high critical praise for her performance. In 2016, she appeared in the Netflix series The OA.

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