Tina Fey Facts: 23 Things You (Probably) Don’t Know About the Actress The Moviefone Blog
Is Tina Fey the queen of comedy?
Since breaking out on “Saturday Night Live” as head writer and anchor of Weekend Update, Fey has had her hands all over TV and film. She engineered a critically acclaimed sitcom, “30 Rock,” while starring in hits like “Mean Girls” and “The Muppets Most Wanted.” Did we mention she’s also hosted the Golden Globes… twice? This fall, she can be seen again on the big screen, in the ensemble comedy-drama “This Is Where I Leave You.”
From her first “SNL” sketch to her real first name, here are 23 things you probably don’t know about Tina Fey.
1. Tina Fey was born May 18, 1970 in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania to Jeanne Xenakes and Donald Fey.
2. Her mother works at a brokerage firm, while her dad wrote grants for universities.
3. She is half German and half Greek.
4. Fey’s birth name is actually Elizabeth Stamatina Fey. “Tina” is taken from the latter part of her middle name.
5. Fey was exposed to comedy early in her life, and even remembers her parents sneaking her in to see “Young Frankenstein” (1974) as a toddler.
6. She admits, however, that she wasn’t allowed to watch “The Flintstones” because her dad thought it ripped off “The Honeymooners.”
7. Her humor and confidence as a child likely helped her overcome a tragic experience as a child. When she was 5 years old and playing in her front yard, a stranger approached her and cut her cheek with a knife.
8. As a teenager, she knew she was interested in comedy and, by high school, she was taking drama classes and writing consistently.
9. It was Fey’s 8th grade teacher who encouraged her to be a writer. She told People Magazine that, originally, she thought, “I don’t want to be a writer, ‘cause then you’re just by yourself in a room all the time. I want to be a star!”
10. Needless to say, she put pen to paper and eventually became the co-editor of the school’s newspaper, “The Acorn.” She also wrote the newspaper’s satirical column — anonymously, of course.
11. She went on to attend the University of Virginia, where she studied playwriting and acting.
12. After graduating, she moved to Chicago to pursue her comedy career and eventually spent several years at Second City, a now famed comedy troupe where many “Saturday Night Live” cast members started out.
13. When she began taking Second City’s first set of courses, she worked at the Evanston YMCA to support herself.
14. Around this time, she also made this incredible commercial for Mutual Savings Bank. (Click ahead to 2:35 to see Fey in action.) It was also her first television appearance.
15. Fey’s first improv class at Second City was taught by Adam McKay, writer and director of “Anchorman” and frequent Will Ferrell collaborator.
16. After McKay was made the head writer on “SNL,” he suggested Fey send a submission packet to become a writer on the show.
17. Her first sketch on the show was a Sally Jessy Raphael satire, and starred Chris Farley as a giant baby.
18. Within a few years, Fey became the first female head writer in the show’s history, following McKay’s exit.
19. In 2000, Fey was approached to perform in sketches on the show. She and Jimmy Fallon began co-anchoring the show’s “Weekend Update” to rave reviews.
20. She made her big-screen debut in 2004’s “Mean Girls,” which she also wrote.
21. A couple years later, Fey began developing her own comedy series, “30 Rock.” The show, written by and starring Fey, premiered in 2006 and went on to win the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series three straight years (2007-2009).
22. As for her personal life, Fey has been married to Second City director Jeff Richmond since 2001. The couple have two children together.
23. Fey is a big “Star Wars” fan and often references the sci-fi saga in her work.
[Sources: Wikipedia, IMDb]
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