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 materYale 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 for which she won the Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy and was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay, her 2004 Tony nomination for Wonderful Town, and her 2011 film Friends with Kids.

Early life[edit]

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[edit]

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 and 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[edit]

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.



Year Title Role Notes
2001 See Jane Run Unknown Film debut
2001 Kissing Jessica Stein Jessica Stein Also 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
2004 How to Lose Your Lover Val
2005 Keep Your Distance Melody Carpenter
2006 Ira & Abby Abby Willoughby Also executive producer/writer
Boston Jewish Film Festival Award for Audience award
US Comedy Arts Festival Award for Best Actress
2011 Friends with Kids Julie Keller Also director/producer/writer
2016 10 Crosby Elegant Woman Short film
2016 Lemon Penelope Short film
2017 Circus Kids Documentary; Producer


Year Title Role Notes
1998 Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place Melissa television debut
series regular; 13 episodes
1998-2001 Holding the Baby Kelly O'Malley series regular; 13 episodes
1999 Snoops Irene Hollis Episode: "Separation Anxiety"
2000 Judging Amy Leisha Eldon 3 episodes
2001 The Gene Pool Jane Anderson Television Movie
2003 Hack Emily Carson 2 episodes
2003 Untitled New York Pilot Catherine Television Movie
2005 Numb3rs Dr. Karen Fisher Episode: "Man Hunt"
2005 Dante unknown Television Movie
2007 Wainy Days Nora Episode: "Dorvid Days"
2007-2010 Notes from the Underbelly Lauren Stone series regular; 23 episodes
2009 Private Practice Jen Harmon Episode: "Ex-Life"
2009 Before You Say 'I Do' Jane Gardner Television Movie
2009 Grey's Anatomy Jen Harmon 3 episodes
2010 24 Meredith Reed recurring role; 6 episodes
2012 Martha Speaks Kit (voice role) Episode: "Cora! Cora!/Cora Encore!"
2012 Childrens Hospital Jessica Meetcher Episode: "Behind the Scenes"
2014 Girls Annalise Pressler-Goings Episode: "Only Child"
2017 Younger Pauline Turner-Brooks recurring role; 9 episodes


Year Title Role Notes
2003-2004 Wonderful Town Eileen Sherwood Broadway musical

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ "Jennifer Westfeldt". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Jennifer Westfeldt: Biography". Retrieved October 21, 2010.
  3. ^ "meyers westfeldt". Google news. July 15, 1994. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
  4. ^ "jennifer-westfeldt connie". Google news. March 7, 2002. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
  5. ^ Rosen, Steven (September 13, 2007). "Film: Opposites attract—and seek therapy—in 'Ira & Abby'". Jewish Journal. Retrieved March 12, 2012. ...the 36-year-old Jewish-raised, Yale-educated actress...
  6. ^ Bloom, Nate. "Interfaith Celebrities: The Long Line of Interfaith Indianas". Retrieved January 13, 2013.
  7. ^ "Kissing Jessica Stein". Variety. May 2, 2001. Retrieved October 21, 2010.
  8. ^ BWW News Desk (April 28, 2013). "Tony Nominee Jennifer Westfeldt Joins MTC's THE EXPLORERS CLUB; Full Cast Announced!". Broadway World. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  9. ^ "Jennifer Westfeldt- Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
  10. ^ Simonson, Robert. "Jennifer Westfeldt Leaves Wonderful Town; Jennifer Hope Wills Takes Her Place". Playbill. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  11. ^ "The Library". The Public Theater. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  12. ^ Healy, Patrick (January 16, 2014). "Soderbergh to Direct New Play at Public Theater". Arts Beat (blog). The New York Times.
  13. ^ Rooney, David (January 16, 2014). "Steven Soderbergh to Direct Off-Broadway Play Starring Chloe Grace Moretz". The Hollywood Reporter.

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