Kay Cannon

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Kay Cannon
Kay Cannon at SXSW Red Carpet premiere of BLOCKERS (26876904668) (cropped).jpg
Cannon in 2018
Illinois, U.S.
EducationReed-Custer High School
Alma materLewis University (M.A., B.A.)
  • Screenwriter
  • producer
  • director
  • actress
  • (m. 2004; div. 2010)
  • Eben Russell
    (m. 2012)

Kay Cannon is an American screenwriter, producer, director, and actress. She is best known for writing and producing the Pitch Perfect film series (2012–2017). She made her directorial debut with the comedy film Blockers (2018). Cannon was also a writer and producer for the NBC comedy series 30 Rock (2007–2012) and the FOX comedy series New Girl (2012–2014).[1] She created, wrote and produced the short-lived Netflix comedy-drama series Girlboss (2017).[2]

Early life[edit]

Kay Cannon was raised in Custer Park, Illinois, and is the fifth of seven children.[2][3] She graduated from Reed-Custer High School in Braidwood, Illinois, and received her BA in Theatre and MA in Education at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois.[4]



Cannon trained at The Second City, ImprovOlympic, and ComedySportz. One of her first jobs was as a performer at ComedySportz.[citation needed]

She has performed sketch and improv for theaters including Boom Chicago in Amsterdam, Netherlands, The Second City in Chicago and Las Vegas, ImprovOlympic (West and Chicago) and at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles and New York City.[citation needed]

Cannon starred in the independent film The Little Tin Man (2013). She has guest-starred on NBC's 30 Rock, New Girl, and Cristela.

She made a cameo in Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) and also appeared in the comedy How to Be Single (2016), starring Rebel Wilson and Dakota Johnson.


While performing and writing around Chicago, she met actress Tina Fey, a fellow Second City alumna. When Fey began creating the NBC comedy 30 Rock, she brought Cannon to the writing staff. She worked her way up from staff writer to supervising producer.[citation needed]

Cannon won the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Comedic Series for her work on 30 Rock three times. In 2008, she won a Peabody Award for her work on the show.[5] In 2010, Cannon was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series. During this time, Cannon also worked as a co-producer on the feature film, Baby Mama (2008).

She moved from New York City to Los Angeles when she signed an overall development deal with 20th Century Fox. Within that deal, she worked as a co-executive producer on New Girl and as a consulting producer on Cristela. As part of her development, Cannon sold a workplace comedy The Wrecking Crew to Fox and wrote the pilot The Runt for CBS.[citation needed]

She then created, executive produced the show Girlboss for Netflix based on the real life of Sophia Amoruso.

Cannon's first produced feature screenplay was the a cappella comedy Pitch Perfect (2012). She wrote and co-produced the film's sequels, Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) and Pitch Perfect 3 (2017).


Cannon made her directorial debut with Blockers. The film was released by Universal Pictures on April 6, 2018. On April 9, 2019 it was announced that Cannon would write and direct a musical reimagining of Cinderella for Sony Pictures, starring Camila Cabello and produced by James Corden and his production company, Fullwell 73.[6]

Personal life[edit]

In 2004, Cannon married American comedian Jason Sudeikis after five years together. They separated in 2008 and divorced in 2010.[7]

Cannon and her second husband, comedy writer Eben Russell, had a daughter, Evelyn Rose "Leni" Russell, in October 2013.[8][9]



Year Film Director Producer Writer Notes
2008 Baby Mama No Yes No Co-producer
2012 Pitch Perfect No No Yes
2015 Pitch Perfect 2 No Yes Yes Co-producer
2017 Pitch Perfect 3 No Yes Yes Co-screenwriter with Mike White and co-producer
2018 Blockers Yes No No Directorial debut[10]
2021 Cinderella Yes No Yes Announced[11]


Year Title Writer Producer Notes
2007–2012 30 Rock Yes Yes Co-producer
2012–2014 New Girl Yes Yes Co-executive producer
2014 Cristela Yes Yes Consulting producer
2017 Girlboss[12] Yes Yes Creator and executive producer

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "A Few Minutes with 30 Rock's Kay Cannon". Ucbcomedy.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-17. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
  2. ^ a b "Writer Kay Cannon Talks 'Pitch Perfect', Girl Power, Picking Out the Songs, 'The Breakfast Club', and Her Fox Show". Collider.com. September 29, 2012. Archived from the original on September 23, 2017.
  3. ^ Thomas, Mike (April 3, 2013). "'Pitch Perfect' writer returns to Chicago to hone her improv chops". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on August 23, 2014. Retrieved August 22, 2014.
  4. ^ Mason, Rachael. "Inside the Writer's Room: Behind the Scenes at 30 Rock with Writer/Producer Kay Cannon". Splitsider.com. Archived from the original on March 20, 2016. Retrieved June 10, 2011.
  5. ^ "2009 Writers Guild Awards Television, Radio, News, Promotional Writing, and Graphic Animation Nominees Announced". Writers Guild of America. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-12-12. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
  6. ^ "Camila Cabello to Star in 'Cinderella' Reimagining From Kay Cannon, Sony (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
  7. ^ Kit, Zorianna (February 23, 2011). "A Minute With: Jason Sudeikis getting a 'Hall Pass'". Reuters. Archived from the original on January 8, 2018. Retrieved January 8, 2018.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)Additional on January 8, 2018.
  8. ^ Webber, Stephanie (October 13, 2013). "Kay Cannon, Pitch Perfect and New Girl Writer, Welcomes Baby". Us Weekly. Archived from the original on June 28, 2017. Retrieved August 22, 2014.
  9. ^ Cannon, Kay (October 13, 2013). "I finally pooped out a baby!". Kay Cannon Instagram account. Retrieved January 8, 2018. Evelyn Rose Russell. We call her Leni.
  10. ^ Kroll, Justin (January 10, 2017). "'The Pact' Starring Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz and John Cena Acquired by Universal". Variety. Archived from the original on January 9, 2018. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  11. ^ McNary, Dave (2019-04-10). "Camila Cabello to Star in New 'Cinderella' Movie for Sony". Variety. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
  12. ^ Kroll, Justin (2016-02-05). "Netflix Orders Sophia Amoruso's '#Girlboss' to Series (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2019-04-10.

External links[edit]