Phyllis Smith

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For other people named Phyllis Smith, see Phyllis Smith (disambiguation).
Phyllis Smith
Phyllis Smith FOX 2 St. Louis.JPG
Smith in 2014 in St. Louis, MO at KTVI Fox 2
Born (1951-07-10) July 10, 1951 (age 64)
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Alma mater University of Missouri–St. Louis
Occupation Actress, voice actress
Years active 1992–present

Phyllis Smith (born July 10, 1951) is an American actress. She is best known for playing Phyllis Vance in The Office and her voice role as Sadness in the film Inside Out.

Early life[edit]

Smith was born in St. Louis, Missouri. She graduated from the University of Missouri–St. Louis in 1972 with a degree in elementary education.[1] 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 has said that there was "no stripping, but I did wear feathers".[2] 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 of Sadness in the Pixar film Inside Out.



Year Title Role Notes
2005 The 40-Year-Old Virgin Mrs. Stitzer Uncredited
2006 I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With Marsha
2011 Butter Nancy
2011 Bad Teacher Linn
2011 Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked Flight Attendant
2015 Inside Out Sadness Annie Award for Voice Acting in a Feature Production


Year Title Role Notes
2005 Arrested Development Carla Episode: "The Immaculate Election"
2005–2013 The Office Phyllis Vance 187 episodes
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2007–2008)
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2009–2013)
2006 The Office: The Accountants Phyllis Vance Episode: "Phyllis"
2008 The Office: The Outburst Phyllis Vance Episode: "The Explanation"
2013 Trophy Wife Mrs. Patty Steinberg 3 episodes
2014 The Middle Mrs. Huff Episode: "The Sinkhole"

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2015 Disney Infinity 3.0 Sadness Voice[3]


  1. ^ Tracy, Linda (Fall 2008). "It's never just another day at the office for UM-St. Louis alumna Phyllis Smith". UM St. Louis (St. Louis, MO: University of Missouri-St. Louis): 14–15. OCLC 19214058. 
  2. ^ Grose, Jessica (June 23, 2011). "Questions for Phyllis Smith". Slate. 
  3. ^ Avalanche Software. Disney Infinity 3.0. Scene: Closing credits, 5:39 in, Featuring the Voice Talents of. 

External links[edit]