Theresa Elizabeth Polo
June 1, 1969
Dover, Delaware, U.S.
(m. 1997; div. 2005)
|Partner||Jamie Wollam (2007–2012)|
Theresa Elizabeth Polo (born June 1, 1969) is an American actress. She starred as Pamela Martha Focker (née Byrnes) in the Meet the Parents trilogy and played the role of police officer Stef Adams Foster in the Freeform series The Fosters (2013–2018) and its spinoff Good Trouble (2019–).
Polo was born on June 1, 1969, in Dover, Delaware to Jane (née Gentry), a homemaker, and Vincent Polo, a stereo systems designer. She is of Italian, English, and German descent. She studied ballet for 13 years beginning at age five. By age 13, she was attending New York's School of American Ballet. After winning a modeling contest, she moved to New York City at age 17 to pursue an acting career.
Polo's acting debut, in 1987, was in the role of Kristin Larsen on the ABC daytime soap opera Loving. The following year, she earned a role in primetime on the short-lived CBS series TV 101. She also starred in the 1990 miniseries The Phantom of the Opera as Christine Daaé. In 1994, Polo became a regular cast member on the last season of Northern Exposure. She later played Detective Ash on the TV series Brimstone. She appeared in a recurring guest role in the sixth and seventh seasons of The West Wing playing the role of Helen Santos, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits).
In February 2005, Polo posed nude for Playboy magazine. She was ranked No. 40 on the Maxim Hot 100 Women of 2002. She was also featured in InStyle. She also starred in the Lifetime Movie Network 2006 movie, Legacy of Fear. In 2007, she starred in a Hallmark Channel movie Love is a Four Letter Word. In 2009, she starred in the feature film 2:13 and the Hallmark Channel movie Expecting a Miracle with Jason Priestley and Cheech Marin. That same year she also starred in The Beacon.
She appeared in the 2009 television pilot for Washington Field, a show about the National Capitol Response Squad, a unit of the FBI composed of elite experts in different areas who travel around the world responding to events that concern American interests. In 2010, Polo reprised her role as Pam Focker in Little Fockers, the sequel to Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers. She also appeared in the 1980s-styled horror fantasy film, The Hole.
In 2013, Teri was cast in a lead role in the ABC Family series The Fosters. Polo played San Diego police officer Stef Adams Foster, opposite Sherri Saum, playing her wife Lena Adams Foster. Together they parented five biological, foster and adopted children and fostered more along the way.
In 2014 Teri starred in The Christmas Shepherd as the character Sally; an author living in a small town in Massachusetts whom is devastated when Buddy, the German Shepherd runs away during a storm.
In 2016 Polo narrated Daniel Errico's modern fairy tale short film "Rosaline". In 2019 she returned to animation (and LGBT-themed narratives) as Saylor the raven in Shabnam Rezaei's The Bravest Knight, the 13-episode Hulu animated series based on Errico's book.
After The Fosters ended its five-season run, Polo continued the role in guest appearances on the spinoff Good Trouble. In July 2020, the cast and producers of The Fosters united for a virtual table read of the pilot episode to benefit the Actors Fund, to help provide COVID-19 relief.
Continuing to blend movies and television in her career, Polo took roles in JL Ranch and its sequel The Wedding Gift, All For Nikki, Deadly Switch, The Ravine, and Fourth Grade. Her return to television brought Teri full circle to her first love, dance, when she landed the role of former ballet dancer Julia in the Fox series The Big Leap, opposite Scott Foley and Piper Perabo.
In April 1997, Polo married photographer Anthony Moore. They have a son together, Griffin (born 2002). In 2003, Polo and Moore divorced.
In 2006, while on the set of a video, Polo met drummer Jamie Wollam. They moved in together and had a daughter, Bayley, in 2007, but broke up in 2012.
|1991||Born to Ride||Beryl Ann Devers|
|1991||Mystery Date||Geena Matthews|
|1992||Passed Away||Rachel Scanlan|
|1993||Aspen Extreme||Robin Hand|
|1993||The House of the Spirits||Rosa del Valle|
|2000||Meet the Parents||Pam Byrnes|
|2001||The Unsaid||Barbara Lonigan|
|2003||Straight From the Heart||Jordan Donovan|
|2003||Beyond Borders||Charlotte Jordan|
|2004||Meet the Fockers||Pam Byrnes-Focker|
|2006||Legacy of Fear||Detective Jeanne Joyce|
|2007||Full of It||Mrs. Moran|
|2009||The Beacon||Bryn Shaw|
|2010||Little Fockers||Pam Focker|
|2013||Final Recourse||Brooke Holton|
|2013||The Last Session||Elizabeth Queen||Short film|
|2014||Authors Anonymous||Colette Mooney|
|2014||A Bit of Bad Luck||Amanda|
|2014||Mr Maple Leaf||Alex||Short film|
|2016||Outlaws and Angels||Ada Tildon|
|2020||All for Nikki||Liz Steadman|
|2021||The Ravine||Carolyn Bianci|
|2021||Four Cousins and a Christmas||Aunt Angela|
|1986||Loving||Kristin Larsen||Daytime series|
|1988–1989||TV 101||Amanda Hampton||13 episodes|
|1990||The Phantom of the Opera||Christine Daaé||Movie|
|1990||People Like Us||Justine Altemus Slatkin||NBC movie|
|1994||Due South||Stephanie Cabot||Episode: "They Eat Horses, Don't They?"|
|1994||Tales from the Crypt||Sheila||Episode: "Revenge Is the Nuts"|
|1994–1995||Northern Exposure||Michelle Schodowski Capra||15 episodes|
|1995||Chicago Hope||Nurse Sarah Jane Petty||Episode: "Heartbreak"|
|1996||Full Circle||Tana Roberts||NBC movie|
|1997||Van Helsing Chronicles||Helena Harker||Movie|
|1997||A Prayer in the Dark||Janet Hayworth||Movie|
|1997||House of Frankenstein||Grace Dawkins||NBC miniseries|
|1998||A Father for Brittany||Kim Lussier||CBS movie|
|1998||The Outer Limits||Sally McCoy||Episode: "Identity Crisis"|
|1998||The Marriage Fool (Love After Death)||Susan Prescot||CBS movie|
|1998–1999||Brimstone||Det. Sgt. Delilah Ash / Ashur Badaktu||6 episodes|
|1999||Felicity||Maggie Sherwood||5 episodes|
|1999–2000||Sports Night||Rebecca Wells||8 episodes|
|2000||Frasier||Abby Michaels||Episode: "Legal Tender Love and Care"|
|2002||Second String||Connie Heller||TNT movie|
|2003||Straight from the Heart||Jordan Donovan||Hallmark movie|
|2003||L.A. Dragnet||Jessie Ross||Episode: "All That Glitters"|
|2003||The Practice||Sarah Barker||5 episodes|
|2003–2004||I'm with Her||Alex Young||22 episodes|
|2005–2006||The West Wing||Helen Santos||18 episodes|
|2006||Welcome to the Jungle Gym||CBS movie|
|2006||For the Love of a Child||Yvonne||Lifetime Movies movie|
|2006||Legacy of Fear||Det. Jeanne 'JJ' Joyce||Lifetime movie|
|2007||Numb3rs||Rachel Willons||Episode: "Nine Wives"|
|2007||Love Is a Four Letter Word||Emily Bennett||Hallmark movie|
|2007||The Wedding Bells||Jane Bell||4 episodes|
|2008||Finnegan||Det. Erin Finnegan||ABC movie|
|2008||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Dana Kelley||Episode: "Confession"|
|2008||CSI: Miami||Jill Walsh||Episode: "Gone Baby Gone"|
|2009||Expecting a Miracle||Donna Stanhope||Hallmark movie|
|2009||Ghost Whisperer||Nikki||2 episodes|
|2009||The Storm||Danni Nelson||Episode: "The Storm: Part 1"|
|2009||Drop Dead Diva||Jillian Ford||Episode: "The Magic Bullet"|
|2009||Monk||Stephanie Briggs||Episode: "Mr. Monk Is the Best Man"|
|2009||Washington Field||SA Amanda Diaz||CBS movie|
|2010||Medium||Mary-Louise Graff||Episode: "It's a Wonderful Death"|
|2010||Glory Daze||Prof. Larsen||2 episodes|
|2010–2011||Law & Order: LA||Casey Winters||3 episodes|
|2011||Castle||Kayla Baron||Episode: "Pretty Dead"|
|2011||We Have Your Husband||Jayne Valseca||Movie|
|2011||Man Up!||Theresa Hayden Keen||10 episodes|
|2012||A Taste of Romance||Sara Westbrook||Hallmark movie|
|2012||Criminal Minds||Maggie Hallman||Episode: "I Love You, Tommy Brown"|
|2012||The Christmas Heart||Ann Norman||Hallmark movie|
|2012||Christmas Angel||Melinda Davis||Movie|
|2013–2018||The Fosters||Stef Adams Foster||Lead role|
|2014||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Cordelia Bauer||Episode: "American Disgrace"|
|2014||The Christmas Shepherd||Sally Brown||Hallmark movie|
|2015||Love, Again||Chloe Baker||Hallmark movie|
|2016||Royal Pains||Diana Underhill||2 episodes|
|2016||The $100,000 Pyramid||Herself (celebrity guest)||Episode: "Teri Polo vs. Zachary Levi"|
|2016||Living with Models||Alice Adams||2 episodes|
|2016||JL Ranch||Rebecca Landsburg||Hallmark Movie|
|2016||Conviction||Penny Price||Episode: "Mother's Little Burden"|
|2018||Deadly Delusion||Dr. Leary||Lifetime Movie aka The Lease|
|2019||Deadly Switch||Olivia||TV movie aka Foreign Exchange|
|2019–present||Good Trouble||Stef Adams Foster||Guest role|
|2019||The Bravest Knight||Saylor||Supporting character, voice|
|2019||25 Words or Less||herself||Game show|
|2020||Curb Your Enthusiasm||Rita||Episode: "Side Sitting"|
|2020||JL Family Ranch: The Wedding Gift||Rebecca Landsburg||Hallmark movie|
|2021||The Big Leap||Julia Perkins||Main role|
|2022||NCIS||Vivian Kolchak||3 episodes|
- "Celebrity birthdays for the week of May 30-June 5". ABC News. The Associated Press. May 24, 2021.
- Brooke Carter (January 12, 2017). "What Happened to Teri Polo". Gazette Review.
- "Soap Opera Actors: Where are they now". June 17, 2015.
- "FreeJose.com". Maxim Magazine Hot 100 Women of 2002. Archived from the original on February 23, 2007. Retrieved January 27, 2007.
- "First Images From 'The Beacon', Texas Screenings! -". bloody-disgusting.com. October 8, 2009.
- "Stef Foster". ABC Family.
- "Teri Polo, Sherri Saum Dish on The Fosters Chemistry, Kissing Scenes". Us Weekly. May 28, 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2022.
- Romano, Nick. "How The Bravest Knight is turning the tide for LGBTQ kids programming". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 6, 2019.
- Andreeva, Nellie (July 20, 2018). "'Good Trouble': 'The Fosters' Stars Teri Polo and Sherri Saum To Reprise Roles On Spinoff Series". Deadline. Retrieved March 20, 2022.
- "The Cast of Freeform's "The Fosters" To Reunite For Special One-night-only Event to Benefit the Actors Fund". Actors Fund. July 6, 2020. Retrieved March 20, 2022.
- Michael Balderston (September 20, 2021). "'The Big Leap': Cast, release date, trailer and everything else we know about the Fox dramedy". whattowatch.com. Retrieved March 20, 2022.
- "Teri Polo on remarriage and her son". People. February 21, 2007. Retrieved March 20, 2022.
- "Teri Polo Welcomes Baby Girl". People. December 21, 2007. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
- Fox, Sarah (June 1, 2019). "'The Bravest Knight' Gets a Colorful Trailer to Start Pride Month". Slanted. Archived from the original on June 7, 2019. Retrieved December 18, 2020.