Teri Polo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Teri Polo
Teri Polo 2014 crop.jpg
Polo at 2014 GLAAD Media Awards
Theresa Elizabeth Polo

(1969-06-01) June 1, 1969 (age 53)
Years active1986–present
Anthony Moore
(m. 1997; div. 2005)
PartnerJamie 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–).

Early life[edit]

Polo was born on June 1, 1969, in Dover, Delaware[1] to Jane (née Gentry), a homemaker, and Vincent Polo, a stereo systems designer. She is of Italian, English, and German descent.[2] 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.[3] 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.[4] 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.[5]

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.[6][7] 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.[8]

After The Fosters ended its five-season run, Polo continued the role in guest appearances on the spinoff Good Trouble.[9] 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.[10]

Polo has guest-starred on many TV shows, including The Practice, Felicity, Chicago Hope, Numb3rs, Sports Night, Frasier, Ghost Whisperer, Medium, Law & Order: LA, Castle and Criminal Minds.

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.[11]

Personal life[edit]

In April 1997, Polo married photographer Anthony Moore. They have a son together, Griffin (born 2002). In 2003, Polo and Moore divorced.[12]

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.[13]



Year Title Role Notes
1991 Born to Ride Beryl Ann Devers
1991 Mystery Date Geena Matthews
1992 Passed Away Rachel Scanlan
1993 Aspen Extreme Robin Hand
1993 Quick Quick
1993 The House of the Spirits Rosa del Valle
1994 Golden Gate Cynthia
1996 The Arrival Char
2000 Meet the Parents Pam Byrnes
2001 The Unsaid Barbara Lonigan
2001 Domestic Disturbance Susan
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 2:13 Amanda Richardson
2009 The Hole Susan
2009 The Beacon Bryn Shaw
2010 Little Fockers Pam Focker
2012 Beyond Sarah Noble
2012 Christmas Angel
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
2016 The Neighbor Jaydn Short
2020 All for Nikki Liz Steadman
2021 The Ravine Carolyn Bianci
2021 Fourth Grade Kate
2021 Four Cousins and a Christmas Aunt Angela


Year Title Role Notes
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 Texarkana Movie
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 Sugar Hill Series
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 Romantically Speaking Penny Movie
2015 Love, Again Chloe Baker Hallmark movie
2016 Rosaline Narrator
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[14]
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


  1. ^ "Celebrity birthdays for the week of May 30-June 5". ABC News. The Associated Press. May 24, 2021.
  2. ^ Brooke Carter (January 12, 2017). "What Happened to Teri Polo". Gazette Review.
  3. ^ "Soap Opera Actors: Where are they now". June 17, 2015.
  4. ^ "FreeJose.com". Maxim Magazine Hot 100 Women of 2002. Archived from the original on February 23, 2007. Retrieved January 27, 2007.
  5. ^ "First Images From 'The Beacon', Texas Screenings! -". bloody-disgusting.com. October 8, 2009.
  6. ^ "Stef Foster". ABC Family.
  7. ^ "Teri Polo, Sherri Saum Dish on The Fosters Chemistry, Kissing Scenes". Us Weekly. May 28, 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2022.
  8. ^ Romano, Nick. "How The Bravest Knight is turning the tide for LGBTQ kids programming". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 6, 2019.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ "Teri Polo on remarriage and her son". People. February 21, 2007. Retrieved March 20, 2022.
  13. ^ "Teri Polo Welcomes Baby Girl". People. December 21, 2007. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  14. ^ 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.

External links[edit]