Kate's Notes

Monday, February 26, 2007

Teri Polo

Teri Polo

Theresa Elizabeth Polo (born on June 1, 1969) is probably best known for her role starring along side Ben Stiller as Pamela Byrnes in the hit comedy Meet the Parents (2000) and its sequel Meet the Fockers (2004). She was also one of the stars in the sitcom I'm with Her.

Early Life

The daughter of Jane, a homemaker, and Vince, a stereo systems designer, Polo grew up in Dover, Delaware. Encouraged by her parents, Polo studied ballet singe the age of 6 and spent most of her free time in the dance studio. Polo was a straight -A student at Holy Cross Elementary School, and an honors student at Dover High School; however, she dropped out of Dover High School after winning a modeling contest through Seventeen magazine, and moved to New York City at the age of 17 to sign with Petite Modeling Agency.

Career and Personal Life

After modeling’s shine started to tarnish, Polo began to concentrate solely on acting. Her first real role came in 1986, on the soap opera "Loving," and she didn’t have another notable role until “TV 101,” a which lasted until 1989.

Polo continued her baby steps forward, winning parts in the made-for-television movies The Phantom of the Opera (1990) and People Like Us (1990), before joining John Stamos for the film Born to Ride and Ethan Hawke in the straight-to-video release, Mystery Date (both in 1991).

She later guest starred on many television shows like "The Practice," "Felicity," "Chicago Hope," "Sports Night," and "Frasier," until she became a regular cast member on the last season of "Northern Exposure," and the sixth and seventh seasons of "The West Wing" as Helen Santos, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate Matt Santos, played by Jimmy Smits.

In 1997, Polo and her actor/photographer boyfriend Anthony Moore eloped in Las Vegas. During a Halloween party Teri and her husband were throwing, she got a callback for an audition for the new Ben Stiller comedy and immediately took the red-eye to New York to do a screen test for the movie's directors.

Fortunately for Polo, she landed the part of Pam Byrnes in the 2000 release, Meet the Parents. As Ben Stiller's fiance and Robert De Niro's daughter, Polo immediately increased her star power.

She then went on to be case in several movies such as 2001's The Unsaid with Andy Garcia, 2001's Domestic Disturbance with John Travolta and Vince Vaughn, and most notably 2003's Beyond Borders with Angelina Jolie. These took Polo from infrequent television actress to busy movie star.

She barely finished filming Beyond Borders before giving birth to her first child, son Griffin, in 2002.

After ending her six-year marriage to Moore in 2003, Polo reunited with the Stiller-De Niro team for Meet the Fockers, the sequel to the blockbuster comedy. Meet the Fockers was a big box-office draw upon its release in December 2004 and Polo, now a famous Hollywood actress, was back in the spotlight.

It was a good thing too, as her sitcom I'm with Her, starring Polo as an A-list actress dating an average joe, was short-lived.

Polo confirmed that she is signed on to reprise her role of Pamela Byrnes Focker in the upcoming sequel Little Fockers, which is due to be released in 2008.

Not only was Polo ranked #42 on the Maxim Hot 100 Women of 2002, but also, in February 2005 Polo appeared on the cover of, and posed nude in Playboy. The appearance was linked to the release of Meet the Fockers, with cover text that made similar plays on words such as “She's one hot Focker.”


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