Star Spotlight: Tina Fey

Jul 30, 2010 at 3:06 p.m. ET

Tina Fey went from small town girl to the toast of New York by being funny, smart, and yes, even a bit geeky -- a rarity in today's looks-obsessed entertainment industry.

Tina Feyvital stats

Birthday: May 18, 1970
Astrological sign: Taurus
Height: 5'4"
Family: Husband Jeff Richmond, daughter Alice
Hometown: Upper Darby, PA
Hobbies: Environmentalism

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tina fey in the spotlight

Being a geek was never so chic until Tina Fey came along. Proving that smart girls do finish first, Tina Fey parlayed a penchant for writing jokes into a multi-million dollar career starring in some of the funniest moments on television and the silver screen.

Growing up in Upper Darby, PA, Tina Fey received early exposure to comedy by her parents. Her father was so hardcore about the genre, in fact, that Tina Fey and her brother Peter were not allowed to watch The Flintstones because he hated that the show was a rip-off of The Honeymooners.

After graduating from the University of Virginia, Tina Fey moved to Chicago and started taking improv classes with the world-renowned The Second City performance troupe; she joined as a full-fledged member in 1994.

A huge chunk of Saturday Night Live talent is gleaned from Second City, and SNL alum Tina Fey is no exception. She first joined on as a writer -- later becoming the show's first female head writer -- then joined the cast onscreen in 2000. She coanchored the Weekend Update segment with Jimmy Fallon, then Amy Poehler. Tina Fey was extremely well-received in the role -- even former Update anchor Dennis Miller said "...Fey might be the best Weekend Update anchor who ever did it. She writes the funniest jokes."

Tina Fey left SNL in 2006 to pursue her own sitcom project: 30 Rock, which might very well be the most smartly-written show on television. Costarring Alec Baldwin, Jane Krakowski and former SNL cast mate Tracy Morgan, the show has brought Tina Fey 13 separate awards for both her writing and her acting skills.

But Tina Fey wasn't quite done with SNL yet. She returned several times in 2008 and 2010 with a hilariously spot-on impersonation of former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, earning her a spot on Entertainment Weekly's Best of the Decade list.

The writer/actress isn't all about television, however. Tina Fey has starred in and/or written several feature films, including Mean Girls with Lindsay Lohan, Baby Mama with her old Weekend Update partner Amy Poehler, The Invention of Lying and Date Night. Upcoming is a turn with Meryl Streep in Mommy & Me.

All told, Tina Fey has received seven Emmy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, four Screen Actors Guild Awards, and four Writers Guild of America Awards -- and she shows no signs of stopping. Look for Tina Fey's special brand of smart girl geek chic for years to come.

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