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Phyllis Smith portrays customer sales representative Phyllis Vance on NBC's hit comedy "The Office."
Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Smith is a former St. Louis Cardinals cheerleader. She got her start in the entertainment industry working for casting agencies, and she was working for Allison Jones casting during the pilot screen testing for "The Office" when the show's executive producers were so impressed with her line readings that they decided to create the role of Phyllis for her in the pilot. She is now a series regular.
Most recently, she can be seen in "Bad Teacher," "Butter" and "Alvin and the Chipmunks 3: Chipwrecked." Her additional acting credits include "Arrested Development," the box-office hit "The 40 Year Old Virgin" and the independent film "I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With."
Smith received full scholarships in dance from Kansas University and Tulsa University, and she holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Missouri, St. Louis. She studied with Marjorie Mendolia for ballet and tap and eventually became a teacher. Smith was a ballet dancer with the St. Louis Civic Ballet and the St. Louis Dance Theater and a professional jazz dancer under Raoul Appel.
In addition to her love of dance, Smith has worked various jobs to pay the bills. She was a preschool teacher, a J.C. Penney's warehouse worker, a movie theater ticket taker and a receptionist for an aerospace defense company, where she earned the coveted Employee of the Year award.
Smith has been a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) member for more than 18 years. She currently lives in Los Angeles.