Phyllis Smith

Phyllis Smith (born August 15, 1949) is an American actress and casting associate. She is best known for playing Phyllis Vance in the television series The Office and her critically acclaimed voice role as Sadness in the film Inside Out. She has a regular role on the Netflix series The OA.

Phyllis Smith
Smith in 2014 at KTVI
Born (1949-08-15) August 15, 1949
Alma materUniversity of Missouri–St. Louis
OccupationActress, casting associate
Years active1992–present

Early life

Smith was born in The Hill, a neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri. She is the second eldest of 9 siblings.


Smith graduated from the University of Missouri–St. Louis in 1972 with a degree in elementary education.[1] In the 1970s and 1980s, she worked as a dancer, a cheerleader for the old St. Louis Cardinals football team, and a burlesque performer. She said that there was "no stripping, but I did wear feathers."[2] She was forced to quit dancing after suffering a knee injury. Following this, Smith worked briefly as a telemarketer, lasting only 3 hours before resigning. She later worked in Hollywood, California, as an actress and in casting. Smith’s first paid acting role was as an extra in the film Caddyshack.


Smith was working as a casting associate on The Office when she was offered the role of Phyllis Vance, a character created specifically for her: a soft-spoken saleswoman who tends to disagree with the pompous office manager Michael Scott. She received Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2006 and 2007 for her performance in The Office in the category "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series." In June 2008, Smith appeared with the cast of The Office on Celebrity Family Feud. In 2011, she played a supporting role in the film Bad Teacher. In 2015, she voiced the character Sadness in the Pixar film Inside Out, receiving high critical praise for her performance. Since 2016, she has appeared as a regular in the Netflix series The OA.[3]



1993Once Upon a ForestAbigail's MotherUncredited/deleted scenes
1994The Princess and the GoblinNarratorUncredited
1995The Thief and the CobblerMaiden from MombassaUncredited
2005The 40-Year-Old VirginMrs. StitzerUncredited
2006I Want Someone to Eat Cheese WithMarsha
2011Bad TeacherLynn
2011Alvin and the Chipmunks: ChipwreckedFlight Attendant
2015Inside OutSadness (voice)Annie Award for Voice Acting in a Feature Production


2005Arrested DevelopmentCarlaEpisode: "The Immaculate Election"
20052013The OfficePhyllis VanceStarring: 187 episodes
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (20072008)
Nominated Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (20092013)
2006The Office: The AccountantsPhyllis VanceEpisode: "Phyllis"
2008The Office: The OutburstPhyllis VanceEpisode: "The Explanation"
2013Trophy WifeMrs. Patty Steinberg3 episodes
2014The MiddleMrs. HuffEpisode: "The Sinkhole"
20162019The OABetty Broderick-AllenStarring (season 1-2): 12 episodes

Video games

2015Disney Infinity 3.0SadnessVoice[4]

Production work

1992A Taste for KillingCasting associateTV Movie
1994–1997Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman88 episodes
1999Roswell1 episode
2000–2002Spin City45 episodes
2005Curb Your Enthusiasm10 episodes


  1. Tracy, Linda (Fall 2008). "It's never just another day at the office for UM-St. Louis alumna Phyllis Smith". UM St. Louis. St. Louis, MO: University of Missouri-St. Louis: 14–15. OCLC 19214058. Archived from the original on 2011-11-16.
  2. Grose, Jessica (June 23, 2011). "Questions for Phyllis Smith". Slate.
  3. Ge, Linda (December 12, 2016). "Brit Marling's Netflix Series 'The OA' Promises Mystery in First Trailer (Video)". The Wrap. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  4. Avalanche Software. Disney Infinity 3.0. Scene: Closing credits, 5:39 in, Featuring the Voice Talents of.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.