Elizabeth Stamatina Fey was born on May 18th, 1970 to Donald and Jeanne Fey in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. Her only sibling, brother Peter, is eight years her senior. Her mother immigrated to the United States from Greece before marring Donald, and the name Stamatina is a maternal family name.
As a teenager, Tina considered herself “a feminist supernerd” but soon found comedy and acting as ways to come out of her shell. Tina then attended and graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in dramatic theater. After she graduated UVA in 1992, Tina decided to take a chance and auditioned for Chicago’s Second City comedy troupe. She spent only a short amount of time in Second City beginner’s classes before auditioning and receiving a coveted spot at Second City’s Training Center, a very selective program.
In 1995, Adam McKay, a former cast mate of Fey’s at Second City, had been promoted to head writer at Saturday Night Live. McKay urged Fey to send in an audition packet to SNL producer, Lorne Michaels. Although shaky on the idea at first, Fey eventually sent in a packet of six sketches in 1997. Lorne Michaels was impressed, flew to Chicago to meet Fey, and offered her a job one week later.
Fey worked for many years behind the scenes, crafting SNL hit skits such as The Boston Teens (Sully and Denise), parodies of The View, and the ever-funny Monica Lewinsky sketches. In 1999, she was promoted to head writer. She was the first woman to achieve this honor; although Fey downplays the achievement by noting that there hasn’t been that many head writers in SNL’s thirty-year history.
In 2000, the show’s 25th season, Fey finally made her appearance on camera, joining popular cast mate Jimmy Fallon as co-hosts of Weekend Update, the only skit spanning the show’s full history. In 2004, Fallon left the show and Fey’s cast mate and close personal friend, Amy Poehler, joined her behind the news desk.
Also in 2004, Fey made her screenwriting and movie acting debut with Mean Girls based on Rosalind Wiseman’s book, Queen Bees and Wannabees: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends and Other Realities of Adolescence.
Tina married Second City director Jeff Richmond in 2001. The couple welcomed a baby girl, Alice Richmond, on September 10th, 2005. They reside in New York City.
Tina finally left SNL in 2006, in order to work on a new sitcom, 30 Rock, for NBC. The series has recently been given the green light on a second season. She has also penned a new screenplay, due for release in late 2007, Curly Oxide and Vic Thrill.