Maria Thayer may be one of the biggest comedy actresses in Hollywood but she never deliberately set out to achieve that status. While going through her classical theatre program at Julliard, the Portland native looked forward to a lifetime of portraying the Juliets and Ophelias of Shakespeare’s imagination. A chance meeting with a Hollywood star, however, changed the course and since then, she has not looked back.
From the action-comedy series, Eagleheart, where she portrayed the strict Susie Wagner, to the cult TV show, Strangers With Candy, where she played the innocent redhead, Tammi Littlenut, Thayer has cemented a reputation as one of Hollywood’s go-to actresses for funny roles. She has further consolidated this status in the American cable TV series, Those Who Can’t, where she plays a hilariously-incompetent librarian named Abbey Logan.
Her Journey From A Bee Farm In Minnesota To NYC’s Julliard
Maria Thayer was born — Maria Christina Thayer — in Portland, Oregon, on October 30, 1975, to a middle-class family of apiculturists. We’re not sure if she’s an only child. However, she spent the first six years of her life in the small town of Boring, in eastern Portland where her parents ran a bee farm. The whole family later moved to places such as Montana and Seattle before settling down in Minnesota where Thayer would begin life as a teenager.
Growing up, Thayer attended Apple Valley High School in Apple Valley, Minnesota, and performed incredibly well in her studies. She was a member of the school’s award-winning debates and competitive speech program (forensics program), as well as the National Forensic League. She was also a Homecoming Queen of the school. All these exploits boosted her college applications and she was able to gain a place at the prestigious Juilliard School in the state of New York.
At Julliard, Maria Thayer enrolled in the school’s classical theatre program and looked forward to spending the rest of her life playing sober Shakespearean characters. Her life, however, took an entirely different direction after comic, actress, and writer, Amy Sedaris, saw her screaming her head off in a play. Sedaris was impressed with what she saw and wrote a part for her in her TV series, Strangers With Candy.
Strangers With Candy debuted in 1999 and revolved around Jerri, a 46-year-old ex-con, ex-junkie, ex-prostitute, as well as ex-stripper who decides to return to high school and enroll as a freshman. In the series, Thayer played the role of Jerri’s friend known as Tammi Littlenut. She featured in about 14 episodes of the show between 1999 and 2001 and this helped to make her a familiar face on the screens.
Some Of Her Most Popular TV Shows – Eagleheart And Those Who Can’t
Following the success of Strangers With Candy, Maria Thayer has gone on to appear in several other TV series, including Cougar Town, Big Apple, Bickford, The Education of Max, Arrested development, Portlandia, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Mindy Project, and 30 Rock. Her two most popular TV works however remain the widely-watched Adult Swim comedy series, Eagleheart, and the TruTV sitcom, Those Who Can’t.
Eagleheart is a parody cop show about a U.S. Marshal, named Chris, who fights criminals such as drug smugglers, art thieves, kidnappers, con artists. Assisting him in this noble venture is the weird combination of the slow-witted Brett, as well as the strict Susie. Eagleheart featured Chris Elliot in the lead role while Maria Thayer portrayed the by-the-book Susie. Her character was well received by fans and she appeared in about 24 episodes of the show from 2011 to 2014.
Another show where Thayer has become a household name is the comedy series, Those Who Can’t. The show chronicles the foolery of three dysfunctional high school teachers who don’t seem much grown-up than their students. The series featured members of the comedy troupe, The Grawlix as the three teachers while Thayer portrayed the school’s librarian named Abbey Logan. Her character pretends to be the voice of reason on the show but is not much better than the three teachers. Those Who Can’t debuted in 2016 and has helped Thayer consolidate her status as a comedy performer.
The Successes She Has Enjoyed On The Big Screen
Maria Thayer’s career has not been restricted to just the small screens. She has also appeared in several movies, including Night of the Living Deb, Accepted, and Table 19. Perhaps the highlight of her career came when she starred alongside Hollywood bigwigs such as Will Smith and Eva Mendes in the 2005 film, Hitch. After Hitch, her next popular project came when she was cast as Wyoma in the 2008 film, Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a rom-com about Peter Bretter, a music composer who is dumped by his girlfriend of five years. The loss predictably devastates Bretter and he heads off to Hawaii to try and regain his senses. The peace he is seeking however eludes him as he runs into his ex and her new man on the island. Forgetting Sarah Marshall featured the likes of Jason Segel and Kristen Bell while Thayer portrayed Wyoma, the sexually-frustrated new wife of one of the island guests. The movie was a box office hit and grossed a total of $105.8 million on a budget of $30 million.
Her Attempts To Find Love Again After A Broken Engagement
Although reportedly single today, Maria Thayer was at some point engaged to fellow actor David Harbour. Like Thayer, Harbour also has interests in television, theatre, and film. He has been featured in popular films such as Brokeback Mountain, Quantum of Solace, The Green Hornet, End of the Watch, The Equalizer, Hellboy, Black Mass, and Suicide Squad.
He is, however, most famous for his role as police chief, Jim Hopper, in the hit Netflix series, Stranger Things. His portrayal of the former alcoholic who later cleans up his act and makes an impact in his community has fetched him an Emmy and Golden Globe nomination for the best supporting actor in a drama series. He also won the 2018 Critics’ Choice Television Award for best supporting actor in a drama series.
Thayer and Harbour reportedly dated from 2009 to 2011. They also got engaged and had set a wedding date during which the actor was clamouring for his favourite band, Hold Steady, to play at the event. The planned nuptials, however, did not see the light of day and the couple went their separate ways in 2011. Since then, the actress has not been in any other notable relationship. It may be that she is single or dating another fellow but well out of the public eye.