Kay Cannon is an American screenwriter, producer, director, and actress, best known for writing and producing the Pitch Perfect film series. She was also the first wife of Jason Sudeikis, the star of Ted Lasso and Saturday Night Live. But who is Kay Cannon, and what is her story? Here are some facts and highlights from her life and career.
Early Life and Education
Kay Cannon was born on August 21, 1974, in Illinois, USA. She is the fifth of seven children, having four brothers and two sisters. Her maternal uncle is actor George Wendt, known for his role as Norm Peterson on Cheers. She graduated from Reed-Custer High School in Braidwood, Illinois, and received her BA in Theatre and MA in Education at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois. She was an All-American Track athlete in college.
Kay Cannon began her career in improv comedy, performing at ComedySportz in Kansas City, Missouri. She moved to Chicago, where she studied at the Annoyance Theatre and IO Theater (formerly known as ImprovOlympic) and was one of the founding members of the long form team, J.T.S. Brown. She also performed at The Second City in Chicago and Las Vegas, and at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles and New York City.
Breakthrough with 30 Rock and Pitch Perfect
Kay Cannon met actress Tina Fey, a fellow Second City alumna, while performing and writing around Chicago. When Fey began creating the NBC comedy series 30 Rock, she brought Cannon to the writing staff. She worked her way up from staff writer to supervising producer, and won three Writers Guild of America Awards and a Peabody Award for her work on the show. She was also nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series in 2010.
Kay Cannon’s first produced feature screenplay was the a cappella comedy Pitch Perfect, which was released in 2012 and became a surprise hit, grossing over $115 million worldwide. She wrote and co-produced the film’s sequels, Pitch Perfect 2 and Pitch Perfect 3, which were also successful at the box office and among fans. Pitch Perfect 2 was the highest-grossing musical comedy film of all time, until it was surpassed by The Lion King in 2019.
Other Projects and Achievements
Kay Cannon has also worked as a co-producer on the feature film Baby Mama, starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and as a co-executive producer on the Fox comedy series New Girl, starring Zooey Deschanel. She created, wrote and produced the short-lived Netflix comedy-drama series Girlboss, based on the real life of Sophia Amoruso, the founder of Nasty Gal. She made her directorial debut with the comedy film Blockers, starring Leslie Mann, John Cena, and Ike Barinholtz, which was well-received by critics and audiences. She also starred in the independent film The Little Tin Man, and guest-starred on 30 Rock, New Girl, and Cristela. She made a cameo in Pitch Perfect 2 and also appeared in the comedy How to Be Single, starring Rebel Wilson and Dakota Johnson.
Kay Cannon is currently working on several projects, including a live-action musical comedy film adaptation of Cinderella, starring Camila Cabello, Idina Menzel, and Billy Porter, which is set to be released in 2023. She is also developing a comedy series for NBC, titled Suspended, and a comedy film for Sony, titled The Pact.
Personal Life and Relationships
Kay Cannon married Jason Sudeikis, an actor and comedian, on June 26, 2004. They met while working at The Second City in Las Vegas. They divorced in 2010, after six years of marriage. They have remained friends and supportive of each other’s careers.
Kay Cannon married Eben Russell, a comedy writer, on January 1, 2012. They have a daughter, Evelyn Rose Russell, who was born on October 9, 2013. They live in Los Angeles, California.
|Eben Russell (current), Jason Sudeikis (ex)
|Evelyn Rose Russell
|Lewis University (B.A., M.A.)
|4 brothers, 2 sisters
|Favorite TV Show
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