Canadian actress Tara Spencer-Nairn is best known for her role of police officer Karen Pelly on the popular television series “Corner Gas” (2004-2009). She shared a Gemini Award for her work on the show. In February 2011, she joined the cast of the 2009 Canadian series “The Listener.” In addition, she has appeared in the films “New Waterford Girl” (1999), “Wishmaster 4: The Prophecy Fulfilled” (2002), “Rub & Tug” (2002), where she was nominated for a Canadian Comedy Award for her performance, “Waking Up Wally: The Walter Gretzky Story” (2005), “The Third Eye” (2007), “I Final Draft” (2007) and “Cancel Christmas” (2010).
Spencer-Nairn speaks English and French and is in a relationship with record industry publicist Josh Glover. She and her boyfriend currently reside in Toronto.
Childhood and Family:
Tara Spencer-Nairn was born on January 6, 1978, in Montréal, Québec, Canada. She grew up on the west coast of Canada and attended Shawnigan Lake High School in Victoria, British Columbia, where she graduated in 1995. She also studied at the Vancouver Film School.
Tara Spencer-Nairn had her first taste in front of the cameras when she received the guest role of Suzanne on a 1996 episode of the Canadian series “Two” called “Prom Night.” She continued landing guest spots on other television series, including Showtime's “Poltergeist: The Legacy” (1998, as Cindy Smith), the UPN comedy “Breaker High” (1998, as Bonnie), the Gemini award winning drama “Cold Squad” (1998, as Amanda Millerd), “Dead Man's Gun” (1998, as Anna Bevington), the Emmy Award nominated science fiction series “First Wave” (1998, as Cassandra) and the syndicated series “NightMan” (1998), starring Matt McColm, Derek Webster, Felecia M. Bell, Earl Holliman and Michael Woods. She also had a recurring role on two episodes of the 1995 Showtime revival series “The Outer Limits.”
Spencer-Nairn made her television movie debut in “The
Inspectors,” which aired on the Showtime Network on September
20, 1998. The movie was directed by Brad Turner, written by Bruce
Zimmerman and starred Louis Gossett Jr., Jonathan Silverman and
Tobias Mehler. It was followed by a supporting turn as Rachel in the
Wes Craven produced horror TV film “Don't Look Down”
(1998), starring Megan Ward and Billy Burke, and a stint with Will
Friedle, Matthew Lawrence and Gabrielle Union on the ABC comedy “H-E
Double Hockey Sticks” (1999). Also in 1999, the actress made
her feature film debut in the Canadian dramatic comedy “New
Waterford Girl,” where she starred opposite Liane Balaban and
Mary Walsh. Directed by Allan Moyle, the film premiered at the
Toronto International Film Festival on September 12, 1999, where it
won a Best Canadian First Feature Film - Special Jury Congratulation,
and received a limited theatrical release in Canada. It was nominated
for several Genie Awards, including Best Motion Picture and Best
Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, and won a Canadian
Award for Best Canadian Feature, a Canadian Comedy Award for Film -
Pretty Funny Direction, and a Best Canadian Film Award at the 1999
In the new millennium, Spencer-Nairn made guest appearances in television series like “Relic Hunter” (2001), “Bliss” (2002) and “Tom Stone” (2002). She also portrayed Mimi Valentine on the Canadian animated series “Moville Mysteries” (2002), which starred Frankie Muniz, and Erica/Vegna on two episodes of “Tracker” (2002), a Canadian science fiction series starring Adrian Paul, Amy Price-Francis, Leanne Wilson and Geraint Wyn Davies. She then starred as Lisa Burnley on the 2002 video “Wishmaster 4: The Prophecy Fulfilled,” opposite Michael Trucco, Jason Thompson and Victor Webster, portrayed Betty in Soo Lyu's comedy “Rub & Tug” (2002), opposite Don McKellar and Kira Clavell, and was cast opposite Casper Van Dien and Graham Greene in the television film “Big Spender” (2003), which was directed by Paul Schneider. She was nominated for a 2003 Canadian Comedy Award for Film - Pretty Funny Female Performance for her work on “Rub & Tug.”
Spencer-Nairn experienced a huge break on television when she landed the role of Constable Karen Pelly on the hit Canadian television sitcom “Corner Gas,” which ran on CTV and The Comedy Network from January 2004 to April 2009. Along with the cast, which including Brent Butt, Gabrielle Miller, Fred Ewanuick, Eric Peterson, Janet Wright, Lorne Cardinal and Nancy Robertson, she picked up a 2007 Gemini for Best Ensemble Performance in a Comedy Program or Series after previously being nominated twice. While on the series, she also appeared in episodes of “Puppets Who Kill” (2004), “Blue Murder” (2004), “ReGenesis” (2004) and “Naked Josh” (2006). In 2005, she appeared with Gail O'Grady, Grant Show and Chelsea Hobbs on the Lifetime TV film “More Sex & the Single Mom” and portrayed Kim Gretzky in the film “Waking Up Wally: The Walter Gretzky Story,” which was adapted from the 2003 book “On Family, Hockey and Healing” by Walter Gretzky. She then teamed up with Dylan Neal, Shannon Sturges, Natalie Brown, Martin Roach and Philip Craig on the Lifetime television movie “Cradle of Lies” (2006), starred as Daisy on the short film “Password” (2006), and costarred with Sean Cullen and Mathew Peart in the short “The Interior Monologue of Gill the Goldfish” (2007). She next played the roles of Nika Printz, a photojournalist, in the thriller “The Third Eye” (2007), which was directed and co-written by Leah Walker, and Kate Twist in the Jonathan Dueck directed horror film “I Final Draft” (2007), opposite James Van Der Beek and Darryn Lucio.
After “Corner Gas,” Spencer-Nairn appeared in an episode of the comedy show “The Ron James Show,” which aired on November 6, 2009. In 2010, she played Michelle Morgan on the TV film “Cancel Christmas,” starring Judd Nelson, Justin Landry and Natalie Brown. Recently, in February 2011, she was cast as Nurse Sandy on the second season of the Canadian supernatural series “The Listener.”
Gemini: Best Ensemble Performance in a Comedy Program or Series, “Corner Gas,” 2007