Heralded by TV Guide as "one of Canada's Top Ten Superstars", Tara Spencer-Nairn is currently best-known as the familiar face of deadpan police officer Karen Pelly on the hit Canadian sitcom Corner Gas. Set in small-town anywheres-ville in the Prairies, the CTV show has become a huge success, airing to record numbers in Canada, nominated for an International Emmy in 2004 and winning several Gemini Awards for Best Comedy and Best Ensemble Performance.
When she's not shooting Corner Gas, Tara is busy acting in a number of movies. The actress was chosen to play Wayne Gretzky's sister Kim in the made for TV movie Waking Up Wally, a drama based on the best-selling biography Walter Gretzky: On Family, Hockey and Healing, which aired on CBC in November 2005.
Born in Montreal, Spencer-Nairn was raised in Vancouver and currently uses Toronto as her home base. The youngest of three siblings the actress spent 12 years as a competitive gymnast. She is a graduate of the prestigious Shawnigan Lake School, on Vancouver Island, which she attended after her rebellious nature resulted in her leaving another private school.
"I was just really angry and had nowhere to focus my angst", she recalls "But as soon as I got into drama, it was somewhere I could let it all out. Oddly enough, I felt safer onstage."
A graduate of the Vancouver Film School, Spencer-Nairn's big breakthrough came in 1999, when she was cast in the highly-acclaimed film New Waterford Girl. The film played at Sundance and the Toronto International Film Festival and was nominated for seven Genie awards, including best picture. Tara garnered rave reviews for her portrayal of the disaffected Lou, a Bronx-raised teenager who moves to a small Nova Scotia town and quickly turns it on its ear.
The actress subsequently starred alongside Don McKellar in independent film Rub and Tug. Set in a seedy massage parlour, the 2002 film was Tara's first foray into comedy. The experiment was success and resulted in a Canadian Comedy Award for 'Pretty Funny Female Performance', for Spencer-Nairn for her portrayal of the street-smart Betty.
In addition to her film work, and her continuing success on Corner Gas, Spencer-Nairn has appeared in numerous television productions including ReGenesis, Puppets Who Kill, Blue Murder, Wes Craven Presents: Don't Look Down, Cold Squad, The Outer Limits, Tom Stone and Relic Hunter.