Today’s Women Behind the Scenes spotlight is shone on Writer, Singer, Dancer, Producer and Actress Maurissa Tancharoen Whedon.
Maurissa was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, coming from a family deeply-rooted in the world of entertainment. Her father Tommy has been a transportation coordinator for Hollywood movies for nearly three decades while her brother Kevin is a director whose featured film Fame debuted in 2009.
She attended Occidental College, where she wrote two plays that won the Argonaut & Moore literary award. She worked as an assistant to TV producer William M. Finkelstein on his series Brooklyn South, appeared as a dancer in the Michael Jackson movie Moonwalker and along the way she also worked as an assistant to producer Mark Tinker on NYPD Blue.
In 2001 she sold her first script to Revolution Studios for an untitled pitch, but that eventually led to her becoming a writer on the short-lived 2003 series called Oliver Beene. She also continued with her acting by appear in the shorts called Headache and I? as well as providing her voice to an episode of the animated series King of the Hill.
It was in 2007 that she became Co-Executive Producer on the short-lived US reality show called Dancelife that featured (and was produced by) Jennifer Lopez. In 2008, she appeared in another short called Promotion and then worked alongside her fiancé Jed Whedon and his brothers Zack and Joss (the man behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly and Dollhouse) in their online web creation Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. She not only appeared in the web series, but also helped write it. This was followed by her working as the Executive Producer on the Video Documentary Short for The Making of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and writer on the Commentary! The Musical video short.
2009 was a very busy year for Maurissa, including an appearance in the TV short called Floored and Lifted, provided her voice to the character of Zelda in The Legend of Neil, a spoof based on the video game The Legend of Zelda, performed backing vocals and danced in the parody song and music video “Do You Wanna Date My Avatar” for the online web series The Guild, worked as a writer and story editor for the Lifetime series Drop Dead Diva, won a Streamy Award for Best Writing for a Comedy Web Series for Dr. Horrible and got married to Jed Whedon.
Over the past two years, she has not only appeared in the TV series Dollhouse, but also worked as writer and story editor on the series and is currently working (with her husband Jed) as writer and co-producer on the Starz series Spartacus: Gods of the Arena.