Lori Hammel grew up in North Dakota, where she fell in love with all things creative. Her dream was to live and work in New York City and that’s where she is today. She has appeared on Master of None, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, 30 Rock, The Following, The Colbert Report, As the World Turns and The Today Show. Film work includes playing a morning show host in Ethan and Joel Coen’s feature film Burn After Reading; Puzzle (2018 Sundance), An Invisible Sign; She’s Lost Control (2014 Berlin Film Festival, SXSW); Burning Up! (2014 Katra Festival) and playing the title role in Coney Island Queen (2014 Cannes Shorts Corner). Lori has been thrilled to work on camera with Tina Fey, Michael Hitchcock (Glee), Rob Riggle (The Daily Show) and with The Whitest Kids U’ Know in the Comedy Central pilot Boyfriendz.
Lori’s improvisational skills have been put to use as recurring political pundit Leslie Hillerman on the Onion News Network series In The Know and as her alter ego NY2 Broadway reporter character Margo Rose Ferderer.
Lori made her Broadway debut in Mamma Mia! In 2015 she starred as Ethel Mertz in the national tour of I Love Lucy Live. Other national tours include Mamma Mia and the first national of Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5: The Musical. She received the Excellence in Acting Award at the New York International Fringe Festival for her performance in Gary Apple’s Hell is for Real.
Off Broadway credits include the world premieres of two family dramas Unraveled (2018) and Unbroken Circle (2013). Musicals include I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change and The Bardy Bunch (playing Carol Brady ala Lady Macbeth). Lori has a long association with Tony Award®-winning Forbidden Broadway including the Off Broadway company, productions in Singapore and Japan and performing as a soloist with the Hartford and Syracuse Symphonies. She created endearing comedic impersonations of Broadway’s finest and can be heard on the cast album.
Regional theatre credits include starring in the 2012 world premiere of the drama Handicapped People in their Formal Attire at Premier Stages, The Bikinis at Long Wharf and Goodspeed, Mamma Mia! at Pittsburgh CLO, Forbidden Hollywood (Jeff Award & After Dark Award), Little Me (Jeff nomination) and Singin’ in the Rain (Jeff nomination & After Dark Award).
In national commercials Lori has had the pleasure of being directed by some super exciting directors including legendary comedian/director David Steinberg, Oscar winning documentarian Errol Morris, Phil Morrison (Junebug), Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) and Jordan Brady (I Am Comic). She can currently be seen in the Rocket Mortgage campaign with Keegan-Michael Key, directed by Johathan Krisel (Baskets, Portlandia).
Lori is passionate about helping actors getting started in the field and re-inspiring working actors. She co-authored the critically acclaimed guidebook Minding The Edge: Strategies for a Fulfilling, Successful Career as an Actor (Waveland Press) and is a contributing author for Acting for the Stage (Focal Press). She has been a guest lecturer at American University, NYU, Pace University, University at Buffalo, Wayne State University and Kean University. Lori is a frequent moderator for SAG-AFTRA Foundation panels and has interviewed casting directors, indie filmmakers and industry leaders in seminars for members of the acting unions. She is honored to be the 2014 recipient of the SAG-AFTRA Joseph C. Riley Service Award.
As a painter, her expressionist portraits have been exhibited in NYC and Washington, DC.