Administrative Professionals’ Day: Our Favorites from the Big and Small Screen

This Wednesday, April 26, is Administrative Professionals’ Day. Dating all the way back to the 1950s, the last week of April is a time to acknowledge the significant contributions of executive assistants, secretaries and other administrative roles. Anyone who has worked in an office, school or large organization knows that someone has to be the glue that holds all the moving parts together! So here are some of our favorite administrative professionals:

The Fearless Trailblazers

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Doralee Rhodes (9 to 5)—In this classic comedy from 1980, Doralee isn’t afraid to stand up to her “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot” boss. Attagirl, Doralee!

JoanHolloway_Half Price BooksJoan Holloway (Mad Men)—Don’t mess with Joan. She runs a tight ship, managing her team of secretaries while advancing her career in a climate that’s less than conducive to women in power.
TessMcGill_Half Price BooksTess McGill (Working Girl)—Tess proves that, sometimes in life, you have to visualize what you want and then take it. She’s never afraid to step up and make the most of an opportunity.

The Do-It-All Magicians

PepperPotts_Half Price BooksPepper Potts (Iron Man movies and comics)—Pepper is loyal and dedicated to her boss and her job, so much so that she eventually graduates from executive assistant to CEO.

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Janine Melnitz (Ghostbusters)—Janine keeps the Ghostbusters team in order, and she’s ready to step in and help when needed. “Who ya gonna call? Janine Melnitz!”

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Donna Paulsen (Suits)—Women want to be Donna. Men want to date Donna. And everyone wants Donna as their own personal assistant. It’s undeniable that there’s just something about Donna.

The Hopeless Romantics

WaylonSmithers_Half Price BooksWaylon Smithers (The Simpsons)—Smithers has a long, complicated relationship with his boss, Mr. Burns. He’s also head-over-heels in love with him.

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Miss Moneypenny (James Bond novels and films)—Poor, poor Moneypenny. The Bond girl that never truly was. Always the bridesmaid, and never the bride.

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Jonathan (30 Rock)—There’s a fine line between dedicated and desperate, and Jonathan straddles it, even if that puts him at odds with other coworkers.

The Anti-Secretaries

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April Ludgate (Parks & Recreation)—Nobody does deadpan comedy like Aubrey Plaza. While not the most skillful assistant, April is certainly memorable. Just don’t schedule a meeting for March 31.

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Karen Walker (Will & Grace)— Somehow, Karen can be completely incompetent as Grace’s assistant, and yet you still want to be her best friend. Now that’s talent!

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Kitty Sanchez (Arrested Development)—Working for the Bluth family is no easy task. But Kitty handles it in her own unique way, crossing the lines of professionalism…again and again.

The Voices of Reason

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Greta (Liar Liar)—Played by the wonderful Anne Haney, Greta handles her boorish, quick-tongued boss with professional poise while also helping him with his personal life.

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Mrs. Landingham (The West Wing)—As the personal secretary to the President, Mrs. Landingham’s blunt honesty serves as the perfect foil to the commander-in-chief.

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Grace (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)—Grace manages to be sweet and endearing while also wrangling the antics of a group of high schoolers with aplomb. We think she’s a righteous dude…tte.

The Underdogs

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Andy Sachs (The Devil Wears Prada)—As assistant to the ice queen Miranda Priestly, Andy has a tough gig. Thus, her ultimate success and happiness just feels good for the soul.

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Gary Walsh (Veep)—Gary is likeable, earnest and always there when needed with a bag of supplies. But sometimes, he tries a little too hard. You can’t help but root for him, though.

PamBeesley_Half Price BooksPam Beesley (The Office)—Pam’s growth and ability to find her voice is what makes us love her. Originally a timid, quiet character stuck in a rut, her romance with Jim makes her blossom.

Who did we leave out? Tell us below in the comments. And make sure to thank an administrative professional around you for their dedicated service!

Jason is the Email Coordinator at Half Price Books Corporate.

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