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Charisma Carpenter Biography

Nov 19, 2008
New York
Charisma Lee Carpenter was born in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 23, 1970. She was given her unusual first name after a brand of Avon perfume. (Her friends call her "Chris" or "Chrissy").

Charisma's first performing experience came at the age of nine, when she was part of a song-and-dance troupe in Las Vegas. In the years following, she participated in, and won, several beauty and dance contests.

After spending some time in Mexico, her family moved to San Diego, where Charisma graduated high school. In 1991 she spent one season as a cheerleader for the San Diego Chargers football team.

Charisma moved to Los Angeles and began an acting career, appearing in plays and in TV commercials. Her first appearance on a TV series was in a 1994 episode of Baywatch, playing Wendie Sanders, a young woman who dates Hobie Buchannon (Jeremy Jackson), the son of David Hasselhoff's character.

This led to a regular role in the Aaron Spelling teen drama Malibu Shores, but the show lasted only 10 episodes before being cancelled.

In 1996, Charisma auditioned for the title role in a new series called Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Although she lost the role to Sarah Michelle Gellar, Charisma was cast in the regular recurring role of Cordelia Chase, a snooty but popular "mean girl" at Sunnydale High who eventually becomes a member of Buffy's "Scooby Gang." Cordelia appeared in every episode of BtVS's second and third seasons.

In 1999 Angel, a spinoff of Buffy, was launched. Charisma and David Boreanaz left Buffy to star in the new show, which was set in Los Angeles and featured Cordelia as secretary, business manager and friend of vampire detective Angel.

From 2002 to 2008, Charisma was married to actor Damian Hardy, and in 2003 gave birth to their son, Donovan. Her pregnancy was written into Angel, but after the fourth season, the Cordelia character was written off the series. To celebrate losing her "baby weight," Charisma posed for a nude pictorial in Playboy magazine, which appeared in the June 2004 issue.

After leaving Angel, Charisma appeared in many guest and recurring TV roles and in several made-for-TV movies. Her biggest TV role was an 11-episode run on Veronica Mars as Kendall Casablancas, the young, conniving "trophy wife" of the father of characters Dick and Cassidy.

Other notable roles included Kyra the Seer on Charmed... a powerful demoness who, like her Cordelia character on Angel, has the power to see the future; Tegan Walker on the fraternity-themed series Greek; and Triana, one of the dominatrix-like Mord-Sith female warriors on fantasy series Legend of the Seeker.

She also appeared in a series of high-profile commercials and promotions for Butterfinger candy bars.

Her first role in a major theatrical motion picture came in 2010 in Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables. She played Lacy, the girlfriend of Jason Statham's character. The Expendables received mixed reviews, but very healthy box office.

In 2011 she appeared in episodes of TV shows Burn Notice and Supernatural, and it was announced she would appear in a recurring role on the ABC Family series The Lying Game, starting in 2012.

Interesting facts:

* Her ancestry is a mix of Mexican/Spanish, Cherokee, Irish, Scottish, French, and German

* She is 5' 7.5" tall, and her measurements are 36C-24-35

* As a teenager, she commuted from her family's home in Rosarita, Mexico, to her performing arts school in San Diego

* Her hobbies include outdoor activities like bike and horseback riding, rock climbing, rollerblading, and hiking, and also writing poetry

* Has a tattoo of the sun on her lower back, one of a rosary on her left wrist, and a lion's face on the instep of her left foot

* Is one of two Buffyverse actresses to have posed for Playboy magazine (the other is Mercedes McNab); her only nude scene in a film was in the 2006 Lifetime movie Flirting With Danger

* She has played seven different characters who have supernatural or psychic abilities (her characters on the TV shows Angel, Charmed, Legend of the Seeker and Supernatural; and in the movies Voodoo Moon, Psychosis, and House of Bones)

* Has a scar on her lower chest caused by a childhood accident in which she was pierced by a piece of rebar. Her character, Cordelia, had a similar accident in the Buffy episode "Lovers Walk"

* She appeared in 54 episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and 86 episodes of Angel

* Charisma was nominated 4 times for Saturn Awards by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films for her work on Angel

* Was 26 years old when she began playing the role of the 16-year-old Cordelia on Buffy