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Also Known As: Died:
Born: July 23, 1970 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA Profession: actor, professional cheerleader, property manager, video store clerk, aerobics instructor, waitress

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

One-time professional cheerleader and childhood beauty pageant contestant, Charisma Carpenter made it big by playing - not surprisingly - a beautiful high school cheerleader. After several years as Cordelia Chase on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (WB/UPN, 1997-2003), and further exploration of the character on "Angel" (WB, 1999-2004), Carpenter finally left the real "Buffyverse," but did not stray too far away from what made her famous in the first place.Charisma Lee Carpenter was born on July 23, 1970, in Las Vegas, NV to Don and Chris Carpenter. She began studying ballet at five and was a participant in numerous beauty contests. She attended Las Vegas' Bishop Gorman High School before her family moved to Mexico when she was 15. While living in Mexico, Carpenter commuted to Bonita High near San Diego, CA before finally graduating from Chula Vista School of Creative and Performing Arts.By 1991, Carpenter finally used her skills as a one-time high school cheerleader to leave behind a series of mundane jobs to become a member of the pom-pom shaking San Diego Chargers' cheerleading squad. The following year, she upped the ante on her dreams, moving to Los Angeles, where she was "discovered" while working as...

One-time professional cheerleader and childhood beauty pageant contestant, Charisma Carpenter made it big by playing - not surprisingly - a beautiful high school cheerleader. After several years as Cordelia Chase on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (WB/UPN, 1997-2003), and further exploration of the character on "Angel" (WB, 1999-2004), Carpenter finally left the real "Buffyverse," but did not stray too far away from what made her famous in the first place.

Charisma Lee Carpenter was born on July 23, 1970, in Las Vegas, NV to Don and Chris Carpenter. She began studying ballet at five and was a participant in numerous beauty contests. She attended Las Vegas' Bishop Gorman High School before her family moved to Mexico when she was 15. While living in Mexico, Carpenter commuted to Bonita High near San Diego, CA before finally graduating from Chula Vista School of Creative and Performing Arts.

By 1991, Carpenter finally used her skills as a one-time high school cheerleader to leave behind a series of mundane jobs to become a member of the pom-pom shaking San Diego Chargers' cheerleading squad. The following year, she upped the ante on her dreams, moving to Los Angeles, where she was "discovered" while working as a waitress. Signed by a commercial agent, the brunette beauty was soon booked on several television spots, which in turn led to her landing her first role on a 1994 episode of "Baywatch" (NBC/Syndicated, 1989-2001). This part helped her earn a subsequently bigger gig - that of Ashley Green - on uber-producer Aaron Spelling's primetime soap, "Malibu Shores" (NBC, 1996) - a show that, despite having an extraordinarily limited run, managed to produce a number of successful actors, including Barry "7th Heaven" Watson and Keri "Felicity" Russell.

Although she appeared on several other forgotten shows in the months on "Malibu Shores," Carpenter's career did not truly begin until she auditioned for "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Despite being passed over for the lead role (which went to Sarah Michelle Gellar, Carpenter caught the attention of the show's producers and was cast as Cordelia Chase, the archetypal shallow cheerleader who reluctantly at first, joins in the fight for good alongside Buffy. At the show's fictional Sunnydale High School, Cordelia was at once popular, rich, beautiful and cruel. Eventually, however, her social status plummeted - partially as a result of her joining Buffy's clique of vampire hunters.

After two years of paying her dues on "Buffy," Carpenter moved on to a new show, but did not stray far from the Buffy universe - or "Buffyverse" - as fans called it. Turns out, her character Cordelia the cheerleader moved from Sunnydale to Los Angeles where she joined fellow "Buffy" alum David Boreanez on the spin-off "Angel" to continue doing battle with underworld demons. Although she was written off the show in 2003, fan support brought her back for "Angel's" 100th episode in 2004.

With few exceptions - among them the 2001 comedy "The Groomsmen" - Carpenter spent her career in television. After leaving the "Buffyverse," Carpenter appeared in multi-episode guest arcs on "Charmed" (WB, 1998-2006) and the failed "Miss Match" (NBC, 2003) with a series of single episode appearances on other shows. She also made quite the splash w/ "Buffy" nerds the world over when she appeared on the cover of the June, 2004 issue of Playboy magazine, which inside, featured in a 10-page spread of the former vampire-killing babe. In 2005, Carpenter returned to television in a recurring role as the gold-digging trophy-wife Kendall Casablancas on the "Buffy"-influenced detective series, "Veronica Mars" (UPN/CW, 2004- ), starring break-out star, Kristen Bell.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Haunted High (2012)
2.
3.
 Trusted Man, A (2011)
4.
 Expendables, The (2010)
5.
 Psychosis (2010)
6.
 House of Bones (2010)
7.
8.
 Cheater's Club (2006)
9.
 What Boys Like (2004) Kim
10.
 House of Bones (2010)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada
1985:
Moved with her family to Mexico at age 15
1991:
Worked as a San Diego Chargers cheerleader
1992:
Moved to L.A.
:
Was "discovered" by a commercial agent while waiting tables in Los Angeles
1994:
Had a guest role on an episode of "Baywatch" (syndicated)
1995:
Guest starred on an episode of "Boy Meets World" (ABC)
1996:
Starred on Aaron Spelling's short-lived "Malibu Shores" (NBC)
1997:
Played Cordelia, a regular on The WB's popular supernatural series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
1999:
Reprised the role of Cordelia opposite David Boreanaz in the spin-off series "Angel" (The WB)
2004:
Recurring role as a psychic demon in the popular witch drama "Charmed" (WB)
2005:
Recurring role as Kendall Casablancas, the trophy-wife stepmother in "Veronica Mars" (UPN)
2010:
Cast opposite Sylvester Stallone in "The Expendables," an 80s-style action adventure about a group of mercenaries who attempt to overthrow a South American dictator; film featured a Who's Who of action stars including Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li, and Arnold Schwarzenegger
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Gorman High School: Las Vegas , Nevada -
Bonita High School: Bonita , California -
School of the Creative and Performing Arts: San Diego , California -
Chula Vista High School: Chula Vista , California - 1988

Notes

Her unusual first name comes from a perfume her mother enjoyed.

In 1991, during a midnight swim in San Diego, Carpenter and two male friends were accosted by a gunman. During a struggle, her two companions were wounded (but not critically). A police officer was ultimately charged and convicted of the crime and was sentenced to more than 50 years in prison. Carpenter declines to discuss the incident. --Reported in PEOPLE, March 8, 1999

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Damian Hardy. Actor. Born c. 1969; together since 1997; married.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Don Carpenter. Salesman. Born c. 1943; divorced from Carpenter's mother in 1983; reconciled and remarried; divorced a second time in 1996.
mother:
Chris Carpenter. Bird-sanctuary worker. Born c. 1939; divorced from Carpenter's father in 1983; reconciled and remarried; divorced again in 1996.
son:
Donavan Charles. Born March 24, 2003 in Los Angeles.

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