"Lots of doors have opened for me because of Buffy and Angel but, although I'm ambitious, I'm not going to just do anything simply because the money is good. If I can't love a project, then I'm not interested." Charisma Carpenter
TV actress Charisma Carpenter is most remembered for portraying character Cordelia Chase on WB's popular supernatural series "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" from 1997 to 1999. She also reprised her role, opposite David Boreanaz, in the spin-off series "Angel" from 1999 to 2003 and received a nomination for a Saturn Award for Best Genre TV Supporting Actress in 2000. Previously a regular on Aaron Spelling's short-lived series "Malibu Shores" (1996), Carpenter recently starred in the TV movie See Jane Date (2003).
"I don't really see myself being a sex symbol at all." Charisma Carpenter Brunette-haired, hazel-eyed Carpenter is 5' 7½ inches tall. Owner of a birthmark on her jaw line, Carpenter has a tribal sun tattoo on her back and a rosary tattoo on her left wrist. She recently appeared on the cover of Playboy with a 10-page layout in its June 2004 issue.
Commenting on her pose in the magazine, Charisma revealed, "Posing in Playboy is about finding joy, liberation and warmth. I'm shy and I really came out of my shell."
Childhood and Family:
"You can take the girl out of Vegas, but you can't take Vegas out of the girl." Charisma Carpenter
Half Mexican and half Cherokee, Charisma Lee Carpenter was born in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 23, 1970. The youngest child to parents Don Carpenter (salesman; born 1943; divorced from Carpenter's mother in 1983, reconciled and remarried, divorced a second time in 1996) and Chris Carpenter (bird sanctuary employee; born 1939), Charisma has two older brothers. She was named after an Avon perfume and received the nickname "Chrissy." By the age of 5, Charisma was taking classical ballet and held three state titles by the time she was thirteen years old, as well as placed in the top five at an international competition. She also joined several local beauty pageants in her teenage years.
As her parents frequently moved during her upbringing, Charisma attended different schools. She attended Gorman High School in Las Vegas and Bonita High School in San Diego. She later studied dance at the Chula Vista School of Creative and Performing Arts and graduated in 1989. Subsequently, she traveled to Europe and enrolled in college. During her adolescence, Charisma admitted, "I was constantly in trouble... bad grades, sneaking out, having boys over when my mom wasn't home, etc."
Charisma married actor Damian Hardy (born 1969) in October 2002 after having been together since 1997. On March 24, 2003, the couple welcomed their first son, Donovan Charles Hardy. They now live in Los Angeles with Charisma's Golden Retrievers, Sydney and Hobie. A fan of fitness, Charisma enjoys outdoor activities like rollerblading, rock climbing, hiking and skydiving.
"I had my heart set on becoming an English teacher, but stumbled into acting after meeting a theatrical agent in my dad's restaurant in San Diego." Charisma Carpenter
Originally dreaming of being an English teacher and once a cheerleader for the San Diego Chargers' football team, Charisma Carpenter turned to acting after being spotted by an agent while waiting tables in a restaurant. Having previously worked as a video store employee, aerobics instructor and property manager, Carpenter packed for Los Angeles and audited classes at the reputable acting school Playhouse West. She subsequently was cast in more than 20 commercials, notably her two years stint for Secret antiperspirant.
She also performed on stage in such productions as "No, No, Nanette" and "Welcome Home, Soldier."
After her TV debut as a guest in an episode of "Baywatch" (1989), Aaron Spelling handed her the leading role of Ashley Green in his series "Malibu Shores" in 1996. The series, also starring Keri Russell, only aired from March to June of 1996.
1997 became Carpenter's breakaway year. She initially auditioned for the title role in the WB's series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," but was given the role of Cordelia Chase. She was seen in the hit drama series from 1997 to 1999. She reprised her role, costarring with David Boreanaz, in the spin-off series "Angel" from 1999 to 2003. In 2000 Charisma earned a nomination for a Saturn Award for Best Genre TV Supporting Actress.
"Initially I was disappointed, but while I didn't see it at the time, I know now I'm better suited to Cordelia. Moving from Buffy to Angel was great for me. On Buffy I wasn't all that high on the totem pole as far as responsibility and screen time. That all changed when I joined David [Boreanaz] in Angel. The whole thing has been such a buzz." Charisma Carpenter
Besides busy acting in "Angel," Carpenter played roles in The Groomsmen (2001 ) and the television movie See Jane Date (2003). She was also spotted as a guest in several episodes of the series "Miss Match" (with Alicia Silverstone) and "Charmed" (alongside Alyssa Milano and Rose McGowan).
"Well, I can tell you what my goals are. I have a son now, so I want the half-hour sitcom lifestyle, where you can have a family and work.
And then, during summer hiatus, I'd like to do a Kill Bill or Wonder Woman or some movie like that." Charisma Carpenter