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Charisma Lee Carpenter (born July 23, 1970) is an American actress. She is best known for playing the character Cordelia Chase in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off Angel. She has been nominated for a Saturn Award and her most recent work was a guest role in the television show Legend of the Seeker that aired in November 2009.

Early life

Carpenter was born in Las Vegasmarker, Nevadamarker to a Cherokee, Irish, Scottish, and Spanish mother and French and German father. Carpenter attended Bishop Gorman High Schoolmarker in Las Vegas. When she was 15, her family moved to Rosaritomarker city, Mexico and then to San Diegomarker where she attended Bonita Vista High School and Chula Vista School of the Creative and Performing Arts. After graduation, Carpenter traveled throughout Europe. Once she returned to San Diegomarker again, she worked as a video store clerk, an aerobics instructor, and in property management. In 1991, she was a San Diego Charger cheerleader, before beginning her Hollywood career. In 1992, she moved to Los Angelesmarker.


Carpenter was discovered by a commercial agent while waiting tables in Los Angelesmarker to save money for her college education. This led to her role on theatrical productions and more than twenty commercials. She made her first television role in 1994 by appearing in an episode of Baywatch. Shortly after that, she landed a starring role on Aaron Spelling's short-lived soap opera Malibu Shores.

Carpenter at the 2005 Comic-Con
In 1997, Carpenter auditioned for the title role in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer but instead was cast as Cordelia Chase, a snobby and popular high school student. After three seasons on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Carpenter was offered an even larger role as the same character on the spin-off series Angel along with David Boreanaz. She played Cordelia Chase for four seasons on Angel. Although her character leaves the series during Angel's fourth season, Carpenter returned for the 100th episode in the fifth and final season because she felt that Cordelia's fans deserved closure after the controversy of her unexplained removal from the show.

In 2004, Carpenter had a three episode guest appearance on the TV show Charmed as a psychic demon called The Seer and played a recurring role on NBC's Miss Match, appearing in four episodes. She also had a recurring role as Kendall Casablancas in the TV series Veronica Mars for the 2005-2006 season, appearing in 11 episodes. Carpenter guest-starred in the first season finale of ABC Family's television show Greek and reprised her role in two episodes of Season 2. According to TV Guide in September 2007, she was set to join the cast of The Apprentice: Celebrity Edition, but instead chose to do a guest appearance on the show Back to You as well as a recurring role on the short-lived series Big Shots. Carpenter also had a guest appearance in an April 2009 episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

On March 20, 2008, Paley Fest hosted a Buffy the Vampire Slayer reunion. Carpenter attended the event alongside Buffy creator Joss Whedon, producer Marti Noxon, and other Buffy alumni including Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, James Marsters, Emma Caulfield, Amber Benson, Seth Green, and Michelle Trachtenberg.

Carpenter has starred in an assortment of made-for-tv and direct-to-video movies including the sex comedy What Boys Like, the horror film Voodoo Moon, and the romantic comedies See Jane Date and Relative Chaos on ABC Family (the latter of which co-starred Nicholas Brendon who was also one of her co-stars from Buffy the Vampire Slayer). She also appeared in the mysteries Flirting with Danger and Cheaters' Club on Lifetime Television and is starring in the Sci Fi Channel movie House of Bones, scheduled for broadcast in 2009. Also in 2009, Carpenter stars in production company Red Sparrow's first film, Vivid, and was added to the cast of the upcoming movie The Expendables, a Sylvester Stallone written/directed film, set for a 2010 release.


In the June 2004 issue of Playboy magazine, Carpenter appeared in a ten-page nude layout and on the cover. When asked by People magazine in 2005 about her nude pictorial and whether or not she would ever pose for Playboy again, she replied "I don't know. I did Playboy for a very specific reason. Not only was it a good financial move, but it was about the place I was at in my life. I had just had my son [Donovan] and I'd gained 50 lbs. during pregnancy. I wanted to get back to my old self. I wanted to feel desirable and sexy. So I thought, 'What if I went full throttle?'"

Personal life

Carpenter married Damian Hardy on October 5, 2002. On March 24, 2003, Carpenter gave birth to a son named Donovan Charles Hardy. In late 2007, the couple separated and their divorce was made final in July 2008.

As a fitness enthusiast, her outdoor hobbies are biking, rollerblading, horseback riding, hiking, rock climbing, and sky-diving. Carpenter lives in Los Angeles.


TV series

Year Series Role Status Notes
1994 Baywatch Wendie Sanders Guest Star Season 5, Episode 5
1995 Boy Meets World Caterer Guest Star Season 3, Episode 10
1996 Malibu Shores Ashley Green Regular Show lasted 10 episodes
1997-1999 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Cordelia Chase Regular (Seasons 1-3) Appeared in 56 episodes
1999 Hey Arnold! Simone, a 6th grader Guest Star (Voice) Season 4, Episode 5 ("Phoebe Skips")
1999-2004 Angel Cordelia Chase Regular (Seasons 1-4), Special Guest Star Season 5 Appeared in 86 episodes
2001 Strange Frequency Jules Guest Star Season 1, Episode 12
2003 Miss Match Serena Lockner Special Guest Star Appeared in 4 episodes
2004 Like Cats and Dogs Sarah Regular Rejected UPN sitcom pilot
2004 The Division Emma Campbell Guest Star Season 4, Episode 14
2004 Charmed Kyra / The Seer Guest Star Season 7, Episodes 3,5 & 10
2004 LAX Julie Random Special Guest Star Season 1, Episode 9
2005-2006 Veronica Mars Kendall Casablancas Guest Star Appeared in 11 episodes
2007 Back to You Brooke Schimmel Guest Star 1.06 - Gracie's Bully
2007 Big Shots Heather/Janelle Johns Guest Star/Recurring Character 1.09 - The Better Man

1.10 - Sex Be Not Proud

1.11 - Who's the Boss?

2007-2008 Greek Tegan Walker Guest Star/ Recurring Character 1.10 - Black & White and Read All Over

2.01 - Brothers and Sisters

2.06 - See You Next Time, Sisters!
2009 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Mink Guest Star - The Descent of Man
2009 Legend of the Seeker Triana Guest Star 2.01 - Marked
2010 Charlie's Angels Lexy Wellington Rumored


Year Film Role Other notes
1995-1996 Josh Kirby... Time Warrior! Beth Sullivan 3 Movie Series, Direct to Video
2001 What Boys Like Kim Released in Europe as The Groomsmen
2003 See Jane Date Jane Grant ABC Family Original Movie
2005 Voodoo Moon Heather IDT Entertainment
2006 Flirting with Danger Laura Clifford Lifetime Movie
2006 Cheaters' Club Linda Stern Lifetime Movie
2006 Relative Chaos Katherine ABC Family Original Movie
2009 House of Bones Heather Wilkinson Sci-Fi Channel Original Movie
2009 Psychosis (formerly Vivid) Susan Carter Red Sparrow's first film
2010 The Expendables Lacy Lionsgate Films
2010 The Lost Island Shasta Orchard TV Movie

Other titles

Year Film Role Other notes
2002 Change Up Voice Over - Narrator


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