Date of Birth 23 July 1970, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Birth Name Charisma Lee Carpenter
Height 5′ 7″ (1.7 m)
Born July 23, 1970, in Las Vegas, Charisma Carpenter was named after an Avon perfume (a fact that did not sit well with her). She studied classical ballet from age five. Her family moved around often. As a youngster, she entered many local beauty contests, and attended Gorman High School in Las Vegas. At 15 the family moved to Rosarita City, Mexico, and then to Bonita (a suburb of San Diego, CA), where she attended Bonita High. Charisma finally transferred to Chula Vista School of Creative and Performing Arts, where she graduated in 1988. In high school she was a cheerleader, and did the typical teen things: sneaking out and having boys over when mom wasn’t home. Charisma’s nature tends to be pensive, which some classmates unfortunately misinterpreted as being snooty.
After graduating she traveled throughout Europe, then went on to college. She also worked as an aerobics instructor and in property management. In 1991 she was picked to be a cheerleader for the San Diego Chargers football team. The next year she moved to Los Angeles to break into the entertainment business. She audited classes at Playhouse West and was cast in over 20 major commercials, including a long stint for Secret deodorant. She also performed in a number of theater productions, including “No, No, Nanette” and “Welcome Home, Soldier.” This tall (5’7″) beauty with the striking looks, brunette hair with chestnut highlights and hazel eyes was a natural for TV; she started in an episode of Baywatch (1989) in October of 1994. Because of that appearance, Aaron Spelling personally auditioned her for the role of Ashley in Malibu Shores (1996), which had a brief run from March to June of 1996. Despite its short run, TV Guide noticed her and said she was beguiling and had the most fleshed-out character on the show. Charisma auditioned for the title role in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997) but wound up being cast as Cordelia. She had doubts about this and did not want to play a bitchy character again, but her agent reminded her that she couldn’t be typecast until people knew her. She is quick to point out she is nothing like her TV persona, noting, “People might think I’m this awful person, but I’m not–I’m a nice girl”. Fans and producers liked the character enough that she was transferred to a bigger role on the spin-off series Angel (1999). A long career in TV now seems assured for Charisma. Her hobbies include horseback riding, roller blading, hiking and rock climbing (for her 26th birthday, she had gone skydiving. When the folks at WB heard about this, they made her sign a clause that she would refrain from that for the length of her contract). She has prudently switched to writing poetry instead.
(original vid-clip by Supers992)
“It’s very difficult to be that vulnerable… I had a great conversation with the director, and I thought we were on the same page, but time dictated a lot that took away from exploring aspects of the character that I would’ve liked. And I had a difficult time communicating with producers over at Asylum, which I didn’t appreciate, and it was not my joy. So that was not a great experience or an experience I wish to recreate in the future in any way.” – Charisma Carpenter
Birthmark on her jawline
Became good friends with Susan Ward after both were turned down for the role of Maggie Cory on the soap Another World (1964).
Was a cheerleader for the San Diego Chargers’ football team.
Named by her mother after a brand of perfume
Auditioned for the role of Buffy on the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997), but got the role of Cordelia after it was turned down by actress Bianca Lawson.
She has a tribal sun tattooed on her back.
Gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Donovan Charles Hardy, at 9:50 PM on March 24th 2003 at Cedar Sinai hospital in Beverly Hills.
After 7 years playing Cordelia Chase, 3 years on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997) and 4 years on Angel (1999), Charisma was not invited back as a regular for Angel’s fifth and final season. She agreed to return for the 100th episode although she wasn’t asked until Sarah Michelle Gellar turned down the chance to guest star in the episode.
Will be reprising her role as Cordelia Chase in the 100th episode of Angel (1999). The show is currently in its fifth season without her, considering the Cordelia Chase character is in a coma. [November 2003]
She’s Cherokee, Irish, Scottish, and Spanish on her mother’s side and French and German on her father’s side.
Has a rosary tattoo on her left wrist.
She held three state titles when she was thirteen years old and placed top five for a ballet routine at an international competition.
She tries to sign only personalized autographs so her signature cannot be sold on EBay or elsewhere. She also refuses to sign her MAXIM, FHM, or other revealing photos.
Her guest spot on Lifetime’s The Division (2001) as a young woman attacked by an undercover police officer eerily resembles a real life incident on August 15, 1991 in which Charisma, then 22, and two of her friends were attacked by an off-duty San Diego police officer and serial rapist in Torrey Pines State Beach in San Diego. Charisma escaped unharmed, although two of her friends were shot and seriously injured when they fought back. The police officer, Henry Hubbard Jr. was also shot in the attack, which led to his being identified and arrested. He was sentenced to 56-years in prison for several other rapes.
The role of Delilah in The Faculty (1998) was written specifically for her, but she turned it down because it was too similar to her Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997) character, Cordelia.
Appears on the June 2004 cover of Playboy with a 10 page layout inside.
The scars her character Cordelia got after a fall in Buffy are actually real. As a young child, she fell into a swimming pool that was under construction at her home, and was run through by a piece of rebar.
After starring in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997), Angel (1999), and guest-starring in episodes of Charmed (1998), she has become the face of supernatural dramas on The WB.
Her character, Cordelia Chase, whom she had played for years on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997) and Angel (1999), was killed off in the landmark 100th episode of Angel (1999). It was her final appearance on the series, with the exception of archival footage.
Her characters on both Angel (1999) and Charmed (1998) could see into the future.
She is good friends with her See Jane Date (2003) co-star Holly Marie Combs. In fact, it was their friendship that prompted her to play Kira on Charmed (1998).
She has two half brothers, Troy and Kenny.
Was in an unaired pilot called “Like Cats & Dogs”.
She speaks Spanish; however, she states that she’s not fluent, despite being of Mexican ancestry and spending time living in Mexico as a child.
A fitness enthusiast, her outdoor interests include roller blading, rock climbing, hiking and sky diving.
Currently resides in Los Angeles, California with her two Golden Retrievers.
Has studied classical ballet since the age of 5, and pursued dancing as part of her high school curriculum, by commuting between Mexico and San Diego to take lessons at the School of Creative and Performing Arts.
Was discovered by a commercial agent while working as a waitress in Los Angeles to save for her college education.
Ranked #9 on Wizard magazine’s “Sexiest Women of TV” list (March 2008).
Attended high school in Las Vegas with Kamar de los Reyes. She was a freshman when he was a junior.
Montreal, filming the Lifetime movie “White Silhouette” (the title may be changed to Flirting with Danger (2006)). [October 2005]
She used to suffer from post traumatic stress disorder.
Friends with David Boreanaz, Nicholas Brendon and James Marsters.
Personal Quotes (14)
[6/30/03\\ 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.
[6/30/03] Lots of doors have opened for me because of [Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)] and [Angel (1999)], 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.
[in 2003, about Sarah Michelle Gellar winning the title role in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)]. 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 (1999)] 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.
I’m a mixed breed and hope to live longer because of it.
I don’t really see myself being a sex symbol at all.
I think essentially the meaning of life is probably the journey and not really any one thing or an outcome or a result. I think it’s kinda the process and I think that if you can find happiness in the process then maybe that’s it. I just feel really in love with life and the life I’ve created with my family. So it works for me.
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: Vol. 1 (2003) or Wonder Woman (2009) or some movie like that.
You can take the girl out of Vegas, but you can’t take the Vegas out of the girl.
[on her role as Cordelia in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)] I was a little turned off by the idea of doing another bitch. But my agent put it to me quite frankly, that you have to be known before you can be typecast.
My mom owned a retail store, so I had these hot satin pants. I was like Satan at my all-Christian school.
[on playing “Kendall Casablancas” on Veronica Mars (2004)] The name is really spectacular. My manager was like, “It’s the best name in prime time.” I just laughed at him.
[on posing for Playboy] 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?”
With seven years of “Cordelia” [her character on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997) and its spin-off, Angel (1999)], I can’t help but think that she’s imprinted on me and that acerbic tongue is just a part of who I am now.
[on posing for Playboy] Posing in Playboy is more then just baring your body. It’s about baring your soul. It’s about finding joy, liberation, and warmth. I’m a very shy person, and I really came out of my shell during the shoot. At first, I was very nervous since I had only given birth less then a year before and just recently lost most of the weight I put on during my pregnancy. I insisted that my husband be present for the shoot so I would feel more comfortable in front the photographer and crew. By the time the two-day shoot was over, I was so relaxed and comfortable with displaying my nude body on the set that my husband was saying, “Honey, they’re not shooting now. You can put your robe back on.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997) $35,000 per episode
Angel (1999) $50,000 (1999-2004)