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Charisma Carpenter


Date of birth (location)
23 July 1970,
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Charisma grew up in Las Vegas. Initially hated her name because of classmate's teasing and went by Chrissy until the 8th grade. She moved to Rosarito, Mexico at age 15, when her father took a job there. Her father, Don, is a salesman. Her mother, Chris, works in a bird sanctuary. Her parents are divorced and live in Chicago and Florida, respectively. She has two older brothers. She studied ballet at the Chula Vista High School performing arts program in San Diego. In 1991 she became a San Diego Chargers cheerleader. She also did a Secret Ultra Dry commercial, among others. She then was cast on the soap opera, Malibu Shores, which led her to other acting roles.



Charisma is more like an angel, than like the character she plays on the show. Born July 23, 1970 in Las Vegas, she was named after an Avon perfume (which did not sit well with her). She studied classical ballet since age 5. Her family relocated a lot. As a youngster, she entered many local beauty contests. Charisma attended Gorman High School in Las Vegas. At 15, they moved to Rosarita City, Mexico, and then to Bonita (a suburb of San Diego) 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(s) she was a cheerleader, and did the typical teen things: like 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, Charisma was a cheerleader for the San Diego Chargers. In 1992, she moved to L.A. Charisma audited classes at Playhouse West, and was cast in over 20 major commercials, including doing a long stint for Secret. Charisma was in a number of theatre productions, such as "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" in October, 1994. Because of that appearance, Aaron Spelling personally auditioned her for the role of Ashley in "Malibu Shores," which had a brief run from March-June, 1996. Despite the 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" but wound up being cast as Cordelia instead. Charisma had doubts about this, she did not want to play a bitchy character again; but her agent told her, you can't be typecast until people know you. Originally intended as a temporary character, to be a thorn in Buffy's side, Charisma's role was popular enough that she became a regular in the 2nd season. She is quick to point out she is not the TV persona, saying: "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." A long career in TV now seems assured for Charisma. Her hobbies include: horseback riding, rollerblading, 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. Her favorite color is yellow (mine too, it's so bright and cheerful). For Charisma, life is good. And, as a former Las Vegas lounge performer, she comments that dancing is easy, acting is not. She also notes: "You can take the girl out of Vegas, but you can't take the Vegas out of the girl."