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18 June 2014
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Charisma Carpenter

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[Plays Cordelia Chase]

Charisma Carpenter did not have a burning ambition to be an actress. In fact, she planned to become an English teacher. While she was working as a waitress, Carpenter was discovered by a commercials agent and so began her career in front of the camera. She appeared in more than 20 commercials, including one for Secret antiperspirant which ran for two years.

Her first big break in television come with a guest spot on the popular series 'Baywatch'. Not long after, she auditioned for Aaron Spelling who cast her in the role of Ashley in the NBC series 'Malibu Shores'.

Carpenter was born in Las Vegas and lived there until she was 15, when her family moved to Mexico. Next, they moved on to San Diego where she took classes at the School of the Creative and Performing Arts. She began to study classical ballet at the age of five and has also been a cheerleader (good experience for her future role in 'Buffy').

In San Diego she took various jobs to support herself through junior college. She worked in a video store, taught aerobics, and waited on tables - the job that ultimately led to her acting career.

It is a testament to Carpenter's talent that Cordelia, who began as an annoying airhead, became one of the show's most popular characters. She can now look forward to a starring role in the spin-off series, 'Angel'. In this, Cordelia is trying and failing to become an actress in LA. How different from Charisma Carpenter.

All images are copyright 2000 20th Century Fox.

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