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Cordelia Chase on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (from

Charisma Carpenter had no plans to pursue acting, but fate intervened in Los Angeles while she was working as a waitress to save for her education. Carpenter was discovered by a commercial agent, and her career in front of the camera began. She appeared in more than 20 commercials, including one for Secret antiperspirant which ran for two years.

Her first big break in television came with a guest shot 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 and San Diego to take classes at the School of the Creative and Performing Arts.

After graduating from high school, she traveled through Europe. Upon returning, she moved to San Diego where she held various jobs to support herself through junior college. Her job experience at that time included working in a video store, teaching aerobics, and waiting on tables - the job that ultimately led to her acting career.

Offscreen, the brunette beauty enjoys the outdoors - rollerblading, hiking, sky diving, rock climbing, running and horseback riding - as well as traveling and cooking. She also continues to dance, and is a former San Diego Charger Girl cheerleader.

Carpenter currently lives in Los Angeles with her golden retriever.