Poppy Montgomery

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Poppy Montgomery
Poppy Montgomery.jpg
Montgomery in 2009
Born Poppy Petal Emma Elizabeth Deveraux Donahue
(1972-06-15) 15 June 1972 (age 42)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Residence New York City, New York, U.S.
Citizenship Australia
United States
Occupation Actress
Years active 1994–present
Spouse(s) Shawn Sanford (m. 2014)
Partner(s) Adam Kaufman (2005–2011)
Children 3

Poppy Montgomery (born Poppy Petal Emma Elizabeth Deveraux Donahue; 15 June 1972) is an Australian-American actress. She played FBI agent Samantha Spade on the CBS mystery drama Without a Trace from 2002 to 2009, and has played Detective Carrie Wells on the CBS police drama Unforgettable since 2011.

Early life[edit]

Montgomery was born in Sydney, Australia[1] to Nicola (née Montgomery), an executive and market researcher, and Phil Donahue, a restaurateur.[2] She is one of six children and her parents named her and her sisters, Rosie Thorn, Daisy Yellow, Lily Belle, and Marigold Sun, after flowers, and their brother after the rock band Jethro Tull.[3]

Montgomery disliked school, being expelled from six private academies before finally dropping out at the age of 15 to pursue stage acting[4] and to travel around Bali with her boyfriend at the time.[2] Montgomery emigrated to the United States at the age of 18, arriving in Florida to meet a boyfriend whom she had met when he was an exchange student. After five days, she realized that "[she] couldn't stand him" and took a bus to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.[4]


When Montgomery moved to Los Angeles, she stayed with two of her brother's friends[5] while sending a head shot every day to Julia Roberts' former manager, Bob McGowan, until he signed her.[2] She appeared in several small television roles through the late-1990s, including NYPD Blue.[6]

Montgomery is currently known for her lead role in the TV show "Unforgettable." Her first big break was when she won the role of Marilyn Monroe in the 2001 CBS mini-series Blonde, based on a Joyce Carol Oates novel.[7] The next role she was offered was a starring role as Samantha Spade on the CBS mystery drama Without a Trace. The series revolved around a missing persons unit of the FBI in New York City. On being offered the part, she later said, "They (the producers) called me up and said, 'Will you do it?' I said, 'Um' and they said, 'Anthony LaPaglia is in it' and I said, 'sure'. It was that simple." Montgomery portrayed Samantha Spade for seven seasons, from when the show began on 26 September 2002 until it ended on 19 May 2009.[3]

In April 2011, Montgomery completed filming a television biographical film Magic Beyond Words as Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling.[8]

That same year, she began to star in the CBS police drama Unforgettable as Carrie Wells, a former homicide detective with hyperthymesia which allows her to have perfect recall, who is convinced to join the NYPD in Queens by her ex-boyfriend, after leaving Syracuse because of the investigation into her sister's murder being shut down. She uses her memory to solve crimes.[9][10]

Until the debut of ABC's new family-oriented, late-arriving, Sunday night fairy-tale drama Once Upon a Time, CBS had been airing promos that Unforgettable was the #1 new drama of the 2011–12 season. According to the prime-time Nielsen television ratings released through 6 November 2011, season-to-date, Unforgettable has averaged 13.9 million viewers. For a snapshot rating, on Tuesday, 1 November 2011, the series was first in its regular time slot, with 11.3 million viewers and ranked #24 overall for the week.[11] The first season ran from 20 September 2011 to 8 May 2012 and the show was initially canceled by CBS on 12 May 2012, but later was renewed for a second season of 13 episodes, which ran from 28 July 2013 to 9 May 2014, and the third season ran from 29 June 2014 to 14 September 2014.[12]

Montgomery posed in a series of provocative photographs on Maxim's website in their Girls of Maxim feature.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Montgomery met actor Adam Kaufman in 2005 in Mexico while working on the independent film Between and in 2010, they worked together again in the TV movie Lying to be Perfect. In 2007, Kaufman began a recurring role on Without a Trace in the season five episode "At Rest" as Brian Donovan, Samantha's love interest for the rest of the series. In June 2007, Montgomery announced her pregnancy with Kaufman, which was written into the show's sixth season.

On 23 December 2007, she gave birth to their son Jackson Phillip. Montgomery's Without a Trace co-star Anthony LaPaglia became the godfather of Jackson.[14][15] It was reported on 10 October 2011 in Life & Style, that Montgomery and Kaufman had separated.[16]

In late 2011, Montgomery began dating Shawn Sanford, director of lifestyle marketing for Microsoft, whom she met in Puerto Rico.[17] On 22 April 2013, she gave birth to their daughter, Violet Grace (weight: 6 lbs., 12 oz. and length: 19.5 inches. [18] On 11 November 2014, she gave birth to their son Gus Monroe.[19]

On the 4 April 2014 episode of Live! with Kelly and Michael, Montgomery revealed that on Chinese New Year, she and Sanford were married at Disneyland in a ceremony with their children present.[20][21]

Montgomery holds dual citizenship (Australia and the USA).[22] She moved from Los Angeles to New York City in 2013 to film Unforgettable.[23]


Film and television roles
Year Title Role Notes
1994 Silk Stalkings Angel U.S. TV series; 2-part episode: "Natural Selection"
Tammy and the T-Rex Party Girl #1
1995 Jake Lassiter: Justice on the Bayou Cindy TV movie
Devil in a Blue Dress Barbara's Sister
1996 Cold Equations, TheThe Cold Equations Marilyn 'Lee' Cross TV movie
Peacock Blues TV short
Party of Five Allison Episode: "Poor Substitutes"
NYPD Blue Lisa Episode: "Burnin' Love"
Relativity Jennifer Lukens Recurring role; 7 episodes
1997 Desert's Edge Mary TV short
1998 Dead Man on Campus Rachel
1999 Wonder Cabinet, TheThe Wonder Cabinet Dr. Sarah Coleman TV pilot
1999 Other Sister, TheThe Other Sister Caroline Tate
Life Older Mae Rose Abernathy
2000 Men Named Milo, Women Named Greta Barri Noodleman Short film
Beat, TheThe Beat Elizabeth Waclawek Recurring role; 3 episodes
2001 Blonde Norma Jean Baker / Marilyn Monroe TV miniseries
Going to California Penelope Episode: "Hurricane Al: A Tale of Key Largo"
2002 Glory Days Ellie Sparks Recurring role; 9 episodes
2002–09 Without a Trace Samantha Spade Series regular (160 episodes)
2004 Raising Waylon Julia Bellows Special
How to Lose Your Lover, How to Lose Your Lover Allison
2005 Between Nadine Roberts
Murder in the Hamptons Generosa Rand TV movie
Snow Wonder Paula TV movie
2010 True Blue Katherine Miller TV pilot
Lying to Be Perfect Nola Devlin TV movie
2011 Magic Beyond Words J. K. Rowling TV movie
2011–14 Unforgettable Carrie Wells Lead role (48 episodes)


  1. ^ "United States Public Records, 1970-2009" index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KTQ1-Y91: accessed 18 August 2014), Poppy Donoghue, Residence, Santa Monica, California, United States; from a third party aggregator of publicly available information.
  2. ^ a b c Johnson, Tricia (11 May 2001). "Poppy Montgomery as Marilyn Monroe in 'Blonde'". ew.com. Retrieved 8 October 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Downie, Stephen (8 August 2007). "In the lucky bunch". couriermail.com.au. Retrieved 8 October 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Hiltbrand, David (20 April 2005). "'Without a Trace' actress Poppy Montgomery 'driven'". The Post and Courier. Retrieved 8 October 2011. 
  5. ^ "Tracing a path to LA". theage.com.au. 19 July 2007. Retrieved 8 October 2011. 
  6. ^ Bianculli, David (11 May 2001). "'Blonde' Had Dark Roots". nydailynews.com. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  7. ^ Martindale, David. Meet Poppy Montgomery, TNT; accessed 12 July 2008.
  8. ^ "Victoria to star in film on J.K. Rowling". Times Colonist. 12 February 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  9. ^ "2011 Fall Preview Video-Unforgettable", CBS.com, 22 May 2011
  10. ^ "Poppy Montgomery in Sunnyside Queens". Sunnyside Post, 4 April 2011; accessed 14 May 2014.
  11. ^ Courtesy Veronica Bravo, USA Today; and Nielsen Media Research; retrieved 9 November 2011.
  12. ^ "Unforgettable". CBS.com. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  13. ^ "Popppy Montogmery: Girls of Maxim". Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  14. ^ Jenny Sundel (12 June 2007). "Without a Trace's Poppy Montgomery Pregnant". People. Retrieved 12 June 2007. 
  15. ^ Poppy Montgomery Welcomes a Boy, People, 4 January 2008; accessed 12 July 2008.
  16. ^ "Unforgettable star Poppy Montgomery splits with longtime beau". Life&Style. 10 October 2011. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  17. ^ "Poppy Montgomery pregnant with second child". USA Today. 11 January 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2013. 
  18. ^ "Poppy Montgomery Welcomes Daughter". Life&Style. 24 April 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2013. 
  19. ^ http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-moms/news/poppy-montgomery-welcomes-third-child-20141311%7Cdate=15 December 2014|publisher=www.usmagazine.com|accessdate=15 December 2014
  20. ^ Live! With Kelly and Michael, 4 April 2014 episode, with guests James Franco and Poppy Montgomery. Pictures were presented on the broadcast as proof.
  21. ^ Billups, Andrea (4 April 2014). "Poppy Montgomery Marries Shawn Sanford". People.com. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  22. ^ "Poppy Montgomery back on TV in 'Unforgettable'". 
  23. ^ Watkins, Jade. "She makes me want to be a better role model", Daily Mail, 10 July 2013; accessed 4 January 2014.

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