Amy Acker

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Amy Acker
Amy Acker at Fan Expo 2015 (26841033473) (cropped).jpg
Acker at Fan Expo 2015 in Toronto
Amy Louise Acker

(1976-12-05) December 5, 1976 (age 44)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
EducationSouthern Methodist University (BFA)
Years active1998–present
(m. 2003)

Amy Louise Acker (born December 5, 1976[1]) is an American actress. She is best known for starring as Winifred Burkle and Illyria on the supernatural drama series Angel (2001–2004), as Kelly Peyton on the action drama series Alias (2005–2006), and as Root on the science-fiction drama series Person of Interest (2012–2016). From 2017 to 2019, she starred as Caitlin Strucker on the superhero drama series The Gifted, based on Marvel Comics' X-Men.

Early life[edit]

Amy Louise Acker was born on December 9, 1976 and raised in Dallas, Texas, to a homemaker mother and a lawyer father.[2][3] She studied ballet and modern dance for 14 years. She underwent knee surgery while in high school, ending her ballet career.[4] Acker graduated from Lake Highlands High School in Dallas. She subsequently earned a bachelor's degree in theater from Southern Methodist University.[5]

In her junior year of college, Acker modeled for the J. Crew catalog. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in the same year. She worked as a stage actress for several seasons, including a stint at American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wisconsin.[6]


Acker made her major television debut when she starred as Winifred "Fred" Burkle in Angel (seasons 2–5), and also as the character of Illyria for part of the show's fifth and final season. She won the 2003 Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television for her portrayal.[7]

Acker joined the cast of Alias in 2005 for its final season, playing villainess Kelly Peyton. Acker graduated from guest star to cast member as the show entered the final episodes in April and May 2006.[citation needed] Also in 2005, Acker provided voice acting for the character of Huntress on the animated series Justice League Unlimited. She went on to make a guest appearance on How I Met Your Mother, in which she was reunited with Angel co-star Alexis Denisof (the real-life husband of HIMYM star Alyson Hannigan), who had a recurring role on the show.

Acker portrayed Dr. Claire Saunders/Whiskey, a recurring character, on Joss Whedon's Dollhouse.[8] She guest-starred in 10 of the 13 episodes of the first season and three episodes of the second.

In 2010, Acker was a series regular in the ABC drama Happy Town, portraying the character Rachel Conroy. That same year, she starred in the season-one finale of the Fox series Human Target, as the mysterious Katherine Walters. On May 25, 2010, she appeared on CBS's The Good Wife. She appeared in the horror movie The Cabin in the Woods, released April 13, 2012. In 2012, she made guest performances in Warehouse 13, Once Upon A Time, and Grimm. Also in 2012, she starred as Beatrice in Joss Whedon's film Much Ado About Nothing.

Acker appeared in the season three of the sitcom Husbands as Claudia, Brad Kelt's ex-fiancée of who unexpectedly shows up.[9] In March 2014, Acker was cast as Audrey, a former lover to Phil Coulson in an episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.[10]

Between 2012 and 2016, Acker portrayed Samantha "Root" Groves on the CBS drama Person of Interest; Groves became a regular character starting in the series' third season. Starting with the series' 100th episode, Acker took on the voice role of the Machine.[11][12] In the series finale, she also appeared as the visual manifestation of the Machine.[13]

In March 2017, Acker was cast as Caitlin Strucker in the pilot for the prospective Fox television series The Gifted,[14][15] which was picked up to series in May 2017.[16] The Gifted began airing on October 2, 2017 then Fox canceled the series after two seasons on April 17, 2019.[17]

In 2019, Acker appeared in What Just Happened??! with Fred Savage, a parody of aftershows. She plays Dr. Rachel Layne in the "show-within-a-show", a fictional drama series called The Flare.

Personal life[edit]

Acker with her husband, James Carpinello, in 2005

On April 25, 2003, Acker wed actor James Carpinello in California. They have a son, born in February 2005, and a daughter, born in September 2006.[18]



Year Title Role Notes
2001 The Accident Nina
2002 Groom Lake Kate
2002 Catch Me If You Can Miggy
2006 The Novice Jill Yarrut
2009 21 and a Wake-Up Caitlin Murphy
2011 Sironia Molly Fisher
2012 The Cabin in the Woods Wendy Lin
2012 Much Ado About Nothing Beatrice
2014 Let's Kill Ward's Wife Geena Bradford
2016 The Energy Specialist Claire
2017 Amanda & Jack Go Glamping Amanda
2020 Superman: Red Son Lois Lane Voice role


Year Title Role Notes
1998 Wishbone Catherine Morland Episode: "Pup Fiction"
1999 To Serve and Protect Melissa Jorgensen Episode: "Part II"
1999 Wishbone Priscilla / Venus Episodes: "A Bone of Contention", "A Roamin' Nose"
2001 Special Unit 2 Nancy Episode: "The Invisible"
2001–2004 Angel Winifred "Fred" Burkle / Illyria Recurring role (season 2); main role (seasons 3–5)
2003 Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt Bonnie Lindsay Television film (CBS)
2005 Supernatural Andrea Barr Episode: "Dead in the Water"
2005–2006 Justice League Unlimited Huntress / Helena Bertinelli Voice role; 4 episodes
2005–2006 Alias Kelly Peyton Main role (season 5); 13 episodes
2006 How I Met Your Mother Penelope Episode: "Come On"
2007 Drive Kathryn Tully 3 episodes
2007 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Leslie LeZard Episode: "Smile"
2007 Ghost Whisperer Tessa Episode: "Weight of What Was"
2008 A Near Death Experience Ellie Daly Television film (a.k.a. Voices)
2008 Fire and Ice: The Dragon Chronicles Princess Luisa Television film (Syfy)
2008 October Road Girl in Blue Uniform / Jenny Bristol 2 episodes
2008 Private Practice Molly Madison Episode: "A Family Thing"
2009–2010 Dollhouse Dr. Claire Saunders/Whiskey Recurring role; 14 episodes
2010 Human Target Katherine Walters Episode: "Christopher Chance"
2010 The Good Wife Trish Arkin Episode: "Running"
2010 Happy Town Rachel Conroy Main role; 8 episodes
2010 No Ordinary Family Amanda Grayson Episodes: "No Ordinary Mobster", "No Ordinary Accident"
2011 Dear Santa Crystal Carruthers Television film (Lifetime)
2011, 2013 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Sandy Colfax Episodes: "Man Up", "Backfire"
2012 Grimm Lena Marcenko Episode: "Tarantella"
2012 Once Upon a Time Astrid / Nova Episode: "Dreamy"
2012 Warehouse 13 Tracey Episode: "The Ones You Love"
2012–2016 Person of Interest Samantha "Root" Groves Guest role (season 1); recurring role (season 2); main role (seasons 3–5);[11] 65 episodes
2013 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated Nova Voice role; 4 episodes
2014 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Audrey Nathan Episode: "The Only Light in the Darkness"
2015 A Novel Romance Sophie Television film (Hallmark)
2015–2019 Suits Esther Litt-Edelstein 5 episodes (seasons 5, 8–9)
2016–2017 MacGyver Sarah Adler Episodes: "Metal Saw", "Screwdriver"
2016 A Nutcracker Christmas Lily Television film (Hallmark)
2017–2019 The Gifted Caitlin Strucker Main role
2019 What Just Happened??! with Fred Savage Dr. Rachel Layne Episode: "Family"
2019 Grey's Anatomy Kathleen Shepherd Episode: "Good Shepherd"[19]
2020 God Friended Me Tammy Episode: "Almost Famous"
2021 All Rise Georgia Knight Episodes: "Georgia", "Leap of Faith"
2021 Crashing Through the Snow Maggie Television film (Hallmark)


Year Title Role Notes
2008 Who Cut the Cake? Ellen 3 episodes
2013 Husbands Claudia
2015–2017 Con Man Dawn Jones 8 episodes

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Work Result Refs
2003 Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actress on Television Angel Won [20]
2004 Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actress on Television Angel Nominated [21]
2014 Indie Series Awards Best Guest Star – Comedy Husbands Won [22]


  1. ^ "Thank you all so much for all the birthday wishes!! It's been such a wonderful b-day❤️". December 5, 2016. Archived from the original on November 7, 2018. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  2. ^ "Amy Acker Biography (1976–)". Retrieved May 29, 2012.
  3. ^ "The Brothers Gililland of Missouri:Information about Amy Louise ACKER". Retrieved October 27, 2014.
  4. ^ DeCosemo, Nick (August 2003). "Angel!". FHM (Uk). 164: 125.
  5. ^ Krug, Kurt Anthony (April 27, 2010). "Happy Town star Amy Acker first caught acting bug while growing up in Dallas". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  6. ^ "Actors in Joss Whedon's 'Much Ado' once did Shakespeare at American Players Theatre". The Capital Times. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  7. ^ Peebles, Frank. "Amy Acker coming to FanCon". Prince George Citizen. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  8. ^ "Angel Vet Moves into Whedon's Dollhouse!". TV Guide. April 17, 2008. Archived from the original on April 21, 2008. Retrieved April 17, 2008.
  9. ^ Ng, Philiana (July 5, 2013). "Amy Acker to Guest Star on 'Husbands' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 6, 2013.
  10. ^ Abrams, Natalie (March 26, 2014). "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Exclusive: Amy Acker to Play Famous Role from Coulson's Past". TV Guide. Retrieved December 6, 2015.
  11. ^ a b Webb Mitovich, Matt (July 20, 2013). "Person of Interest: Amy Acker Now Series Regular". TVLine. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
  12. ^ Rice, Lynette (May 31, 2016). "Person of Interest death is TV's latest lesbian fatality". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  13. ^ Piester, Lauren (June 21, 2016). "Who Survived that Beautiful Person of Interest Series Finale?". E! News. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  14. ^ Petski, Denise (March 2, 2017). "Amy Acker To Star In Fox Marvel Pilot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  15. ^ Outlaw, Kofi (March 10, 2017). "X-Men TV Series 'Gifted' Official Title Revealed". Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  16. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth (May 9, 2017). "Fox Greenlights Marvel Action Series 'The Gifted' From Bryan Singer & Matt Nix — Watch First Teaser". Variety. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  17. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (April 17, 2019). "'The Gifted,' 'Rel' Canceled at Fox". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  18. ^ Gee, Alison (September 7, 2006). "Alias's Amy Acker, Husband Have a Girl". People. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  19. ^ Petski, Denise (February 13, 2019). "'Grey's Anatomy': Amy Acker Joins ABC Drama As Member Of The Shepherd Family". Deadline Hollywood.
  20. ^ "30rd Annual Saturn Awards : Cinescape Review". Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  21. ^ "The SF Site: News". Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  22. ^ "5th Annual Indie Series Awards Winners". Indie Series Awards. April 2014. Retrieved June 10, 2020.

External links[edit]