Kirsten Nelson

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Kirsten Nelson
Nelson speaking into a microphone
Nelson at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con
Kirsten Nelson

(1970-10-03) October 3, 1970 (age 50)
EducationNorthwestern University
OccupationActress, director
Years active1993–present

Kirsten Nelson (born October 3, 1970) is an American actress and director best known for her role as police chief Karen Vick on the TV series Psych.

Early life and education[edit]

Kirsten Nelson was born in Enid, Oklahoma and raised in Chicago. Nelson grew up playing the piano and singing, and has said "I wanted to be a concert pianist at Carnegie Hall, that is what I wanted to do from really early on."[1] Nelson graduated from Northwestern University.[2]


Nelson was a founding member of Chicago's Roadworks Theatre Ensemble before moving to Los Angeles in 1995.[3][1]

She is known for her starring role as Police Chief Karen Vick on Psych.[4]

Nelson's career includes roles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (as Lorraine),[5] The O'Keefes (as Ellie O'Keefe),[6] Baby's Day Out,[7] The Fugitive,[8] Frasier,[9] Ally McBeal,[9] The West Wing,[10] Just Shoot Me![9] and Boy Meets World.[9] Most recently, she played Danielle Bishop on K.C. Undercover.

Personal life[edit]

Nelson is an ELCA Lutheran.[11] She married on August 5, 1995, and has a son and daughter.[12]



Year Title Role Notes
1993 The Fugitive Betty
1994 Baby's Day Out Woman in Park
1997 Three Women of Pain Lani Short
2004 Larceny Della
2005 War of the Worlds Businesswoman
2017 Limelight Liz Chance


Year Title Role Notes
1994 The Untouchables Daisy Episode: "The Last Gauntlet"
1996 Ned and Stacey Wife Episode: "The Other End"
1997 Chicago Sons Lisa Episode: "Love in the Time of Cicadas"
1997 Temporarily Yours Chrystle Episode: "Independence Day"
1997 The Practice Judy Burke Episode: "The Civil Right"
1999 The Pretender ATF Agent Beth Swik Episode: "Flesh & Blood"
1999 Boy Meets World Jessica Episode: "Cutting the Cord"
1999 Thanks Polly Winthrop Main role
2000 Pensacola: Wings of Gold Sgt. Carol Davis / Davidson Episode: "Answered Prayers"
2001 Just Shoot Me! Helen Episode: "Sid & Nina"
2001 The West Wing Dolores Landingham (young) Episode: "Two Cathedrals"
2002 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Lorraine Ross Episodes: "Doublemeat Palace", "Normal Again"
2002 Providence Kim Episode: "Limbo"
2002 Ally McBeal Connie Dekumbis Episode: "Tom Dooley"
2003, 2005 Everwood Ellie Beals Episodes: "Three Miners from Everwood", "Where the Heart Is"
2003 The O'Keefes Ellie O'Keefe Main role
2004 Frasier Ellie Episode: "Match Game"
2004 Stuck in the Suburbs Susan Aarons TV film
2005 Without a Trace Ms. MacPherson Episode: "Party Girl"
2005 Malcolm in the Middle Jeanie Episode: "Mrs. Tri-County"
2005 Mrs. Harris TV Interviewer TV film
2006 The Ant Bully Hova / Generic Ant (voice) Video game
2006–2014 Psych Karen Vick Main role
2008 Eli Stone Dana Asbury Episode: "Heartbeat"
2010 Ghost Whisperer Sarah Davidson Episode: "Lethal Combination"
2012 Parenthood Mrs. Ellis Episode: "It Is What It Is"
2012 NCIS Beth Banks Episode: "Psych Out"
2012 Warehouse 13 Judy Giltoy Episode: "No Pain No Gain"
2014 Saint George Ms. Sloan Episode: "School's Out"
2015 Bones Nina Slocum Episode: "The Donor in the Drink"
2015 NCIS: New Orleans Vivienne Lambert Episode: "Confluence"
2017 Psych: The Movie Karen Vick TV film
2017 Versus Paige TV series
2018 K.C. Undercover Danielle Bishop Episodes: "The Domino Effect", "Domino: Parts 2–4"
2019 This Is Us Dr. Green 2 episodes
2019 Bluff City Law Emma Sutton Episode: "You Don't Need a Weatherman"
2020 Psych 2: Lassie Come Home Karen Vick TV film


  1. ^ a b "Kirsten Nelson on". tribunedigital-chicagotribune. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  2. ^ Rockett, Darcel. "NU alumna Kirsten Nelson reprises her chief role in 'Psych: The Movie'". Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  3. ^ "Kristen Nelson alias Karen Vick on Psych - USA Network". 23 May 2013.
  4. ^ "Mind games continue with more 'Psych'". The Hollywood Reporter. September 17, 2007.
  5. ^ Golden, Christopher (2017-10-03). Buffy the Vampire Slayer 20 Years of Slaying: The Watcher's Guide Authorized. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9781534404168.
  6. ^ "Kirsten Nelson joins Alexander comedy". tribunedigital-chicagotribune. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  7. ^ "Baby's Day Out | TV Guide". Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  8. ^ Willis, John; Monush, Barry (2000-02-01). Screen World 1994. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 9781557832023.
  9. ^ a b c d "Kirsten Nelson | TV Guide". Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  10. ^ Challen, Paul (2001). Inside the West Wing: An Unauthorized Look at Television's Smartest Show. ECW Press. ISBN 9781550224689.
  11. ^ Favre, Jeff (January 2008). "Psyched about her work: Actor enjoys 'chief' role in comedy". The Lutheran. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
  12. ^ "Kirsten Nelson Family Moments Reflect Family Life". Liverampup. Retrieved 8 October 2018.

External links[edit]