Kirsten Vangsness

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Kirsten Vangsness
Kirsten Vangsness.jpg
Born (1972-07-07) July 7, 1972 (age 43)
Pasadena, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress, writer
Years active 1998–present
Partner(s) Keith Hanson (2015-present; engaged)

Kirsten Simone Vangsness (born July 7, 1972)[1] is an American actress and writer. She currently stars as FBI Technical Analyst Penelope Garcia on the CBS drama series Criminal Minds. She portrayed the same character on the spin-off series Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior.[2]

Early life[edit]

Vangsness was born in Pasadena, California, the daughter of Errol Leroy Vangsness (born 1938 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) and his wife Barbara Mary (née Marconi; born 1942 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). Her paternal great-grandparents were Norwegian,[3] with ancestry from Bergen, Gol, and Oslo.[4] She was raised in Porterville, California, and later moved to Cerritos, California. She graduated from Cerritos High School in June 1990 and attended Cypress College.[5] She later graduated from California State University, Fullerton in June 1995.[citation needed]



Vangsness got her first big break in the theatre, where she won several awards, including the 15 Minutes of Female Best Actress Award, the Los Angeles Drama Critics Award for Best Emerging Comic Actress, and the Golden Betty Award.[citation needed]


Vangsness' work has been published in the Los Angeles Times. Vangsness in 2014 co-wrote an episode of Criminal Minds named "Nelson's Sparrow"[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Vangsness says that she is "as queer as a purple unicorn singing Madonna".[6] She began dating film and television editor Melanie Goldstein in 2006.[7][8][9] They were engaged, but separated in 2013.[citation needed]

In April 2015, she revealed on that she had entered into a relationship with a new boyfriend and was examining that aspect of her sexuality.[citation needed] In November 2015, it was reported that she was engaged to her boyfriend, actor and writer Keith Hanson.[10]



Year Title Role Notes
1998 Sometimes Santa's Gotta Get Whacked Tooth Fairy Short film
2006 A-List Blue
2008 Tranny McGuyver TV News Reporter Short film
2009 Scream of the Bikini Interior Decorator
2010 In My Sleep Madge
2011 Sarina's Song Party Guest Short film
2011 Chicago 8, TheThe Chicago 8 Sketch Artist
2012 Remember to Breathe Vocals for Young Alice Short film
2013 Kill Me, Deadly Mona Livingston


Year Title Role Notes
2004 Phil of the Future Veronica Episode: "Age Before Beauty"
2004 LAX Ticket Agent / Stephanie 3 episodes
2005–present Criminal Minds Penelope Garcia Main Cast; Series regular
2010 Vampire Mob Laura Anderson
2010–2012 Pretty the Series Meredith Champagne 14 episodes
2011 Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior Penelope Garcia
2011 Second City This Week Herself 1 episode
2011–2013 Good Job, Thanks! Therapist 2 episodes


  1. ^ Vangsness, Kirsten (2007-07-24). "Kirstens Blog". CBS. Archived from the original on 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  2. ^ "Criminal Minds' Kirsten Vangsness Joins Spin-Off as a Series Regular". 
  3. ^ Family tree by Vangsness' father
  4. ^ "Kirsten Simone Vangsness ancestry profile". 
  5. ^ Cypress College Public Information Office (2012-05-04). "Cypress College @Cypress Newsletter" (PDF). 
  6. ^ Anderson-Minshall, Diane (November 2011). "The Purple Unicorn". The Advocate: 42. 
  7. ^ Melanie Goldstein at the Internet Movie Database
  8. ^ "Untitled". Criminal Minds Fanatic. 2009-09-22. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  9. ^ Waldon, Dave (2008-09-23). "Kirsten Vangsness Thrives on "Criminal Minds"". Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  10. ^ Nicole Sands (November 23, 2015). "Criminal Minds Star Kirsten Vangsness Is Engaged: 'He's the Perfect Partner'". People. 

External links[edit]