Amy Louise Acker was born on December 5, 1976 in Dallas, Texas, to parents Robert Acker and Sandra Bruyere. Amy is the eldest of four children.
For 13 years, Amy studied ballet, modern dance, and jazz but had to undergo knee surgery whilst in high school after being bitten by a spider, thus ending her ballet career. Amy began to study acting in her sophomore year, and enrolled at the Southern Methodist University in 1995 to take advantage of the school’s renowned theatrical program. In her junior year, Amy also enjoyed a short stint in modelling for the J. Crew clothing catalogue.
In 1999, Amy was nominated for a Leon Rabin Award for an “Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role” for her performance in the play Therese Raquin (a very heavy piece; originally staged as a play — which was adapted from a novel — in 1873.) Amy completed her studies and left with a Bachelor of Fine Arts the same year.
Amy’s first appearance in television (having spent several years in theatre) was in 1995, in the T.V. series Wishbone, as various (unknown) characters, up until 1997. Her next role was in the mini series, To Serve and Protect (a.k.a. Family Shield) as Melissa Jorgensen in 1999.
Next up in 2001, Amy filmed The Accident with Sarah Clarke (known for her role as Nina Myers on the hit T.V. series 24), which has only been released in the USA, both on T.V. and DVD. Amy also filmed several other independent films around this time, which, as far as we can tell, haven’t been released. They were: Eight Minutes and The Energy Specialist.
In 2002, Amy filmed several movies, namely the lead role in Groom Lake (a.k.a. The Visitor), which William Shatner wrote & directed, and a small role in Catch Me If You Can opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, who hand-picked Amy for the role. This led to Amy receiving her second award nomination; the Saturn Award for “Cinescape Face of the Future.”
Amy’s next role in 2003 was a return to T.V. in Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt, playing the role of Burt Ward’s first wife, before landing the part that would make her well known: the role of Winifred ‘Fred’ Burkle, and in the final season, Illyria, on the hit T.V. show — the Joss Whedon spin-off from BtVS — Angel (a.k.a. Angel: The Series), starring opposite praised actors such as David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter, Alexis Denisof, J. August Richards and Andy Hallett, to name a few. In that same year, Amy won the Saturn Award for “Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series” for her portrayal as Fred.
Initially, Amy appeared as a guest star during the last few episodes of the second season before she was made a series regular — which was Joss’s intention as he had intended for another actress to join the cast, “to even things up” — during the third season. Amy continued her run up until the, final, fifth season which ended in 2004.
Rumours were circulating in 2005 that a ‘Spike/Illyria’ spin-off T.V. movie was in the works, but this has failed to materialise. An update in 2007 proved that this idea has now been permanently shelved. Although Amy initially said that she would love to reprise her role as Illyria if the movie ever came to fruition, she is now unsure if she would, especially if the money was available to make the movie in five years’ time for example — “I don’t know how I’d feel. It would depend on what was happening and if Joss was doing it. Any opportunity to work with him, I would take in a heartbeat.”
In 2004, Amy filmed another independent movie, The Novice, written & directed by Murray Robinson — a graduate of Millsaps College who wrote the film’s script while living in Jackson — but to date, it hasn’t yet been released.
In 2007, The Novice finally made an appearance; at the Crossroads Film Festival, where we learn that Amy played the role of Jill; a flower child; whom Jacob Pitts — who plays a Jesuit seminarian — falls in love with, and ends up altering his path in life. The supporting cast included Oscar winner Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine) as well as acting veterans Frank Langella and Orson Bean, who all play priests. The movie was shot in Robinson’s home state of Alabama and financed by local money. The film was completed in 2005, and with Robinson seeking a theatrical release, Arkin’s recent Oscar win brought welcome attention to the movie.
At the film festival, The Novice won “Best Feature Narrative” – congrats!
Still in 2004, Amy won another Saturn Award for “Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series” for her portrayal as Fred (just like the year before.) She was also nominated for a Satellite Award for “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role-Drama.”
2005 proved to be a busy year for Amy with the lead role of Mr. Dramatic, a short piece written & directed by John Stalberg to mark his return to directing. The trailer can be viewed at the official website, with the short being released in it’s entirety for only a short period. Amy then guest-starred on the first season of the hit T.V. series Supernatural in the episode, “Dead In The Water.”
Amy also lent her voice to the animated series Justice League for a total of four episodes, the first three during the summer of 2005 and the fourth during the beginning of 2006.
Towards the end of 2005, Amy guest-starred on the final season of Alias as villain Kelly Peyton, which made people notice her all over again. She was made a series regular and soon ended up in the opening credits. Amy appeared on the show for five episodes from October-December 2005, and reprised her role for a further eight episodes from April 2006 until the end of the show’s run in May of the same year. This was to be Amy’s final acting appearance on our screens in 2006.
However, before Alias came to an end, Amy made another guest appearance in May, this time during the first season of the hit T.V. show How I Met Your Mother (starring Buffy’s Alyson Hannigan), appearing in the season finale episode, “Come On”, which reunited Amy with former Angel co-star, Alexis Denisof, although they didn’t share any scenes together on-screen.
Amy married fellow actor James Carpinello — after being engaged for a year — at a winery in northern California on April 25, 2003, spending their honeymoon in Italy. In 2005, on January 22, Amy gave birth to their first child, Jackson James, whom they call Jack. Subsequently, on September 1, 2006, Amy gave birth to their second child, Ava Grace.
Amy currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband and children and has been out of the spotlight for almost a year — acting wise — but I, as a fan (as I’m sure so do many others), feel confident that Amy will return to our screens soon, whether it be another T.V. series or on the big screen.
In May 2007, our wish came true; Amy made two guest appearances on the short lived series, Drive, written by Tim Minear — but was cancelled after only 6 episodes — playing Nathan Fillion’s kidnapped wife. While there was a promotional drive in place — excuse the pun — Amy didn’t make any public appearances, with or without the rest of the cast.
However, it was soon reported that Amy had been filming a television movie titled, Voices, in Montreal, Canada, with the production company Incendo Media. The movie was then renamed to A Near Death Experience in the States and subsequently aired on the Lifetime Movie Network early 2008.
The latter half of 2007 proved to be an eventful end to the year for Amy — and fans alike! — being spoiled with guest appearances on several hit shows including: season 3 of Ghost Whisperer — a Halloween centric episode, “The Weight of What Was”; and season 7 of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, “Smile”.
The beginning of 2008 started wonderfully with a guest appearance on — not one, but two — episodes during season 2 of October Road, titled “Dancing Days Are Here Again” and “Hat? No Hat?”.
Amy also spent roughly a month filming a T.V. movie in Romania, Fire & Ice — “which has all the elements of a classic tale – kings, queens, knights – but it also comes with some innovations: the old hellish beast has turned into a dragon, while Prince Charming, or the hero who saves the day, is now embodied by a princess (Acker).” The movie shall be aired in Romania September 2008; on the Sci Fi channel November 2008; and (supposedly) released on region 1 DVD September 2008.
By April of 2008, it was announced by no other than Joss Whedon himself, that Amy had been cast in the recurring role of Dr. Claire Saunders in the upcoming Joss Whedon-Eliza Dushku series, Dollhouse. Exciting news!
Sadly, Amy wasn’t part of the promotional coverage for Dollhouse since she was classed as a recurring guest star, but we were spoiled with interesting plot twists involving Amy’s character and almost weekly screen time — Amy appeared in a total of 9 (aired) episodes out of 12; a total of 11 episodes if you include the original pilot and (unaired) 13th episode.
Not long after it was announced that Amy was to appear in Dollhouse, news surfaced of Amy filming the lead role in a movie titled 21 and a Wake-Up on location in Vietnam opposite Danica McKellar, J.C. Chasez and Kristyn Green. The film is currently awaiting release after undergoing test screenings with military audiences.
In early 2009, with the internet abuzz over which shows were going to be cancelled — Dollhouse being one of them — it was revealed that Amy had been cast as a regular in Happy Town, a brand new midseason drama from ABC. Fantastic news! Another weekly appearance on our TV screens!
This time, Amy is a part of the promotional coverage with promo shots & episode stills from the pilot episode already added to the gallery. Currently, we are awaiting confirmation on the midseason schedule (February 2010, perhaps?) as well as further media in the form of episode stills and such like. I’m also excited about covering this role; we’ve never been spoiled so much by different roles in such a short space of time!
However, being cast in ABC’s Happy Town full-time did cause some fear over Amy’s role in Dollhouse which was unexpectedly renewed for a second season; returning September 25, 2009. Not to worry, Joss Whedon himself has confirmed that Amy has signed a 3 episode deal: “It is not nearly as much as we would like, but we are going to make the most of [Amy] in those few,” so it sounds like we shall have plenty to look forward to!
By Spring 2009, it was also revealed that Amy had been cast in an independent movie titled The Last Time I Made Straight A’s opposite Scoot McNairy, an avid producer and actor. Amy’s husband, James Carpinello has also been cast — exciting news, since this marks the first joint acting project for the couple. The film is currently in pre-production with filming expected to start this month, August 2009.
And finally, we can also pretty much hold to be true that Amy has filmed a part in the recently completed Joss Whedon-Drew Goddard horror movie, The Cabin in the Woods. While this hasn’t been officially confirmed just yet, we have reason to believe that Amy is playing the part of Wendy Lin, “a nervous woman in a lab coat.” The film is due to be released on February 5, 2010 — and will mark Amy’s second appearance on the big screen; the first being 2002’s Catch Me If You Can.
Overall, 2009 is certainly shaping up to be a busy year for Amy and fans alike!
Biography has been written by myself, Angie. Please do not reproduce elsewhere. Thank you.