Kirsten Vangsness Biography

(Actress and Writer Known for Her Role as ‘Penelope Garcia’ in the TV Series ‘Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders’)

Birthday: July 7, 1972 (Cancer)

Born In: Pasadena, California, United States

Kirsten Simone Vangsness is an American actress and playwright who came into the limelight after appearing as ‘Penelope Garcia’ in the police procedural crime drama television series ‘Criminal Minds’. She has also appeared in its two spin-off shows ‘Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior’ and ‘Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.’ Kirsten Vangsness has appeared in several other television shows as well. While she is primarily a TV actress, she has also done a few small roles in films since making her debut in the show business in 1998. Her notable works in the film industry include her roles in ‘In My Sleep’, ‘The Chicago 8’, and ‘Kill Me, Deadly’. As a writer, she has contributed articles to the ‘Los Angeles Times.’ Also a playwright, she co-wrote three episodes of ‘Criminal Minds.’ She is an animal lover and is especially fond of cats. She often rescues and rehabilitates injured and abandoned cats.
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Kirsten Simone Vangsness

Age: 51 Years, 51 Year Old Females


father: Errol Leroy Vangsness

mother: Barbara Mary

Partner: Keith Hanson, Melanie Goldstein

Actresses American Women

Height: 5'7" (170 cm), 5'7" Females

Ancestry: Norwegian American, Italian American

U.S. State: California

City: Pasadena, California

More Facts

education: California State University, Fullerton

Kirsten Vangsness made her acting debut in 1998 in a short comedy film ‘Sometimes Santa's Gotta Get Whacked’. She appeared in the short film as a ‘Tooth Fairy’. It took her a while to get another break and she made her television debut six years later in 2004. Vangsness appeared as ‘Veronica’ in the episode ‘Age Before Beauty’ of the science fiction sitcom ‘Phil of the Future’. She also signed for the drama television series ‘LAX’ in that same year, portraying the role of ‘Stephanie’ in three episodes.
In 2005, Vangsness grabbed the biggest break of her career to date. She was offered the role of ‘Penelope Grace Garcia’, the technical analyst of the Behavioral Analysis Unit in the crime drama television show ‘Criminal Minds’. She played a guest role in the first season and became a part of the main cast from the ensuing season. Besides her, the series features the likes of Mandy Patinkin, Thomas Gibson, Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler, A. J. Cook, Joe Mantegna, and Paget Brewster. Vangsness has also appeared in a recurring role in two of its spin-off shows, ‘Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior’ (2011) and ‘Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders’ (2016-17).
Her performance in the comedy television series ‘Pretty the Series’ was much appreciated. She was nominated twice at the Indie Series Awards for the Best Supporting Actress for her role of ‘Meredith Champagne’. She has also appeared in other shows like ‘Vampire Mob’, ‘Second City This Week’, ‘Good Job, Thanks!’, and ‘Shelf Life’.
Vangsness has appeared in a handful of films as well. She had notable roles in ‘A-List’ as ‘Blue’, ‘In My Sleep’ as ‘Madge’, ‘Kill Me, Deadly’ as ‘Mona Livingston’, and in ‘Dave Made a Maze’ as ‘Jane’.
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Family & Personal Life
Kirsten Simone Vangsness was born in Pasadena, California, on July 7, 1972, to Barbara Mary and Errol Leroy Vangsness. She moved to Cerritos, California, when young. She attended Cerritos High School and later went to Cypress College. She graduated from California State University, Fullerton, in 1995.
Vangsness is an avid animal lover and activist. She loves cats and has rescued several animals in her neighborhood.
She identifies as bisexual. She dated Melanie Goldstein from 2006 to 2013. She got engaged to actor Keith Hanson in 2015 after dating him for a while.
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