Kristen Noel “Kristy” Swanson is an American actress who gained fame for playing Buffy Summers in the cult film ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’, Rebecca "Becky" Granger in the telefilm ‘Nightingales’ and the short-lived NBC show of the same name, Erica Paget in CBS drama ‘Early Edition’, and Marlowe Viccellio in ‘Psych’. A native Californian, Swanson developed an interest in acting when she was a child. She began her career in the advertising industry, appearing in multiple commercials. She made her screen debut in an episode of NBC’s sitcom ‘It's Your Move’ in 1984. She debuted on the big screen two years later, in the 1986 romantic comedy ‘Pretty in Pink’. Known for her blonde hair, lisp, and breathless voice, Swan has shifted to portraying side characters in recent years. In 1989, she was awarded the Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress in a Horror or Mystery Motion Picture for ‘Flowers in the Attic’.
Childhood & Early Life
Born on December 19, 1969, in Mission Viejo, California, USA, Kristy Swanson is one of the two children of Robert and Rosemary Swanson. Both of her parents are former physical education teachers. Besides Kristy, they have a son named Rob, who is the older of the two.
When she was nine years old, she became interested in acting and spoke to her parents about it. She subsequently started appearing in TV commercials. Her first work as a young model was in a commercial for a particular brand of doll houses.
In the following few years, she became part of numerous commercial campaigns. By the time she turned 13, she could not attend school anymore because of her work schedule. Swanson eventually earned her high school degree from El Toro High School.
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Kristy Swanson began her acting career in a season one episode of ‘It’s Your Move’ in 1984. Two years later, she landed her first big screen role, in John Hughes’ ‘Pretty in Pink’. While she did not have any line in the film, she clearly made a mark on the audience. She worked with Hughes again in ‘Ferris Bueller's Day Off’.
'Ferris Bueller's Day Off’ is also one of the three films in which she shared screen space with Charlie Sheen, the other two being ‘Hot Shots!’ (1991) and ‘The Chase’ (1994). She portrayed the character Becky in the 1988 TV movie ‘Nightingales’ and the NBC’s short-lived medical drama series of the same name.
In the season three of CBS’ supernatural drama ‘Early Edition’, Swanson portrayed Erica Paget, a romantic interest of the protagonist, Gary Hobson (Kyle Chandler).
In November 2002, she was featured nude on Playboy’s cover pictorial. In 2006, she became the winner of Fox’s celebrity reality show ‘Skating with Celebrities’. Between 2011 and 2014, she portrayed Marlowe Viccellio, detective Carlton Lassiter’s girlfriend and eventual wife, in six episodes of USA Network’s detective comedy-drama ‘Psych’.
In 2018, she worked in two TV movies, ‘Bad Stepmother’ and ‘Winter’s Dream,’ and a feature film, ‘Killer Under the Bed’. She is set to appear in the drama ‘A Parent’s Worst Nightmare’ and the science fiction thriller ‘Jessica Frost’.
In 1992, Kristy Swanson played the titular character in the comedy horror film, ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’. Written by Joss Whedon and directed by Fran Rubel Kuzui, the film was a modest hit at the box office while receiving mostly negative reviews from the critics. However, it has since become a cult classic, primarily because Whedon went on to develop a very successful TV show of the same name.
Swanson garnered rave reviews for her portrayal of Kristen Connor in John Singleton’s directorial venture, ‘Higher Learning’. The film deals with the racial issues that have plagued US since its inception in the microcosmic setting of a fictitious university called Columbus University. Besides Swanson, the movie also stars Omar Epps, Ice Cube, Michael Rapaport, Jennifer Connelly, and Laurence Fishburne
Family & Personal Life
Kristy Swanson was previously in a relationship with actor Alan Thicke, who is older than her by 23 years. They began dating when she was 17 years old and got engaged after she turned 19. However, they never went through with the wedding and eventually parted ways.
While Swanson was a contestant on ‘Skating with Celebrities’, she was involved in an affair with her partner and Canadian pair skater Lloyd Eisler. At the time, Eisler was still married to, but separated from, his wife Marcia O’Brien, who was pregnant.
A month after Eisler divorced O’Brien, his and Swanson’s son, Magnus Hart Swanson Eisler, was born on February 16, 2007. The couple married on February 7, 2009.