Born In: New York City, New York, United States
American actor Michelle Trachtenberg is best known to global audiences for her role of Buffy’s sister, Dawn Summers, in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Starting her career as a child actor and model, she initially gained fame with the series The Adventures of Pete & Pete and the movie Harriet the Spy. Over the years, she has won Young Artist Awards for her roles in Harriet the Spy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the sitcom Meego. Her work as the host of the series Truth or Scare earned her a Daytime Emmy Award nomination. She also won hearts with her performance as Manhattan socialite Georgina Sparks in the teen drama series Gossip Girls. She has voiced Judy in the Facebook web series Human Kind Of and has executive-produced the web series Guidance and the true crime television series Meet, Marry, Murder. She has appeared in several music videos, too, and has also made it to Maxim’s Hot 100 twice.
Also Known As: Michelle Christine Trachtenberg
father: Michael Trachtenberg
mother: Lana Trachtenberg
siblings: Irene Trachtenberg
Born Country: United States
U.S. State: New Yorkers
Michelle Trachtenberg was born Michelle Christine Trachtenberg, on October 11, 1985, in New York City, US, to Jewish immigrant parents, Michael and Lana Trachtenberg. While her father was a fiber-optics engineer, her mother worked as a bank manager.
She has German roots on her father’s side and is of Russian descent from her mother’s side. She also speaks fluent Russian.
Trachtenberg’s grandparents live in Israel. She grew up in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, with her older sister, Irene Trachtenberg.
While she initially attended the Isaac Asimov Public School 99 elementary school (where she was part of the Gifted and Talented program) and The Bay Academy for the Arts and Sciences, she later joined the Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California. She graduated with awards in Religion and Social Sciences and was also named to the California Scholarship Federation.
Trachtenberg was 3 when she began appearing in commercials. She was also trained in ballet as a child. She acted and danced through her school days and was a regular on TV shows from age 10.
One of Michelle Trachtenberg’s initial roles was the recurring role of Nona F. Mecklenberg in the Nickelodeon kids’ series The Adventures of Pete & Pete (1994-1996). However, her first TV role was that of Dinah Driscoll in an episode of the police procedural series Law & Order, though it was uncredited.
She was also seen as Lily Montgomery in All My Children (1993-1996) and made her film debut with the titular role in Harriet the Spy (1996). Though, by then, she had already appeared as Lena in the 1995 film Melissa, the role went uncredited. She also appeared as Maggie Parker in the sci-fi sitcom Meego (1997).
However, it was her iconic role of Buffy's sister, Dawn Summers, from season 5 of the supernatural drama Buffy the Vampire Slayer (2000-2003) that catapulted her to fame, even before she had turned 18. Interestingly, she has already worked with fellow actor Sarah Michelle Gellar in All My Children and was recommended by Gellar for the role of Dawn in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Trachtenberg was a big fan of Buffy even before she began working on the series. However, her role in the series was criticized for being annoying.
Her work as the host of the Discovery Kids show Truth or Scare (2001-2003) won her a Daytime Emmy Award nomination. In 2004, her name was submitted for Emmy consideration for her guest-starring role of Melinda Bardach in the medical drama series House. The following year, she worked at the Williamstown Theater Festival in Massachusetts, as a non-paid apprentice. In 2006, she was seen as Sandra in Beautiful Ohio.
She was also considered for the role of Bella Swan by Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke but could not take it up due to scheduling conflicts. In 2012, she appeared in a public service announcement against bullying. She also assisted former US President Bill Clinton in launching the anti-drug campaign The Coalition for a Drug Free America.
After proving her acting prowess in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, she appeared in several projects, such as the 2004 sex comedy EuroTrip, the 2005 sports comedy Ice Princess, and the teen drama series Gossip Girl (2008-2012). Her role of Georgina Sparks, who belonged to New York’s elite society, in Gossip Girl, was an important role of her career.
In 2014, Michelle Trachtenberg was seen in the sci-fi thriller film The Scribbler. A comic book adaptation, this movie flopped. The same year, she appeared in the TV movie Save the Date. This project too received a lukewarm response.
In 2015, Trachtenberg was seen as a reporter in the TV movie The Christmas Gift. This too was panned by critics.
She was also seen in the 2015 web series Guidance, which she executive-produced. Over the years, she has played guest roles in various series, such as Criminal Minds (2013), NCIS: Los Angeles (2013), Sleepy Hollow (2015), and SuperMansion (2015).
In 2016, Trachtenberg starred as Dallas Baxter in the Lifetime movie Sister Cities, while in 2018, she voiced the character of Judy Reilly in the Facebook web series Human Kind Of. In 2021, she turned executive producer and host for the true crime show Meet, Marry, Murder.
Her acting skills have won her 3 Young Artist Awards (for Harriet the Spy, Meego, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Buffy the Vampire Slayer also earned her 3 Saturn Award nominations. She also won the 2007 Sarasota Film Festival Breakthrough Performer Award for Beautiful Ohio.
She was placed at number 86 on Maxim magazine’s Hot 100 list in 2007, while she was voted to number 27 on same list in 2011. She has appeared in several music videos, such as Trapt's 2004 music video of the track Echo and rock band Fall Out Boy’s 2007 music video This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race. She has also appeared in a Kohl's commercial with Hilary Duff.
From November 2001 to December 2003, Michelle Trachtenberg was in a relationship with singer Joshua Radin. In 2004, she began dating Canadian actor Shawn Ashmore. The couple had been introduced to each other by a mutual friend at the 2004 InStyle Oscar Party. They broke up in August 2006
In 2006, she began dating musician Peter Wentz. Tabloids later reported that she had broken up with him for his “frat boy”-like lifestyle in Los Angeles. In March 2007, she had a fling with American model Jason Lewis. They were apparently seen together at the Chateau Marmont hotel in Los Angeles.
In 2008, she was apparently dating Scott Sanford. In August 2009, she was romantically linked to actor Jason Segel. In 2011, she reportedly had a fling with Canadian ice-hockey player Brandon Prust.
The following year, she was spotted dating singer Mark Foster of Pumped Up Kicks fame. She also dated musician Josh Groban for a few months in 2012.
In April 2014, she was seen dating rapper Scott Mescudi (or Kid Cudi). The following year, rumors stated she was dating actor Matt McGorry, whom she had met at that year’s Coachella Music Festival.
Michelle Trachtenberg shares a close bond with fellow Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Seth Green. She not just enjoys swimming, writing poems, and ice skating in her leisure time, but also loves playing tennis. She has an unusual hobby of collecting Barbie dolls and has more than 50 of them in her collection. She once participated in a golf tournament hosted by Carmen Electra in Jamaica.
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