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Amy Louise Acker (born December 5, 1976) is an American actress. She played Winifred Burkle and Illyria on the TV series Angel and Kelly Peyton on Alias. Since 2012, she has played Samantha "Root" Groves on Person of Interest, having become a series regular in season three.

Early life

Acker was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, to a homemaker mother and a lawyer father. She graduated from Lake Highlands High School in Dallas. She subsequently earned a bachelor's degree in theatre from Southern Methodist University.

In her junior year of college, Acker modelled for J. Crew catalogue. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in the same year. She worked as a stage actress for several seasons, including a stint at American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wisconsin.


Acker made her major television debut when she starred as Winifred "Fred" Burkle in Angel (seasons 2–5), and also as the character of Illyria for part of the show's fifth and final season. She won the 2003 Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television for her portrayal.

She joined the cast of Alias in 2005 for its final season, playing villainess Kelly Peyton. Acker graduated from guest star to fully credited cast member as the show entered the final episodes in April and May 2006. Also in 2005, Acker provided voice acting for the character of Huntress on the animated series Justice League Unlimited. She went on to make a guest appearance on How I Met Your Mother, in which she was reunited with Angel co-star, Alexis Denisof (the real-life husband of HIMYM star Alyson Hannigan), who had a recurring role on the show.

She portrayed Dr. Claire Saunders/Whiskey, a recurring character, on Joss Whedon's Dollhouse. Acker guest-starred in 10 of the 13 episodes of the first season and three episodes of the second.

In 2010, she was a series regular in the ABC drama Happy Town, portraying the character Rachel Conroy. That same year, she starred in the season-one finale of the Fox series Human Target, as the mysterious Katherine Walters. On May 25, 2010, she appeared on CBS's The Good Wife. She appeared in the horror movie The Cabin in the Woods, released April 13, 2012. In 2012, she made guest performances in Warehouse 13, Once Upon A Time, and Grimm. In 2012, she starred as Beatrice in Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing.

Acker appeared in the sitcom Husbands‍ '​s third season as Claudia, the ex-fiancée of Brady Kelly who unexpectedly shows up. In March 2014, Acker was cast as Audrey, a former lover to Phil Coulson in an episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..

Personal life

On April 25, 2003, Acker wed actor James Carpinello in California. The couple has two children.


Year Title Role
2000 The Energy Specialist Claire
2001 The Accident Nina
2002 Groom Lake Kate
2002 Catch Me If You Can Miggy
2005 Mr. Dramatic Jodi
2006 The Novice Jill Yarrut
2009 21 and a Wake-Up Caitlin Murphy
2011 Vile Whitney Richards
2011 Sironia Molly
2012 The Cabin in the Woods Wendy Lin
2012 Much Ado About Nothing Beatrice
2014 Let's Kill Ward's Wife Geena
2015 The Energy Specialist Claire

Year Title Role
1998 Wishbone Catherine Morland
1999 To Serve and Protect Melissa Jorgensen
1999 Wishbone Priscilla / Venus
2001 Special Unit 2 Nancy
2001–04 Angel Winifred 'Fred' Burkle/Illyria
2003 Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt Bonnie Lindsay
2005 Supernatural Andrea Barr
2005–06 Justice League Unlimited Huntress/Helena Bertinelli
2005–06 Alias Kelly Peyton
2006 How I Met Your Mother Penelope
2007 Drive Kathryn Tully
2007 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Leslie LeZard
2007 Ghost Whisperer Tessa
2008 A Near Death Experience, Voices Ellie Daly
2008 Fire and Ice: The Dragon Chronicles Princess Luisa
2008 October Road Girl in Blue Uniform
2008 October Road Jenny Bristol
2008 Private Practice Molly Madison
2009–10 Dollhouse Dr. Claire Saunders (Whiskey)
2010 Human Target Katherine Walters
2010 The Good Wife Trish Arkin
2010 Happy Town Rachel Conroy
2010 No Ordinary Family Amanda Grayson
2011 Dear Santa Crystal Carruthers
2011, 2013 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Sandy Colfax
2012 Grimm Lena Marcenko
2012 Once Upon a Time Astrid/Nova
2012 Warehouse 13 Tracey
2012–present Person of Interest Root/Samantha Groves
2013 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated Nova
2013 Husbands Claudia
2014 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Audrey Nathan, the Cellist
2015 A Novel Romance Sophie
2015 Suits Esther Edelstein (née Litt)



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