Alyson Hannigan Biography
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||Birth name : Allison Lee Hannigan|
|Date of birth : 24 March 1974|
|Place of birth: Washington, District of Columbia, USA|
|Height: 5' 6" (1.68 m)|
|Spouse: Alexis Denisof (11 October 2003 - present)|
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Alyson Lee Hannigan (born March 24, 1974) is an American actress. She currently plays Lily Aldrin in the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, but is best known for her previous role as Willow Rosenberg on the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She also played flautist Michelle Flaherty in the American Pie film series.
Known for bringing a quirky and vibrant personality to many of her characters, Alyson Lee Hannigan first garnered attention for portraying wallflower Willow Rosenberg on the popular WB series, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” A former child actor/model, this natural redhead one-upped her TV fame after being cast in the late 1990s teen romp, “American Pie” (1999) as the nice-but-naughty band geek, Michelle.
Hannigan was born in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Emilie Posner, a real estate agent, and Al Hannigan, a truck driver. Hannigan is Jewish on her mother's side, and also has Irish ancestry. Her parents divorced a year after her birth and she was raised mostly by her mother in Atlanta. Hannigan grew up in Atlanta, GA with her real estate agent mother after her parents’ divorced in 1972. The camera loved this auburn-coifed actress from an early age. At only three months old, she was featured in an instructional film, "Active Parenting" (1974).
Hannigan began to model as a child, posing for nearly a hundred print advertisements before making the transition into commercial acting. At the age of four, Hannigan landed her first commercial, promoting Duncan Hines cookie mix. She was later featured in a number of national TV commercials, including campaigns for McDonald’s and Oreo cookies. Growing up in Atlanta, Hannigan attended the Northside School of the Performing Arts. With her burgeoning success in commercial acting, the eleven-year-old Hannigan and her mother relocated to Los Angeles so that she could pursue her career more seriously.
Although Hannigan had appeared in an industrial film for "Active Parenting" as a baby, as well as starred in a commercial for the Duncan Hines cookie mix in 1978, it wasn't until she moved to Los Angeles, California in 1985 that she formally began her acting career. Living with her mother and attending North Hollywood High School, she successfully auditioned for agents while visiting her father in Santa Barbara.
Hannigan's first major film role was in My Stepmother Is an Alien, a science fiction comedy released in 1988; one of her co-stars in the film was actor Seth Green, who would later join her in the regular cast of Buffy as her on-screen boyfriend. Then in 1989, her first regular role on a TV series came when she was cast in the short-lived ABC sitcom Free Spirit. Throughout most of the early 1990s, she appeared in commercials and supporting roles on television shows, including Picket Fences, Roseanne and Touched by an Angel.
Hannigan’s first breakthrough role came in 1988 when she was cast as Dan Aykroyd's suspicious daughter in the misbegotten comedy, "My Stepmother Is an Alien." Next, Hannigan landed a regular role on the ABC sitcom, "Free Spirit" (1989-90). She went on to land a number of other small television roles while still in school, including spots on “Roseanne” (ABC, 1988-1997), “The Torkelsons” (NBC, 1991-93), “Touched by an Angel” (CBS, 1994-2003) and “Picket Fences” (CBS, 1992-96). After graduating high school at North Hollywood High in 1992, Hannigan took some time off to attend college at California State University, where she majored in psychology.
Returning to work in 1997, Hannigan landed her biggest break yet – she was cast as Willow Rosenberg, Buffy’s (Sarah Michelle Gellar) quirky best friend on the cult Joss Whedon TV series, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (WB, 1997-2001; UPN, 2001-03).
In 1997, Hannigan was cast to play Willow Rosenberg, Buffy's best friend, on the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (replacing Riff Regan, who played Willow in the unaired 25-minute pilot). The show became a success, and Hannigan gained recognition, subsequently appearing in several notable films aimed at teenage audiences, including American Pie, American Pie 2, Boys and Girls, and American Wedding.
With her newfound recognition, Hannigan started landing roles in a number of films geared towards a teenage audience, including "Dead Man on Campus" (1998), in "Boys and Girls" (2000), her biggest film to date – the unexpected teen sex comedy hit, “American Pie” (1999). Playing off her natural geekiness, Hannigan portrayed the sweetly perverted flute-playing band geek Michelle Flaherty opposite Jason Biggs. Hannigan uttered the film franchise’s most infamous line: “One time, at band camp…” culminating in a hilariously x-rated explanation of what really did happen at band camp with that flute. The actress reprised her “Pie” role in the sequels "American Pie 2" (2001) and later, more prominently in the disappointing "American Wedding" (2003).
By the time Buffy had ended in 2003, Hannigan was earning a $250,000 salary for each episode. She also had a guest spot on the Buffy spin-off, Angel, reprising her role of Willow in a few episodes (including most notably "Orpheus", during the fourth season of Angel and the seventh season of Buffy), but none after Buffy finished production.
Crossing over to the “Buffy” spin-off, “Angel” (WB, 1999-2004), Hannigan reprised her role as Willow Rosenberg, appearing on the series in a number of episodes. In 2004, Hannigan made her stage debut opposite Luke Perry, starring in a stage adaptation of “When Harry Met Sally” at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London’s West End. Returning to series television in 2005, Hannigan guest-starred on “Veronica Mars” (UPN, 2004- ) and landed a regular spot on the CBS sitcom hit “How I Met Your Mother” (2005- ) portraying kindergarten teacher Lily Aldrin. With such a workload, Hannigan found time to return to the big screen in the 2006 send-up of cheesy romantic chick flicks, "Date Movie," a modest hit.
In early 2004, Hannigan made her West End debut, starring in a stage adaptation of When Harry Met Sally... at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, opposite Luke Perry. In 2005, Hannigan returned to starring in a regular television series, appearing in the hit comedy, How I Met Your Mother, as Lily, and also playing a recurring guest role on Veronica Mars as Trina Echolls. In February 2006, Hannigan starred as Julia Jones in Date Movie, a parody on romantic comedies.
She married actor Alexis Denisof (who played Wesley Wyndam-Pryce in the Buffy/Angel franchise) at Two Bunch Palms Resort in Desert Hot Springs, California on October 11, 2003. They bought a house together in Santa Monica, California.
In March 2008, the satirical website The Onion released a satirical news video titled "FCC Okays Nudity On TV If It’s Alyson Hannigan." The clip, internally titled "Understanding the FCC's Obscenity Guidelines," features a fictitious FCC spokesman repeatedly stressing that the FCC would not consider Hannigan taking her top off during a TV episode to be an obscene act.
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