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Amy Louise Acker (born December 5, 1976) is an American actress. She is best known for her roles on the television series Angel as Winifred Burkle and Illyria, and on Alias as Kelly Peyton. She is also known for her role as Dr. Claire Saunders on Dollhouse.Acker was born and raised in Dallas, 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 theater from Southern Methodist University.
In her junior year of college, Acker modeled for J. Crew's catalog. In 1999, she was nominated for a Leon Rabin award for "Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role" for her performance in the play Thérèse Raquin. 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 on the second through fifth seasons of Angel 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.
In 2005, she joined the cast of Alias for its final season, playing the villainous character 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.
Acker guest starred on fellow Buffyverse actress Alyson Hannigan's show How I Met Your Mother, in which she was reunited with Angel co-star Alexis Denisof (Hannigan's real-life husband), 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. Also in 2010, 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. On May 18, 2012 she appeared on CBS's Person of Interest in the season one finale cliffhanger, the subsequent season two premiere and second episode, and the 16th episode of the season, entitled "Booked Solid". Also in 2012, she revisited the science fiction and fantasy genres that had brought her to prominence, with guest performances in Warehouse 13, Once Upon A Time, and Grimm.On April 25, 2003, Acker and actor James Carpinello were married in California. On January 22, 2005 she gave birth to a son, Jackson James Carpinello, and on September 1, 2006 to a daughter, Ava Grace.Accola was born in Houston, Texas but she grew up in Edgewood, Florida and attended Lake Highland Preparatory School. Her father, Kevin, is a cardiothoracic surgeon and her mother, Carolyn, was formerly an environmental engineer before becoming a homemaker. Both her parents are active members of the local Republican political party. She has one younger brother.In December 2006 Accola released her debut album, It's Always the Innocent Ones, independently in the United States. Accola co-wrote thirteen of the fourteen tracks on the record. The album failed to make an impact. In 2008 the album was re-released in Japan and achieved greater success. Accola toured as a backing singer for Miley Cyrus's Best of Both Worlds Tour. Accola appeared as herself in the 2008 3D concert film Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert. In February 2011, Accola performed a cover of The Bangles' "Eternal Flame", on The Vampire Diaries. Accola has yet to announce plans for a sophomore album.Accola has guest appeared in a number of television series such as How I Met Your Mother, Supernatural and Drop Dead Diva. In July 2009 Accola starred in the Independent Horror film Deadgirl which centers on two high school boys who discover an immortal woman in an abandoned asylum. That same year again Accola had a bit-role in The Hannah Montana Movie. In 2009 Accola was cast in The CW television series The Vampire Diaries as Caroline Forbes a teenage vampire. The series was an immediate success with the series premiere reaching over 3.6 million viewers. Critical reception was positive. In June 2012 Accola joined the Dramedy YouTube series Dating Rules From My Future Self as Chloe Cunningham a 26-year old girl who believes love does not exist. The series centers on a girl receiving romance advice from herself ten years in the future via text message. The first season of the series went on to receive over 14 million views.She is one of the many supporters of the It Gets Better Project, along with her The Vampire Diaries co-stars Michael Trevino and Ian Somerhalder, the it gets better project is a project that has made it a goal to prevent suicide among LGBT youth, associated with The Trevor Project.