Amy Louise Acker (born December 5, 1976) is an American actress best known for her roles on TV series, Angel as Winifred Burkle and Illyria. She is also known for her role on Alias as Kelly Peyton, Dr. Claire Saunders on Dollhouse and Samantha 'Root' Groves on Person of Interest. 

Early life

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

In her junior year of college, Acker modeled for J. Crew's catalog. She also received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1999. She worked as a stage actress for several seasons, including a stint at American Players Theater in Spring Green, Wisconsin. 


Acker made her major TV debut on Angel starring as Winifred Burkle from the 2nd to the 5th season as well as portraying Illyria for the 5th and final season.

She joined the cast of Alias in 2005 for the final season as villian, Kelly Peyton alongside Kevin Weisman (Dreg). The show include many guest-stars like Rutger Hauer (Lothos), Pierrino Mascarino (Thelonius), Terry Cain (Mrs. Tishler), Robin Sachs (Ethan Rayne), Jennifer Hetrick (Ms. Moran), Michael Nagy (Alphonse/Jay-Don), Robert Arce (Mr. Beach), Jimmy F. Skaggs (Unidentified Courier), Jason Reed (Unidentified vampire guard), Tracy Middendorf (Christina Clarke), Lindsey Crouse (Maggie Walsh), Jennifer Tung (Unidentified Talamour female victim), Michael Yavnielli (Lenny (In the Dark)), Kevin West (Marcus), Thomas Rosales Jr. (Manny the Pig), Denney Pierce (Vic), Greg Collins (Keith), Margaret Easley (Gerhardt), Anthony Cistaro (Trask/Ethros Demon), P.J. Marino (Peter Wilkers), Mark Gantt (Unidentified courier demon ), Glenda Morgan Brown (Liam's mother), John Patrick Clerkin (Unidentified priest), Rob Benedict (Jape), Sven Holmberg (Ty), Charles Constant (Howard), Sharon Ferguson (Sineya), Tony Amendola (Thesulac Demon), Cathy Cohen (Unidentified building manager), Erik Betts (Brown/a Turok-Han/Demon (Get It Done)/Keeper of the Name), Ravil Isyanov (Unidentified Monk of Dagon), Stewart Skelton (Harold Jeakins), Peggy Goss (Unidentified lunatic (Family)), Ken Feinberg (Chaos Demon), Robert Dolan (Robert Skale), Tom Kiesche (Broomfield), Evan Arnold (Shempire), Jamie McShane (Unidentified demon/ Pylean Rebel), Mark Rolston (Boone), Bob Jesser (Torto demon), Joel Grey (Doc), Leland Crooke (Lillian/Sebassis), Michael Phenicie (Silas), Bru Muller (Mr. Davis), Sam Ayers (Unidentified Baby Killer), Scott Donovan (Jerry), Troy Brenna (Nezzla Demon/Avilas), Glenn Morshower (Phillip Newton), Stacey Scowley (blond woman), Gina Torres (Jasmine), Michael Halsey (Rutherford Sirk), Heidi Dippold (Jill Ash), Braeden Marcott (Jacob Crane), Mark Kelly (Reese), Olga Vilner (Powerful one), Nick Jaine (Sahrvin Clan leader), Mark Colson (Izzerial), Lindsey Ginter (Commander Petrie), Roy Werner (Heinreich), Nick Spano (Spinelli), Jared Poe (Carlos), Jeff Yagher (Ed) and David Lee (Alfonso).

In the same year, Acker provided her voice for the character, Huntress on animated series, Justice League Unlimited.

Acker guest-starred on fellow Buffyverse actress, Alyson Hannigan's show, How I Met Your Mother. She was re-united with fellow Angel co-star, Alexis Denisof, who had a recurring part on the show.

She portrayed Dr. Claire Saunders/Whiskey, a recurring character, on Joss Whedon's show Dollhouse. She guest starred in 10 of the 13 episodes of the first season as well as 3 of the second season. 

In 2010, Acker became a series regular on ABC's drama, Happy Town portraying Rachel Conroy. She also starred in the season one finale of Human Target as well as CBS's Person of Interest. 

Acker appeared in horror movie, Cabin in the Woods in 2012. She also had other roles in sci-fi/fantasy shows such as Grimm, Warehouse 13, Supernatural and Once Upon a Time. She will also appear as Beatrice in Joss Whedon's, Much Ado About Nothing. 

Personal life

Acker married actor James Carpinello on April 25, 2003 in California. She gave birth to son, Jackson James in 2005 and daughter, Ava Grace in 2006. 


  • She studied ballet, jazz and modern dancing for 13 years before moving onto acting. She underwent knee surgery  which ended her ballet career so began to study acting.
  • Close friend of Neil Patrick Harris.


  • "This is our first time meeting each other. She's pretty cool so I'm hoping Joss will maybe make me a witch or something too." - On meeting actress Alyson Hannigan when her character Willow Rosenberg crossed over to Angel. 
  • "I want to be strong and a vampire slayer."
  • "Looking back at my character, I've gotten to do about 12 different parts because I started out crazy in a potato sack in a demon dimension. Now I'm in charge of this multimillion dollar science lab. The journey between those points has really bought a lot of strength to the role." - On her character Fred Burkle on Angel. 


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