Kirsten Vangsness

Kirsten Vangsness

Date of Birth

Birthday: July 7
Birthplace: Pasadena, California

Kirsten Vangsness is best known for playing tech-kitten Penelope Garcia on the 15 seasons of the CBS crime drama Criminal Minds, for which she also co-wrote five episodes, including the series finale.

She is on the Art Board at Hollywood's Theatre of NOTE, where she has acted in and created many plays, including Mess (which author Neil Gaiman called his "favorite one-person show"), and her feminist time-travel musical Cleo, Theo & Wu. In 2019, Kirsten took both productions to the Edinburgh Fringe, where she and her fellow NOTE actors played to sold-out houses for a blissful month.

Kirsten Vangsness is best known for playing tech-kitten Penelope Garcia on the 15 seasons of the CBS crime drama Criminal Minds, for which she also co-wrote five episodes, including the series finale.

She is on the Art Board at Hollywood's Theatre of NOTE, where she has acted in and created many plays, including Mess (which author Neil Gaiman called his "favorite one-person show"), and her feminist time-travel musical Cleo, Theo & Wu. In 2019, Kirsten took both productions to the Edinburgh Fringe, where she and her fellow NOTE actors played to sold-out houses for a blissful month.

Kirsten is the star and executive producer of the film-noir spoof "Kill Me, Deadly"; she wrote, directed and starred in the animated film festival darling "Curtains"; and she can be heard as Nico, the lovable lesbian-fox-alien in the last two seasons of the improv podcast Voyage to the Stars.

Kirsten just started production on season three of Kirsten's Agenda, a YouTube series she creates about art and self-actualization. She is the recipient of the Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award, the Open Fist Excellence in Arts Award, the L.A. Drama Critics Award for Best Actress and she has a monkey enclosure named after her at the Wildlife Learning Center in Sylmar.

In her spare time, she leads spirit tastings at Santa Ana's Blinking Owl Distillery, which she co-owns.

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Kirsten Vangsness
Kirsten Vangsness
2020 Engineering Emmy Awards
2020 Engineering Emmy Awards
2020 Engineering Emmy Awards
2020 Engineering Emmy Awards
2020 Engineering Emmy Awards
71st Engineering Emmy Awards
71st Engineering Emmy Awards
71st Engineering Emmy Awards
Wendy Lynn Aylsworth
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Kirsten Vangsness
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Host Kirsten Vangsness performs at the 73rd Engineering Emmy Awards.

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP Images
Kirsten Vangsness
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Host Kirsten Vangsness enthralls the audience with an original song at the 73rd Engineering Emmy Awards.

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP Images
2020 Engineering Emmy Awards
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Host Kirsten Vangsness presents an award to Alex Cyrell, Roger Barton, and Brad Thomas from Evercast at the 72nd Engineering Emmy Awards ceremony which streamed on October 29, 2020 at Emmys.com.

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2020 Engineering Emmy Awards
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Host Kirsten Vangsness presents the Emmy to Peter Crossley for Nuke at the 72nd Engineering Emmy Awards ceremony which streamed on October 29, 2020 at Emmys.com.

Invision/AP
2020 Engineering Emmy Awards
Camera

Host Kirsten Vangsness performs during the 72nd Engineering Emmy Awards ceremony which streamed on October 29, 2020 at Emmys.com.

Invision/AP
2020 Engineering Emmy Awards
Camera

Host Kirsten Vangsness performs during the 72nd Engineering Emmy Awards ceremony which streamed on October 29, 2020 at Emmys.com.

Invision/AP
2020 Engineering Emmy Awards
Camera

Host Kirsten Vangsness presents an award to James Eggleton from CODEX at the 72nd Engineering Emmy Awards ceremony which streamed on October 29, 2020 at Emmys.com.

Invision/AP
71st Engineering Emmy Awards
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Engineering Emmy Awards Chairman Barry Zegal and host Kirsten Vangsness at the 71st Engineering Emmy Awards, presented by the Television Academy at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE hotel on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

Invision/AP
71st Engineering Emmy Awards
Camera

Host Kirsten Vangsness performs at the 71st Engineering Emmy Awards, presented by the Television Academy at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE hotel on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

Invision/AP
71st Engineering Emmy Awards
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Host Kirsten Vangsness poses with the winners of the Engineering Emmy Awards at the 71st Engineering Emmy Awards, presented by the Television Academy at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE hotel on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

Invision/AP
Wendy Lynn Aylsworth
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Kirsten Vangsness, center, and Wendy Lynn Aylsworth, recipient of The Charles F. Jenkins Lifetime Achievement Award, poses with her family at the 2018 Engineering Emmy Awards.

Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP Images
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