Occupation : Actress, model
Birth Date : 19 December 1969
Birth Place : Mission Viejo, California, USA
Birth Name : Kristen N. Swanson
Nationality : American
Sex : F
Height : 5' 7"
Education : high school (graduated in 1984)
Father : Bob (retired physical education teacher in Orange County, CA)
Mother : Rosemary (retired physical education teacher in Orange County, CA)
Claim to fame : as Buffy Summers in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)
Kristen Swanson was born December 19, 1969, in Mission Viejo, California. She dreamed of becoming an actress as a child, and got her start at the age of nine, appearing in a TV commercial for a dollhouse. By the time she was 13, Kristy had appeared in over 30 television ads. At this point, she gave up regular schooling to concentrate on acting, and her parents, who were physical education teachers, provided Kristy with home instruction. Around the same time, the Swanson family relocated to Los Angeles.
American actress Kristy Swanson has been in films since 1986's Deadly Friend, but cemented her reputation on TV with recurring roles in Knot's Landing (1987) and Nightingales (1988). Swanson returned to the big screen with roles in the largely forgotten Dream Trap and Diving In (both 1990). In 1991, she appeared in Hot Shots! and played the lead in the dismal Mannequin 2: On the Move.
But her career received a big boost in 1992 when she played the title character of Buffy Summers in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Portraying a cheerleader who learns she has been chosen to rid the world of evil vampires, Kristy turned in a dazzling performance, but the film didn't do well at the box office. It did become a hot video rental, however, which helped spawn the successful TV series starring Sarah Michelle Gellar in the title role.
Swanson's athletic prowess came in handy for her portrayal of a tennis star in 1993's The Program. The following year, she starred in The Chase, appearing as the daughter of a millionaire taken hostage by an innocent Charlie Sheen, on the run from the law. For Higher Learning (1995), Kristy received some of her best reviews, playing a na´ve college freshman coming to terms with her homosexuality. Her performance in The Phantom (1996), based on the popular comic strip, was overshadowed by then unknown Catherine Zeta-Jones, who played the movie's voluptuous villainess.
In 1997, Swanson starred as a seductive sociopath in the ABC made-for-TV movie, . That same year, she also appeared on the big screen in Lover Girl and 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag, a comedy co-starring Joe Pesci and David Spade. In 1998, she played a gossipy Southern socialite in Meeting Daddy, and returned to primetime television for the 1998-'99 season of Early Edition on CBS.
In 2001, she appeared in the made-for-TV movie Zebra Lounge, and co-starred on the big screen in Soul Assassin. The year 2002 found the actress playing a psychiatrist in Silence, and in what was perhaps an attempt at shedding her "girl next door" persona, Kristy bared all in the November issue of Play..boy.