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Whatever Happened To Cordelia From Buffy The Vampire Slayer?

Character arcs don't get much more dramatic than that of Cordelia Chase, who was introduced in the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer as your stereotypical stuck up cheerleader. It took Cordelia awhile to come around from being a shallow, mocking thorn in the side of Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Willow (Alyson Hannigan), and Xander (Nicholas Brendon), but come around she did. Over the course of the series' first three seasons, she transformed from an antagonist pitted against the trio to a sometimes reluctant ally in their battle against the supernatural forces of darkness. In fact, by the end of that third season, she was even doing a little vampire slaying herself.

After her parents are imprisoned and she's left destitute, Cordelia decides to depart for Los Angeles to try her hand at acting, and the character follows David Boreanaz over to Buffy's spin-off series, Angel. There, Cordelia continues to become more interesting, helping the titular half-human vampire start up his detective agency, eventually sacrificing herself to help him defeat the evil organization known as the Circle of the Black Thorn. 

For seven years between 1997 and 2004, Cordelia was portrayed by Charisma Carpenter, who imbued the character with depth even in her shallow early days, and whose chemistry with Boreanaz helped to make Angel one of the more successful spin-offs of its era. If you're here, you must be curious as to what she's been up to since her Buffy and Angel days — and as it turns out, she's been up to quite a lot.

Charisma Carpenter jumped over to Veronica Mars after Angel

Not long after the end of Angel's run, Carpenter made a jump to another buzzworthy series on an upstart network: Veronica Mars, which at the time was airing on UPN (which would be absorbed by the CW the following year). In case you need a brief refresher, Veronica Mars is the series that made a star out of Kristen Bell. She stars as the titular character, a budding detective who is in high school when the series begins. Each episode would feature Veronica solving a "mystery of the week" while making progress on other, more complicated cases which tended to span the entire season.

Carpenter appeared in 11 episodes of the series' second season as Kendall Casablancas, the scheming stepmother of Cassidy (Kyle Gallner) and Dick (Ryan Hansen), acquaintances of Veronica who were recurring characters in the first season. Veronica is hired to investigate Kendall by Cassidy, and sure enough, she discovers some shady dealings involving some questionable real estate transactions. As her investigation progresses, she discovers that Kendall is not who she says she is. Her real name is Priscilla Banks, and she's an ex-convict and con artist who has the boy's father Richard (David Starzyk) in her sights.

True to Veronica Mars' form, by the end of the season, Kendall's true identity is exposed with an assist from Veronica's dad Keith, and the character meets a violent end in the season 3 premiere. Carpenter certainly wasn't going anywhere, though; she would continue to be a fixture on the small screen for years to come.

Charisma Carpenter has appeared in a ton of TV movies and series

For the rest of the decade after her run on Veronica Mars, Carpenter was all over the small screen, whether she was guesting on TV series or starring in TV movies, which she did a lot. In 2006 alone, she appeared in four made-for-TV features: the thriller Flirting with Danger, the horror fantasy Voodoo Moon, the mystery Cheaters' Club, and the family comedy Relative Chaos.

Carpenter also showed up in guest or recurring roles on a slew of TV series during this time, including CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationBig Shots, Greek, Supernatural, Blue Bloods, The Lying Game, Sons of Anarchy, and Scream Queens. The actress has certainly carved out a place for herself on the tube; even more recently, she's made appearances on the likes of Lucifer and 9-1-1. But she has also been known to pop up in the occasional feature every now and then, and one might be forgiven for failing to remember that she actually appeared in one of the biggest, most bombastic action franchises of the last decade.

Charisma Carpenter starred in the Expendables series

This would be The Expendables, the first two installments of which saw Carpenter portray the amazingly named Lacy Christmas. Her character is the wife of the slightly less amazingly named Lee Christmas, Jason Statham's former SAS badass (although unlike Carpenter's character, Statham's was improbably named after a real guy who was arguably even more of a badass).

Carpenter spoke about her casting shortly after the first film dropped in an interview with Parade. "I'm mostly known for television roles, so this is my big break in terms of feature films and I didn't do bad," she said. "I got the part because I was referred to [the movie's star] Sylvester [Stallone] by a friend that I worked with. He was having trouble casting the role of Lacy and I was suggested. Then I had a meeting with Sly, and I had to audition, and the next day he invited me to his office at the crack of dawn and he gave me the good news."

Carpenter sat out the third installment of the Expendables series, but the experience of working on the first two proved to be valuable. She's appeared in several features since, including the 2016 horror flick Girl in Woods, the 2018 drama The Griddle House, and the 2019 family flick Pegasus: Pony with a Broken Wing.

The actress has certainly kept herself busy, and even though she's built an interesting and widely varied resume, she'll always be Cordelia to Buffy and Angel fans. Now that a sequel series is in the works with a new slayer, perhaps we'll see her doing in vampires once again in the near future. Sure, the character is technically dead, but that's why they pay TV writers the big bucks.