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The Transformation Of Lauren Cohan From Childhood To The Walking Dead

The AMC series "The Walking Dead" has been a mainstay in the television landscape since its premiere in 2010. The horror-drama, adapted from the graphic novel series by Robert Kirkman, follows a group of survivors in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse as they struggle to adjust to their new reality. Staying true to the nature of the genre, characters often die, with other survivors joining the ranks of the existing group, leaving the show's core group of characters always in flux.

One of the show's staples, however, has been the character of Maggie Greene, played by Lauren Cohan. Cohan has received both critical and commercial acclaim for her work on the show, growing fans of her own who have followed her on to other projects as well. However, "The Walking Dead" was far from Cohan's first role in either film or TV, and this is what the transformation of Lauren Cohan from childhood to "The Walking Dead" was like.

Cohan grew up in two countries

Lauren Cohan was born in January 1982 in Philadelphia and lived in New Jersey until she was 13. Lauren's father was American, and her mother was British, and at 13, Lauren moved with her family to Surrey, England. She lived in England until she was 22, at which point Lauren moved back to the U.S. (via The Philadelphia Inquirer.) Lauren's mother converted to Judaism when she got married to the man who would become Lauren's stepfather, and at the age of five, Lauren converted to Judaism as well (via American Jewish Life.)

Lauren did her post-secondary education in England, at King's Alfred College, Winchester, which was subsequently renamed the University of Winchester. In her third year there, Lauren also co-founded a theater company that ended up going on tour. Lauren credits her time with the theater company as a big reason why she became an actress, (via Venta) ultimately graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama and English literature.

Cohan's first major film role was in a comedy sequel

Cohan made her acting debut in the 2005 Lasse Hallström film "Casanova", which starred Heath Ledger in the titular role, playing the role of Sister Beatrice. But her first major film role came in the 2006 comedy sequel "Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj," in which Cohan took the role of Charlotte Higginson, the female lead in the film, which starred Kal Penn. Charlotte is a teaching supervisor whose job includes overseeing Taj's teaching of history to his new friends and fraternity. She is initially dating Pip Everett, Taj's rival and the man who humiliated Taj by rescinding his invitation to the campus' prestigious fraternity.

However, over the course of the film, Charlotte falls for Taj's charms, eventually helping clear his name when Pip frames him for stealing exam papers. Charlotte and Taj end the film in a relationship together.

Cohan also made her television debut in the CBS soap opera "The Bold and the Beautiful," playing an unnamed employee in a single episode. But this would be far from the last TV role Cohan would have.

Cohan made a big impression on a long-running CW series

Cohan's first major TV role came in 2007 on the CW series "Supernatural," which she joined in the show's third season, showing up for the first time in the season's third episode, titled "Bad Day at Black Rock." In the show, Cohan plays Bela Talbot, a con artist, and thief who specializes in collecting supernatural artifacts. She first crosses paths with the Winchester brothers when she tries to acquire a lucky rabbit's foot from a locker owned by their deceased father, John.

Over the course of Season 3, Bela becomes both an ally to the brothers, and a thorn in their side, and the Winchesters discover that Bela made a deal with a crossroads demon to have her sexually abusive father killed when she was a child. In return, she sold her soul, giving her only ten years to live before the debt came due. With her death imminent, a desperate Bela tries to get out of the deal by trying to help the demon Lilith, betraying the brothers in the process by stealing a demon-killing Colt from them and passing it on to Crowley, who was Lilith's lackey at the time. When Bela is thwarted in her attempt to kill Sam, the younger of the brothers, she asks for their help to save her from the hellhounds coming for her. Dean, the elder brother, refuses, and Bela dies by the hellhounds.

Cohan remained with The CW

While Cohan appeared in guest roles in a number of other television shows, such as "CSI: NY" and "Modern Family," her next major TV role came in another supernatural series on The CW, namely "The Vampire Diaries." Cohan joined the series in 2010, appearing for the first time in the eighth episode of Season 3, titled "Rose." In the series, Cohan plays Rose-Marie (or "Rose"), a vampire who's been alive since the 1500s, and was on the run from the Mikaelson family due to unwittingly helping Katherine become a vampire, thereby preventing Klaus Mikaelson from becoming a hybrid, which required Katherine's blood in human form.

Rose returned to the present day to kidnap Elena Gilbert, a doppelganger of Katherine, and hand her over to the Mikaelson family in exchange for their pardon, ensuring she wouldn't have to remain in hiding from them any longer. When her plan was thwarted by Damon and Stefan, she teamed up with the brothers and the group in Mystic Falls to help them learn more about the Mikaelson family and the curse that Klaus was trying to break. Rose subsequently ends up bitten by a werewolf, which is fatal to vampires, but when it seems like Rose won't die, she and Damon become romantically entangled before the werewolf bite truly takes hold of Rose. Damon eventually stakes Rose in a mercy killing to end her suffering.

Cohan played the villain both in movies and TV

Cohan also had a major role in the 2010 film "Death Race 2," a direct-to-video follow-up to the 2008 Jason Statham film "Death Race." In the film, which is a prequel, Cohan plays September Jones, host of the prison Death Match and employee of Weyland Corporation, which runs the private prison where the lead character Luke ends up. September comes up with the idea of converting the Death Match into a Death Race, offering freedom to any convict who can win five races. She ends up killed by Luke, who attacks her with his car ahead of a race.

In 2011, Cohan made the jump on TV from The CW to NBC, joining Season 4 of the spy-comedy series "Chuck." Making her first appearance in the season's 16th episode, titled "Chuck Versus the Masquerade," Cohan plays Vivian Volkoff, daughter of dangerous criminal Alexei Volkoff, whom Chuck and the team are combating during the season. Vivian learns she was unwittingly trained by her absentee father to eventually take over the criminal organization.

After being betrayed by Chuck's handlers, she embraces her identity as a criminal mastermind, becoming another antagonist to Chuck and his team, eventually attacking Sarah and nearly killing her. When she discovers that her father's criminal mastermind identity was simply a cover that went wrong, she feels remorse for her actions, eventually leaving the Volkoff fortune to Chuck and Sarah and taking a new identity and new life with her father.

The Walking Dead has been Cohan's biggest role to date

Cohan followed up her role in "Chuck" by jumping to AMC later in 2011, joining "The Walking Dead" in its second season. Her first appearance was in the second episode of the season, titled "Bloodletting," and she plays the role of Maggie Greene, a woman living on a farm with her family when Rick and the group of survivors come looking for help when Shane's son Carl is shot by accident. Over the course of her run on the show, Maggie joins the group of survivors when the farm no longer remains a safe place for them, eventually forming a relationship with fellow survivor Glenn Rhee, leading to the two getting married before Glenn's demise at the hands of Negan.

"The Walking Dead" has been Cohan's longest-running TV role to date, as she has appeared in over a hundred episodes of the show. Cohan became a series regular starting from the show's third season and remained on the show until 2018, the series' ninth season. Cohan subsequently returned to the show in its tenth season and is set to become a series regular once again when "The Walking Dead" returns for its eleventh season in August.