Alyson Hannigan

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Alyson Hannigan
Alyson Hannigan.jpg
Hannigan in 2003
BornAlyson Lee Hannigan
(1974-03-24) March 24, 1974 (age 39)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Years active1986–present
Spouse(s)Alexis Denisof
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Alyson Hannigan
Alyson Hannigan.jpg
Hannigan in 2003
BornAlyson Lee Hannigan
(1974-03-24) March 24, 1974 (age 39)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Years active1986–present
Spouse(s)Alexis Denisof

Alyson Lee Hannigan (born March 24, 1974)[1] is an American actress. She is best known for her roles as Willow Rosenberg in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003), Lily Aldrin on the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother (2005–present) and Michelle Flaherty in the American Pie film series (1999–present).[2]

Early life[edit]

Hannigan was born in Washington, D.C.,[2] the only child of Emilie (Posner) Haas, a real estate agent,[3] and Al Hannigan, a truck driver.[4] Her father is of Irish descent and her mother is Jewish.[5][6] Her parents divorced when she was two and she was raised mostly by her mother in Atlanta, Georgia.[7]



At age four, Hannigan began appearing in commercials.[8] She moved to Hollywood at age 11.[3] Living with her mother and attending North Hollywood High School, she successfully auditioned for agents while visiting her father in Santa Barbara. After attending North Hollywood High School, she attended California State University, Northridge where she earned a degree in psychology.[9]

Hannigan's first major film role was in My Stepmother Is an Alien,[2] a science fiction comedy released in 1988; one of her co-stars in the film was actor Seth Green, who later joined her in the regular cast of Buffy as her on-screen boyfriend. Then in 1989, her first regular role on a TV series came when she was cast in the short-lived ABC sitcom Free Spirit. As a teenager, Hannigan babysat for the kids of Bob Saget, who later narrated her TV series, How I Met Your Mother.[10]


In 1997, Hannigan was cast to play Willow Rosenberg, Buffy Summers' best friend, on the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.[11] The show became a success, and Hannigan gained recognition, subsequently appearing in several notable films aimed at teenage audiences, including American Pie, American Pie 2, Boys and Girls and American Wedding.[2] She also had a guest spot on the Buffy spin-off, Angel, reprising her role of Willow in a few episodes (including most notably "Orpheus," during the fourth season of Angel and the seventh season of Buffy), but none after Buffy finished production.

In early 2004, Hannigan made her West End debut, starring in a stage adaptation of When Harry Met Sally... at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, opposite Luke Perry.[12] In 2005, Hannigan returned to starring in a regular television series, appearing in the hit comedy How I Met Your Mother as Lily, and also playing a recurring guest role on Veronica Mars as Trina Echolls.[13] In February 2006, Hannigan starred as Julia Jones in Date Movie, a parody of romantic comedies.[2] She was also a guest star on the ABC animated sitcom The Goode Family in 2009.[14]

Hannigan joined forces with Emily Deschanel, Jaime King, Minka Kelly, and Katharine McPhee in a "video slumber party" featured on to promote regular breast cancer screenings for the organization Stand Up 2 Cancer.[15]

In 2012, Hannigan reprised the role of Michelle in American Reunion.[16]

With husband Alexis Denisof.

Personal life[edit]

Hannigan married fellow Buffy the Vampire Slayer actor Alexis Denisof at Two Bunch Palms Resort in Desert Hot Springs, California, on October 11, 2003. The couple have two daughters, Satyana Marie Denisof, born March 24, 2009,[1] and Keeva Jane Denisof, born May 23, 2012.[17] Hannigan and her husband are godparents to Joss Whedon's son, Arden.[18]


On February 13, 2013, Hannigan was granted a temporary restraining order against New Hampshire resident John Hobbs after he began sending her threatening and obsessive messages via the Internet, wishing to meet and possibly kill her. On March 6, 2013, the restraining order was extended to last for an additional 4 years.[19]


1986Impure ThoughtsPatty StubbsAs Allison Hannigan
1988My Stepmother Is an AlienJessie Mills
1991Switched at BirthGina Twigg, Age 13–16TV movie
1995The Stranger Beside MeDanaTV movie
1996A Case for LifeIrisTV movie
1996For My Daughter's HonorKellyTV movie
1998Dead Man on CampusLucy
1999Hayley Wagner, StarJenna JakesTV movie
1999American PieMichelle Flaherty
2000Boys and GirlsBetty
2001American Pie 2Michelle Flaherty
2001Beyond the City LimitsLexi
2003American WeddingMichelle Flaherty
2004AmericanaAndreaTV movie
2005In the GameUnknownTV series
2006Date MovieJulia Jones
2011Love, Wedding, MarriageCourtney
2012American ReunionMichelle Flaherty-Levenstein
1989–1990Free SpiritJessie HarperMain role; 14 episodes
1990RoseanneJanEpisode: "Like, a New Job"
1993Almost HomeSamantha2 episodes
1994Touched by an AngelCassie PetersEpisode: "Cassie's Choice"
1996Picket FencesPeggy PattersonEpisode: "To Forgive Is Devine"
1996Friends for LifeEmma DanielsUnaired TV pilot
1997–2003Buffy the Vampire SlayerWillow RosenbergMain role; 144 episodes
1999–2000100 Deeds for Eddie McDowdGigi2 episodes
2000Wild Thornberrys, TheThe Wild ThornberrysGerdaEpisode: "Every Little Bit Alps"
2001–2003AngelWillow Rosenberg3 episodes
2004That '70s ShowSuzy Simpson2 episodes
2004King of the HillStacey GibsonEpisode: "Talking Shop"
2005Veronica MarsTrina Echolls3 episodes
2005–2014How I Met Your MotherLily AldrinMain Role
2009Goode Family, TheThe Goode FamilyMichelleEpisode: "Graffiti in Greenville"
2011Simpsons, TheThe SimpsonsMelodyEpisode: "Flaming Moe"
2011American Dad!Chelsea2 episodes
2013Hollywood Game NightHerselfEpisode: "The One With the Friends"

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearAwardCategoryNominated workResult
1989Young Artist AwardBest Young Actress in a Motion Picture: Comedy or FantasyMy Stepmother Is an AlienNominated
1990Young Artist AwardBest Young Actress Starring in a Television SeriesFree SpiritNominated
2000Young Hollywood AwardsBest Ensemble CastAmerican PieWon
2000Teen Choice AwardsChoice TV SidekickBuffy the Vampire SlayerNominated
2001Saturn AwardsBest Supporting Actress on TelevisionBuffy the Vampire SlayerNominated
2001Teen Choice AwardsChoice TV SidekickBuffy the Vampire SlayerNominated
2002Saturn AwardsBest Supporting Actress on TelevisionBuffy the Vampire SlayerNominated
2002Satellite AwardsBest Supporting Actress – Television SeriesBuffy the Vampire SlayerNominated
2002Teen Choice AwardsChoice TV SidekickBuffy the Vampire SlayerWon
2003Saturn AwardsBest Supporting Actress on TelevisionBuffy the Vampire SlayerWon
2003Teen Choice AwardsChoice TV SidekickBuffy the Vampire SlayerNominated
2004Teen Choice AwardsChoice Movie Actress – ComedyAmerican WeddingNominated
2004Teen Choice AwardsChoice Movie Liplock (shared with Jason Biggs)American WeddingNominated
2008Teen Choice AwardsChoice TV Show: ComedyHow I Met Your MotherNominated
2010People's Choice AwardsFavorite TV Comedy ActressHow I Met Your MotherNominated
2012People's Choice AwardsFavorite TV ComedyHow I Met Your MotherWon
2012Teen Choice AwardsChoice Movie Actress: Romantic ComedyAmerican ReunionNominated


  1. ^ a b Wihlborg, Ulrica (2009-03-31). "Alyson Hannigan Welcomes a Daughter!". People. Retrieved 2009-03-31. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "How I Met Your Mother Cast: Alyson Hannigan". CBS. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  3. ^ a b "Former Atlantan Alyson Hannigan interview for ‘How I Met Your Mother’". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. September 21, 2009. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  4. ^ "Film Reference Alyson Hannigan Bio". Archived from the original on 10 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-07. 
  5. ^ Bloom, Nate (2004-07-09). "Celebrity Jews". the Jewish News Weekly of Northern California. Retrieved 2006-07-16. 
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Biography for Alyson Hannigan at the Internet Movie Database
  8. ^ "Interview: Alyson Hannigan on American Pie". Scotland on Sunday. April 22, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  9. ^ "Alyson Hannigan". Retrieved 2010-04-18. 
  10. ^ "It's Evening in America". Vanity Fair. May 2012. Page 158.
  11. ^ "Where Are They Now? Buffy the Vampire Slayer". People. December 3, 2007. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  12. ^ "When Harry Met Sally, Review by Philip Fisher (2004)". British Theatre Guide. Retrieved 2010-04-18. 
  13. ^ "'Veronica Mars' scoop". Chicago Tribune. January 20, 2006. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  14. ^ Alyson Hannigan at the Internet Movie Database
  15. ^ Kate Stanhope (2009-10-01). "Deschanel, Hannigan and Others Cop a Feel for a Cause". Archived from the original on 1 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  16. ^ "Alyson Hannigan, Cobie Smulders and 'Mother'-hood". USA Today. April 15, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  17. ^ "Alyson Hannigan and Alexis Denisof Welcome Daughter Keeva Jane". People. June 12, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  18. ^ Hannigan is godmother of Joss Whedon's son, Alyson Hannigan.
  19. ^ Finn, Natalie. Alyson Hannigan Secures Restraining Order Over Alleged Online Death Threats February 13, 2013. Retrieved on March 13, 2013.

External links[edit]