Poppy Montgomery

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Poppy Montgomery
Poppy Montgomery.jpg
Montgomery in March 2009
BornPoppy Petal Emma Elizabeth Deveraux Donahue
(1972-06-15) 15 June 1972 (age 42)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
ResidenceNew York City, New York, U.S.
United States
Years active1994–present
Spouse(s)Shawn Sanford (m. 2014)
Partner(s)Adam Kaufman (2005–2011)
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Poppy Montgomery
Poppy Montgomery.jpg
Montgomery in March 2009
BornPoppy Petal Emma Elizabeth Deveraux Donahue
(1972-06-15) 15 June 1972 (age 42)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
ResidenceNew York City, New York, U.S.
United States
Years active1994–present
Spouse(s)Shawn Sanford (m. 2014)
Partner(s)Adam Kaufman (2005–2011)

Poppy Montgomery (born Poppy Petal Emma Elizabeth Deveraux Donahue; 15 June 1972) is an Australian-American actress. She played FBI agent Samantha Spade on the CBS mystery drama Without a Trace from 2002 to 2009, and Detective Carrie Wells on the CBS police drama Unforgettable (2011–present).

Early life[edit]

Poppy Petal Emma Elizabeth Deveraux Donahue was born in Sydney, Australia, in 1972,[1] to Nicola (née Montgomery), an executive and market researcher, and Phil Donahue, a restaurateur.[2] She is one of six children and her parents named her and her sisters (Rosie Thorn, Daisy Yellow, Lily Belle, and Marigold Sun) after flowers, and their brother after the rock band Jethro Tull.[3]

Montgomery hated school, being expelled from six private academies before finally dropping out at the age of 15 to pursue stage acting[4] and to travel around Bali with her boyfriend.[2] Montgomery emigrated to the United States at the age of 18, arriving in Florida to meet a boyfriend whom she had met when he was an exchange student. After five days, she realized that "[she] couldn't stand him" and took a bus to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.[4]


When Montgomery moved to Los Angeles, she stayed with two of her brother's friends[5] while sending a head shot every day to Julia Roberts' former manager, Bob McGowan, until he signed her.[2] She appeared in several small television roles through the late-1990s, including NYPD Blue.[6]

Her first big break was when she won the role of Marilyn Monroe in the 2001 CBS mini-series Blonde, based on the novel by Joyce Carol Oates.[7] The next role she was offered was a starring role as Samantha Spade on the CBS mystery drama Without a Trace. The series revolved around a missing persons unit of the FBI in New York City. On being offered the part, she later said, "They (the producers) called me up and said, 'Will you do it?' I said, 'Um' and they said, 'Anthony LaPaglia is in it' and I said, 'sure'. It was that simple." Montgomery portrayed Samantha Spade for seven seasons, from when the show began on 26 September 2002 until it ended on 19 May 2009.[3]

In April 2011, Montgomery completed filming a television biographical film Magic Beyond Words, playing Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling.[8]

In September 2011, she began to star in the CBS police drama Unforgettable, playing Carrie Wells, a former homicide detective with hyperthymesia which allows her to have perfect recall, who is convinced to join the NYPD in Queens by her ex-boyfriend, after leaving Syracuse because of the investigation into her sister's murder being shut down. She uses her memory to solve crimes.[9][10]

Until the debut of ABC's new family-oriented, late-arriving, Sunday night fairy-tale drama Once Upon a Time, CBS had been airing promos that Unforgettable was the #1 new drama of the 2011–12 season. According to the prime-time Nielsen television ratings released through 6 November 2011, season-to-date, Unforgettable has averaged 13.9 million viewers. For a snapshot rating, on Tuesday, 1 November 2011, the series was first in its regular time slot, with 11.3 million viewers and ranked #24 overall for the week.[11] The show was initially canceled by CBS on 12 May 2012, but later was renewed for a second season of 13 episodes, which started airing in the summer of 2013, and a third season premiered on 29 June 2014.[12] Montgomery posed in a series of provocative photographs on Maxim's website in their Girls of Maxim feature.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Montgomery met actor Adam Kaufman in 2005 in Mexico while working on the independent film Between and in 2010, they worked together again in the TV movie Lying to be Perfect. Kaufman began a recurring role on Without a Trace in the season five episode "At Rest", playing Brian Donovan, Samantha's love interest for the rest of the series. In June 2007, Montgomery announced her pregnancy with Kaufman, which was written into the show's sixth season.

On 23 December 2007, she gave birth to their son Jackson Phillip.[14][15] It was reported on 10 October 2011 in Life & Style, that Montgomery and Kaufman had separated.[16]

In late 2011, Montgomery began dating Shawn Sanford, director of lifestyle marketing for Microsoft, whom she met in Puerto Rico.[17] On 22 April 2013, she gave birth to their daughter Violet Grace.[18]

On the 4 April 2014 episode of Live! with Kelly and Michael, Montgomery revealed that on Chinese New Year, she and Sanford were married at Disneyland in a ceremony with their children present.[19][20]

Montgomery holds dual citizenship (Australia and the USA).[21] She moved from Los Angeles to New York City in 2013 to film Unforgettable.[22]


Film and television roles
1994Silk StalkingsAngelU.S. TV series; 2-part episode: "Natural Selection"
Tammy and the T-RexParty Girl #1
1995Jake Lassiter: Justice on the BayouCindyTV movie
Devil in a Blue DressBarbara's Sister
1996Cold Equations, TheThe Cold EquationsMarilyn 'Lee' CrossTV movie
Peacock BluesTV short
Party of FiveAllisonEpisode: "Poor Substitutes"
NYPD BlueLisaEpisode: "Burnin' Love"
RelativityJennifer LukensRecurring role; 7 episodes
1997Desert's EdgeMaryTV short
1998Dead Man on CampusRachel
1999Wonder Cabinet, TheThe Wonder CabinetDr. Sarah ColemanTV pilot
1999Other Sister, TheThe Other SisterCaroline Tate
LifeOlder Mae Rose Abernathy
2000Men Named Milo, Women Named GretaBarri NoodlemanShort film
Beat, TheThe BeatElizabeth WaclawekRecurring role; 3 episodes
2001BlondeNorma Jean Baker / Marilyn MonroeTV miniseries
Going to CaliforniaPenelopeEpisode: "Hurricane Al: A Tale of Key Largo"
2002Glory DaysEllie SparksRecurring role; 9 episodes
2002–2009Without a TraceSamantha SpadeSeries regular (160 episodes)
2004Raising WaylonJulia BellowsSpecial
How to Lose Your Lover, How to Lose Your LoverAllison
2005BetweenNadine Roberts
Murder in the HamptonsGenerosa RandTV movie
Snow WonderPaulaTV movie
2010True BlueKatherine MillerTV pilot
Lying to Be PerfectNola DevlinTV movie
2011Magic Beyond WordsJ. K. RowlingTV movie
2011–presentUnforgettableCarrie WellsLead role


  1. ^ "United States Public Records, 1970-2009" index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KTQ1-Y91: accessed 18 August 2014), Poppy Donoghue, Residence, Santa Monica, California, United States; from a third party aggregator of publicly available information.
  2. ^ a b c Johnson, Tricia (11 May 2001). "Poppy Montgomery as Marilyn Monroe in 'Blonde'". ew.com. Retrieved 8 October 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Downie, Stephen (8 August 2007). "In the lucky bunch". couriermail.com.au. Retrieved 8 October 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Hiltbrand, David (20 April 2005). "'Without a Trace' actress Poppy Montgomery 'driven'". The Post and Courier. Retrieved 8 October 2011. 
  5. ^ "Tracing a path to LA". theage.com.au. 19 July 2007. Retrieved 8 October 2011. 
  6. ^ Bianculli, David (11 May 2001). "'Blonde' Had Dark Roots". nydailynews.com. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  7. ^ Martindale, David. Meet Poppy Montgomery, TNT; accessed 12 July 2008.
  8. ^ "Victoria to star in film on J.K. Rowling". Times Colonist. 12 February 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  9. ^ "2011 Fall Preview Video-Unforgettable", CBS.com, 22 May 2011
  10. ^ "Poppy Montgomery in Sunnyside Queens". Sunnyside Post, 4 April 2011; accessed 14 May 2014.
  11. ^ Courtesy Veronica Bravo, USA Today; and Nielsen Media Research; retrieved 9 November 2011.
  12. ^ "Unforgettable". CBS.com. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  13. ^ "Popppy Montogmery: Girls of Maxim". Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  14. ^ Jenny Sundel (12 June 2007). "Without a Trace's Poppy Montgomery Pregnant". People. Retrieved 12 June 2007. 
  15. ^ Poppy Montgomery Welcomes a Boy, People, 4 January 2008; accessed 12 July 2008.
  16. ^ "Unforgettable star Poppy Montgomery splits with longtime beau". Life&Style. 10 October 2011. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  17. ^ "Poppy Montgomery pregnant with second child". USA Today. 11 January 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2013. 
  18. ^ "Poppy Montgomery Welcomes Daughter". Life&Style. 24 April 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2013. 
  19. ^ Live! With Kelly and Michael, 4 April 2014 episode, with guests James Franco and Poppy Montgomery. Pictures were presented on the broadcast as proof.
  20. ^ Billups, Andrea (4 April 2014). "Poppy Montgomery Marries Shawn Sanford". People.com. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  21. ^ "Poppy Montgomery back on TV in 'Unforgettable'". 
  22. ^ Watkins, Jade. "She makes me want to be a better role model", Daily Mail, 10 July 2013; accessed 4 January 2014.

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