Who is Kirsten Vangsness?
Kirsten Simone Vangsness was born on 7 July 1972, in Pasadena, California USA, of part-Norwegian descent, and is a writer and actress, best known from starring in the TV drama series “Criminal Minds”, playing the role of FBI Technical Analyst Penelope Garcia.
The Net Worth of Kirsten Vangsness
How rich is Kirsten Vangsness? As of mid-2018, sources estimate a net worth that is over $3 million, earned through a successful career in acting. She reprised her role of Penelope Garcia in the spin-off TV series “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior”, and as she continues her career, it is expected that her wealth will also continue to increase.
Early Life and Acting Beginnings
Kirsten’s family moved to Porterville, California where she was raised, then later to Cerritos, California, where she attended Cerritos High School. After matriculating in 1990, she enrolled at Cypress College, but transferred to California State University, Fullerton, from which she would graduate in 1995. Even before completing her studies, she was already highly active with acting particularly on stage.
She initially forayed into acting to help overcome her shyness, but soon her performances on stage would gain attention, leading to several awards including the Los Angeles Drama Critics Award, the Best Emerging Comic Actress, and the Golden Betty Award. This would lead her to find work in front of the camera; one of her first on-screen appearances was in an episode of “Phil of the Future”, then she played a recurring role in the series “LAX”. In 2005, she got her big break when she became a permanent cast member in the television series “Criminal Minds”.
Criminal MindsThe series is a police procedural show that airs on CBS, and focuses on a group of behavioral profilers who work for the FBI comprising a section called the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU), whose work is to profile the criminal instead of just investigating the crime. While the show focuses on the team as they work various cases, it has also shown aspects of the characters’ personal lives. She is a part of the original line-up of the show which featured Shemar Moore, Thomas Gibson, and Mandy Patinkin. Later on, other characters would be introduced played by actors such as Daniel Henney and Jennifer Love Hewitt.
— Kirsten Vangsness (@Vangsness) April 12, 2018
The show has gained a lot of critical acclaim for its acting, writing, fast pace and direction. It continues to be one of the big rating hits for the network, with the success of the show even led to a South Korean adaptation. The show is set to air its 14th season in October 2018. Concurrently, she was also involved in numerous film projects, mainly in small roles, but including being cast in the film “A-List”, in which she played the role of Blue.
Spin-Offs and Other Films
In 2011, Vangsness was cast in the spin-off show “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior”, reprising her role of Penelope, with new stars of the show including Forest Whitaker and Janeane Garofalo. This new team was based in Quantico, Virginia, but the show was short-lived, only running for one season. She also had other film work during this time, including “In My Sleep” in which she had a cameo role. She also had a support role in the film “The Chicago 8”, then in 2015, she was one of the stars of the comedy film “Kill Me, Deadly” based on a 2009 play of the same name.
In 2016, Vangsness became a special guest in another “Criminal Minds” spin-off, entitled “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders”., which focuses on agents who are members of the fictional International Response Team (IRT), dealing with cases that involve Americans who are in other parts of the world. A few of her recent projects include appearances in the films “Dave Made a Maze” and “Axis”, both released in 2017.
For her personal life, it is known that Kirsten was in a relationship with Melanie Goldstein from 2006 to 2013. Two years later, it was announced that she had become engaged to boyfriend Keith Hanson. She has never commented on her sexuality, though it was presumed during her relationship with Melanie that she was a lesbian, so surprised many when she became engaged to a man.
She also made headlines when she underwent a big transformation through dramatic weight loss. In 2014, she returned to “Criminal Minds” following a big 50-pound weight loss which was very noticeable. She credits her improvement to a weight loss program created by Renee Stephen who has been noted for helping women overcome weight loss. Kirsten continued to lose more weight over the next few years, though she doesn’t really give any specifics about her weight loss plan