Kirsten Vangsness Actress Biography

About Kirsten Vangsness 

Kirsten Simone Vangsness is a famous American playwright, actress, theater artist, podcaster, YouTuber, graphic novelist, and producer. Kirsten is best known for her outstanding work as Penelope Garci, the genius tech lady of the Behavioral Analysis Unit on the most nerve-wracking, CBS criminal mystery series Criminal Minds (2005–2020). No one could ever pull the techie expert character other than Kirsten. 

In addition to acting, Kirsten also co-wrote the five episodes of Criminal Minds with Erica Messer since 2014 — Season 10 Episode 13 (Nelson’s Sparrow), Season 11 Episode 18 (A Beautiful Disaster), Season 12 Episode 13 (Spencer), Season 13 Episode 11 (Full-Tilt Boogie), and Season 15 Episode 10 (And in the end)-the series finale.

In addition to her acting career, Kirsten is also famous for her stage performance, and she is one of the Art Board directors of the Theatre of NOTE, Los Angeles, where she has played numerous stage shows. 

Kirsten has gained 2 Ovation Best Actress nominations for “Fat Pig” and “Everything You Touch” at the Geffen and Boston Court. LA Weekly Best Playwright of the Year 2012 nomination for “Potential Space” and won the Los Angeles Drama Circle Best Comedic Actress for “Potential Space” — a comic play where Kristen played the character of Dulcie, whose emotional and dating life is a wreck. She is in a constant debate with her mind (played by Lauren Letherer), her heart (played by Wendi West), and her identity (played by Jennifer Flack).

Kirsten Vangsness produced the famous play “The Learned Ladies” for the Theatre of NOTE, Los Angeles, California. In March 2004, Kirsten’s play “Maroo Montrose” was highly praised in “The Fan Maroo”. In October 2005, Kirsten played Oxana in “Book of Liz,” a play directed by David Sedaris and Amy Sedaris, at the Blank Theatre in Hollywood, California. In November 2005, Kristen played Mary Van Norman in the play “A Mulholland Christmas Carol,” which was a massive hit.

Kirsten also acted in the 2015 movie “Kill Me Deadly,” a comedy 100 minutes movie based on a 2009 stage playwright by Bill Robens. 

In August 2019, Kirsten performed two plays in rep —FEMPIRE: “Cleo, Theo & Wu” and “Mess” at Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The “Mess” was Kirsten’s solo performance, and both the shows were sold out with the most incredible five-star reviews.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Kirsten started a series named Kirsten’s Agenda on her youtube channel to promote civic duty, wellness, and mental health. Her series featured some famous celebrities Aisha Tyler, Karen David, and Pauley Perrette.

Kirsten is a proud queer actor and the first actress appeared in public by bringing Melanie Goldstein as her date to the People’s Choice Awards’06.

Kirsten Vangsness Age, Height, Weight, Zodiac, Race/Ethnicity, Hair Color, Eye Color, Distinctive Features, Sexual Orientation, Food Habits, and Relationships

On July 7th, 1972, Kirsten was born to Barbara Mary and Errol Leroy Vangsness in Pasadena, California. Kirsten’s mother, Barbara, was of Italian descent, while her father, Errol, was of Norwegian descent. Kirsten is currently 49 years old, and she is Cancerian. Kirsten’s height is 5 ft. 7 in (170 cm), and she weighed 76 kgs (168 lbs). Kirsten follows Baptism. 

Kirsten moved to Cerritos, California and completed her studies from Cerritos High School. Kirsten has completed her graduation from California State University Fullerton Theatre & Dance Dept.

Kirsten is Italian, Norwegian, Oslo, Bergen, and of Gol descent. Kirsten’s hair color is blonde, and she has bewitching blue eyes. In addition, Kirsten has a mole on her right cheek that makes her more gorgeous.

For over 20 years, Kirsten has switched to being a vegetarian but an occasional pescatarian. Her favorite foods are arugula, cupcakes, and mac & cheese.

Kirsten has a soft spot for animals, especially cats, and she is an active animal rights supporter. Kirsten is also part of social activist projects — GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network), and The Trevor Project (Globally largest organization for LGBTQ to prevent suicide and crisis).

Kirsten worked as a child counselor, substitute teacher, restaurant hostess, grant writer, and personal assistant before becoming an actress in 1998. Kirsten’s articles have been issued in the Los Angeles Times. In addition to her work in Hollywood and playwright, Kirsten is a co-owner of Blinking Owl Distillery located in Santa Ana, launched in 2016.

Kirsten is bisexual and currently dating American writer and actor Keith Hanson. They both got engaged in November 2015. Before dating Keith, Kristen was in a long-term relationship with Melanie Goldstein, the television editor is famously known for 24 TV series (2009–2010), and Farther (2009) from 2006–2013. Kirsten and Melanie were engaged, and the duo desired to marry but called off their engagement in 2013.

Kirsten Vangsness Net Worth

As reported, Kirsten Vangsness’s net worth as of 2021 is appx USD 3 Million.

Kirsten was paid USD 100,000 per episode of The Criminal Minds (2013–2014).

Kirsten Vangsness Social Media

Kirsten regularly promotes her work and LGBTQ causes on her Instagram and has over 1.3 million followers. Kirsten is also quite active on her Twitter and Facebook account, mainly promoting her podcast, and has over 700K+followers on Twitter and 30K+ followers on Facebook.

In June 2020, amid the covid-19 pandemic, Kirsten started her new show “Kirsten Agenda” on a YouTube channel promoting mental health most attractively. There are currently 7.7K+ subscribers on her YouTube Channel. 

Kirsten podcast — Kirsten Agenda is also available on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcast, Breaker, Radio Public, and Pocket Casts.

Kirsten has her own website as well —

Kirsten Vangsness Early Life and Family

Kirsten was born to an Italian mother, Barbara Mary Marconi, and Norwegian descent father Errol Leroy Vangsness on July 7th, 1972. Kirsten has two siblings Karla Justine and Marilynn Ina. 

When Kirsten was a young girl, she was bullied by many students in school due to her shyness and appearance. When she moved to a new school, it was a little difficult for her to fit with new people, affecting her grades. In her extracurricular activities, Kirsten chose acting class instead of picking up shop class because she wanted to overcome her shyness and hated the idea of a shop. The acting class made her comfortable, and slowly her parents did notice her improvement in her studies. Kirsten did manage her acting class and studies so well that she began to improve her acting and academics. 

Kirsten was initially satisfied with her theatre performances only as she felt that major people on television were different from her. At some point in her life, Kirsten struggled with her body weight and was gagging about living on cat food. But slowly, when she started to accept her appearance, it boosted her confidence. 

After her graduation, Kristen continues to do her stage work, and to support her work financially, Kirsten has done several day jobs, including — a substitute teacher, grant writer for various American NGOs, personal assistant, actress of the murder mystery dinner theater, and a child counselor.

Her day jobs included a grant writer, substitute teacher, a child counselor, a restaurant waitress, and a murder mystery dinner theater actress. Kirsten’s first paid gig was for a Diet Dr. Pepper commercial.

Kirsten’s theatre career is one of the most notable frameworks. She got numerous awards for her performances, including the best emerging comic actress — Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Natalie Schafer Award.

Till 2004, Kirsten has done a short film, small roles in two Television series and appeared in numerous commercial ads. When she got offered for Criminal Minds in Mid 2015, lesser than she knew, the series would change her life forever, for good. 

Kirsten is an avid whiskey lover, and in 2016, she partnered with her friends Robin Christenson and Brian, opened up Blinking Owl Distillery in Santa Ana, California. The distillery is currently famous among many people, and Blinking Owl spirits include vodka, Aquavit, Gin, and Whiskey. 

Recently their famous straight bourbon whiskey was made into Forbes magazine. In addition, Blinking Owl has received numerous awards, including the 2020 L.A. Spirits Awards — Silver and Gold Medal. In addition to the distillery and selling spirits, Blinking Owl also offers spirit tasting sessions from Wednesday to Sunday. 

Kirsten Vangsness Movies and Drama 

In addition to her theatre performances and hit shows — Fat Pig, Everything You Touch, Potential Space, The Learned Ladies, Maroo Montrose, A Mulholland Christmas Carol, Cleo, Theo & Wu, and Mess, Kirsten started as an actress portrayed a tooth fairy in a 1998 short movie “Sometimes Santa’s Gotta Get Whacked” which was a massive success with the current rate of 8.9/10 on IMDb. 

Before her role in Criminal Minds (2006–2020), in 2004, Kirsten bagged the role of Veronica in Phil of the Future television series in the episode Age Before Beauty and appeared in three episodes of the LAX series as a ticket agent. 

Criminal Minds is a story of an FBI group that works in BAU — Behavioral Analysis Unit, using their resources to analyze the criminal’s psychology and investigate the crimes. The story revolves around the crime stories and the team’s personal struggles. Criminal Mind is one of the longest-running shows in American television history, with 15 long seasons and 324 episodes. The show is currently running on Netflix.

In Criminal Minds, Kirsten portrays Penelope Garcia’s role as a BAU technical analyst and communications liaison agent. Her role was highly praised by the audience and reporters, including the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Los Angeles Times. Kirsten was also the main cast in all 13 episodes of Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (2011). In addition to her role in the series, Kirsten also co-wrote the five episodes of Criminal Minds with Erica Messer, including the season finale. 

Along with her Criminal Minds series, Kristen acted in several short films — Tranny McGuyver (2008), Sarina’s Song (2011), and Remember to Breathe (2012), and some hit movies — A-List (2006), Scream of the Bikini (2009), In My Sleep (2010), The Chicago 8 (2011), Kill Me, Deadly (2015), Diane & Devine, Meet the Apocalypse (2016), Axis and Dave Made a Maze (2017).

Though The Chicago 8 movie didn’t perform well at the box office, Kirsten’s role as a sketch artist was noticed by many. The Chicago 8 is an actual story movie based on the true events — 1968 riots at Chicago’s Democratic National Convention caused by the eight anti-war protesters. 

Kill Me, Deadly is a film noir mystery comedy of a 1947 Charlie Nickels’, the private investigator client was murdered, and her diamond was stolen. The investigation forces Charlie to do the things he swore he would never do again in his life. Kirsten portrayed the role of Mona Livingston, a fatale torch singer. Her role was talk of the town, and Kirsten did gain significant popularity. The movie received fair criticism with a 7.3/10 IMDb rating.

Kirsten also acted in several episodes of the hit American television series — Vampire Mob (2010), appeared in 14 episodes of Pretty the Series (2010–2012), appeared in one episode of Second City This Week (2011) as herself, did two episodes of a Good Job, Thanks! (2011–2013) as a therapist, and in six episodes of Shelf Life (2013) web series. 

Kirsten Vangsness Recent News 

Amid Covid-19 Pandemic 2020, Kirsten decided to start a show, “Kirsten’s Agenda,” on her YouTube channel where she talks about many things, including mental health, self-confidence and entertains people by answering questions her fans ask, singing songs, talking about her furry cat friends, and many more.

In addition to this, her YouTube show is also converted into a podcast. You can listen to it on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, Breaker, Radio Public, and Pocket Casts. Kirsten’s Agenda has received mixed reviews. 


Kirsten has come a long way since her insecurities about her weight, shy little girl, and being bullied in school. She had changed many young and adult females’ lives throughout her theatre work, television and movies. Shared her real-life stories on social media. 

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Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I've been writing articles for more than 10 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I'm currently writing for many websites and newspapers. All my ideas come from my very active lifestyle, every day I ask myself hundreds of questions to doctors, specialists, and physicians. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. In all my years as a computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. I believe that any information should be free, we want to know more every day because we learn every day. Most of our medical sources come from and government research. You can contact me on our forum or by email at


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