Alexis Denisof (born February 25, 1966) is an American actor, primarily known for playing Wesley Wyndam-Pryce in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off Angel. He also had a recurring role on How I Met Your Mother. His wife, Alyson Hannigan, starred in both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and How I Met Your Mother.

Alexis Denisof
Denisof at the May 2015 Phoenix Comicon
Born (1966-02-25) February 25, 1966 (age 58)
Alma materLondon Academy of Music and Dramatic Art
Years active1986–present
(m. 2003)

Early life edit

Denisof was born in Salisbury, Maryland,[1] the son of Christiana Taylor and Gerald Denisof.[2][3] He is of Russian, Russian-Jewish, French, and Irish ancestry.[4] He moved to Seattle, Washington, when he was three years old. He attended Highline College, where his mother was head of the drama department. After graduating from St Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire at the age of 17, he moved to London, England, where he lived and worked for several years.[5] Denisof is listed as an Alumnus of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in 2017-18 'LAMDA Review of the Year'. [6]

Career edit

Beginning his career in the film industry, Denisof was the fight director for a stage production of Hamlet, and in 1991 was the fight director for the BBC's The Other Side, Romeo and Juliet, and The Soul's Dark Night.[7] His first lead role was alongside Sir Christopher Lee in the feature film Murder Story (1989) where he played an investigative reporter. One of his first known works in television was on the arcade version of the video for "Got My Mind Set On You" by George Harrison. In 1995, he landed a small part in the 1995 film First Knight, appearing as one of Arthur's round table knights in multiple scenes with Sean Connery and Richard Gere.[1] Following those roles, Denisof worked with Sean Bean in three episodes of Sharpe as Lord John Rossendale in 1997.[2]

(From left to right) Tom Lenk, Emma Caulfield, Denisof, Alyson Hannigan, Anthony Stewart Head, Joss Whedon, Michelle Trachtenberg at the Buffy cast party, April 18, 2003

His best-known character, Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, was introduced in 1999 in the third season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer as Buffy's replacement Watcher. Originally, Wyndam-Pryce was supposed to be killed off in the season 3 finale but, due to Whedon's surprise at how well he fit into the series, Denisof was given the choice about his character's fate and chose for him to live. As a result, Wyndam-Pryce later arrived as a motorcycle-riding rogue demon-hunter in season one, episode 10 of Angel, and was an official main cast member from episode 11 on, effectively replacing the character Doyle. Wyndam-Pryce appeared in 100 out of the 110 episodes of the series.[citation needed]

The end of the series in 2004 saw a lag in Denisof's career. Save for appearing in three episodes of the hit series How I Met Your Mother, as the goofy philandering Sandy Rivers, Denisof would not work as much as he used to for the next several years. During this time he appeared in several stage productions, including Rope at Chichester Festival Theatre's Minerva Theatre with Anthony Head, who played Wesley's predecessor Rupert Giles on Buffy. Denisof was among 200 actors considered for the role of James Bond in Casino Royale, but lost out to Daniel Craig. Later, in 2008, he appeared in season 2 of Private Practice as a man named Daniel, a bigamist who has two pregnant wives who don't know about each other.[8] In 2009, he appeared in four episodes of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse as Senator Daniel Perrin.[9]

Denisof at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival

In 2011, Denisof reprised his recurring role as Sandy Rivers in How I Met Your Mother; he ultimately appeared in 10 episodes in total, and his last appearance was in the episode "Gary Blauman". In a season 1 commentary, creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays speculated that Denisof was initially reluctant to take the role back in 2006 because he feared it was just charity work on account of his wife, Hannigan, playing a main character on the show. They went on to state that he was not aware, until they actually told him, that they were huge fans of his work dating back to his time on Angel.[10][11]

Since 2011, Denisof has been relatively active. He played a voice role in the animated DC film Justice League: Doom. He was featured in the majority of episodes in the AOL webseries Little Women, Big Cars. He was then cast as a lead in Bryan Singer's new webseries H+: The Digital Series. He then reunited with Joss Whedon for two different film projects. The first was a minor role in the summer blockbuster The Avengers, as The Other, a servant of the character Thanos, and a cohort of Loki. The second was the lead male role in a modern version of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, to positive reviews from critics. The film was released worldwide in June 2013.[12]

In August 2013 he was cast in the third season of NBC's Grimm as a recurring character named Viktor Albert Wilhelm George Beckendorf.[13] In 2014, Denisof reprised his role as The Other in Guardians of the Galaxy. In the same year he began starring in the MTV television series Finding Carter as David Wilson.[14] As of 2018, Denisof starred in the web series I Love Bekka & Lucy as Glenn, and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series, his first such nomination.[15]

On November 28, 2018, Deadline Hollywood reported that Denisof would play the recurring role of Adam Masters in the second season of Netflix's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.[16] In 2019 he began playing the recurring role of Professor Vardemus in the supernatural television show Legacies.

Personal life edit

Denisof with Alyson Hannigan, April 18, 2003

According to the DVD release of Angel's season five, three weeks before the filming of the season premiere, Denisof was stricken with Bell's palsy, from which he later recovered. Due to the paralysis of the left side of his face, scenes were structured to not show its effects.[8]

Denisof married past co-star Alyson Hannigan, who played Willow Rosenberg in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, on October 11, 2003. The couple live in Encino, Los Angeles.[17] They have two daughters: Satyana Marie, born in March 2009,[18] and Keeva Jane, born in May 2012.[19]

Filmography edit

Film edit

Year Title Role Note
1989 Murder Story Tony Zonis
1991 Dakota Road Jacob
Snow and Fire David
1995 Innocent Lies Christopher Wood
First Knight Sir Gaheris
1996 True Blue Ed Fox
1998 The Misadventures of Margaret George
1999 Rogue Trader Fernando Gueller
2001 Beyond the City Limits Yuri
2002 Tarzan & Jane Nigel Taylor Voice[20]
2011 Love, Wedding, Marriage Lloyd
All-Star Superman Dr. Leo Quintum Voice[20]
2012 Justice League: Doom Mirror Master Voice[20]
The Avengers The Other
Little Women, Big Cars Woody
Much Ado About Nothing Benedick
2014 Guardians of the Galaxy The Other
2020 Under My Skin Mike

Television edit

Year Title Role Notes
1994 Romeo and Juliet Tybalt Television film
Faith Joel
Soldier Soldier Lt. Bob Steadman Episode: "Proud Man"
1997 Crime Traveller Episode "Fashion Shoot"
Sharpe's Revenge Lord John Rossendale Television film
Sharpe's Justice
Sharpe's Waterloo
Hostile Waters John Baker
Highlander: The Series Steve Banner Episode: "Diplomatic Immunity"
1998 Ghost Cop Jonah Blade TV pilot
The Orchard Walls Dennis Television film
1999 Noah's Ark Ham
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Wesley Wyndam-Pryce Recurring role (season 3), 9 episodes
1999–2004 Angel Main role, 100 episodes
2000 Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) Richard Shelley Episode: "Paranoia"
2001 Batman Beyond Zander Voice, episode: "Curse of the Kobra"[20]
The Legend of Tarzan Henry Voice, episode: "New Wave"
2006 Justice League Unlimited Mirror Master Voice, episode: "Flash and Substance"[20]
2006–2014 How I Met Your Mother Sandy Rivers 10 episodes
2008 Private Practice Daniel Episode: "Serving Two Masters"
2009 Dollhouse Senator Daniel Perrin 4 episodes
2012–2013 H+: The Digital Series Conall Sheehan Web series
2013 Perception Dr. Randall Vetter Episode: "Defective"
2013–2015 Grimm Viktor Chlodwig zu Schellendorf von Konigsburg 17 episodes
2014–2015 Finding Carter David Wilson 31 episodes
2015 Robot Chicken Mr. Peanut, Michael Knight, Knife Shark Narrator Voice, episode: "Cheese Puff Mountain"
2017 I Love Bekka & Lucy Glenn 11 episodes
2019–2020 Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Adam Masters 4 episodes
2019–2022 Legacies Professor Vardemus Recurring role, 9 episodes
2023 How I Met Your Father Sandy Rivers Episode: "Ride or Die"

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Alexis Denisof". Metacritic. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Alexis Denisof Biography (1966-)". Film Retrieved October 27, 2014.
  3. ^ "Alexis Denisof". TV Guide. Retrieved October 27, 2014.
  4. ^ "Alexis Denisof". Archived from the original on July 13, 2019. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  5. ^ P., Ken (February 11, 2003). "Interview with Alexis Denisof". Retrieved March 16, 2013.
  6. ^ "LAMDA Review of the Year" (PDF). January 1, 2018. Retrieved October 3, 2023.
  7. ^ "Alexis Denisof: Performing Credits". Bentley's Bedlam. March 8, 2001. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  8. ^ a b Mitovich, Matt (October 27, 2008). "Exclusive: Angel Alum Brings Double Trouble to ABC's Practice". TV Guide. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  9. ^ Bierly, Mandi (August 5, 2009). "Alexis Denisof starts shooting 'Dollhouse': Please play a suit-wearing badass". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  10. ^ Gelman, Vlada (December 16, 2010). "How I Met Your Mother: 'Buffy's' Danny Strong, Alexis Denisof to guest". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  11. ^ O'Connell, Michael (March 17, 2014). "'How I Met Your Mother' Reunites Cast Spouses as End Draws Near". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  12. ^ Hasan, Zaki (August 8, 2013). "Interview: Alexis Denisof & Amy Acker on Much Ado About Nothing". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  13. ^ Ng, Philiana (December 12, 2013). "'Grimm': Alexis Denisof Makes His Royal Debut". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  14. ^ "Video: MTV Debuts the Trailer for Its Highly Anticipated New Drama Series, 'Finding Carter'". The Futon Critic. June 11, 2014. Retrieved June 12, 2014. "Finding Carter" stars Kathryn Prescott as "Carter Stevens" (Skins), Cynthia Watros as "Elizabeth Wilson" (Lost), Anna Jacoby-Heron as "Taylor Wilson", Alexis Denisof as "David Wilson" (Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel) and Zac Pullam as "Grant". The series also features Milena Govich as "Lori", Meredith Baxter as "Grandma Joan" (Family Ties), Robert Pine as "Grandpa Buddy" (CHiPs), Eddie Matos as "Kyle", Alex Saxon (The Fosters) as "Max", Jesse Henderson as "Gabe" and Stephen Guarino as "Toby".
  15. ^ Eckmann, Sam (24 July 2018). "Alexis Denisof ('I Love Bekka and Lucy') could become the first 'Buffy' alum to win an acting Emmy". Gold Derby. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  16. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (December 28, 2018). "Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina: Mckenna Grace To Guest Star, Alexis Denisof & Jedidiah Goodacre Set For Recurring Roles". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  17. ^ Leitereg, Neal J. (December 31, 2016). "'Vampire Slayer' star Alyson Hannigan settles on contemporary lair in Encino". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 1, 2017.
  18. ^ Wihlborg, Ulrica (March 31, 2009). "Alyson Hannigan Welcomes a Daughter!". People. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
  19. ^ Ravitz, Justin (June 12, 2012). "Alyson Hannigan Welcomes Daughter Keeva Jane!". Us. Archived from the original on June 15, 2012. Retrieved October 27, 2014.
  20. ^ a b c d e "Alexis Denisof (visual voices guide)". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved October 23, 2023. A green check mark indicates that a role has been confirmed using a screenshot (or collage of screenshots) of a title's list of voice actors and their respective characters found in its opening and/or closing credits and/or other reliable sources of information.

External links edit