Jennifer Leann Carpenter (born December 7, 1979) is an American actress. She is known for playing Debra Morgan, the adoptive sister of the title character of the Showtime series Dexter, for which she earned a Saturn Award in 2009, and also for playing Rebecca Harris in the CBS television series Limitless. In 2019, she began playing Erica Shepherd, the lead role in the NBC drama The Enemy Within.
Carpenter at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con
Jennifer Leann Carpenter
December 7, 1979
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
|Education||Juilliard School (BFA)|
|Known for||Debra Morgan on Dexter|
Michael C. Hall
(m. 2008; div. 2011)
Seth Avett (m. 2016)
|Awards||Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television|
Carpenter was born on December 7, 1979, in Louisville, Kentucky, the daughter of Catherine (née Mitchell) and Robert Carpenter. She attended St. Raphael the Archangel and then Sacred Heart Academy. She trained at the Walden Theatre Conservatory program, and later at New York City's Juilliard School (Drama Division Group 31: 1998–2002).
Carpenter first attracted critical attention for her performance in The Exorcism of Emily Rose. She took home the 2006 MTV Movie Award for 'Best Frightened Performance', and also received a 'Hollywood Life Breakthrough Award'. She was also named 'Breakout Performer' at the 2006 Scream Awards.
Carpenter played the role of Debra Morgan in the Showtime crime drama television series Dexter, which premiered October 1, 2006. Her portrayal of the title character's adoptive sister has impressed some critics, with Australian journalist Jack Marx describing her portrayal of "cool and clumsy" Debra as "so perfect that many viewers appear to have mistaken the character's flaws for the actor's."
In January 2014, it was announced that Carpenter would star in a new ABC drama Sea of Fire, playing FBI Agent Leah Pierce. However, the show was not picked up as a series. In August 2014, it was announced that she would provide the voice of Juli Kidman in the survival horror video game The Evil Within, marking her first video game appearance. The game was released in October 2014.
In 2007, she began dating her Dexter co-star Michael C. Hall. They eloped on New Year's Eve 2008 in California and publicly appeared together for the first time as a married couple at the 66th Golden Globe Awards in January 2009. In December 2010, Hall and Carpenter released a statement announcing that they had filed for divorce after having been separated "for some time". The divorce was finalized in December 2011 for irreconcilable differences; however, the two remain very close friends.
Carpenter started dating musician Seth Avett in 2013. On February 10, 2015, it was announced that the couple were engaged and expecting their first child. In August 2015, it was revealed that Carpenter had given birth in May to a son and admitted that she was eight-and-a-half months pregnant when shooting the pilot episode of Limitless. Carpenter and Avett married in May 2016.
|2005||Queen B||Kristen||Television movie|
|2006–2013||Dexter||Debra Morgan||Main role|
Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television
Nominated—Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Nominated—Golden Nymph Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
Nominated—Prism Award for Female Performance in a Drama Series
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television (2007–09, 2011–13)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2009–12)
|2009||Dexter: Early Cuts||Debra Morgan||2 episodes|
|2011||The Good Wife||Pamela Raker||Episode: "Parenting Made Easy"|
|2011–2013||Pound Puppies||Pepper||5 episodes|
|2014||Robot Chicken||Voice||Episode: "Victoria's Secret of NIMH"|
|2015–2016||Limitless||Rebecca Harris||Main role|
|2019||The Enemy Within||Erica Shepherd||Main role|
|2014||The Evil Within||Juli Kidman||Voice|
|2015||The Assignment||Juli Kidman||DLC|
|2015||The Consequence||Juli Kidman||DLC|
- "Jennifer Carpenter: Biography". TVGuide.com. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- "Walden Theatre". Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- "Alumni News". Juilliard School. March 2010. Archived from the original on November 11, 2011. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
- Wilson, Gemma (January 28, 2011). "What's Up, Jennifer Carpenter? The Gruesome Playground Injuries Star on Not Having a Backup Plan". Broadway.com. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
- Marx, Jack (July 4, 2008). "Something About Dexter". News.com.au. Retrieved November 10, 2008.
- Gemma Wilson (January 28, 2011). "What's up, Jennifer Carpenter? The Gruesome Playground Injuries actress on not having a backup plan". Broadway.com. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
- Ileane Rudolph (November 15, 2011). "First look: Jennifer Carpenter on The Good Wife". TV Guide. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
- Lesley Goldberg. "'Dexter's' Jennifer Carpenter to Star in ABC's 'Sea of Fire'". The Hollywood Reporter.
- "The Evil Within's voice cast features 'Dexter' and 'Watchmen' stars". Polygon.com. Polygon. Retrieved August 27, 2014.
- Nellie Andreeva (March 12, 2015). "Jennifer Carpenter To Co-Star In CBS Pilot 'Limitless'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
- Michael Ausiello (June 9, 2015). "CBS Premiere Dates For Fall 2015: 'Supergirl' Launches after 'Big Bang'". TVLine.
- Dos Santos, Kristin (January 9, 2009). "Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter Are Married". E! Online. Archived from the original on August 14, 2011. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
- Snierson, Dan (December 13, 2010). "'Dexter' stars Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter file for divorce (EW exclusive)". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on December 15, 2010. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
- "Jennifer Carpenter Cries Over Michael C. Hall Divorce at Dexter Event". Us Weekly. September 13, 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
- "Michael C. Hall Divorce Finalized: Who is 'Dexter' Star Dating Now?". International Business Times. December 7, 2011. Retrieved April 27, 2013.
- "Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter Divorce 2011: Why Did 'Dexter' Co-stars Split?". EzineMark.
- Takeda, Allison (August 10, 2015). "Jennifer Carpenter Welcomes First Child With Fiance Seth Avett". Us Weekly. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
- "Seth Avett and Jennifer Carpenter Welcome First Child". People. August 10, 2015. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
- "Celebrity Marathon Times".
- Cliff Wheatley (March 14, 2014). "Avengers Confidential: Black Widow and Punisher Review". IGN.