An actress, Amy Acker is best known for the delightful character of Fred, as well as the astonishingly creepy and fascinating Illyria on The WB's Angel.

Amy Louise Acker was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, the oldest of four children. For most of her childhood, she wanted to be a dancer, studying ballet, modern, and jazz dancing for 13 years. Unfortunately, she sustained a knee injury early in her high school career and was unable to continue pursuing a career in dance. Undaunted, she began acting and modeling, and immediately fell in love with her new hobbies.

Upon graduation, Amy headed off to Southern Methodist University, not for social or religious reasons but because of their excellent theater program. During her matriculation, she was part of the Wishbone Company, a team of actors used in the BBC's television show Wishbone and, of course, performed in many college productions.

After graduating from SMU, Amy pursued a theatrical career, working with a Shakespeare company in Wisconsin for a while before moving to Manhattan to try for serious theatrical roles. While working in The City, she had a few small roles in various independent films and television shows, including The Accident. She enjoyed this work so much that she decided to switch career goals, and try to move into screen acting. She moved to Los Angeles, living with a friend from her Wisconsin Shakespeare group.

Her first role was in William Shatner's science fiction film Groom Lake, a rather unsuccessful venture. It was not long, though, before she got cast in the small part of Fred, or Winifred Burkle - a three-episode guest appearance on the successful Angel television series.

Her performance was so good, and her character so interesting, that she won the instant approval of the fans - rather like Andy Hallet's character of Lorne and, in Buffy, James Marsters' Spike. Based on that appeal, Joss decided to keep her character as a regular in the next season - and she has played the role of Fred ever since. Her stint as Illlyria was shorter, lasting only seven episodes at the end of the fifth and final season.

On April 25, 2003, she was married to actor James Capinello, about whom I could find very little information, though, from the few pictures I've found, he does seem to be quite cute.

Amy Acker is a beautiful woman, and a talented actress. Fred, her character on "Angel," has, over three seasons, grown from a traumatized young woman tottering on the brink of insanity, through a great leader providing plans and strategies for Angel and his gang, finally settling on a brilliant, level-headed scientist moving confidently through the world. All of these she has played with aplomb and believability, drawing out the love and respect of her audience with an amazing ease. Recently, tides have turned for her character, and she is now playing a completely different role - a hard-hearted, sinister demon. This, too, she plays excellently, easily convincing the audience that, though there may be tiny bits of Fred left inside the shell, the demon is the true master of that body.

I think I am not alone in saying that, though Amy might well have become a fantastic ballerina, that "unfortunate" high-school knee surgery was very fortunate to those of us that are impressed, weekly, by the theatrical talent of this young woman.

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