She's also known for playing the geeky witch Willow Rosenberg on Buffy The Vampire Slayer and the band geekette Michelle in the American Pie movies. She is married to actor Alexis Denisof who is recurring guest star on HIMYM, playing Sandy Rivers. Their first daughter is named Satyana Marie Denisof, born on March 24, 2009. In December 2011, it was reported that Hannigan was pregnant with her second child. Her second daughter, Keeva Jane Denisof, was born on May 23, 2012.
Early life and education
Hannigan was born in Washington, D.C., the only child of Emilie (Posner) Haas, a real-estate agent, and Alan Hannigan, a Teamsters trucker. Her father is of Irish ancestry and her mother is Jewish. At age four, Hannigan began appearing in commercials. She moved to Hollywood at age 11.
Living with her mother and attending North Hollywood High School, she successfully auditioned for agents while visiting her father in Santa Barbara. After high school, she attended California State University, Northridge, where she was a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority and earned a degree in psychology.
Hannigan's first major film role was in My Stepmother Is an Alien, a science-fiction comedy released in 1988; one of her co-stars in the film was actor Seth Green, who later joined her in the regular cast of Buffy as her on-screen boyfriend. In 1989, her first regular role on a TV series came when she was cast in the short-lived ABC sitcom Free Spirit. As a teenager, Hannigan babysat for the children of her future How I Met Your Mother costar, Bob Saget.
Stage, television, and movie work
In early 2004, Hannigan made her West End debut, starring in a stage adaptation of When Harry Met Sally... at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, opposite Luke Perry.
In 2005, Hannigan returned to starring in a regular television series, taking the main role of Lily Aldrin in the hit comedy How I Met Your Mother, and also playing a recurring guest role on Veronica Mars as Trina Echolls. In February 2006, she starred as Julia Jones in Date Movie, a parody of romantic comedies. She was also a guest star on the ABC animated sitcom The Goode Family in 2009.
Hannigan joined forces with Emily Deschanel, Jaime King, Minka Kelly, and Katharine McPhee in a "video slumber party" featured on FunnyorDie.com to promote regular breast cancer screenings for the organization Stand Up 2 Cancer.
Hannigan married her Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel co-star Alexis Denisof at Two Bunch Palms Resort in Desert Hot Springs, California, on October 11, 2003. The couple lives in Encino, Los Angeles with their two daughters: Satyana Marie, born in March 2009, and Keeva Jane, born in May 2012.
Notes and Trivia
- Her western zodiac sign is Aries and her Chinese zodiac sign is a Tiger.