Alyson Lee Hannigan (born Willow Rosenberg in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003), as Lily Aldrin in the sitcom How I Met Your Mother (2005–2014) for which she won a People's Choice Award in 2009, and as Michelle Flaherty in the American Pie film series (1999–2012). Since 2016, Hannigan has presented the television show Penn & Teller: Fool Us. She also provides the voice of Claire Clancy in the Disney Junior animated series Fancy Nancy (2018–present).March 24, 1974) is an American actress and television presenter. She is best known for her roles as
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.
The show became a success, and Hannigan gained recognition, subsequently appearing in several films aimed at teenaged audiences, including American Pie (1999), Boys and Girls (2000), American Pie 2 (2001), and American Wedding (2003). She also had a guest spot on the Buffy spin-off, Angel, reprising her role of Willow in a few episodes (including most notably "Orpheus", during the fourth season of Angel and the seventh season of Buffy), but none after Buffy finished production (the final episode of Buffy aired May 20, 2003; the Angel episode "Orpheus," the last in which Hannigan appears, aired March 19, 2003).
Stage, television, and movie work
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.