Happy Birthday, Kirsten Vangsness: 15 Photos From Her Years on … – Parade

Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia

Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia
(Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS)

Best birthday wishes to Kirsten Vangsness, who turns 47 on Saturday, July 7, 2018.

Vangsness is an original member of the Criminal Minds cast, having played Penelope Garcia since the series premiered in 2005, who even though the technical genius member of the team, is nonetheless its heart and soul.

“I always say she’s the empathy,” the native Californian tells Parade.com. “Everyone once in a while someone else can cringe for something, but it’s a noticeable thing when another character goes, ‘Wow! This is intense,’ or ‘This is hard.’ But Garcia can react to everything. She gets to be the voice of the audience. Also, she’s like the homing device for all of them. She brings all of them together.”

Criminal Minds Star Kirsten Vangsness Talks Derek’s Departure, Emily’s Return and Adam Rodriguez Joining the Cast

In addition to being an irreplaceable member of the cast, Vangsness has co-written four episodes of Criminal Minds with executive producer Erica Messer. In 2015 she co-wrote “Nelson’s Sparrow;” in 2016 she co-wrote “A Beautiful Disaster;” in 2017 she co-wrote “Spencer;” and in 2018, she co-wrote “Full-Tilt Boogie.”

In honor of her birthday, we are taking a look at 15 photos of Vangsness and the unique stylings of Penelope Garcia on Criminal Minds.

“I get all my glasses at Lenscrafters!” Vangsness says of the many different pairs she sports on the show. “A black pair is Brooks Brothers, an amber pair is Versace, and I forget what the red pair is. Before Criminal Minds, I was always a ‘one pair’ kind of girl, but Garcia needs them to color coordinate with her outfit creations.”

Criminal Minds will return for its 14th season this fall on CBS.

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