Laura Prepon

Laura Prepon Headshot

Actress

Birth Date: March 7, 1980

Age: 44 years old

Birth Place: Watchung, New Jersey

Spouses: Ben Foster

A tall redhead blessed with girl-next-door looks, actress Laura Prepon endeared herself to audiences as the strong-willed Donna Pinciotti for eight seasons on the hit sitcom "That '70s Show" (Fox, 1998-2006). Launched to star status along with her young co-stars, who included the likes of Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher, she suddenly found herself ranked as one of the world's sexiest women in men's magazines like Maxim and appearing in feature comedies like "Slackers" (2002).

After "That '70s Show" completed its run, a gamble on a second series, "October Road" (ABC, 2007-08), unfortunately failed to pay long-term dividends. In the meantime, Prepon kept busy with frequent guest spots on such popular sitcoms as "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS, 2005-14) until another shot at a regular gig - this time as the show's star - came along in the form of "Are You There, Chelsea?" (NBC, 2012). That short-lived series was followed by a long-term supporting role in streaming hit "Orange is the New Black" (Netflix 2013- ) as Alex Vause, the mercurial ex of series lead Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling). Talented, ambitious and with an eye on career longevity, Prepon had done an admirable job of positioning herself as a dependable and versatile television presence.

Laura Prepon was born on March 7, 1980 in Watchung, NJ to parents Michael, an orthopedic surgeon, and Marjorie, a high school teacher. The youngest of five children, Prepon and her tight-knit family were dealt a devastating blow when her father passed away due to complications from heart surgery in 1993. The outgoing youngster caught the acting bug while attending local Watchung Hills Regional High School and at age 15 began studying at Caroline Thomas' Total Theater Lab in New York City. While honing her acting skills, Prepon appeared in such plays as "A Woman of Property" and "Ascension Day," in addition to studying modern dance, ballet and jazz. Her exceptional height and girl-next-door looks also led to several modeling jobs in the U.S. and abroad.

Prepon's first professional acting job came in a commercial for long-distance provider MCI, which was followed by an appearance in a music video for the band Sneaker Pimps and work on an online web series for Levi Strauss called "They Go On" in 1997.

Prepon's life and nascent career changed forever when her audition tape caught the attention of Bonnie and Terry Turner, creators of a new sitcom pilot, tentatively titled "The Kids are Alright" or "Teenage Wasteland." Cast as Donna Pinciotti, a confident, feminist-leaning teen living in a small Wisconsin town circa 1976, Prepon made her network television debut on the nostalgic sitcom eventually known as "That '70s Show" (Fox, 1998-2006) for the duration of its eight-season run. During her tenure on the show, the young actress shared the screen with several of Hollywood's most promising new talents, including Topher Grace - who played Donna's boyfriend, Eric Forman, the show's protagonist - Wilmer Valderrama, Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher.

Taking full advantage of her newfound notoriety, Prepon began snagging roles in various small film projects, making her debut in the surreal comedy-drama "Southlander: Diary of a Desperate Musician" (2001), followed by the collegiate romantic-comedy "Slackers" (2002) and the obsession drama "Pornographer: A Love Story" (2004), shown in limited release. Also seen primarily on the festival circuit and DVD was the psychological-thriller "Lightning Bug" (2004), on which the ambitious Prepon also served as co-producer. Additionally, she contributed a guest voice on the animated sitcom "King of the Hill" (Fox, 1997-2009) in 2004 and breathed life into the voice of an embattled space marine in the hit Xbox video game "Halo 2" that same year.

Fully aware of the fact that her days on "That '70s Show" were coming to an end, Prepon continued to fine tune her craft in films like the controversial indie-produced thriller "Karla" (2005). Based on a true story, the film starred Prepon as Karla Homolka, a young woman who aided her husband in a series of brutal rape-murders that shocked Ontario, Canada in the early 1990s. Continuing to broaden her skill set, Prepon served as co-producer and participated in the celebrity poker series "E! Hollywood Hold 'em" (E!, 2005), which featured her then-boyfriend, Christopher Masterson, brother of Prepon's "'70s Show" co-star Danny Masterson and a featured player on another popular sitcom of the time, "Malcolm in the Middle" (Fox, 2000-06). As her sitcom wound down, she found time to star in the made-for-TV romantic-comedy "Romancing the Bride" (Oxygen, 2005) and appeared with Ashley Judd in the drama "Come Early Morning" (2006), directed by actress Joey Lauren Adams.

Prepon hoped ratings lightning would strike twice when she joined the cast of the series "October Road" (ABC, 2007-08), a short-lived drama that was cancelled at the end of its second season, despite a respectable debut. In the years following the demise of "October Road" Prepon made several guest appearances on such series as "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS, 2005-14) and "Castle" (ABC, 2009-16). She began the next decade with a starring role as a grieving young mother tormented by a man claiming to be the murderer of her daughter in the made-for-cable thriller "The Killing Game" (Lifetime, 2011). Looking to headline in a successful series of her own, Prepon went on to play an ersatz version of comedienne-host-author Chelsea Handler in the sitcom "Are You There, Chelsea?" (NBC, 2012), based on Handler's best-selling book of essays, Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea. Although that poorly-reviewed show was quickly canceled, Prepon did find a career renaissance as imprisoned drug smuggler Alex Vause, the ex-girlfriend (and current cellmate) of Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) in the critically-acclaimed comedy-drama "Orange is the New Black" (Netflix 2013- ). She next appeared on the big screen in a supporting role in the thriller "The Girl on the Train" (2016).

By Bryce Coleman

Credits

That '90s ShowStream

Guest Star
Donna
Series
2023
75%

Kitchen Essentials - Laura Prepon

Guest
Show
2022

Kitchen Innovations Featuring KitchenHQ

Guest
Show
2021

Kitchen Prep With Laura Prepon

Guest
Show
2021

Shannon's in the Kitchen! With Laura Prepon Celebration

Guest
Show
2021

Semi-Annual Home & Kitchen Clearance

Guest
Show
2021

Kitchen Prep with Laura Prepon Premiere

Guest
Show
2021

Shannon's in the Kitchen!

Guest
Show
2021

The Drew Barrymore ShowStream

Guest
Talk
2020

Semi-Annual Kitchen Clearance

Guest
Show
2020

Something's Cooking With the Smiths

Guest
Show
2020

The Kelly Clarkson ShowStream

Guest
Talk
2019

Access Daily

Guest
Show
2019

Today 3rd Hour

Guest
Show
2018

Live with Kelly and Ryan

Guest
Talk
2017

The Hero

Actor
Charlotte Dylan
Movie
2017

The Girl on the TrainStream

Actor
Cathy
Movie
2016
44%

Behind The Story: With the Paley Center: Extras

Actor
Show
2015

Beat Bobby FlayStream

Self
Reality
2014

Late Night With Seth MeyersStream

Guest
Talk
2014

The Queen Latifah Show

Guest
Talk
2013

The Arsenio Hall Show

Guest
Show
2013

The Real

Guest
Talk
2013

Hollywood Game Night

Guest
Game Show
2013

Orange Is the New BlackStream

Actor
Alex Vause
Series
2013
90%

Live! With Kelly and Michael

Guest
Talk
2012

Men at WorkStream

Guest Star
Hannah
Series
2012

Fox's 25th Anniversary Special

Guest
Show
2012

Are You There, Chelsea?

Actor
Chelsea
Series
2012
18%

Lay the Favorite

Actor
Holly
Movie
2012

The Kitchen

Actor
Jennifer
Movie
2012

LIVE with Kelly

Guest
Talk
2011

The Chew

Guest
Talk
2011

Big Morning Buzz Live

Guest
Show
2011

Iris Johansen's The Killing Game

Actor
Eve Duncan
Movie
2011

The TalkStream

Guest
Talk
2010

Access Hollywood Live

Guest
Show
2010

The Dr. Oz Show

Guest
Talk
2009

Watch What Happens Live With Andy CohenStream

Guest Star
Talk
2009

CastleStream

Guest Star
Natalie Rhodes
Series
2009
82%

In Plain SightStream

Guest Star
Lauren Hefferman
Series
2008

Today With Kathie Lee & Hoda

Guest
Show
2007

Chelsea Lately

Guest
Talk
2007

The Better Show

Guest
Show
2007

October RoadStream

Actor
Hannah Daniels
Series
2007
11%

October Road: The Journey So Far

Actor
Show
2007

The Chosen One

Voice
Rachel Cruz
Movie
2007

Rachael Ray ShowStream

Guest
Talk
2006

Karla

Actor
Karla Homolka
Movie
2006

Come Early Morning

Actor
Kim
Movie
2006

How I Met Your MotherStream

Guest Star
Karen
Series
2005
84%

MediumStream

Guest Star
Series
2005

The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson

Guest
Talk
2005

Romancing the Bride

Actor
Melissa
Movie
2005

HouseStream

Guest Star
Frankie
Series
2004
90%

Lightning Bug

Actor
Movie
2004

That '70s Show Special

Actor
Show
2003

Slackers

Actor
Reanna
Movie
2002

That '70s ShowStream

Actor
Donna Pinciotti
Series
1998

The ViewStream

Guest
Talk
1997

King of the HillStream

Guest Voice
April
Series
1997

Late Show With David Letterman

Guest
Talk
1993

Good Morning America

Guest
News
1975

Today

Guest
News
1952

News aboutLaura Prepon