Jennifer Leann Carpenter (born 7 December 1979) is the American actress best known for playing Debra Morgan in the Showtime drama series DEXTER (2006-2016), for which she won a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television in 2009.
Carpenter first attracted critical attention for her performance in The Exorcism of Emily Rose. She took home the 2006 MTV Movie Award for 'Best Frightened Performance,' and also received a 'Hollywood Life Breakthrough Award'. She was also named 'Breakout Performer' at the 2006 Scream Awards.
In 2004, she starred in the comedy film White Chicks as Lisa. In 2008, she also starred in Quarantine a horror film about a deadly virus outbreak.
In 2011, she starred in the off-Broadway play Gruesome Playground Injuries at Second Stage Theatre and had a guest appearance on the CBS drama The Good Wife.
In January 2014, it was announced that Carpenter would star in a new ABC drama Sea of Fire, playing FBI Agent Leah Pierce. However, the show was not picked up as a series.
In August 2014, it was announced that she would provide the voice of Juli Kidman in the survival horror video game The Evil Within, marking her first video game appearance. The game was released in October 2014.
In early 2015, Carpenter was cast as Rebecca Harris in the CBS drama series, Limitless, in which she co-starred with Jake McDorman until its 2016 cancellation.
Carpenter was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the daughter of Catherine (Mitchell) and Robert Carpenter. She attended St. Raphael the Archangel and then Sacred Heart Academy. She trained at the Walden Theatre Conservatory program, and later at New York City's Juilliard School (1998–2002). Before graduation, she was cast in the 2002 Broadway revival of Arthur Miller's The Crucible starring Liam Neeson and Laura Linney.
n 2007, she began dating her Dexter co-star Michael C. Hall. They eloped on New Year's Eve, 2008 in California and publicly appeared together for the first time as a married couple at the 66th Golden Globe Awards in January 2009. In December 2010, Hall and Carpenter released a statement announcing that they had filed for divorce after having been separated "for some time." The divorce was finalized in December 2011 for irreconcilable differences, however the two remain very close friends.
In 2013, Carpenter started dating folk musician Seth Avett. On 10 February 2015, it was announced that the couple were engaged and expecting their first child, a son. Carpenter and Avett married in May 2016.
In 2010, she ran the New York City Marathon, completing it in 3:34:28.