Laura Prepon

Laura Prepon

Prepon at PaleyFest 2014, representing Orange Is the New Black
Born Laura Helene Prepon
(1980-03-07) March 7, 1980
Watchung, New Jersey, U.S.
Occupation Actress, producer, author
Years active 1995–present

Laura Helene Prepon (born March 7, 1980) is an American actress, producer, and author. She is known for her role as Donna Pinciotti in all eight seasons of the Fox sitcom That '70s Show (1998–2006), and for her role as Alex Vause in the Netflix original comedy-drama series Orange Is the New Black (2013–present). Following That '70s Show, Prepon worked mainly in television. She appeared in the film adaptation of Paula Hawkins's novel The Girl on the Train.

Early life

Prepon was born on March 7, 1980, in Watchung, New Jersey,[1] the youngest of five children, to Marjorie (née Coll), a high school teacher, and Michael Prepon, an orthopedic surgeon.[1] She is of Russian Jewish and Irish Catholic descent.[2][3] Her maternal great-great-great-grandfather was Union Army General Joseph Bradford Carr.[4] Prepon's father died during heart surgery in 1993 at age 49;[5] she was 13 years old at the time. She attended Watchung Hills Regional High School. She studied at the Total Theatre Lab in New York City.[1]



Prepon appeared in plays such as A Woman of Property and Ascension Day while in New York.[1] In 1996, she studied drama with acting teacher Caroline Thomas at Thomas' Total Theatre Lab.[6] Later, in September 1997, she premiered on a Levi Strauss-developed show called They Go On, an Internet-based soap opera.[7] Prepon had also worked as a model and has done photo shoots in Paris, Milan, and Brazil.[1][2]

She also co-starred in the romantic comedy Slackers, which is about three best friends trying to scam their way through college who eventually get caught.[8] She was nominated for a Teen Choice Award in 2002 for her role in That '70s Show.[9] In 2001, she got her first chance in front of a movie camera in Steve Hanft's musical comedy Southlander with Beck, Beth Orton and Hank Williams III, where she played Seven=Five, a young TV telepathic.[10] In 2004, Prepon worked on the independent drama film The Pornographer: A Love Story. The film tells the story of an obsessive relationship between a director and an actress.

She was a presenter at many different award shows, including the Second Annual TV Guide Awards, in 2000, the 2000 Teen Choice Awards, and the 28th annual American Music Awards in 2001.[11] She has appeared on the cover of Maxim twice—once with red hair and once with her hair dyed blonde—and has done a TV advertisement for Gap clothing, although it was never aired.[12] Prepon was named one of Stuff magazine's "102 Sexiest Women In The World" in 2002 and one of Maxim magazine's "Hot 100" in 2005.[13] Prepon also had a cameo voice appearance as a United Nations Space Command marine in Halo 2, which was released in 2004.[12] Her first notable film role came in 2004, with the dark drama Lightning Bug with Bret Harrison, Kevin Gage and Ashley Laurence. Branching into other arenas than acting, Prepon also served as executive producer of the film.[14]

She has been a guest on Late Night with Conan O'Brien in 2003 and 2004, and Last Call with Carson Daly in 2003 and 2005. She also appeared on an episode of MTV's Cribs in 2003.[11]

That '70s Show

Prepon is perhaps best known for starring as Donna Pinciotti on the Fox sitcom That '70s Show from 1998 to 2006. Donna became the girlfriend and next-door neighbor of Eric Forman (Topher Grace). Randy Pearson (Josh Meyers), who was introduced in the eighth and final season of the series, became Donna's third love interest after Grace left the series.


Prepon in 2008

In 2005, Prepon co-starred with Misha Collins in the psychological thriller Karla, based on the true story of Paul Bernardo and his wife Karla Homolka, a Canadian couple who kidnapped, sexually abused, and murdered three girls, marking a contrast to her usual lighthearted roles.[15] She was also an executive producer of E! Hollywood Hold'em the same year.[16] Prepon co-starred with Bryan Greenberg as Hannah Daniels the ABC drama October Road, which debuted March 15, 2007. The show was canceled by ABC on May 12, 2008, despite strong ratings and a grassroots campaign from the show's fanbase to keep the show alive. In April 2007, she starred in a dramatic short film Once Upon a Time. She also appeared in the 2005 Oxygen original romantic comedy Romancing the Bride. She also was the original voice for Hayley Smith on the Fox animated sitcom American Dad! and voiced her in an unaired pilot. She appeared as Lauren, the long-lost sister of Mary Shannon (Mary McCormack) in the USA Network mystery drama In Plain Sight in the episode "A Frond in Need".[17] On February 5, 2010, it was announced that Prepon signed on to star in Awkward Situations for Men, a pilot on ABC.[18] In 2009, Prepon appeared in the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother as Karen, one of the girlfriends of Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor), in the episode "Sorry, Bro". She reprised her role in the episodes "The Front Porch" in 2009 and "Say Cheese" in 2010. She also appeared in the Fox medical drama House M.D. in the episode "Private Lives".


In early 2011, Prepon guest-starred in an episode of the ABC police procedural drama Castle as an actress studying for the role of Nikki Heat, a character created by Nathan Fillion's title character.[19] Prepon had been working on a web series, Neighbros, with Scott Michael Foster, which they sold to Comedy Central.[20][21] In February 2011, she was cast as the title character Chelsea Newman on the NBC sitcom Are You There, Chelsea?, based on Chelsea Handler's 2008 book Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea.[22] NBC cancelled the show on May 11, 2012. She then went on to guest-star with her former That '70s Show co-star Danny Masterson in his TBS sitcom Men at Work.[23] In mid-2012, Prepon signed on to co-star with Taylor Schilling as Alex Vause, a former drug dealer and the girlfriend of Piper Chapman (Schilling), in the Netflix original comedy-drama series Orange Is the New Black, based on Piper Kerman's memoir Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison. The series premiered in July 2013.[24] Prepon was a regular in the first season, but appeared in only four of the 13 episodes in the second season. She returned to the series and appeared in all 13 episodes of the third season.[25]

In 2016, Prepon and nutritionist Elizabeth Troy co-authored The Stash Plan, an overall wellness book that draws on Prepon's experiences eating organic foods since she was a child, and her more recent struggles with digestive issues, flatulence, bloating, body odor, low energy, and donuts.[26][27][28] The book debuted on The New York Times Bestseller list,[29][30][31] and is a number one New Release and Best Seller on[32][33]

In 2016, Prepon appeared in the psychological thriller The Girl on the Train, based on Paula Hawkins' novel of the same name.[34]

Personal life

Prepon dated actor Christopher Masterson (brother of her That '70s Show co-star Danny Masterson) from 2000 to 2007.[35] In a November 2007 interview with Women's Health, Prepon stated that she is a Scientologist.[36] She dated her Neighbros co-star Scott Michael Foster from 2008 to 2013.[21][37][38]

On October 7, 2016, Prepon announced her engagement to actor Ben Foster.[39][40]



Year Title Role Notes
2001 Southlander Seven Equals Five
2002 Slackers Reanna Cass
2004 Lightning Bug Angevin Duvet Also executive producer
2004 Pornographer: A Love Story, TheThe Pornographer: A Love Story
2006 Karla Karla Homolka
2006 Come Early Morning Kim
2007 Once Upon a Time The Witch Short film
2007 Chosen One, TheThe Chosen One Rachel Cruz (voice)
2012 Lay the Favorite Holly
2012 Kitchen, TheThe Kitchen Jennifer
2016 The Girl on the Train Cathy


Year Title Role Notes
1998–2006 That '70s Show Donna Pinciotti 200 episodes
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for TV Choice Actress, Comedy (2002)
Nominated – Youth in Film Award for Best Performance in a TV Series: Young Ensemble (1999)
Nominated – Teen Choice Award TV – Breakout Performance (1999)
2004 King of the Hill April (voice) Episode: "Talking Shop"
2005 American Dad! Hayley Smith (voice) Unaired pilot
2005 Romancing the Bride Melissa Television film
2007–08 October Road Hannah Jane Daniels 19 episodes
2009–10 How I Met Your Mother Karen 3 episodes
2009 In Plain Sight Lauren Hefferman Episode: "A Frond in Need"
2010 Medium Kira Hudack Episode: "How to Beat a Bad Guy"
2010 House Frankie Episode: "Private Lives"
2010 Celebrity Ghost Stories Herself Episode #2.9
2011 Castle Natalie Rhodes/Nikki Heat Episode: "Nikki Heat"
2011 Love Bites Alex Episode: "Keep on Truckin'"
2011 Killing Game, TheThe Killing Game Eve Duncan Television film
2012 Are You There, Chelsea? Chelsea Newman 12 episodes
2012 Men at Work Hannah Episode: "Plan B"
2013–present Orange Is the New Black Alex Vause Series Regular (season 1, season 3–present); Recurring (season 2)
Satellite Award for Best Cast – Television Series (2013)
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film (2013)[41]
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2015)[42]
Web series
Year Title Role Notes
2011 Neighbros[20] L Boogie Also director, writer, and editor
Video games
Year Title Role Notes
2004 Halo 2 Marine Voice


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  20. 1 2 Jeffery, Morgan (January 7, 2011). "Prepon develops 'Neighbros' TV series". Digital Spy. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  21. 1 2 Oltuski, Romy (September 1, 2014). "Scott Michael Foster Interview". Harper's Bazaar. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  22. Serpe, Gina (February 17, 2011). "Laura Prepon Is the New Chelsea Handler—but What Does Chelsea Handler Think of That?". E!. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
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  25. Stern, Marlow (April 22, 2014). "Orange is the New Black's Laura Prepon on the Return of Alex Vause and Tom Cruise Dating Rumors". The Daily Beast. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
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  30. "Irina Shayk's Bikini Selfie (With a Donkey), Prince Andrew's Expensive Battering Ram, and Much, Much More". Fox News Magazine. March 16, 2016. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
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