For many impressionable filmgoers, actress Jennifer Carpenter will forever be the sheltered teen at the center of a controversial demonic possession case in The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Though her filmography has also included such features as White Chicks and D.E.B.S., it was the small screen that next served to improve her profile when the Kentucky native and Juilliard graduate took on a challenging role on the acclaimed Showtime series Dexter.
It was Carpenter's aunt who helped to get the aspiring young actress interested in a career as a performer, and though her dad urged her to have a backup plan, there was no room for a half-hearted attempt as far as the determined daughter was concerned. In the years that followed, she threw herself headlong into her craft, eventually landing her breakthrough role opposite Angela Bettis in director Kevin Ford's intersecting-lives drama People Are Dead in 2002. Several film roles followed, until the prominent Emily Rose performance greatly boosted her profile in 2005. Fresh off that success, Carpenter went on to the prominent role of the titular character's adoptive sister, Debra Morgan, on Dexter. Carpenter stayed with the show through all eight seasons. The show ended in 2013 and Carpenter next appeared in the horror film The Devil's Hand. She appeared in the short-lived series Limitless in 2015.