"I like playing smart, savvy, sexy women -- because it's so not me!"—Amanda Tapping
Amanda Tapping is an English-Canadian actress best known for her role as astrophysicist Samantha "Sam" Carter on the long-running sci-fi series Stargate SG-1. She would reprise the role on Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe. Incidentally, Samantha Carter has appeared in more episodes of the Stargate franchise than any other character.
Currently she stars as Dr. Helen Magnus on the Sy Fy series Sanctuary, a show for which she is also executive producer (along with Stargate alumni Damian Kindler and Martin Wood) and occasional director.
Born in Essex, England, she moved to Ontario at age three and excelled in both drama and environmental science, but chose to focus on drama, and graduated from the University of Windsor School of Dramatic Arts. She began her career on television, in series including Street Legal, Flash Forward, The X-Files, and Due South.
In 1997 she was cast as Captain Samantha Carter, a theoretical astrophysicist and Air Force pilot, in Stargate SG-1. The role catapulted her to stardom and would become iconic among fans of science fiction as Carter proved to be a role model for geeky girls everywhere and one of the Stargate Verse's most beloved characters. She then reprised the role on Stargate Atlantis, but was Demoted To Recurring Guest Star during the show's fifth season so she could focus on the development of Sanctuary.
Among other things, she is known for her bright, beaming smile and bubbly personality, and is one of the most recognizable faces in geekdom today. In fact, she has been called the "Queen of Sci-Fi" and seems to have embraced the title with open arms.
While she is obviously incredibly dedicated to her work, she is also an irrepressible goofball. This tendency is shamelessly enabled by her castmates; Teryl Rothery (Janet Fraiser) and Richard Dean Anderson (Jack O'Neill) were particular enablers on Stargate, and Robin Dunne (Will Zimmerman) seems to have taken over that job on Sanctuary. She is singlehandedly responsible for the familiar and hilarious Gatehead meme about being "... stuck on a glacier with MacGyver!!", and in producing said meme endeared herself to sci-fi fans forevermore. She then proceeded to create several more at convention appearances, including "Stargate Barbie" and the "puff and ruffle."
She lives in Vancouver, Canada, with husband Alan Kovacs and daughter Olivia.