Michelle Christine Trachtenberg (born October 11, 1985) is an American television and film actress. She is known for her roles as Dawn Summers in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (2000–03) and as Georgina Sparks in Gossip Girl (2008–10), and in the films Harriet the Spy (1996); Inspector Gadget (1999); EuroTrip (2004); Ice Princess (2005); Black Christmas (2006) and 17 Again (2009).Trachtenberg was born in New York City, the younger of two daughters of Lana, a bank manager, and Michael Trachtenberg, a fiber-optics engineer. Her father is from Germany and her mother was born in Russia; Trachtenberg can speak Russian fluently. Her family is Jewish and Trachtenberg celebrates both Christmas and Hanukkah her grandparents live in Israel. Trachtenberg was raised, along with older sister Irene, in Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, where she attended P.S. 99 Elementary School and The Bay Academy for the Arts and Sciences. She later attended Notre Dame High School with Katharine McPhee, Rachel Bilson, and Kirsten Dunst.Trachtenberg made her first television appearance at the age of three, in a commercial for Wisk Detergent. She went on to feature in over 100 more commercials. She appeared in her first credited role as Nona F. Mecklenberg in The Adventures of Pete & Pete from 1994 until 1996. During the same period she played Lily Montgomery in All My Children, in which she first worked with future Buffy star Sarah Michelle Gellar.
Trachtenberg's film career began in 1996 with the lead role in Harriet the Spy. She then returned to television for Meego, for which she won a Young Artist Award. She returned to film in 1999 for Inspector Gadget, as the gadget-master's niece, Penny. She also starred in the film Can't Be Heaven. In the summer of 2000, Trachtenberg took up the role of Dawn Summers in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She remained in the role until the show ended in 2003. She also hosted the Discovery Kids series Truth or Scare from 2001 to 2003. After Buffy and Truth or Scare, she returned to film in the comedy film EuroTrip, co-starring Scott Mechlowicz, Jacob Pitts and Travis Wester, and directed by Jeff Schaffer. She also had a recurring role in the HBO series Six Feet Under as Celeste, a spoiled pop star for whom Keith Charles served as a bodyguard. In March 2005, Trachtenberg played the title character in Walt Disney Pictures' family comedy–drama Ice Princess with Kim Cattrall. In the film, Trachtenberg played a science whiz named Casey Carlyle who gives up her future academic life in order to pursue her newfound dream of being a professional figure skater. In April 2006 Trachtenberg guest-starred in the episode of House, M.D., "Safe".
She revealed on the December 22, 2006, episode of Late Night With Conan O'Brien that House is her favorite show, she is friends with one of the producers and she asked to be a guest star. In November 2006, Trachtenberg guest-starred in the sixth season of the Emmy-nominated crime drama Law & Order: Criminal Intent. In the episode "Weeping Willow", she played the role of Willow, a kidnapped video blogger based on lonelygirl15. Trachtenberg also made a cameo in the Fall Out Boy music video for "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race" (with fellow Buffy cast member Seth Green), Joaquin Phoenix-directed video "Tired of Being Sorry" for Balthazar Getty's band Ringside, and Trapt's video "Echo". In December 2006, Trachtenberg starred in Black Christmas, the remake of the 1974 slasher of the same name. In 2007, she was cast as the female lead in an ABC comedy pilot called The Hill, set in Washington, D.C. Trachtenberg provided the voice of Tika Waylan for Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight, a direct-to-video animated movie based on the novel of the same name.
Trachtenberg appeared on The CW hit show Gossip Girl as Georgina Sparks, who recently left rehab and brings back the dark past Serena van der Woodsen desperately wants to leave behind. She returned to the show for a multi-episode story arc towards the end of the second season. Trachtenberg appeared in the season 3 finale and the season 4 premiere. In 2009, Trachtenberg was a cast member on the NBC drama Mercy, the series however was not renewed for a second season. Trachtenberg appeared in the 2009 film 17 Again alongside Zac Efron, Sterling Knight and Matthew Perry. She also had a small role in the comedy film Cop Out. On October 21, 2010, it was announced that Trachtenberg will star in new series that is being developed for The CW to premiere in Fall 2011. In addition to starring in the series she also serve as executive producer along with Gossip Girl producers Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz. In March 2011, she was the featured cover girl in Maxim.
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