Amanda Tapping was born on 28th August 1965 in Rochford, Essex in England. She spent only a short time in South Benfleet, Essex, and was relocated to Ontario, Canada, around the age of 1. Amanda has three brothers, Richard, Steven and Christopher, of whom two are older and one is her twin.
She attended North Toronto High School where she was awarded the Dramatic Arts Award and Environmental Science Award. Amanda went on to study drama at the University of Windsor School of Dramatic Arts in Windsor, Ontario and spent four more years studying theater and appearing in several stage productions including The Wizard of Oz, The Lion in Winter, Steel Magnolias-West End Theater, Look back in Anger, Children of a lesser god, The Taming of the Shrew, Boeing Boeing, Nases off and The Shadow walker.
Amanda landed her first television role in 1991 as a newscaster in Street Legal. She went on to appear in many movies and television shows such as Rent-a-Kid (1995) in which she played Mrs. Nicely, Degree of Guilt (1995) as a witness named Marcy, The Donor (1995) as Cassie, Net Worth playing Colleen Howe, What Kind of Mother Are You? (1996) as Ingrid Elstad, in Remembrance (1996) she played Linda and in the true life based story Golden Will: The Silken Laumann Story (1996) she portrayed Kathryn Laumann.
She appeared in many commercials including ones for Choclairs (chocolate bar), Folger’s “Singles” and Advil. She also formed a comedy troupe, the “Random Acts”, with collaborators Katherine Jackson and Anne Marie Kerr, in Toronto in the early 90s. In the meantime she also did many guest appearances in episodes of television series such as Kung Fu: The Legend Continues as Annie (2 episodes 1994-1996), Forever Knight (1995) as Dr. Naomi Ross, the Canadian series Due South playing Audrey McKenna (1996), The X-Files (1996), the children series “Goosebumps” as Mrs. Merton (1996) and Side Effects (1996) as Dr. Barbara Bertran.
Finally, in 1997, Amanda took on the leading role of Samantha Carter on Stargate SG-1. Captain Samantha Carter makes her first appearance in “Children of the Gods”, the pilot episode of Stargate SG-1, as a United States Airforce captain who joins the fictional SG-1 team under the lead of Colonel Jack O’Neill. Being promoted to Major in Season 3, Carter remains his second-in-command until her promotion to Lieutenant-Colonel early in Season 8. Carter assumes command the SG-1 team in season 8. At the start of Seasons 9 Carter has moved to a research position in Area-51, however she joins SG-1 on several missions now under the command of Cameron Mitchell. Following the defeat of the Ori threat in Stargate: The Ark of Truth, Carter is promoted to a “full bird” Colonel and is appointed as the new commander of the Atlantis expedition early in Season 4 of Atlantis. In season five however, Tapping’s role on the show was reduced to that of “special guest-star” with only occasional appearances due to her choosing to focus attention on the development of a new series for the SCI FI Channel called Sanctuary.
Amanda portrayed her role of Samantha Carter for 11 years and for all of its ten seasons. For her portrayal of Samantha Carter, she was nominated for a 2000 Leo Award in the category “Dramatic Series: Best Lead Performance – Female” for the episode “Point of View”, and won the Leo for “Ascension” in 2003, for “Grace” in 2004, and for “Threads” in 2005. In 2001 she was nominated for the Gemini Award in the category “Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role but unfortunately did not win. Over the years she was also nominated for a Saturn Award in the category “Best Supporting Actress on Television” in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004 which she finally won in 2005. Next on in 2007, Amanda won a Canadian Comedy Award for Best Actress for her role in the short film Breakdown and in 2009 she was nominated by The Canadian Film and Television Spotlight awards for a Woman of Vision, which to no one’s surprise, she took home!
After having played Samantha Carter for more than a decade Amanda now starts a new adventure in her own series Sanctuary as Helen Magnus. Sanctuary can be described as a science fiction-fantasy television series, which was created by Damian Kindler. The show is an expansion of an eight-webisode long series that was released through the Internet in early 2007. In result of the success of the web series, Sci Fi Channel decided to pick up it up for a more traditional television-based 13-episode season. Most recently the series was also renewed for a 3rd season consisting of 20 episodes.
As a kid, Amanda loved watching “Little House on the Prairie,” and with her mother she was hooked on “Coronation Street.” In her free time she loves to go camping, skiing, horseback riding,and play on her guitar. She supports several charities such as the Canadian Cancer Society, SPCA, MS, Hearing Dogs For Deaf People and the Waterkeerper Alliance, moreover she’s a spoke person for Unicef. Most recently Amanda launched her own charity project called “Sanctuary for Kids“. Amanda is married to Alan Kovacs and together they have a daughter named Olivia, who was born March 22nd, 2005.