A funny and fiercely talented actress, Karen Gillan brought a special spark to any project in which she appeared. Born Nov. 28, 1987 in Inverness, Scotland, Karen Sheila Gillan grew up wanting to become an actress, and was able to enroll in London's famed Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts. She took an unexpected professional detour, however, when a modeling talent scout discovered her. With several professional modeling credits under her belt, she made her screen debut in an episode of the Scottish detective series "Rebus" (ITV, 2000-07), but earned greater renown for her work on the sketch comedy "The Kevin Bishop Show" (Channel 4, 2008-09). Skewering various real-life celebrities as well as playing brand new characters, the flame-haired Gillan proved she had crack comic timing and could be fearless when going for a laugh. Her international breakthrough, however, came when she was cast as Amy Pond, the companion of the 11th "Doctor Who" (BBC, 1963-1989, 1996, 2005- ) on the long-running sci-fi series. Feisty and funny, Gillan's Amy charmed viewers, who responded both to her allure and sexy wardrobe as well as to her firecracker wit and adventurous spirit.