Laura Prepon (born March 7, 1980) is an American actress, best known for her role as Donna Pinciotti in the long-running Fox sitcom That '70's Show, for all eight seasons. She is also known for the role of Hannah Daniels on the ABC drama October Road. She has voiced characters in animated TV series such as American Dad! and King of the Hill, as well as a character in the video game Halo 2.
Following That '70s Show, Prepon worked mainly in television, guest-starring in episodes of How I Met Your Mother, Medium, and Castle. In 2011, Prepon was cast in the lead role of Chelsea of short-lived sitcom drama Are You There, Chelsea?, based on Chelsea Handler's 2008 book Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea. She also currently appears on the popular Netflix series Orange is The New Black.
Prepon was born in Watchung, New Jersey, the youngest of five children of Marjorie (née Coll), a high school teacher and gourmet home chef, and Michael Prepon, an orthopedic surgeon. Her father was of Russian Jewish descent and her mother is of English and Irish Catholic background. Her maternal great-great-great-grandfather was Union Army General Joseph Bradford Carr. Prepon's father died during heart surgery in 1993 at age 49; Prepon was thirteen years old at the time. She attended Watchung Hills Regional High School. She studied at Caroline Thomas' Total Theater Lab in New York City.
Prepon appeared in such plays as A Woman of Property and Ascension Day while in New York. In 1996, she studied drama with acting teacher Caroline Thomas at Thomas' Total Theatre Lab. Also in 1996, she appeared in the Sneaker Pimps music video for the song "6 Underground". Later, in September 1997, she premiered on a Levi Strauss-developed show called They Go On, an Internet-based soap opera. Prepon has also worked as a model and has done photo shoots in Paris, Milan, and Brazil.
During her hiatus from That '70s Show, Prepon worked on the independent film The Pornographer: A Love Story. The film tells the story of an obsessive relationship between a director and an actress. She was also in the film Slackers, which is about two best friends trying to scam their way through college that eventually get caught. She was nominated for a Teen Choice Award in 2002 for her role in That '70s Show. In 2001 she got her first chance to get in front of a movie camera in the independent film Southlander, a comedy/music film by Steve Hanft starring Beck, Beth Orton and Hank Williams III, in which she played a young TV telepathic named Seven=Five.
She was a presenter at many different award shows including, Second Annual TV Guide Awards, in 2000, the 2000 Teen Choice Awards, and the 28th Annual American Music Awards in 2001. She has graced the cover of Maxim twice — once with red hair and once with her hair dyed blonde — and has done a TV advertisement for Gap clothing, although it was never aired. Prepon was named one of Stuff magazine's "102 Sexiest Women In The World" in 2002 and one of Maxim magazine's "Hot 100" in 2005. Prepon also had a cameo voice appearance as a United Nations Space Command marine in Halo 2, which was released in 2004. Her first notable role came in 2004, with the dark drama Lightning Bug which also starred Bret Harrison, Kevin Gage, and Ashley Laurence. Branching into other arenas than acting, Prepon also served as executive producer of the film.
She has been a guest on Late Night with Conan O'Brien in 2003 and 2004, and Last Call with Carson Daly in 2003 and 2005. She also appeared on an episode of MTV's Cribs in 2003.
That '70s Show
Prepon is best known for her starring role as Donna Pinciotti on the Fox television series That '70s Show, from 1998 to 2006. That '70s Show is essentially about six teenage friends, Eric Forman (Topher Grace), Michael Kelso (Ashton Kutcher), Steven Hyde (Danny Masterson), Fez (Wilmer Valderrama), Jackie Burkhart (Mila Kunis), and Donna, who are constantly getting into precarious situations and are always hanging out in Eric's basement. Donna was Eric's girlfriend and next door neighbor.
Prepon was an executive producer of E! Hollywood Hold'em.
In 2005, Prepon starred in the movie Karla, the true story of Paul Bernardo and his wife Karla Homolka – a couple who kidnapped, sexually abused and murdered three young girls – this was in contrast to her usual lighthearted roles. Prepon was a cast member of the ABC show October Road, which debuted March 15, 2007. The show was canceled by ABC on May 12, 2008, despite strong ratings and a grassroots campaign from the show's fanbase to keep the show alive. In April 2007, she starred in a short film, Once Upon a Time. She has also appeared in the Oxygen movie, Romancing the Bride. She also was the original voice for Hayley Smith on American Dad! and voiced her in an unaired pilot. She appeared as Lauren, Mary's long lost sister, on USA network's In Plain Sight in the episode "A Frond in Need." On February 5, 2010, it was announced that Prepon signed on for Awkward Situations For Men, a pilot on ABC.
In 2009, Prepon appeared in How I Met Your Mother as Karen, one of Ted's girlfriends, in the episode "Sorry, Bro." She was also in episodes "The Front Porch" in 2009, and "Say Cheese" in 2010.
In early 2011, Prepon was on an episode of Castle, playing an actress studying for the role of Nikki Heat, a character created by Castle. Prepon was cast as main character Chelsea Newman on Are You There, Chelsea?, based on Chelsea Handler's 2008 book Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea.. NBC cancelled the show on May 11, 2012. She then went on to guest star opposite former That '70s Show cast member Danny Masterson in his new show Men at Work. In mid 2012, Prepon signed on to play Alex Vause, a former drug dealer and Piper Kerman's ex-girlfriend, in Orange is the New Black, a Netflix original series that premiered in 2013. On September 17, 2018, Prepon started her own YouTube channel preparing recipes and giving tutorial advice.
Her nicknames are "Pre", which is short for Prepon, and "Snaps". In a December 2007 interview in Women's Health, Prepon stated that she was a Scientologist.
In October of 2016, it was confirmed that she had gotten engaged to actor Ben Foster.