Michelle Christine Trachtenberg was born on 11 October 1985 in New York, NY. After appearing in newspaper ads as a baby, she was only 3 when she appeared in her first TV commercial for Wisk detergent.
Michelle's television acting career took off with a guest starring role on the Nickelodeon series, The Adventures of Pete and Pete as Nona Mecklenberg. Michelle then moved on to daytime soaps as Lily Montgomery on All My Children. While on the show for two years, Michelle worked with her now Buffy co-star, Sarah Michelle Gellar. In 1996, Michelle got her first leading role as Harriet in the Nickelodeon movie, Harriet the Spy.
Her career continued with roles in the TV movies, A Holiday for Love and A Father's Choice, the TV series Meego and was a recurring guest on the Nickelodeon game show, Figure It Out. In 1999, Michelle landed the role of Penny in the movie Inspector Gadget and co-starred as Julie in Can't Be Heaven.
In the summer of 2000, Michelle Trachtenberg landed the role of Dawn on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, catapulting her to wordwide fame. As Dawn, she became the first character to enter the show as a regular character, and despite her age fitted in very well with the rest of the established stars of the show. Indeed, her scenes are now amongst the highlights of any Buffy episode.
After growing up on the East Coast, Michelle and her family moved to Los Angeles in 1999 as Michelle's star grew, but by all accounts Michelle remains very approachable and down to earth. Since her success at the box office in Harriet and Gadget, not to mention her ongoing role in Buffy, she has maintained a steady workflow, all the time living at home with her parents, her older sister, Irene (who recently graduated college) and her cat, Casey, all of whom have been active in encouraging Michelle's career and supporting her whenever possible. Outside of her work commitments, Michelle continues her studies (often being tutored on the set of Buffy, and also enjoys making jewellery, in particular Buffy-related and of fairies.
Michelle has put a lot of time and energy into working for various charities including DARE, RADD, Youth of America and The Starlight Children's Foundation.
Sources: Internet Movie Database, michelle-trachtenberg.com