Kirsten Vangsness Turns 44, Heading To Comic Con 2016!

Kirsten Vangsness celebrated her birthday on July 7. The Criminal Minds favorite turned 44-years-old. If you’re going to be in San Diego on July 21, why not stop by Comic Con 2016 and wish her a belated happy birthday?

According to CBS, Vangsness is participating in that Thursday’s “Fan Favorites” panel. She is a fan favorite, after all. The festivities begin at 12 p.m. Other stars on the panel include Daniela Ruah and Christian Olsen (NCIS: Los Angeles), James Wolk (Zoo), Wilmer Valderrama (NCIS), and Daniel Henney (Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders). Kevin Frazier is slated to moderate the event.

If you attend, you’ll get inside information on the early days of Kirsten’s career. She’ll be sharing memories from the set of Criminal Minds and taking part in a Q&A session.

Vangsness started her acting career at a very young age. She was fortunate enough to take classes at the California State Summer School of the Arts. During high school and college, she received several scholarships and awards. Then, after graduating from Cal State Fullerton, she started dabbling with improvisation and performing in Los Angeles-based plays.

More recently, as reported by the Inquisitr, Kirsten starred with her real-life best friend Shemar Moore in Kill Me Deadly. The film noir comedy debuted at Laemmle’s Ahrya Fine Arts on April 1. The nationwide digital release took place on April 21.

If you’re the type of person who can’t get enough of gumshoe detectives, Vegas tycoons, lounge singers, gangsters, and stolen diamonds, Kill Me Deadly just might be for you. It really is the typical 1940s “whodunit.” Fellow Criminal Minds cast member Joe Mantegna had a role in the production as well. Watch the official trailer below.

Many people are unaware that Kirsten Vangsness and Shemar Moore are close off-screen friends. Even though he won’t be appearing with her at Comic Con 2016, it’s highly likely that Moore was somehow involved in “Baby Girl’s” birthday celebration.

Kirsten credits Shemar for much of her Criminal Minds-related success. Their chemistry, right from the beginning, was electric. Penelope Garcia was only supposed to be in one episode of the show. However, the network execs liked her so much they asked her to come back a second time.

It was at the second reading that Vangsness and Moore hit it off so well. If they hadn’t sat next to each other, on that fateful day, who knows what would’ve happened to Penelope Garcia.

When Derek left the BAU last season, fans had to give up on the possibility of a secret love affair between the two. Vangsness had this to say about the role she played in Derek’s departure and his bittersweet final episode, which she co-wrote with Erica Messer.

“I didn’t know until I was doing this scene that Penelope Garcia has been head-over-heels, totally in love with him and has been just waiting. And she didn’t know! She’d just been a good friend and doing what she does. That realization comes of, ‘Oh my god.'”

Have you ever attended Comic Con? Are you planning on attending this year, so you can meet Kirsten Vangsness? Feel free to leave your thoughts about Comic Con 2016 or Criminal Minds happenings below.

[Photo by John Shearer/AP Images]