About me: Cortese was born in San Francisco, California. She has two brothers, Johnny and Ben, and a sister, Sarah. At the age of 13, she moved to Montana, and later to Sun Valley, Idaho. She holds a BA in English and a BFA degree in drama from the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.
Before making her television debut as Kris Furillo, she performed in regional theater productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Crimes of the Heart, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Cortese met actor Jared Padalecki when she had a recurring role on his show Supernatural during its fourth season, replacing Katie Cassidy, who previously played the role. She went on to make a guest appearance in the sixth season as a fictionalized version of herself. He proposed to her in front of their favorite painting, "Joan of Arc" by French realist Jules Bastien-Lepage, at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art in October 2009. The engagement was announced in January 2010. The pair married on February 27, 2010, in Cortese's hometown of Sun Valley, Idaho. On October 10, 2011, the couple announced that they were expecting their first child together. Their son, Thomas Colton Padalecki, was born on March 19, 2012. On December 22, 2013, Cortese gave birth to their second son, Austin Shepherd Padalecki. Their daughter, Odette Elliott Padalecki, was born on March 17, 2017. The couple resides in Austin, Texas, with their three children.