Oftentimes, an actor’s career can take them down a surprising path. What might initially seem like a major career turning point could end up being a stepping stone to something even bigger. For much of its main cast, Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff Angel was that big break. But Elisabeth Rohm landed her breakthrough role after she left the show following its first season.
Elisabeth Rohm’s role on ‘Buffy’ spinoff ‘Angel’
Following the end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s third season, Angel (David Boreanaz) moves away from Sunnydale and starts a private detective agency in Los Angeles. In its first season, the main cast includes Buffy holdovers such as Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter) and Wesley Wyndam-Pryce (Alexis Denisof), both of whom appear throughout the show’s run.
But an oft-forgotten character early on is Kate Lockley (Rohm). An LAPD detective suspicious of Angel, she ultimately becomes an ally to the vampire and his team at Angel Investigations. Rohm plays Kate in a recurring role throughout the show’s first two seasons but mysteriously disappears from the show midway through season 2.
The actor joined the cast of ‘Law and Order’ in 2001
Although no explicit story reason is given regarding Kate’s absence, the reason for Rohm’s departure in 2001 is clear. The actor landed the role of Assistant District Attorney Serena Southerlyn on Law & Order. At the time, Rohm was also appearing on the short-lived TNT drama series Bull, and in 2014, the actor credited her busy schedule for her Angel exit.
“Joss and I decided it would be impossible for me to go from New York (where I was a regular on [Law & Order] to Los Angeles for Angel,” Rohm explained in a Reddit Ask Me Anything. “And we had a great opportunity for it to end dramatically, and it was very satisfying for both of us. I love working with Joss so much that I have this sort of lingering ache for him still, you know?”
What is Elisabeth Rohm doing now in the 2020s?
While Rohm only appeared in 15 episodes of Angel, she stuck around for 85 episodes across four seasons of Law & Order. But she’s kept plenty busy since leaving that series in 2005. That same year, Rohm made her film debut opposite Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous. She also appeared in award-winning films American Hustle, Joy, and Bombshell.
On the TV front, Rohm has been even busier. Since Law & Order, she’s appeared in a variety of TV movies as well as series like The Mentalist, Heroes, The Last Ship, and Jane the Virgin. Most recently, she starred with Melissa McCarthy and Chris O’Dowd in the 2021 comedy-drama The Starling, which is currently available to stream on Netflix.