JoAnna García Swisher (née García; born August 10, 1979)[1] is an American actress. She is known for her roles as Sam in Are You Afraid of the Dark? (1994–96), Vicki Appleby in Freaks and Geeks (1999–2000), and Cheyenne Hart-Montgomery on The WB/CW sitcom Reba (2001–07). She has also gained popularity with her acting roles in Privileged (2008–09), Better with You (2010–11), Animal Practice (2012), Once Upon a Time (2013–18), The Astronaut Wives Club (2015), and Sweet Magnolias (2020).

Early life

García was born in Tampa, Florida, to a Cuban father. Her mother, Loraine, was a homemaker and former elementary school teacher of Spanish descent, and her father, Jay García, was a gynecologist.[2][3][4] She has one brother, Michael García.Template:Citation needed She first started performing at age 10 when she auditioned for a local theater production and landed the lead.Template:Citation needed

She was discovered by Disney Channel, but her parents put school first and she continued to feed her passion by acting in local plays. She was the homecoming queen[5] at Florida's Tampa Catholic High School.[4] Garcia is a devout Catholic.Template:Citation needed


While in Florida, García guest starred in seaQuest DSV, Second Noah, and Superboy and several movies of the week. While attending high school, she was re-discovered by Nickelodeon and starred for three seasons as Samantha on Are You Afraid of the Dark?. She commuted from Florida to Montreal, Canada, where the show was filmed. She was cast at the age of fifteen on the 1994 television drama Party of Five, playing the recurring character Hallie. She had a recurring role on Freaks and Geeks (1999–2000) portraying the character of Vicki Appleby, the popular freshman cheerleader who spent seven minutes in heaven with the ultimate geek, Bill Haverchuck (Martin Starr).[4] She then briefly attended college at Florida State University where she was a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority,Template:Citation needed but later quit school to pursue acting full-time, moving to Los Angeles, California.

García went on to portray the character of Cheyenne Hart-Montgomery, Reba's (Reba McEntire) oldest daughter on The WB/CW sitcom Reba (2001–07). She was featured on the short-lived CBS comedy Welcome to the Captain. Beginning in the fall of 2008, she starred as Megan Smith in the CW series Privileged (originally known as How to Survive the Filthy Rich). On the big screen, García was seen in the comedy spoof Not Another Teen Movie.[4] She has also appeared in the original television movies From the Earth to the Moon (1998) and Love's Deadly Triangle: The Texas Cadet Murder (1997). She also appeared in the ABC Family original movie The Initiation of Sarah, which premiered in October 2006. In 2008, she had a role in A Very Merry Daughter of the Bride, playing Roxanne. She had a leading role in the ABC Family TV movie Revenge of the Bridesmaids.

In 2009, García had a recurring role on The CW drama Gossip Girl playing the role of Bree Buckley, an irreverent evil Miss America-type who is politically progressive but hails from a conservative Southern family. She appeared in four episodes in season three.[6] In December 2009, she guest starred as Maggie, Ted Mosby's college buddy on How I Met Your Mother.

García starred in the ABC sitcom Better with You. The show centers on two sisters who were at different points in their romantic relationships: one was unmarried and in a long-term relationship, and the other (García) got married after getting pregnant from a one-night stand.[7] It was canceled on May 13, 2011.[8]

Garcia guest-starred on The Penguins of Madagascar in the episode "The Officer X Factor/Love Hurts", which aired on February 12, 2011. In 2012, Garcia appeared in four episodes of the USA Network dramedy Royal Pains as a nephrologist treating Jack O'Malley (Tom Cavanagh).[9] In 2013, during season three of the series Once Upon a Time she began playing the recurring role of the Ariel from The Little Mermaid.

Personal life


Garcia and her husband, outfielder/first baseman Nick Swisher, at Forward Operating Base Shank, Afghanistan on a USO tour to greet troops and tour military facilities, November 25, 2011

In 2008, García became engaged to Trace Ayala, who co-founded the clothing company William Rast with his childhood friend Justin Timberlake. (Ayala was Timberlake's former personal assistant.)[10]

In August 2009, People magazine reported that García was dating baseball player Nick Swisher.[11] They became engaged in May 2010,[12] and married on December 11, 2010, at the Breakers Hotel & Resort in Palm Beach, Florida.[13] Bridesmaids for García included friends and fellow actresses Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Melissa Peterman, and Reba McEntire.[14] Since her marriage, she has been credited as Joanna García Swisher.[9] They have two daughters, one born in 2013[15][16] and the other in 2016.[17]

Causes and interests

García volunteers as a teacher for children who are learning English as a second language. She is involved with the organization Make the Commitment, whose purpose is to raise awareness about cervical cancer.[18][19][20] She has an organization called We Reach,[5] a charity which has assembled an advisory board in the entertainment industry to help young girls around the country organize charity events in their hometowns. The charity also has the goal of empowering young women.



Year Title Role
1997 Love's Deadly Triangle: The Texas Cadet Murder Susie
1999 Holy Joe Joyce Cass
2001 American Pie 2 Christy
2001 Not Another Teen Movie Sandy Sue
2006 Template:Sortname Corinne
2006 A-List Naomi
2008 A Very Merry Daughter of the Bride Roxanne
2008 Extreme Movie Sweetie Pie
2010 Revenge of the Bridesmaids Parker Wald
2013 Template:Sortname Megan
2017 Fist Fight Maggie Campbell


Year Title Role Notes
1992 Superboy Girl Episode: "Obituary for a Superhero"
1992 Clarissa Explains It All Fiona Episode: "Take My Advice... Please"
1994–1996 Are You Afraid of the Dark? Sam Main role
1994 seaQuest DSV Iris Episode: "Playtime"
1996 Step by Step Chelsea Episode: "We're Going to Disney World: Part 1"
1996, 1997 Second Noah Katherine Ortega 3 episodes
1998 From the Earth to the Moon Julie Shepard Miniseries; episode: "For Miles and Miles"
1998 Party of Five Hallie 5 episodes
1998 Any Day Now Martha Montgomery Episode: "It's Who You Sleep With"
1999 Dawson's Creek Girl #1 – Tracy Episode: "Be Careful What You Wish For"
1999 Pacific Blue Leah Chandler Episode: "Lucky 13"
1999 Providence Gillian Episode: "Heaven Can Wait"
1999 CI5: The New Professionals Cadet Susan Episode: "Glory Days"
2000 Freaks and Geeks Vicki Appleby 5 episodes
2000 Opposite Sex Cassie Schreiber Episode: "The Homosexual Episode"
2000 Freedom Sally Mueller Episode: "Assassins"
2000 Boston Public Susan Potter Episode: "Chapter Four"
2001 Go Fish Amanda Episode: "Go P.D.A."
2001 Going to California Jennifer Episode: "I Know Why the Caged Rhino Sings"
2001–2007 Reba Cheyenne Hart-Montgomery Main role
2001 Off Centre Ramona Episode: "Let's Meet Mike and Euan"
2004 What I Like About You Fiona Episode: "Three Little Words"
2005 Family Guy Liddane (voice) Episode: "8 Simple Rules for Buying My Teenage Daughter"
2008 Welcome to the Captain Hope Main role
2008–2009 Privileged Megan Smith Main role
2009 Gossip Girl Bree Buckley 4 episodes
2009 How I Met Your Mother Maggie Episode: "The Window"
2010–2011 Better with You Mia Putney Main role
2011 The Penguins of Madagascar Shauna Voice only; episode: "Love Hurts"
2012 Royal Pains Nina Greene 4 episodes
2012 Animal Practice Dorothy Crane Main role
Once Upon a Time Ariel Recurring role (7 episodes)
2014 The Mindy Project Sally Prentice 3 episodes
2015 The Astronaut Wives Club Betty Grissom Main role
2015 Grandfathered Sloan Episode: "Edie's Two Dads"
2016 Pitch Rachel Patrick 3 episodes
2017–2018 Kevin (Probably) Saves the World Amy Main role
2020 Sweet Magnolias Maddie Townsend Main role
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.