Who Is Laura Allen? The 'Nanny Cam' Star Used to Work with the NYPD & Is Still Assisting Cops On Screen

You never know where you're gonna end up in life. The lead actress in Lifetime's movie Nanny Cam , Laura Allen, didn't start out thinking she was destined for Hollywood. In fact, Allen didn't even start pursuing acting until she had already become successful at a very different career. The star graduated Wellsley College with a degree in Sociology, and then went to work for the New York Police Department as a domestic violence counselor, according to her website. It wasn't until four years after she finished school that Allen booked her first recurring TV role, on the soap opera All My Children.

Now, 14 years later, the actress is a television regular. Where have you seen Laura Allen before? Despite no longer working for the police in real life, she's still managed to stay close to on-screen cops: She's played the wife of a police officer or a detective for all her three most recent TV roles. In Nanny Cam, Allen's character Linda is a regular civilian, but she'll probably still need the cops after her daughter's babysitter becomes more than a little too close to Linda's husband and daughter. The creepy thriller also stars The O.C. and Twilight star Cam Gigandet (in case you needed any more convincing to watch).

Let's take a look at some of Allen's other credits.

Ravenswood

Unfortunately Ravenswood , the Pretty Little Liars spinoff, lasted only one season. But while it was on air, Allen got to play the juicy role of Rochelle Matheson who was — you guessed it — married to a cop. The twist, of course, is that at the start of the show, Rochelle was suspected of murdering her husband. I won't spoil if she was indeed the Black Widow her town thought she was, but I will say that Ravenswood came to quite a shocking conclusion.

Awake

Awake was another short-lived series starring Allen as the wife of a cop, in this case a detective (played by Lucius Malfoy himself, Jason Isaacs. If you ever wanted to see the racist wizard put on an American accent and hang out with Muggles, this is the program for you). The high-concept show had an interesting premise: Allen's character Hannah and her son Rex get into a car crash in the pilot episode. Throughout the remainder of Awake, Hannah's husband Michael alternated between two alternate realities: one in which Hannah survived the crash, and one in which it was Rex who lived. The show was heartbreaking, because both realities are equally horrible.

Terriers

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Once again, Allen took on a gig as a woman involved with a detective — or in this case, private investigator. She played Katie, the girlfriend of a former criminal, Britt, who uses his skills to open a P.I. business with his straight-laced partner (played by Donal Logue, aka Harvey Bullock on Gotham ). Katie was forever exasperated by her boyfriend's not-so-legal activities. Unfortunately, like some of Allen's other shows, Terriers came to an end after just one season. But lucky for Allen fans, the actress has several new projects coming up next year, in addition to Nanny Cam, which premieres on Lifetime on Dec. 28 at 9 p.m.

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