JoAnna Garcia Swisher
Tampa-native, actress and creator of the lifestyle brand, The Happy Place
JoAnna Garcia Swisher’s success comes from her naturally vibrant and energetic personality. Her genuine nature certainly catalyzed her career, but her girl-next-door appeal and Hollywood glamour continues to captivate audiences year after year.
Currently, Garcia Swisher stars in Netflix’s “Sweet Magnolias.” Set in the small town of Serenity, South Carolina, the show is based on a Sherryl Woods book series, about three women who have been best friends since childhood. Garcia Swisher plays ‘Maddie Townsend,’ a warm and loving woman who finds herself at a crossroads in her life and her best friends try to convince her now is the time for reinvention. Jamie Lynn Spears, Heather Headley, and Brooke Elliot also star. The first season premiered on Netflix on May 19th and has been renewed for a second season.
Most recently, she starred in the Hallmark film “As Luck Would Have It” which premiered in April of 2021. The story follows ‘Lindsey’ (Garcia Swisher) who travels to Ireland to acquire land for a resort. The small town’s people lead by ‘Brennan O'Brien’ (Allen Leech) push back on her sale and her only option is to win them over at a matchmaking festival.
In 2018, Garcia Swisher was seen in ABC’s Tuesday night Fall dramedy, “Kevin (Probably) Saves The World.” The series followed ‘Kevin’ (Jason Ritter), a down-on-his-luck man who is tasked by God with a mission to save the world. Garcia Swisher played ‘Amy,’ his sister who accepts him back into her life after being disappointed by him numerous times in the past.
On the feature film side, Garcia Swisher appeared in Warner Brothers’ comedy “Fist Fight” directed by Richie King with Ice Cube and Charlie Day. Garcia Swisher co-starred as Day’s supportive wife who was unaware of his upcoming fight at school. Garcia Swisher also recurred this past television season on FOX’s “Pitch” as ‘Rachel Patrick,’ the ex-wife of Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s ‘Mike Lawson.’
In 2015, Garcia Swisher starred on ABC’s “The Astronaut Wives Club” based on the book by Lily Koppel, which focuses on seven women who were key players behind some of the biggest events in American history. Garcia Swisher portrayed ‘Betty Grissom,’ wife of Gus Grissom. The 10 episode limited series premiered on ABC on June 18th.
In summer 2013, Garcia Swisher played Vince Vaughn’s girlfriend ‘Megan’ alongside other comedic actors Owen Wilson, Rose Byrne, and Josh Gad in 20th Century Fox’s “The Internship.” The year before, she starred opposite Justin Kirk as ‘Dorothy Crane’ in the 2012 NBC comedy “Animal Practice.” The show ran for the Fall 2012 season, and showcased Garcia Swisher as the ex-girlfriend of ‘Dr. George Coleman’ (Kirk), who came in to run her grandmother’s animal hospital.
Garcia Swisher starred alongside Jennifer Finnigan on the ABC romantic sitcom series “Better With You” in Fall 2010. The show revolved around the intersecting lives of a tightly entwined family, within which Garcia Swisher’s character ‘Mia’ added the complications of an impulsive pregnancy and marriage with a man she had known for a mere seven weeks.
In the same year, Garcia Swisher starred opposite Raven-Symone in the ABC Family television movie “Revenge of the Bridesmaids.” Her character ‘Parker’ joined with Symone’s ‘Abigail’ on a covert quest to sabotage a frenemy’s wedding in their hometown.
Aside from her starring roles, Garcia Swisher has also had a series of memorable guest roles on television series throughout her years of acting. Among these are her roles as ‘Bree Buckley,’ one of the many love interests of Nate Archibald (Chace Crawford) in the third season of the CW’s “Gossip Girl,” her recurring role as ‘Dr. Nina Greene’ on “Royal Pains,” her guest starring role as the girl that continues to get away from ‘Ted’ (Josh Radnor) on “How I Met Your Mother” and her recurring role as the sister of Adam Pally’s ‘Dr. Peter’ on “The Mindy Project.” From 2013 to 2017 Garcia Swisher has also had a recurring role in the cast of ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” as the iconic Disney princess ‘Ariel.’
In 2008, Garcia Swisher portrayed the lead character in the CW’s teen angst comedy with a twist of drama, “Privileged.” Based on the book How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls, the series featured Garcia Swisher in the role of ‘Megan Smith,’ a Yale graduate hired to tutor two wealthy, rebellious teenage twin girls to ensure their entrance into an Ivy League college, but things don’t go as smoothly as planned. Though “Privileged” only aired for one-season, it gained a huge fan following and earned Garcia Swisher rave reviews that labeled her performances as “charismatic” and “comically appealing.”
Garcia Swisher also starred in the 2008 CBS primetime series “Welcome to The Captain” alongside Jeffrey Tambor, Chris Klein and Raquel Welch. She portrayed ‘Hope,’ a free-spirited acupuncturist whose sizzling love story with her neighbor ‘Josh’ (Fran Kranz) fueled the dynamic offbeat comedy.
Garcia Swisher made an indelible mark with fans of the show “Reba” throughout the show’s six-year span, in which she played Reba’s daughter
‘Cheyenne Montgomery.’ The show met monumental success and critical acclaim, even ranking as the #1 show through all six seasons and garnering the highest ratings for a WB comedy in history. Her work on the show earned her a Teen Choice Award nomination for “Breakout Star.”
Born to a Cuban father and American mother, Garcia Swisher started her career at a young age. She found a knack for acting at the age of 10 and quickly jumped at opportunities to explore her acting potential in local theater productions in her hometown of Tampa, Florida. Her first break outside of local Floridian theater came when she was still in high school, after Nickelodeon discovered her and slotted her into a starring role as ‘Samantha’ on three seasons of the network’s hit show “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” and ‘Fiona’ on “Clarissa Explains It All.” Although she had to commute between Florida and Montreal for the roles, her efforts proved fruitful when it led her to other acting opportunities. Her career truly began to blossom after she moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting as a career, at which point she landed roles such as ‘Hallie’ on “Party of Five;” the recurring character ‘Vicki Appleby’ on “Freaks and Geeks;” and a key role opposite John Ritter in the television movie “Holy Joe” as ‘Joyce Cass.’
From there, Garcia Swisher co-starred in two hit teen comedies in 2001; “American Pie 2” and “Not Another Teen Movie.” In “American Pie 2,” Garcia Swisher played ‘Christy,’ the date of the infamous ‘Stifler’ (Sean William Scott), with whom she shares one of the film’s most memorable scenes. From there she then went on to the comedy spoof “Not Another Teen Movie” in which she played a high school cheerleader afflicted with Tourette’s Syndrome.
Outside of acting, Garcia Swisher has founded The Happy Place, which is a destination that explores, motivates and empowers the experience of living a life with intention and how that reflects in your interiors. At its core, The Happy Place will ignite and inspire the inner designer in every person.
She has also been inspired by working with the Step Up Women’s Network (a national network of women dedicated to strengthening community resources for women and girls) and Hills Pet Nutrition (in support of Clear The Shelters™ pet adoption campaign). Garcia Swisher, along with her husband Nick Swisher, also founded the Swisher Family Foundation with a mission of providing children in need with medical care, education, and recreational activities.
Garcia Swisher currently splits her time between Los Angeles and Tampa Bay with her husband (former professional baseball player Nick Swisher), and their daughters Emerson and Sailor.