Carrie Preston, born June 21, 1967 in Macon, Georgia, is an American actress who plays the role of Arlene Fowler Bellefleur on the HBO original series True Blood. Making her debut in the series' premiere episode, "Strange Love", in the series' first season, Carrie plays the role of the current owner of Bellefluer's Bar and Grill, former home of Merlotte's. Friend to series' protagonist Sookie Stackhouse, and having been married five times, Carrie has three children, Coby, Lisa and Mikey. Married to Terry Bellefleur in the series' fourth season, and taking his surname as her married name, her marriage was abruptly halted due to Terry's untimely death in the series' sixth season. Playing a recurring role through the series' first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh seasons, Carrie is a guest starring actress who was last seen in the series' finale episode, "Thank You", in the series' seventh, and final, season.
Born and raised in Macon, Georgia, to an artist and art therapist mother and a geo-technical engineer father, a young Carrie Preston discovered her true calling in performing arts. At the age of 12, she became the impresario of her own front-yard theater company as producer, writer, casting director, costumer, director and actress. Preston later obtained a bachelor's degree from the University of Evansville followed with an acting diploma from the prestigious performing arts school Juilliard School. After attending Juilliard, Preston went on to work in performing arts.
Preston has worked with her husband, actor Michael Emerson, on a number of projects. Emerson plays Ben Linus on television's Lost, and Preston was a guest star in episode 20 of season 3, The Man Behind the Curtain. She played Ben's mother Emily for several flashback scenes, though she and Emerson never appeared in any scenes together. Emerson and Preston were both featured in the 2004 comedy Straight-Jacket, and the 2008 feature film Ready? OK!.
Preston is co-owner of the production company Daisy 3 Pictures with James Vasquez and Mark Holmes.
Since 2008, Preston has appeared in the ongoing HBO series True Blood as Arlene Fowler.