A.J. Langer played the party girl Rayanne on the cult teen drama My So-Called Life, but the actress, whose full name is Allison Joy Langer, has taken on a much more noble role in real life. The 41-year-old, who married British aristocrat Charlie Courtenay in 2004, was recently named Countess of Devon following the death of her father-in-law, the Earl of Devon, according to the Telegraph. Her husband, a lawyer, has now inherited the title and the family’s 4,000-acre estate, Powderham Castle, near Exeter.
After her stint on the short-lived but critically acclaimed teen drama ended in 1995, Allison went on to appear in Baywatch before meeting her nobleman at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas in 2002. “He was wearing a kilt—on tour with London Scottish Rugby," she told website Breezy Mama in 2009. "We smiled at each other across the crowded room... I had no idea about the castle or titles or anything until he drove me up the driveway months into our relationship—which was good ‘cause I wouldn’t have known what to do with that information anyway.“ The couple now have two children, a boy and a girl.
After their wedding 11 years ago the American-born beauty was given the title of "Lady," securing her place in the British aristocracy. "It means more to some people and less to others. It definitely makes for interesting conversation, and an interesting story," she said in the interview. "If Charlie becomes the Earl of Devon, my title would become the Countess of Devon and our kids would be Lords and Ladies. But we don’t use the titles in our daily lives. They are there and we respect the history that gave rise to them, but in our reality we’re just a normal family.”
Allison returned to acting after a six year break in 2011 to play Erica Warner on the hit ABC drama Private Practice, but the role ended after her character died. It's expected that Allison and her husband, 40, will now run the 600-year-old family estate.
Although it aired more than 20 years ago for only one season, My So-Called Life is still considered one of the best teen dramas ever produced. Allison's co-stars Claire Danes and Jared Leto may not have titles but have gone on to considerable fame.