Angel is the title character of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off series, Angel. A 220+ year old vampire, Angel was cursed with a soul by gypsies in 1898. When confronted with the horrors that he perpetrated as a soulless monster, he eventually rose to become a champion against evil. Angel first appeared in Welcome to the Hellmouth, the series premiere of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and is the only character to appear in every episode of Angel.
Angel was born Liam (last name unknown) to an Irish merchant in Galway, Ireland during 1727. As he matured, Liam grew accustomed to the lifestyle of a wealthy family and often indulged in alcohol and women. In 1753, Liam was kicked out of his house for being a slothful lay-about and shortly after met Darla, who transformed him into a vampire. In his first act as an undead creature, he killed his family.
Over the course of 145 years, Liam (now known as Angelus) terrorized Europe with Darla, Drusilla and Spike. His reign of terror ceased in 1898 when a clan of gypsies, the Kalderash, cursed Angelus with a soul in retaliation for the murder of a young girl who was part of their clan. Now imbued with a soul, Angel feels guilt over every life he took between the time that he became a vampire and the moment he was cursed. This proved to be too disturbing for Darla, who pushed him away when he wouldn't aid her. Despite his attempts to resume his life with her, he was unable to reconcile her violence against innocents.
In 1902, Angel immigrated in the United States via Ellis Island where he began a life of solitude until the 1940s when he was drafted into World War 2 by the Demon Research Initiative, who enlisted him to stop several vampires (including Spike) and retrieve a German U-Boat for the Navy's examination. During this mission, he sired the first and only vampire while retaining a soul, Lawson.
In 1952, Angel was a resident of the Hyperion Hotel in Los Angeles during the peak of the Red Scare. He had since resumed his life of avoiding human contact but chose to intervene when a paranoia demon began to consume fear of the hotel patrons. Although he attempted to save the lives of the people in the hotel, he was betrayed by the woman who spurred his decision to help and was lynched by them. Frustrated by humanity's lack of understanding, he allowed the paranoia demon to consume the people who attempted to kill him.
Angel went through another bout of solitude until the 1970s, when he witnessed a botched robbery that ended in the death of a cafe shopkeeper. Faced with the man's inevitable death, Angel gave in to his desires and fed on the dying man. He became so disgusted with himself that he placed himself into exile, living in New York City alleys and feeding on vermin until 1997.
After the events of Graduation Day, Angel left Sunnydale for Los Angeles, where he was approached by Doyle. Doyle pushed him back towards human contact through visions he received from the Powers That Be. Soon after his first mission, Angel ran into Cordelia Chase and the three established Angel Investigations.
During his work as a champion for the forces of good, he uncovered the Shanshu Prophecy, which stated that "the vampire with a soul" would play a pivotal part in the apocalypse in an unknown role. After the apocalypse has ceded, the vampire will become human again. This further drove his ambitions in saving lives and following the will of the Powers.
In 2000, Darla was resurrected as a human and later transformed into a vampire again by Drusilla. After seeking vengeance on them, he and Darla had sex and produced a child which should never have been able to happen without the intervention of the powers. Darla gave birth to their child, Connor at the price of her own life and Angel attempted to raise his son as best he could until opposing forces stepped in.
Daniel Holtz, Angel's time frozen archenemy from the 1800s returned to the present day in order to antagonize and eventually kill Angel. Because he failed at all attempts on this front, Holtz instead kidnapped Connor and raised him in a brutal hell dimension. After a few days (a relative 17 years for Connor), his son returns looking for revenge. Angel is framed for Holtz's murder by Holtz himself in order to convince Connor to do something about his father once and for all.
For three months, Angel is trapped at the bottom of the ocean in a steel box. He is eventually rescued by Wesley Wyndam-Pryce and reprises his role as a champion, while attempting to learn to live with his son. Over the course of the year, Angelus returns when his soul is removed by a monk during desperate times caused by a demon known as The Beast but is re-ensouled by Willow Rosenberg.
In 2003, Angel is given the opportunity to take the lead of the Los Angeles branch of Wolfram & Hart, an evil law firm that acted as the thorn in Angel's side throughout the series. He accepts this job as long as Connor's memories are erased and placed in a family that will allow him to be a normal child. Angel works as the CEO of the company until the series finale, when he defies the Senior Partners and dismantles the Circle of the Black Thorn. He prepares for a final battle, but it is unknown as to what his fate is.
- Angel has a large tattoo on his right shoulder. It pictures a mythical winged creature.