June 25, 1985
Denver, Colorado, United States
Annaleigh Ashford was an American Broadway theater and television actress who was best known for her role as Betty DiMello on the Showtime period drama "Masters of Sex" (Showtime, 2013- ). Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Ashford grew up with a passion for performance. After her gym teacher mother tried and failed to encourage young Annaleigh to play sports, Ashford started taking dance and acting classes at Kit Andrée's Dance and Performing Arts Center in her hometown. It did not take long for Ashford to fall in love with performing. She began appearing in plays all throughout grade school and high school, and by the time college rolled around, decided to leave Denver for New York City. It was while living in the Big Apple that Ashford soon enrolled in Marymount Manhattan College, where she studied theater. She graduated from the four year college in just three years, and was soon auditioning for theatrical roles on Broadway. Her first big break came when she was cast on the first national tour of the hit Broadway musical "Wicked." Ashford traveled the country as a castmember on the show, before making her Broadway debut in 2007 in the musical "Legally Blonde." The musical was a smash success and over the next few years Ashford appeared in numerous additional Broadway musicals. It was also around this time that Ashford started landing small roles in films like "Sex and the City" (2008) and "Rachel Getting Married" (2008). She continued nabbing parts throughout the early 2010s, most notably voicing several roles in the hit Disney animated film "Frozen" (2013), as well as appearing in the Chris Rock comedy "Top Five" (2014). In 2013 Ashford landed her breakout role on the Showtime period drama "Masters of Sex," playing young prostitute Betty DiMello.