Annaleigh Amanda Swanson Ashford was born in Denver, Colorado on June 20, 1985.
Her mother, Holli Swanson was a gym teacher who tried to get Annaleigh involved with many different sport activities.
Annaleigh had something else in mind though.
By age 7, Annaleigh knew exactly what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. She told her mother that it was indeed her time to shine. Annaleigh had already mastered and perfected the four songs on her Liza Minnelli karaoke tape ('City Lights', 'Cabaret', 'Maybe This Time', and 'New York, New York').
From there, Annaleigh attended and studied at Denver's Kit Andre Performing Arts Center.
By age 9, Annaleigh was cast as Tina Denmark in Ruthless at Theater on Broadway.
Annaleigh was the rising star everyone was talking about. By 14, she was labeled as "The Teen to Watch" by the Rocky Mountain News.
While she was performing in Denver, she went by the name Annaleigh Swanson, Swanson being her step-fathers last name. But she later changed it back to Ashford as people pointed out to her, she would get first billing when going by alphabetical order. Annaleigh attended Wheat Ridge High School where she graduated in only 3 years. Soon after, she went to Marymount Manhattan College in New York City where she managed to earn a theater degree in 3 years.
She performed in Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey's Feeling Electric in 2005. That same year, she also joined Rent's Anthony Rapp at the New York Film Festival.
Annaleigh's career was beginning to take off. She understudied and performed the role of Glinda in the first ever U.S. National touring production of the hit Broadway
In 2006, she originated the role of Margot ( Elle Wood's ditzy and perky Delta Nu Sister) in Legally Blonde at the Palace Theater( where Judy Garland performed!). She also took on the understudy duties of Elle Woods in the show.
Legally Blonde was Annaleigh's first broadway show, but she wasn't stopping there!
Annaleigh left Legally Blonde in September 2007 to take over the role of Glinda on Broadway, where she respectively replaced Kendra Kassebaum. From October 9, 2007- May 11, 2008, Annaleigh took on the role of Glinda where she excelled even furthur in her Broadway career. On June 3rd, 2008, Annaleigh assumed the role of Glinda in the Chicago Company of Wicked, taking Kate Fahner's place. She will be staying with the Chicago company until it's closing date, of January 2009.
Annaleigh has done readings and workshops for a few upcoming musicals, including Catch Me if You Can as Brenda Strong and The Addams Family as Wednesday Adams.
She also has a cameo appearance in the Sex and the City movie and Anne Hathaway's Rachel Getting Married. Watch out! She's moving on up!