Character: Renee Renfro
Charming, sweet and utterly captivating have all been used to describe this Canadian beauty. Ashley Leggat, a twice Gemini nominated actress, was born into a large family in Hamilton, Ontario. She is the youngest of five and with four older brothers who played hockey in the winters and baseball in the summers, she basically grew up in arenas and baseball parks.
Leggat never actually walked--she danced, so when she was two and a half she started Baby Ballet--and she fell in love. This was the beginning of Leggat's passion for dance. Until she graduated from high school Leggat danced competitively in the top divisions in tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, acrobatics, lyrical, musical theatre and hip hop. She was crowned the top soloist awards at all of the major dance competitions including, International Dance Challenge, Showstoppers, 5-6-7-8 Showtime, Flash Dance, and Dance, Dance, Dance to name a few. Leggat excelled in all aspects of her dance career, but another passion had already taken her heart.
When Leggat was just eight she heard about a summer school acting program at Theatre Aquarius in Hamilton and insisted that she had to attend. Theatre became Leggat's second passion and without hesitation, she auditioned and won the coveted role in her first professional theatrical role of Marta in “The Sound of Music.” Over the next four years, this young star managed to combine her school work, 30 hours a week of dancing, and continued her acting career by starring in the following plays: “Jekyll and Hyde”, Jacob “Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang”, “The Wizard of Oz”, “Anne of Green Gables”, “Cinderella,” and “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.” When she was thirteen she won the role of Clara in “The Nutcracker.”
That same year, the young theatre veteran began to work in television and movies, and quickly discovered this was her third passion. Her first TV role was to star in “Real Kids, Real Adventures.” By the time she was eighteen she had recurring roles on: “I was a Sixth Grade Alien”, “Ace Lightning”, and guest starred in “The Zack Files,” and “In A Heartbeat.” She appeared in Disney’s “Cadet Kelly” with Hilary Duff, “What Girls Learn,” ABC’s MOW “The Music Man” with Matthew Broderick, and “A Very Married Christmas.” Next, she hit the big screen with a lead role in “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen” alongside Lindsay Lohan and Megan Fox.
On her eighteenth birthday she decided she would put her acting career on hold to attend University in pursuit of a teaching degree, but fate had other plans for her. One week after classes began, she got an offer she couldn’t refuse. Leggat had won the sought after lead role of “Casey in Life With Derek” and she made the decision to put school on hold.
“Life with Derek” was ultimately sold to Disney and shown in over 100 countries around the world, breaking records on many networks. The success of this show led to a movie called “Vacation with Derek” which opened to the highest ratings ever recorded by Family Channel and earned her a second Gemini nomination for Best Actress.
In 2008, a rare opportunity came to this rising star's lap. She was asked to play Baby in “Dirty Dancing” at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto.
She returned to the small screen guest-starring in the popular TV show “Murdoch Mysteries.” Leggat had a lead role in MTV’s “Made, The Movie,” the feature film “My Dog's Christmas Miracle” and “The Perfect Roommate.”
She most recently guest starred on “Criminal Minds.” She then went on to join the popular Hallmark movie series “The Good Witch's Charm” and the upcoming “The Good Witch's Destiny.”
In her personal life, Leggat is heavily involved with children’s hospitals, spending her spare time fundraising for McMaster Sick Kids Hospital, Toronto Sick Kids, and Manitoba Hospital for Children. She is also a huge advocate for anti-bullying, and has toured across Canada to help the cause. She most enjoys spending time with her family and close friends, and her “fur-baby” Teacup Yorkie, Rambo – who has also had cameos in many of her TV shows and movies. As for her love life, Leggat married her long time boyfriend Jeremy Williams in 2011. Jeremy is a successful hockey player, formerly with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings organization, and New York Rangers organization. Most recently he played in Austria and Germany, and this year he will play in Sweden, where Leggat will join him in her off time.