Actor You Should Know: Annaleigh Ashford of New CBS Comedy 'B Positive'
Where you've seen her
She was sassy receptionist Betty Dimello to midcentury sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson on Showtime's Masters of Sex (2013–16). The Broadway vet (Kinky Boots, Sunday in the Park With George) also won the 2015 Featured Actress in a Play Tony Award for her portrayal of endearingly childish candymaker Essie Carmichael in You Can't Take It With You.
Who she plays here
Party girl Gina Dabrowski, who offers her kidney to old high school friend Drew Dunbar (Silicon Valley's Thomas Middleditch) when she learns he's in need of a transplant. "She has a huge heart," Ashford says, "but unfortunately, she's much better at taking care of others than she's been at taking care of herself."
Is romance also part of the diagnosis between Gina and Drew, a divorced dad (his blood type is B positive, hence the title)? Not yet, says Ashford. "They are just two people who need somebody," she says. "Not only is she doing a selfless act for him, but he's doing a selfless act by helping her love and take care of herself."
Why she's a standout
Ashford can do it all, from physical comedy to singing. The premiere showcases her powerful vocals — Gina drives a senior living facility van and teaches her passengers to sing Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back." She's thrilled to have such a dynamic role. "I have been waiting my whole life to get to be on a multicam comedy," she excitedly says about headlining the sitcom, from The Big Bang Theory and Mom cocreator Chuck Lorre. "I feel like all the stars have aligned."
B Positive, Series Premiere, Fall, CBS