Switched At Birth had one of the most interesting premises out of many of the shows aired by ABC at the time. At least when it comes to real life scenarios! The entire series surrounded the lives of two teenage girls, Bay and Daphne, who find out that they were, well, switched at birth. For six years, we got to follow the lives of these two families, lives that were unexpectedly turned upside-down.
Watching the girls and the relationships between their biological and legal families develop, gave room for many emotional, funny, and overall wholesome moments. Even though the show went off the air in 2017, it's still amassing numerous fans who are just discovering it. One of the strongest suits of the show was the phenomenal cast, that managed to bring such fantastic characters and plot to life. Paying them a small homage, let's take a look at 10 things you didn't know about the cast of Switched At Birth!
10 When The Show Premiered, Vanessa Marano & Katie Leclerc Were Adults
It's no secret to anyone that when it comes to casting actors and actresses meant to play teenagers, producers don't really cast in an age-appropriate way. Besides Skins, there are very few TV shows that choose actual teenagers to play teenagers. This might be due to legal constraints due to the amount of time they're allowed per day in the studio, or maybe it's because teenagers tend to look awkward in general - even though that's the way life is!
Switched At Birth didn't escape the norm, and the two main actresses were far from being teens when the show premiered. While Bay and Daphne were supposed to be 15 at the time, Vanessa and Katie were 18 and 24, respectively. We're not mad simply because these two made such a stellar job portraying the main characters.
9 Katie Leclerc Has Been In Commercials For Several Known Brands
Katie Leclere, who brings our beautiful Daphne to life, began her acting career in 2005 when she was 18 years old. She had a minor role in the fan-favorite show, Veronica Mars, and after that she started building her resumé through a series of smaller roles both in film and television.
However, Leclerc's talents weren't just lent to these two art forms. The actress was also featured in a number of ads for very famous brands, including household name Pepsi, along with Cingular, Comcast, and GE. We're very glad Katie got her breakout role as Daphne because the show wouldn't be the same without her!
8 Vanessa Marano's Sister Has A Strange Cameo
Vanessa Marano, or Bay Kennish, as we've grown to know and love, is not the only actress in the family. In real life, Marano has a sister, Laura Marano, who shares her profession. The 23-year old has roles in blockbusters such as Ladybird and The Perfect Date, so she's doing pretty good herself.
While Laura Marano has never officially been on the show, when the producers asked Vanessa to bring some old pictures of her to the set, she presented them with pictures of her and Laura. When in a season 3 episode, Vanessa's character Bay goes to visit her cousin, he shows her a picture of the woman who was her biological aunt. This is, of course, a picture of the actresses' younger sister, Laura.
7 Meredith Baxter Is Only 14 Years Older Than Lea Thompson
In the world of show business, much like what happens with the casting of teenagers (as in, they're rarely cast), it's very common to see actors and actresses play close family members even though the numbers don't quite add up in real life. We can see this in Switched At Birth, through the characters of Bonnie and Kathryn.
What makes this mother-daughter casting really interesting, however, is the fact that Meredith Baxter is actually only 14 years older than Lea Thompson. Another added wrinkle to the pairing is that both Baxter and Thompson have played mothers to Michael J. Fox in separate projects (Family Ties and Back to the Future, respectively).
6 Lucas Grabeel Did Missionary Work
Most people who know Lucas Gabreel were introduced to the actor in the most magical way possible - through his role as Ryan Evans in the High School Musical franchise, a series of movies that will go down in history, and our hearts, and some of the best, cheesiest, most glorious pieces of cinematography ever made. Well, maybe that's a bit too much, but as far as pop culture goes, HSM was a real win.
Lucas is, of course, an incredibly talented artist. He's an actor, a singer, a dancer, and a musician. Some of his many skills include jazz, ballet, and hip-hop, as well as playing piano, guitar, and accordion. But Grabeel goes beyond being an artistic soul; he's also a very kind one. For six consecutive years, he traveled to Guatemala with his family as part of a mission.
5 Katie Leclerc Suffers From Menière's Disease
Fans of the show know that there's a fantastic amount of representation on the show, especially when it comes to the deaf community. One of the main characters, Daphne, is deaf, and, as a consequence, audiences were faced with many of the issues that come along with, in several instances. Many of the actors learned ASL language in order to be a part of the show, and the language was a crucial part of Switched At Birth.
While Katie's character became deaf at age 3 as a consequence of meningitis, the actress started losing her hearing at the age of 17. Leclere suffers from a disease called Menière, that causes those who are affected by it to experience vertigo, ringing in the ears, and, eventually, hearing loss.
4 Vanessa Marano Started Acting Very Young
Vanessa Marano has a very impressive resumé, considering her young age. Some of her most well-known credits include TV shows like Dexter, Six Feet Under, Gilmore Girls and Without a Trace. And even though Switched At Birth ended less than two years ago, Marano lost no time getting to work, and she's appeared in over a dozen projects since then.
She's a seasoned actress, and many people might be impressed by how young she started in the business. one of the youngest members of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Vanessa snatched her first acting role at the age of two, when she made her theater debut. She took several roles throughout her childhood, eventually making her television debut in 2003.
3 Constance Marie Danced For David Bowie
Constance Marie, an American actress with Mexican origins, is also a very seasoned performer. She began acting when she was 23 years old, in the film Salsa. Since then, we've had the pleasure of seeing her in movies like Selena and Dancing in September, and TV shows like Ally McBeal, That 70's Show, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
However, Marie's career didn't take off as an actress. The star first rose to fame due to her dancing skills, after a choreographer for David Bowie spotted her dancing at a club, and choose her to be a part of the upcoming tour Glass Spider. At the time, Constance was only 22 years old, and that's the platform that allowed her to pursue her love for acting. Not bad for a kickstart!
2 D.W. Moffett Has A Degree From Stanford
Moffett has had a very interesting life, career-wise. Unlike several of his cast members, who began acting when their children or teenagers, he's a bit of a late bloomer in the world of acting. Before he started pursuing his passion, D.W. Moffett attended a private school in Germany and, once he graduated, he went to the prestigious Stanford University, where he got a degree in Political Science.
While he was working as an investment banker in Chicago, a friend of his convinced him to join the St. Nicholas Theater Company, where he began his career as an actor and learned alongside William H. Macy. Aside from pursuing acting, Moffett also founded his own theater company Remains Theater. We're glad he found his path, all the way to Switched At Birth!
1 Lea Thompson Is An Accomplished Ballerina
Constance Marie is not the only dancer in the Switched At Birth cast! Fellow colleague Lea Thompson is actually a seasoned ballerina, who was in love with ballet long before she found her passion for acting. When she was a child, and late into her teens, Lea would practice for hours and hours every day, in order to become the best she could.
By the time she was 14 years old, she had appeared in over 45 ballets, and won scholarships for prestigious establishments, such as the American Ballet Theatre and The San Francisco Ballet. She decided to turn to acting when, at the age of 19, Mikhail Baryshnikov (the Russian artist from Sex and the City) told her she was too "stocky." She's happy she did, and so are we!