Vanessa Morgan might not be a household name just yet, but that’s sure to change after season 2 of the smash-hit teen drama Riverdale kicks off on October 11. News that the gorgeous Canadian actress, 25, would appear in Riverdale’s second season broke over Comic-Con weekend in San Diego on July 22 and we couldn’t be more excited for another talented Canuck to join the cast of the addictive series (Hayley Law, who plays standout Valerie, is also a Vancouver native). Here’s everything we’ve learned about Vanessa and her Riverdale character, Toni Topaz, so far.
She’s an Ottawa native
Vanessa was born and raised in O-town but now calls L.A. home.
She has a pageant past
Before getting into acting and modelling, Vanessa won the Junior Miss America pageant in 1999.
She can sing
In addition to sometimes singing on the delightfully kitschy Canadian teen sitcom, The Latest Buzz, Vanessa sang the National Anthem at an NHL game in 2013 and girl can belt!
She has roots in sci-fi
She played Sarah on the fan-beloved but short-lived comedy-horror show, My Babysitter’s a Vampire, from 2011 to 2012
She appeared as a contestant on season 1 of The Amazing Race Canada
Vanessa competed with her sister, Celine, in 2013 and the pair made it to the top three. The petite sisters were a surprise success on the physically challenging show, as early on they weren’t viewed as a threat. “We motivated a lot of people who are smaller and might not be Olympic athletes to try out,” Vanessa told the Toronto Star after the show wrapped. “Because there’s a lot of other skills and as long as you’re a healthy person I think you can have a shot.”
She had a guest spot on the Canadian classic, Degrassi: The Next Generation, in 2013
Vanessa played a single teen mom who returns to school after having her son. (And no, she didn’t cross paths with Drake, unfortunately, as he left the show in 2009.)
Most recently, she joined the cast of MTV’s The Shannara Chronicles, a series based on the best-selling fantasy book
She plays a character named Lyria in the second season of the show, which is filmed in New Zealand.
She’ll play a Southside Serpent named Toni Topaz on season 2 of Riverdale
Vanessa takes on the role of Toni, a bisexual female Southside Serpent with pink hair who will become a friend and confidante to Jughead and, you guessed it, create drama between the beloved Bughead.