Teen and family drama TV series, Switched At Birth is simply one of a kind. The show which debuted on ABC Family in June 2011 follows the lives of two teen girls, Bay Kennish (played by Vanessa Marano) and Daphne Vasquez (played by Katie Leclerc) who came to discover that they were accidentally switched at birth.
One of them, Bay Kennish was raised alongside her brother in an affluent suburb in Kansas City by her two parents while the other, Daphne Vasquez was raised by a single mother in a relatively low-income working-class neighboorhood.
The two families would eventually meet and live together during which they learn how to deal with each other’s differences. The fact that Daphne is deaf in the series made the storyline even more interesting.
Switched at Birth became ABC Family’s highest-rated debut series ever. The show is the first mainstream TV show to feature multiple deaf series regular casts with scenes completely shot without uttered speech but rather in American Sign Language (ASL).
Is The TV Series Over?
Switched at Birth ran for a successful 5 seasons (including 103 episodes) before ABC Family (now Freeform) drew their curtains on the show in April 2017. The Lizzy Weiss-created show earned much critical praise for its realistic depiction of the clash between the world of the hearing and the deaf. The show bagged a total of 11 awards including an honorary Peabody Award. In retrospect, we take a look at the main cast and characters of the show.
Switched At Birth Cast and Characters
1. Katie Leclerc as Daphne Paloma
Katie Leclerc certainly draws from some level of experience to play the deaf role of Daphne as she has a real-life history of hearing problems. At the age of 20, she was diagnosed with the Ménière’s disease which runs in her family. However, before the diagnosis, Katie Leclerc had learned the ASL from her sister when she was 17 years old. She has appeared in several other TV shows such as The Big Bang Theory, Fashion House, and Veronica Mars. She was married to real estate salesman Brian Habecost from September 2014 to July 2017.
2. Vanessa Marano as Bay Madeline Kennish
A daughter of an actress mother, Vanessa Marano began her career as a child actress. In addition to Switched at Birth, she has appeared in other notable shows such as Gilmore Girls, Ghost Whisperer, Private Practice, Silicon Valley, Dexter and more. Her film credits include; The Secret Lives of Dorks, and Senior Project. Her older sister, Laura Marano is also an actress. Both star together in the TV show, Without A Trace.
3. D. W. Moffett as John Kennish
Moffett plays John Kennis, Daphne’s biological father, and Bay’s legal father. Before Switched at Birth, Moffett was known for his roles in TV shows such as Happily Divorced, Friday Night Lights, and For Your Love. Before acting, the Standford alumnus worked as an investment banker. He is married to Kristal Rogers.
4. Lea Thompson as Kathryn Kennish
Endearing actress Lea Thompson had been active in the industry long before playing on SAB as Bay’s legal mother and Daphne’s biological mother. She rose to great prominence for her role as Lorraine Baines in the Back to the Future trilogy. She played the titular character in NBC 90s show, Caroline in the City.
She is married to film director, Howard Deutch whom she met on the set of the 1987 movie, Some Kind of Wonderful. They have two daughters Zoey and Madelyn Deutch both actresses.
5. Constance Marie as Regina Vasquez
Latina actress Constance Marie Lopez won hearts with her main role as Angie Lopez in George Lopez which ran long before SAB. She is a vegetarian and has a daughter Luna Marie from her 15-year relationship with yoga instructor, Kent Katich. Constance has lent her voice to a handful of film and TV animated characters.
6. Gilles Marini as Angelo Sorrento
Gilles Marini plays Angelo Sorrento, Daphne’s legal father who left her and her mother Regina after she lost her hearing. He is also Bay’s biological father. Marini is known for his roles in shows like Brothers & Sisters and Devious Maids. He was the runner-up of the 8th season of Dancing with the Stars won by teenage gymnast Shawn Johnson and her partner, Mark Ballas by just 1% difference.
7. Lucas Grabeel as Toby Kennish
Lucas plays Toby, Bay and Daphne’s brother. He is also a singer-songwriter and played Ryan Evans in the High School Musical film series.
8. Sean Berdy as Emmett Bledsoe
Berdy’s role as Emmet Bledsoe, Daphne’s deaf best friend who later dates Bay was his breakout role. He was born deaf and his flair for entertainment took him to begin a career as a deaf actor. He has also appeared in The Sandlot 2. His parents and brother are also deaf.