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Vanessa Morgan

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Vanessa Morgan
Vanessa Morgan by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Morgan at the San Diego Comic-Con in July 2018
Vanessa Morgan Mziray

c. 1992/1993 (age 27–28)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Alma materQueen's University
Years active2000–present
Michael Kopech (m. 2020)

Vanessa Morgan Mziray (born c. 1992/1993),[1] known professionally as Vanessa Morgan, is a Canadian actress. She is known for her roles as Beatrix "Bird" Castro in the MTV teen drama series Finding Carter, as Amanda Pierce in the Family teen comedy series The Latest Buzz, and as Sarah in the Disney Channel/Teletoon film My Babysitter's a Vampire and the television series of the same name. She plays Toni Topaz in The CW teen drama series Riverdale.

Early life[edit]

Morgan was born in Ottawa, Ontario.[2] Her mother is Scottish and her father is Tanzanian.[3][4] Morgan began singing at the age of six. She sang at community events and telethons, performed for Childhelp, and was a regular guest entertainer for the College of the Desert scholarship foundation. She was spotted by a Hollywood agent in 1999 and earned a scholarship at a Hollywood acting academy.[5] In 1999, Morgan won the Junior Miss America pageant and won first place vocalist at the National Date Festival. In 2000, she won first place in the African-American Vocal Competition.[6][5] In her early life, she was a member of the competitive NTA tennis program at the Ottawa Athletic Club.[5] Morgan graduated from Colonel By Secondary School in 2010[6] and studied philosophy at Queen's University.[7]



Morgan made her acting debut in the VH1 film A Diva's Christmas Carol in 2000 and another appearance in the film Frankie & Alice in 2010. She became known in 2007 for her role as Amanda Pearce in the Family teen comedy series The Latest Buzz as well as performing the theme song for the series. She also played Marion Hawthorne in the 2010 Disney Channel film Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars.[8]

The following year, Morgan played Sarah in the Teletoon / Disney Channel film My Babysitter's a Vampire, as well in the television series of the same name.[9] Morgan also appeared in the 2011 Disney Channel film Geek Charming.[8] She had a recurring role in season 2 of the Disney Channel comedy series A.N.T. Farm for four episodes.[10]

In 2013, Morgan appeared on Degrassi: The Next Generation for two episodes.[11]

In 2017, she joined the main cast of the fantasy drama series The Shannara Chronicles as Lyria for the second season on Spike.[12] Morgan was then cast in the recurring role of Toni Topaz in The CW teen drama series Riverdale.[13] On May 2, 2018, it was announced that Morgan would be a series regular for the show's third season.[14]

Other work[edit]

Morgan competed in the first season of the CTV reality competition series The Amazing Race Canada with her sister, Celina Mziray. They finished the race in third place.[15]

Personal life[edit]

On July 3, 2019, Morgan became engaged to professional baseball player Michael Kopech.[16] They were married on January 4, 2020.[17]


Year Title Role Notes
2000 A Diva's Christmas Carol Young Ebony Television film
2007–2010 The Latest Buzz Amanda Pierce Main role
2010 Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars Marion Hawthorne Television film
2010 Frankie & Alice 16-year-old Frankie Film; credited as Vanessa Morgan Mziray
2010 My Babysitter's a Vampire Sarah Television film
2011–2012 My Babysitter's a Vampire Sarah Main role
2011 Geek Charming Hannah Mornell
2012 A.N.T. Farm Jeanne Gossamer / Vanessa LaFontaine 4 episodes
2013 Degrassi Vanessa 2 episodes
2013 Saving Hope Ricki Wilkins Episode: "Why Waste Time"
2013 The Amazing Race Canada Herself Season 1 contestant
2014 Guilty at 17 Leigh Television film
2014 The Night Session Brittany / Intruder Short film
2014–2015 Finding Carter Beatrix "Bird" Castro Recurring role
2015 Some Assembly Required Jazlyn Sims 1 episode
2017 The Shannara Chronicles Lyria Main role (season 2)
2017–present Riverdale Toni Topaz Recurring role (season 2); main role (season 3–present)
2018 Pimp Destiny Film[18]
2019 Lip Sync Battle Herself 1 episode
Music videos
Year Title Artist(s) Ref.
2008 "Stand Up!" Herself [19]
2018 "Be My Joker" Herself
2019 "Higher Love" Kygo and Whitney Houston [20]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2009 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a TV series – Leading Young Actress (Comedy or Drama) The Latest Buzz Nominated [21]
2014 Planet Africa Awards Rising Star Herself Won [22]
2018 Teen Choice Awards Choice Breakout TV Star Riverdale Won [23]
Choice Scene Stealer Riverdale Won
2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards Best Musical Moment Riverdale Nominated [24]
Teen Choice Awards Choice Ship (with Madelaine Petsch) Riverdale Nominated [25]


  1. ^ Sobol, Beth; Corinne Heller; McKenna Aiello (January 4, 2020). "Exclusive:Riverdale's Vanessa Morgan Marries MLB Star Michael Kopech". Archived from the original on June 17, 2020. Retrieved June 22, 2020. ... Morgan, 27 ...
  2. ^ Berry, Jennifer (August 31, 2017). "Guess Which Riverdale Star Vanessa Morgan Hopes Her Character Dates". Flare. Rogers Communications. Archived from the original on December 16, 2017. Retrieved June 22, 2020. She’s an Ottawa native. Vanessa was born and raised in O-town...
  3. ^ Thompson, Phil. "'It's not language I continue to use:' Michael Kopech worries how offensive tweets will affect his family and girlfriend". Chicago Tribune.
  4. ^ Morgan, Vanessa [@VanessaMorgan] (July 15, 2011). "Yes I'm canadian! but my mother is scottish and my father is east african so yes I'm mixed" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  5. ^ a b c D'Arcy, Dominic. "Vanessa Morgan". Retrieved April 18, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Miller, Jacquie (July 24, 2017). "Ottawa actress cast in Riverdale, the hit series based on Archie comics". Ottawa Sun. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  7. ^ Amatangelo, Amy (September 15, 2014). "Catching Up With Vanessa Morgan of Finding Carter". Paste Magazine. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Miller, Jacquie (July 24, 2017). "Ottawa actress cast in Riverdale, the hit series based on Archie comics". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  9. ^ "The Celebrity Dish Twenty Minutes with Bruce McDonald and Vanessa Morgan". October 5, 2010. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  10. ^ Jake, Robillard (August 8, 2017). "Riverdale Welcomes Ottawa Native as First Bisexual Character". Ottawa Life Magazine. Archived from the original on March 24, 2018. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  11. ^ Jancelewicz, Chris (June 27, 2013). "Vanessa And Celina, 'Amazing Race Canada' Team: Ex-'Degrassi' Actress And Bikini-Model Sister Join Game". HuffPost Canada. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  12. ^ Petski, Denise (February 1, 2017). "'The Shannara Chronicles' Rounds Out Season 2 Cast As Production Begins In New Zealand". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  13. ^ Lofaro, Joe (July 24, 2017). "Ottawa-born actress Vanessa Morgan to star in hit Netflix series Riverdale". CBC News. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  14. ^ Holbrook, Damian (May 2, 2018). "'Riverdale' Ups Vanessa Morgan & Charles Melton to Series Regulars for Season 3". TV Insider. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  15. ^ Patch, Nick (December 13, 2013). "Amazing Race Canada sisters reflect on first season". Toronto Star. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  16. ^ Merrett, Robyn (July 3, 2019). "Brielle Biermann's Ex Michael Kopech Engaged to Riverdale's Vanessa Morgan: 'I Love You Intensely'". People. Retrieved January 4, 2020.
  17. ^ Mizoguchi, Karen (January 4, 2020). "Riverdale Actress Vanessa Morgan Weds MLB Star Michael Kopech". People. Retrieved January 4, 2020.
  18. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (April 19, 2018). "Lee Daniels Boards Lesbian Love Story 'Pimp' as Producer (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  19. ^ "Stand Up - Vanessa Morgan & The Latest Buzz Cast". December 30, 2008. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
  20. ^ Bein, Kat (August 26, 2019). "Kygo & Whitney Houston's '80s-Esque 'Higher Love' Video Stars Vanessa Morgan: Watch". Billboard. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  21. ^ Akharume, Sadiq (July 7, 2019). "A quick biography of Vanessa morgan". MyWorld. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  22. ^ "Glitz and glamour at Planet Africa awards gala". Black Ottawa Scene. December 1, 2014. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  23. ^ Swift, Andy (June 22, 2018). "Teen Choice Awards 2018: Riverdale Leads Final Wave of TV Nominations". TVLine. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  24. ^ Melas, Chloe (June 18, 2019). "MTV Movie & TV Awards 2019: See the full list of winners". CNN. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  25. ^ Moreau, Jordan (June 19, 2019). "'Avengers: Endgame,' 'Riverdale,' 'Aladdin' Top 2019 Teen Choice Award Nominations". Variety. Retrieved July 19, 2019.

External links[edit]