Madelaine Petsch is an American actor who is best known for her starring role in the series ‘Riverdale.’ She was born in Washington and spent the early years of her life there. Her parents were originally from South Africa, and they continued to visit their home country. Thus, Madelaine spent most of her childhood and adolescence hopping between these two countries. She had a flair for performing arts ever since she was a child. By the time she turned 10, she had already been trained in acting ad dance. She started auditioning while in high school, but her luck did not allow her to appear in any major mainstream role. She made her acting debut in the year 2015, when she appeared in a small role in the TV film ‘The Hive.’ She then appeared in ‘Instant Mom’ and ‘The Curse of Sleeping Beauty.’ She gained fame after appearing as ‘Cheryl Blossom,’ a rich spoiled girl, in the series ‘Riverdale.’ Her performance helped her bag a few awards and brought her immense mainstream fame.
Childhood & Early Life
Madelaine Petsch was born on August 18, 1994, in Port Orchard, Washington. Her parents, Timothy S Petsch and Michele Pestch, were from South Africa and later moved to the US. However, her parents did not settle in the US until later and continued to hop between South Africa and the US.
Madelaine was interested in performing arts, especially in acting and dance, since childhood. Her mother got her enrolled at a dance school when she was 3 years of age. Within a year, she joined theater classes, too.
Being a redhead, she was bullied in school. She and her brother often fought the bullies by throwing stones at them. However, the bullying led her to become a teenager with severely low self-esteem. Her South African accent also caused her quite a lot of trouble with the bullies.
She was raised without any religion. However, this also helped her in gaining a rational perspective on life, which helped her become independent at a young age.
By the time she was a teenager, she had started attending school theater. Once she completed art school, she joined ‘Tacoma School of the Arts.’
Following her graduation, she moved to Los Angeles to begin her professional acting career. However, it was not easy for her to adjust with the life there. She worked at coffee shops, restaurants, and also assisted a photographer to support herself.
She once stated in an interview that she had appeared in 247 auditions during her struggling days.
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Before she got her first paycheck as an actor, Madelaine spent months doing mundane jobs. In 2014, she auditioned for a nationwide campaign for ‘Coca-Cola.’ Madelaine was selected as the face of the campaign, which led her to gain more contacts in the industry.
The same year, she earned a small role in a horror film titled ‘The Hive,’ an independent film that received a small release. Madelaine had a small, unnamed role in the film.
The next year, she appeared in a sitcom titled ‘Instant Mom,’ a ‘Nickelodeon’ kids’ series. Madelaine played the role of a mermaid in a single episode titled ‘Gone Batty.’
She appeared as ‘Eliza’ in the 2016 TV film ‘The Curse of Sleeping Beauty.’ The film received a lot of negative reviews. It was a darker take on the classic fairytale ‘The Sleeping Beauty.’
In 2016, she was called for an audition for the pilot of the series ‘Riverdale.’ She was called to read as ‘Betty,’ a minor character. After she read the lines, she was made to wait for four months before she got a call about her selection. She later revealed that the show was stroke of luck, as she was originally there to audition for the series ‘Legends of Tomorrow.’ The producers of ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ asked her to audition for ‘Riverdale’ instead.
Madelaine bagged the role of ‘Cheryl Blossom.’ The series was based on the highly successful ‘Archie’ comics and opened to rave reviews worldwide.
‘Cheryl’ became one of the most popular characters in the series. ‘Cheryl’ was portrayed as a wealthy and manipulative girl and one of Archie’s classmates. The response to the first season of the show was promising. Although the second season did not get as many good reviews as the first season, it was received well by the audiences.
Soon, the show’s success broke national boundaries, and Cheryl gained international fame. She won the ‘Choice Hissy Fit’ award at the ‘Teen Choice Awards’ in both 2017 and 2018. She also won a ‘Scene Stealer’ award at the ‘MTV Movie & TV Awards’ in 2018.
Following her highly successful stint with ‘Riverdale,’ Madelaine appeared in the direct-to-video film ‘F the Prom.’ She played the role of ‘Marissa’ in the teen comedy. The film received a lot of negative reviews from both critics and audiences. It was named one of the worst films of 2017.
In 2018, she is all set to appear in the supernatural horror ‘Polaroid.’ The film is a remake of a short film of the same name and will feature Madelaine as ‘Joanne Flame.’
Madelaine Petsch is a self-confessed animal lover and has been openly vocal about animal rights. She also claims to have been a vegan since the age of 14. She has appeared in ‘People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA) campaigns, too.
She has been in a relationship with singer and actor Travis Mills. They have been dating for around a year now, and they do not shy away from displaying their love for each other on their respective social-media accounts.
She also supports the LGBT community. In the second season of ‘Riverdale,’ her character came out as bisexual. She later stated that several of her fans thanked her and that they related to her character.