Ashley Nicole Rickards (born May 4, 1992) is an American actress, known for her role as Jenna Hamilton in the MTV comedy-drama series Awkward,[1] and as Samantha "Sam" Walker, a troubled young girl in The CW's teen drama series One Tree Hill. She also starred in the 2011 independent drama film Fly Away as Mandy, a severely autistic girl.

Ashley Rickards
Ashley Rickards Oct 2014 (cropped).jpg
Rickards at the Media Access Awards on October 16, 2014
Ashley Nicole Rickards

(1992-05-04) May 4, 1992 (age 27)
OccupationActress, director
Years active2005–present

Early life and acting careerEdit

Rickards was born in Sarasota, Florida. She grew up on a horse farm that catered for children with special needs.[2] She attended a local Montessori school where, at age 13, she had her first taste of acting in an opera production.[3] Rickards graduated from high school at age fifteen[4] and is a member of Mensa.[5] After attending a local talent showcase, organized by Lou Pearlman, Rickards traveled to Los Angeles where she eventually gathered a team of representatives.[3][6] Upon graduating, Rickards began to appear in a number of minor roles, while child labor laws restricted the number of hours she was able to work. After making a number of guest appearances and shorts, she landed the role of Samantha Walker, a runaway foster child, in the sixth season of The CW's One Tree Hill.[7] Although not aware of the show before auditioning, Rickards found that she "learned so much from acting techniques to different ways of shooting things".[8] Her character did not return the following season, while in the same year she had a bit part in her first feature film, Gamer.

Rickards spent much of 2009 attending auditions while a proposed lead role in the film Dirty Girl fell through.[9] In 2010, she appeared opposite Jimmy Smits in an episode of the legal drama Outlaw while she also auditioned for the lead role in the MTV series Awkward. Initially rejected, her manager Adam Griffin sent the producers a tape Rickards had made for Fly Away "to show how she can do anything".[10] The actress landed both roles and filmed the pilot for the MTV series prior to Fly Away, a feature where she played a girl with severe autism.[11]

As the lead in Awkward, Rickards' profile began to rise and she was also given the opportunity to direct an episode.[12] In 2012, she had a minor role in the moderately successful comedy Struck by Lightning and another coming-of-age film Sassy Pants.[11] In 2014 Rickards moved into the horror genre with a lead role in At the Devil's Door and as a teenage daughter in A Haunted House 2.[13][14] In 2015, she filmed the fifth and final season of Awkward.[15] In August 2016 it was announced that Rickards would play Rosalind "Rosa" Dillon/The Top in the CW series The Flash.[16][17]

Other activitiesEdit

In 2011, Rickards helped to launch the Project Futures Somaly Mam Foundation, which works to prevent and end human trafficking and sexual slavery in Southeast Asia.[18] In March 2015, she published a book A Real Guide to Getting It Together Once and For All.[19]

Over the course of her career, she has also appeared in various music videos such as The Fray's "How to Save a Life", The Format's "She Doesn't Get It" and M83's "Claudia Lewis".



Year Title Role Notes
2006 Web Journal Now Janet Short film
2007 Spoonfed Bridgette Short film
2009 Gamer 2Katchapredator
2011 Fly Away Mandy
2012 Struck by Lightning Vicki Jordan
2012 Sassy Pants Bethany Pruitt
2014 At the Devil's Door Hannah
2014 A Haunted House 2 Becky
2014 Behaving Badly Kristen Stevens
2017 The Outcasts Virginia Van Der Camp
2017 Jessie
2018 The Danger of Positive Thinking Mallory “Pretty Little Stalker” on Netflix Australia


Year Title Role Notes
2006 Everybody Hates Chris Girl Episode: "Everybody Hates Superstition"
2007 CSI: NY Young Lindsay Monroe Episode: "Sleight Out of Hand"
2007 Zoey 101 Molly Talbertsen Episode: "Dance Contest"
2007 Ugly Betty Sharra 2 episodes
2008–2009 One Tree Hill Samantha "Sam" Walker 19 episodes
2008 Entourage Candice Episode: "The All Out Fall Out"
2010 Outlaw Tracy Vidalin Episode: "In Re: Tracy Vidalin"
2011–2016 Awkward Jenna Hamilton Main role
Director; episode: "Listen to This"
2011 American Horror Story: Murder House Chloe Stapleton 2 episodes
2015 Robot Chicken Jenna Hamilton / Veruca Salt / Betty Cooper / Ashley Episode: "Cake Pillow"
2016–2017 The Flash Rosalind "Rosa" Dillon/The Top Episodes: "New Rogues" and "The Once and Future Flash"
2017 Dimension 404 Susan Hirsch Episode: "Chronos"
2019 Ctrl Alt Delete A'sha 6 episodes

Music videosEdit

Year Title Role Artist
2006 "How to Save a Life" Girl The Fray
2007 "She Doesn't Get It" Love interest The Format
2013 "Claudia Lewis" Girl M83

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Work Result
2011 Arizona International Film Festival Best Performance Fly Away Won[20]
2012 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Actress in a Comedy Series Awkward Nominated
2012 Teen Choice Award Summer TV Star: Female Awkward Nominated


  1. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (November 14, 2011). "MTV Sets Premiere Date for 'I Just Want My Pants Back' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
  2. ^ Plank, Alex (August 16, 2011). "Autism Talk TV 15 – Fly Away – Interview with Janet Grillo and Ashley Rickards".
  3. ^ a b Riley, Jenelle (July 21, 2011). "Ashley Rickards of MTV's 'Awkward' Shows Her Acting Range". Backstage.
  4. ^ Chelsea Lately. Season 5. Episode 129. August 31, 2011. E!.
  5. ^ Gach, PJ. "The Best, Worst and the WTF of the MTV EMAs 2011 Red Carpet Style". Betty Confidential. Desha Productions, Inc. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
  6. ^ She is represented by KLWGN (management), United Talent Agency (agent) and Hansen Jacobson (legal) "Rickards listing 2013"
  7. ^ Martin, Denise (July 19, 2012). "'Awkwards Ashley Rickards on Latin Boys, Reverse Method Acting, and Idolizing Chris Colfer". Vulture.
  8. ^ "Seventeen interview 2009" Staff writer, 'Ashley Rickards from One Tree Hill talks on-set style!', Seventeen Magazine, August 10, 2009
  9. ^ "April 2008 news item" Warner Loughlin Studio news item
  10. ^ "Griffin interview" Tara McNamara, 'Adam Griffin, Manager learned from his young charge', Variety, September 13, 2012
  11. ^ a b "Collider 2011 interview" Christina Radish, Ashley Rickards Exclusive Interview Awkward', Collider, July 20, 2011
  12. ^ "Awkward's Ashley Rickards Says Making Out on Set Is Not Sexy". ELLE. October 22, 2013. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  13. ^ "Ashley Rickards Tells Us How She Played Possessed In 'At The Devil's Door'". MTV News. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  14. ^ "A Haunted House 2 Interviews with Marlon Wayans, Jaime Pressly, Ashley Rickards". Washington Examiner. Archived from the original on March 14, 2016. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  15. ^ "MTV's Awkward to End After Season 5". TVLine. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  16. ^ "Ashley Rickards Will Take a Villainous Turn on The Flash". August 18, 2016. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  17. ^ "The Flash's Newest Villain, The Top, Will Make Your Head Spin". E! News. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  18. ^ " press release Archived December 13, 2013, at the Wayback Machine List Rickards as one of the participants at the LA launch, no other mention of her involvement after that.
  19. ^ Olya, Gabrielle (March 21, 2015). "Ashley Rickards Reveals Her Long Struggle with 'Dark, Secretive World' of Eating Disorders".
  20. ^ "2011 Arizona International Film Festival". Film Festival Arizona. Archived from the original on February 23, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2011.

External linksEdit