Alessandra Olivia Toreson, known professionally as Alessandra Torresani, is an American actress who is best known for her role in the science fiction series Caprica and in the sitcom The Big Bang Theory.
She was born on May 29th, 1987, in Palo Alto, California. Her mother, Marcia Glow, worked as a chief executive officer, while her father, James Sylvester Toreson, ran startup tech companies.
Her parents divorced when she was 16 years old and Alessandra says she doesn’t have a relationship with her dad, even to this day.
Before starting her career in television, Alessandra studied dancing and singing, starting at the age of two. She achieved a Black belt in Tae-Kwon-Do at the age of nine.
Alessandra Torresani made her television debut as the “Kids’ WB Club” host on WB affiliate KBWB in San Fransisco. She was 8 when she took on that role.
He first credited role would be in the television anthology series KaBlam in a live-action and puppetry short titled “Brothers Tiki” in 1997.
In 1998 she made an appearance in an episode of ER titled “Stuck on You” which would lead to a series on one-off roles in different television series.
She would have small roles in popular television series such as Even Stevens (2000), Malcolm in the Middle (2001, 2003), and Grounded for Life (2004).
She would also star in the Disney Channel movie Going to the Mat in 2004. She would also play the original incarnation of the character of Ann Veal in the comedy Arrested Development (2004), but would be recast with Mae Whitman with successive appearances.
In 2009, Alessandra would land one of her most notable roles on the Sci-Fi series Caprica.. The show was a prequel to the re-imaged Battlestar Galactica of the 2000s produced by Ronald D. Moore.
Alessandra would play the character of Zoe Graystone, who would help to create the first Cyclons in the continuity of the modern franchise. The series would only run for 1 season but left a lasting impression on fans.
American Horror Story
Alessandra would have a brief but memorable appearance in two episodes of the first season of American Horror Story, later named “Murder House” in 2011.
She would play high school student Stephanie Boggs and her ghost across the episodes “Piggy Piggy” and “Halloween: Part 2.” Her character would be a victim of a mass shooting by a lead character in 1994 in the series, and come back for revenge in 2011.
The Big Bang Theory
Alessandra would also be known to fans of The Big Bang Theory in her role of Claire from 2016 to 2017. She was introduced in the season 9 episode ‘The Meemaw Materialization’, as an apsiring screen writer/bartender who overhears Raj and Howard debating the merits of the movie Frozen.
Her character would flirt with and eventually date Raj Koothrappali for a few episodes. Alessandra Torresani would appear in five episodes of the show.
Many fans of the show say Claire was a better fit for Raj than Emily and wanted her to be a series regular. As one fan puts it: "I adored Claire. I could not stand Emily. Claire is a perfect fit for Raj. "
What is Alessandra Torresani doing now?
Alessandra Torresani is still acting, having most recently playing the character of Duela Dent in Batwoman in 2020, and appearing in the film Women Is Losers in 2021.
As part of her process of coming to terms with her bipolar disorder, Alessandra Torresani also launched a podcast called “Emotional Support with Alessandra Torresani” where she discusses topics of mental health with guests.
As she writes on the website, “Real connection is so important in this day and age. every day more distance is created between moments of real, human interaction. I would like to invite you to join me once a week and get to know someone on a deeper level than you knew them before.”
She will also share new episodes with fans to raise awareness for mental health.
Like many celebrities, she has also created an account on Cameo where fans can purchase specialized videos where she conveys messages.
Alessandra Torresani wasn’t properly diagnosed with bipolar 1 disorder until the age of 22.
She mentions on a podcast that she started showing symptoms at an early age, around two or three years old. She says she would have temper tantrums out of nowhere and not the normal temper tantrums that kids usually have. One minute she would be happy and smiling and the next minute she would be banging her head against the window and there was no rhyme or reason.
She says she ended up getting hypnotherapy around the age of five and that it saved her life. However around the age of 14 and 15 the symptoms started to come back and she was misdiagnosed depressed.
They put her on antidepressants, which made her bipolar highs higher and lows lower. So I didn’t properly get diagnosed until I was 21, 22 years old.
It wasn’t until her acupuncturist noticed the symptoms and told her she might be bipolar that she went to a psychiatrist, who properly diagnosed her.
Alessandra says she is prescribed Lamicatal and she credits the medicine for balancing the chemicals in her brain and helping her get a handle on her condition and improving her quality of life.
Bipolar 1 disorder can result in a sudden, lasting manic episode that can last for at least a week and can be extremely severe. Such a disorder can be highly disruptive to a person’s quality of life. Bipolar 1 disorder, however, can be treated with medication.
Alessandra Torresani is currently married to actor and producer Sturgis Adams. They met at a Halloween party, where she was dressed up as Leeloo from The Fifth Element and he was dressed up as a demon baby.
Before they met, Alessandra had problems with the men she was dating, in regards to her revealing that she was bipolar and getting judged as ‘crazy’.
However when she met Sturgis, she told him right off the bat that she suffered from bipolar and he responded by being non-judgemental and was very adult about the revelation.
Sturgis courted Alessandra for 8 months before they moved forward with their relationship. They got married in 2020 on the 4th of July.
Their relationship was made public by photos posted on Alessandra Torresani’s social media.
Sturgis Adams has worked as an actor but is mainly known as a producer for Celebrated (2015). According to his LinkedIn profile, he is currently a chief creative and chief metaverse strategy officer at Ocavu.
Alessandra Torresani and her husband, Sturgis Adams, recently had a baby on June 20, 2022. The couple named their newborn daughter Lady Francis and People magazine had a lovely photo of the infant girl.
Pregnancy and Bipolar
Alessandra mention that there was a lot of differing opinions and advice from experts on whether or not she she continue her bipolar medication while pregnant. She ultimately decided to slowly wean herself off her medication while her and Sturgis were trying for a baby.
She says that it was a bit scary getting off her medications, which had served her so well for so many years, however she prepared to get off her medication by maintaining a proper diet, going to an acupuncturist and practicing transcendental meditation.
Alessandra reveal that the second trimester was the hardest for her. She was on the verge of having suicidal thoughts and she said she was ‘truly having an out of body experience with hormonal rush from the chemical imbalance.’
However she had a great support system around her with her husband, therapist and psychiatrists to help her cope with her mental state.