Leah Cairns was born on June 2 in North Vancouver, Canada, and was raised in Kamloops, BC. At the age of three, Cairns started dancing, which became her biggest passion for the next 13 years. Her career as a dancer came to an abrupt end at the age of 16 when she was hit by a drunk driver and had her back broken. While the rest of her dance troupe competed at the North American Championship, she decided not to stay at home and mope about it, opting instead to go on an environmental research trip to Costa Rica. She caught the travel bug, and it set her off to visit 36 countries in eight years.
While staying at an ashram in India, she attended an improv night and was encouraged to pick up acting. When she later returned to Canada, she decided to pick it up as a hobby first, but by the end of her first class, she decided to try acting professionally and a career was born.
Her first starring role was on the movie Thralls (Blood Angels) where she played the role of Leslie, a sexy, ass-kicking half-vampire. She has appeared in numerous TV shows, including The Chris Isaak Show, Tru Calling, Supernatural, and Saved. She appeared alongside Bradley Cooper and Jason Priestley in I Want to Marry Ryan Banks, a TV movie that spoofed reality TV shows. Cairns starred as Jenna, a waitress and aspiring dancer, in the popular Canadian series Godiva’s, a role she could really relate to. Cairns was nominated for a 2006 Leo Award (British Columbia’s version of the Emmys) for Best Supporting Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series for this part. In the critically acclaimed Battlestar Galactica, she was meant to appear in only one episode as the bitter raptor pilot Racetrack, but “The Powers That Be” were so impressed with her performance, she was kept on the show and has appeared in over 30 episodes.
Cairns recently starred on Kyle XY as the tough and witty Emily Hollander, in the webvideo project Sanctuary and co-starred with Al Pacino in the movie 88 Minutes. Cairns currently co-stars in the popular Netflix sci-fi drama series Travelers.