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Although Cindy Busby hasn’t been on the show for quite some time, her character is one hard to forget. True Heartland fans will recognize the actress for her portrayal of Ashley Stanton, a mean rich girl who used to be Amy’s biggest rival and goes through one of the most incredible character arcs in the history of Heartland.
Cindy Busby is a French Canadian actress who plays Ashley Stanton in the hit TV series Heartland. She was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and is also a Hallmark Channel favorite actress.
The early seasons saw Ashley as one of the most hated characters of the show, which changes drastically once she begins her relationship with Caleb Odell. Her inner transformation is precisely what Cindy Busby loves so much about her storyline, as it allowed her to create a 3-dimensional character people can relate to.
Overview of Cindy Busby’ Stats:
|Height:||170 cm (5'7")|
|Born:||March 18, 1983|
|Birthplace:||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Net Worth:||$1 Million - $2 Million (Estimated)|
Here is our ultimate fans guide to Cindy Busby, a.k.a. Ashley Stanton from Heartland!
Cindy Busby Always Dreamed of Becoming an Actress
Ever since she can remember, Busby has been drawn to the profession and never wanted to do anything else. She was inspired by the work of Kevin Williamson, who created her childhood favorite programs like Dawson’s Creek (1998-2003) and the Scream franchise. Later she even had the pleasure to work with him when she was cast to play in the opening scene of the Vampire Diaries (2009-2017).
Cindy Busby has always loved making people laugh and performing in front of an audience. During her school years, she participated in as many school plays and theater productions as she could handle, starting from the age of 10. After graduating from high school, she went straight for Dawson College’s 3-year Professional Theater Program, never losing sight of her ultimate dream of becoming an actress.
Like many performing artists, Cindy Busby started her career in theater and later transitioned into the film industry, which she’s been part of for nearly 2 decades. Her first-ever professional audition was for the MTV show Undressed (1999). A few years later she landed her first lead role in the TV mini-series Bethune (2006), where she played the character, Lisa.
Over the years, Busby has appeared alongside numerous multi-award-winning Hollywood stars, such as Steve Martin, Ashley Tisdale, Andie McDowell, and James Brolin. Some of her most famous appearances include Supernatural (2005), Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010), The Big Year (2011), several Hallmark movies, and Heartland (2007- ).
While Cindy Busby’s main genre is drama, she’s also been in some comedies, for example, Date My Dad (2017- ). Audiences love her dramatic talent, quick wit, and precise timing.
Cindy Really Connected With Ashley’s Character
Despite her rich portfolio, Ashley Stanton is still Cindy Busby’s most well-known role and certainly one she gets recognized for to this day. When asked what attracted her to Heartland, the actress revealed that it was Ashley’s character description.
“I love playing characters that seem hard on the outside and soft in the middle. I like to break down judgments and ideas that the audience might have the first time they meet someone.” she shared in an interview with Kurt Manwaring.
Whenever her character received harsh judgment, Cindy Busby encouraged everyone to empathize with Ashley’s situation, saying “She was a product of her environment”. Ashley grew up in a rich family that spoiled her with materialistic goods, making it easy for her mother to control her life. Having a limited own will is precisely what drove Ashley and her mother apart and began the character’s inner transformation.
Ashley Stanton’s role is still one of Busby’s all-time favorites as she’s passionate about understanding human behavior. The fact that Ashley evolves into this responsible, loving, and caring woman by the end of season 4 illustrates that there’s so much more to a person than meets the eye.
Busby also revealed that Ashley’s superficial “mean girl” attitude is the biggest difference between their personalities. So much so that her co-stars often laughed when it came to Busby acting cruel and degrading, as it’s so unlike her real self. The actress and her character are most alike in that they are both hard-working, funny, and passionate about personal growth.
Cindy Busby is Good Friends with Kerry James in Real Life
Naturally, Busby has worked very closely with Kerry James (Caleb Odell in Heartland) to create the Ashley-Caleb dynamic loved by so many fans. As a result, the two actors have become close friends, although they were both happily in relationships with other people.
Like other cast members, Cindy Busby always talks passionately about the unique family vibe of the Heartland set. She highlighted the cast and crew as the best part of working on the show and she still maintains close friendships with certain members. One particular person she loved to work with was Wanda Cannon, who plays Ashley’s mom Val Stanton.
How Many Hallmark Movies has Cindy Busby Been in?
Over the last few years, Cindy Busby has made a name for herself among the Hallmark Channel community. Starting out in supporting roles, she’s gradually progressed to leads and will remain part of Hallmark as long as fans keep coming back for more.
To date, Cindy Busby has been in 12 Hallmark movies, not including the three episodes of When Calls the Heart (2014- ) in which she guest-starred. Her most famous Hallmark roles were in Unleashing Mr. Darcy (2016) and Marrying Mr. Darcy (2018) that had over 3 million views each.
In the two very popular movies centered around Mr. Darcy, Busby plays the female lead Elizabeth Scott, opposite Ryan Paevey who plays Mr. Darcy. The romantic movies represent a tribute to Jane Austen’s classic novel “Pride and Prejudice” and their reception broke Hallmark’s social media records.
Busby also has fond memories of traveling to Romania to shoot Royal Hearts (2018). Her most recent but certainly not last Hallmark movie Chasing Waterfalls aired on March 20, 2021.
Busby believes that an actress should never stop learning, and still takes acting lessons to fine-tune her skills to this day. This has improved her confidence over the years and she is now able to fully enjoy her work without having to doubt herself.
Is Cindy Busby in Vampire Diaries?
Cindy Busby is in the pilot episode of Vampire Diaries, playing Brooke Fenton in the opening scene. Her involvement in the show was guest-starring only and she doesn’t return for the rest of the series.
Is Cindy Busby Still on Heartland?
Unfortunately, Cindy Busby is no longer on Heartland. Her character’s main storyline ended with season 4, although she does return for one episode in season 7.
Heartland will always hold a special place in Busby’s heart, and she always speaks so highly of cast and crew members. Even though she has several ongoing projects, she would gladly return to the show if asked.
How Many Seasons was Cindy Busby on Heartland?
Cindy Busby was a regular on Heartland for the first four seasons and has been in a total of 51 episodes. After being absent for several seasons, she returns one last time in season 7 episode 10 “Darkness and Light”.
Ashley Stanton makes her first appearance on the show in season 1 episode 1 “Coming Home”. For most of seasons one and two, Ashley is portrayed as a rich competitive equestrian who is Amy Fleming‘s main rival in show jumping. Over time, she gradually falls for Heartland’s new ranch hand Caleb Odell, who changes her outlook on life and they elope in season 3 episode 18 “In The Cards”.
Sadly, Caleb and Ashley’s marriage deteriorates in season 4 and they decide to separate. The couple is reunited when Ashley returns from law school in season 7, but Caleb loses interest when he learns about her marriage proposal from another man.
Here is an interview with Cindy Busby (Ashley Stanton) on the set of Heartland in 2008:
Does Cindy Busby Ride Horses?
As it happens, riding is not something Busby and her character have in common. While Ashley is a dedicated equestrian, Busby is more of a city girl but never refuses an opportunity to ride.
Cindy Busby actually didn’t know how to ride horses before she came on the Heartland show. However, after she was cast, she started taking private riding lessons to be able to portray Ashley authentically.
Just like most of the main cast, Busby also took lessons with the wranglers on set. Although she sometimes found the Heartland horses intimidating, she admitted that “… working with animals creates such a calming effect on set, especially with horses”.
While Busby performed many scenes involving basic horse riding, her stunt doubles carried out the more dangerous scenes. This is to ensure the safety of the main cast and that production doesn’t have to halt because of an injury. Since she left Heartland, Cindy Busby has worked alongside other animals, but not horses yet.
Is Cindy Busby Married in Real Life?
On December 23, 2020, Cindy Busby married her long-term boyfriend, producer Chris Boyd. The couple have been dating for four years and other than a few Instagram posts, they have kept a low profile.
Chris Boyd has recently produced the Netflix original show Sneakerheads that premiered on September 25, 2020. Although we don’t know much about their relationship over the years, their social media presence suggests they are very supportive of each other.
Facts You Didn’t Know About Cindy Busby
- Cindy Busby loves traveling, cooking, dancing, and animals
- She currently lives in Los Angeles, California
- In her free time, she likes shopping, working out, reading, hanging out with friends, and watching movies
- Her favorite movies of all time are Groundhog Day (1993) and the Back to the Future franchise
- Her favorite book of all time is “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho
- She also loved the Heartland books by Lauren Brooke
- If Cindy Busby wasn’t an actress, she would be a professional organizer
- Her first celebrity crush was Devon Sawa from Casper (1995)
- She is good friends with Chelan Simmons, who starred in Supernatural (2005) and Final Destination 3 (2006)
- Cindy Busby is fascinated by dollhouses and miniatures
- Her favorite ice cream is vanilla
Cindy Busby is on Cameo
Joining her other co-stars on the platform, Cindy Busby is also on Cameo! Cameo is a place where you can connect with your favorite celebrities and request a short personalized video in exchange for a donation.
All donations from Cindy Busby’s cameo profile go to the charities listed in her bio, which are Sophie’s Place, EDL Foundation, Beauty2thestreetz, and Together We Rise. She will happily send congratulations, celebratory wishes, or pep talks to your loved one!
Also read our guides to the other characters: Amy Fleming, Lou Fleming, Georgie Fleming Morris, Scott Cardinal, Lisa Stillman, Jack Bartlett, Ty Borden & Jade Verani.