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Who is Anna Akana, who plays Amanda Weston from Stitchers?

Anna Akana speaking to the camera in a YouTube video
Anna Akana in one of her videos from her popular YouTube channel

Season 3 of Freeform’s witty, sci-fi crime drama Stitchers has Anna Akana playing new medical examiner Amanda — but who is she?

Popular YouTube star Akana was born in the US in 1989. Anna’s father was a Marine so the family regularly moved from place to place.

Young Anna was devastated by her little sister’s death from suicide at the age of 13.

Anna regularly discusses the issues surrounding teen suicide on her channel.

Anna helped herself cope with the tragedy by watching Margaret Cho performing stand-up which inspired her to pursue a career in comedy.

Akana tried stand-up but suffered from anxiety and decided to pour her energies into starting her own YouTube channel instead.

Anna’s videos consist of a mix of direct-to-camera confessionals about current issues and situations she is facing in her life, edited with fictionalized comic re-enactments of the situation.

Thanks to high-production values and Anna’s natural comic timing the channel has amassed a dedicated following of over 1.8million subscribers and counting.

With a clear talent for making online content, Anna challenged herself to try her hand at making short films, writing, directing and starring in 6 shorts of mixed genre that were widely praised online.

Until recently, Anna dated fellow YouTuber Brad Gage. The couple shared a love for cats and worked on 2017’s comedy sketch show Search Bar together.

The couple’s relationship allegedly fell apart after a Twitter storm over Akana’s online reporting of Carrie Fisher’s heart attack in December 2016.

Anna Tweeted her 142,000 followers that she had been shocked to see fellow passenger Fisher ‘stop breathing’ and being attended to by staff on their flight home from London.

Some Twitter users questioned the logic of alerting the world before Fisher’s family would have been informed.

Anna’s videos are more similar to a TV show than a vlog so it was only natural that a network like Freeform would chase her for Stitchers.

Anna, who also has a big Instagram following, is releasing a book later this month; So Much I Want to Tell You, (Letters to my Little Sister) about love, loss and the challenges of adulthood.

Stitchers airs tonight at 9/8c on Freeform.

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