Cassandra James is an American-Canadian actress. She was born in Pasadena, California, the daughter of Debbie Li, a teacher, and James Watzke, a gerontologist. Raised in Vancouver, Canada, her paternal great-grandparents were of German descent. Her maternal ancestry is Chinese, her maternal grandparents being from Shanghai and her mother being born in Hong Kong. She has been a performer from a very young age, singing in choir and taking dance classes through elementary school and doing theatre throughout high school.
After high school, James moved to Toronto, Canada where she attended Ryerson University and graduated from their Theatre Acting Program. James made an impact at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, making her way through their Youth Program immediately after college and culminating in two premiere performances in their 2013 season. James moved to Los Angeles in 2017.
Cassandra James is a proudly out transgender woman. She came out to family late 2015 and publicly in the summer of 2016. She began a medical transition in the spring of 2016. She is passionate politically about her community and is outspoken about visibility and diversity in the industry.