Althea is a nurse who managed the reception at the High-IQ sperm bank in "Pilot", and also worked at the emergency room and on the patients' floor at the hospital. She is played by Vernee Watson. She is portrayed as sarcastic and seems to take things seriously.
Her name is never revealed on screen (other than on her nametag), but she is credited as "Althea".
In the "Unaired Pilot" she is a nurse at the sperm bank Leonard and Sheldon go to. Leonard annoys her by finishing her crossword puzzle for her, and Sheldon aggravates her when he tries to change his mind about donating sperm.
Her first official appearance in the series was in the "Pilot" where her role was similar to the one in the unaired one. All and all, it goes the same as the unaired pilot, except this time, Sheldon truly changes his mind and asks for his sperm back, much to her exasperation (sarcastically responding, "Do you want it in the cup or a crystal vase?").
Later on in "The Peanut Reaction" (S01E16), Howard and Leonard show up with Howard faking a peanut allergy attack. He tries to bribe Althea into giving him a false check-up so Leonard will not find out about his surprise birthday party, but Althea is not in the mood for his game. He is forced to eat a peanut bar in order to convince her to go along with it. In return, he was going to get introduced to a sexually promiscuous woman by Penny.
After being absent for two seasons, she returns in "The Robotic Manipulation" (S04E01) when Howard gets his penis caught in the hand of a robotic arm. She solves the problem by simply turning off the computer controlling the hand and turning it back on.
Sheldon sneaks into his sick barber's room in "The Werewolf Transformation" (S05E18) to bring him out of his coma, and is caught by Althea. She at first assumes he is a mentally unstable patient, and then deems him insane. Sheldon leaves as she calls security.
- Vernee Watson also starred as the nurse in the "Unaired Pilot". She was the only character besides Leonard and Sheldon to be carried over to the broadcasted version.
- When she sees Sheldon in "The Werewolf Transformation", she does not seem to recognize him from the Pilot.
- Vernee often plays nurses in her character roles.