Shay Mitchell - biography
Born to a Filipino mother Precious Mitchell, and Irish/Scottish father Mark Mitchell, Shay is a native of Toronto, Ontario. She has one younger sibling, a brother, Sean Mitchell. Even as a young child, Mitchell was interested in the performing arts, declaring to her parents that she would pursue such a career. Mitchell began dance lessons at the age of five, and she and several of her classmates toured the city to compete with a variety of other dance schools.
At the age of 10, Mitchell's family moved west to Vancouver, British Columbia. Within a year of their arrival, an international modeling agency held an open casting call for teen and pre-teen girls who were vying for representation. Mitchell was one of the girls selected.
By her late teens, Mitchell had successfully modeled for a variety of companies in cities as varied as Bangkok, Hong Kong and Barcelona, but she later returned to Toronto to study acting. After signing with her first theatrical agency, Mitchell appeared in the Canadian teen drama series Degrassi: The Next Generation and booked several national commercials.
Mitchell also landed a recurring role in the Disney XD series Aaron Stone. She has featured in the music video for recording artist Sean Paul's song "Hold My Hand", appeared in the Global series Rookie Blue, and modeled for the American clothing company, American Eagle Outfitters. Her most prominent role is playing Emily Fields in Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family where she had originally auditioned for the role of Spencer Hastings.