Riley Smith was originally discovered by a talent scout in a mall in his hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and asked to compete at the International Modeling and Talent Convention in New York City in 1997. He roomed with fellow Iowan Ashton Kutcher and landed a job in a Tommy Hilfiger ad campaign. With the money he earned modeling, Smith took acting lessons and then set out for California. Small TV roles here and there led to recurring work on the Judd Apatow creation "Freaks and Geeks" in 2000. He parlayed that success into more continuing work for "Raising Dad", the smash Fox hit "24", and "Joan of Arcadia". He simultaneously began nurturing his big screen career with appearances in "Not Another Teen Movie", "Eight Legged Freaks", and "Radio". Smith has purposefully accepted work in a variety of genres, from action to romantic comedy, in order to keep from being typecast as just another pretty boy. He is the lead singer and guitarist for the band Life of Riley and, as the son of horse ranchers, was president of the American Quarter Horse Youth Association in 1996 and 1997.