A talented and poised actress from the Great White North, Shay Mitchell's emotionally driven portrayal of a teen lesbian on "Pretty Little Liars" (ABC Family, 2010- ) resonated with millions and turned her into a role model for viewers of all ages. She was born Shannon Mitchell on April 10, 1987 in Toronto, Canada to an Irish-Scott father, and a Filipino mother whose first cousin was Tony Award-winning performer, Lea Salonga. Interested in the arts at a young age, Mitchell began taking dance lessons at the age of five. When the future star was 10, her family moved out to Vancouver, British Columbia, where she attended an open casting call for an international modeling agency and landed the gig. Mitchell blossomed into a professional model by her late teens, strutting down the runways and gracing advertisements in Bangkok, Hong Kong and Barcelona. Yet with her early success in modeling, Mitchell was determined to fulfill her acting potential. She returned to Toronto to study acting and in 2009, made her television debut with a minor role in the long-running teen drama series, "Degrassi: The Next Generation" (The N, 2001-2015). Following that performance, Mitchell landed her first recurring role on the action-packed series "Aaron Stone" (Disney XD, 2009-10). The show followed teenager Charlie Landers (Kelly Blatz) who assumes the role of his crime-fighting video game character in order to protect his family and the world.