Shay Mitchell, born Shannon Ashley Mitchell on April 10, 1987, is a Canadian actress and model. She is best known for her role as Emily Fields on Pretty Little Liars. She is set to star in the upcoming ABC show The Heiresses in a lead role[1].

Life and Career

Born to a Filipino mother, Precious, and Irish/Scottish father Mark, Shay is a native of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. She also has a younger brother named Sean.

Even as a young child, she was interested in the performing arts, declaring to her parents that she would pursue such a career. Shay 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 ten, Shay'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, and she was one of the girls selected.

By her late teens, Shay had successfully modeled for a variety of companies in cities as varied as Bangkok, Hong Kong and Barcelona. Wanting to focus on her true passion, she returned to Toronto and began to study acting with great focus and determination. Her hard work paid off and, after signing with her first theatrical agency, she appeared in the hit series Degrassi: The Next Generation and booked several national commercials. She also landed a recurring role in the Disney XD series "Aaron Stone". Shay guest starred in the Global series Rookie Blue and appeared in the music video for "Hold My Hand" by Jamaican rapper Sean Paul.

In December 2009, Shay was cast as Emily Fields in the ABC Family television series Pretty Little Liars. She had originally auditioned for the role of Spencer Hastings, which ended up going to Troian Bellesario. The series follows the lives of four girls whose clique falls apart after the disappearance of their leader, Alison DiLaurentis. One year later, the estranged friends are reunited as they begin receiving messages from a mysterious figure named "A", who threatens to expose their deepest secrets, including ones they thought only Alison knew.

In January 2011, Mitchell became a spokesperson for the Pantene Nature Fusion shampoo line.

In 2012, Shay became the new face of American Eagle, and in 2013 she became a mentor for the ACUVUE 1-Day Challenge.

In 2017, she became the spokes-person for Bioré, launched her YouTube channel, and appeared in RuPaul's Drag race competition as a judge. It was also announced that she would star in Sara Shepard's The Heiresses, which was being adapted for television by I. Marlene King. She would also play Peach Salinger in the drama-thriller, You.


Year Title Role Notes
2008-2009 Degrassi: The Next Generation Model Episode: "Up Where We Belong"
2010 Rookie Blue Girl Episode: "Mercury Retrograde"
2010 Aaron Stone Irina Webber 2 episodes
2010–2017 Pretty Little Liars Emily Fields 160 episodes
2012 Fashion Police Herself
2012 Punk'd Herself Episode: "Heather Morris"
2013 Immediately Afterlife Marissa Short Film
2015 Project Runway Herself/Judge Season 13, Episode 12: "Fashion Week: Who's in and Who's out"
2016 Mother's Day Tina First major movie
2018 Cadaver Megan Reed Main role
2018-present You Peach Salinger Main role
TBA The Heiresses TBA Pre-Production


Year Award Category Work Result
2010 Famous Teen Awards[3] Favorite Summer Supporting TV Actress Pretty Little Liars Won
2014 Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer TV Star - Female Pretty Little Liars Nominated
2015 MTV Fandom Awards Ship Of The Year (shared with Sasha Pieterse) Pretty Little Liars Nominated
2015 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress: Drama Pretty Little Liars Nominated


  • Is of Filipino, Irish, and Scottish descent.
  • Favorite books: Eat, Pray, Love, The Alchemist, The Kite Runner, and Pretty Little Liars.
  • Favorite food: Anything Italian, Thai food, mother's cooking, and Sriracha Hot Sauce.
  • Favorite TV shows: Entourage, Californication, and Oprah.
  • Favorite vacation place: Italy.
  • Favorite movies: Vicki Christina Barcelona, Under the Tuscan Sun, and Little Mermaid.
  • Top favorite movie: Selena.
  • Celebrity crushes: Paul Walker and Ryan Gosling.
  • Is afraid of clowns and horror movies.
    • Is acting in her first Horror Movie Cadaver, which is set to premiere in 2017.
  • Double jointed.
  • Enjoys guided meditation.
  • Watches Glee and is friends with Glee stars Naya Rivera and Jacob Artist.
  • Shares the same birthday with Ryan Merriman, who played Ian Thomas in Pretty Little Liars.
  • Is best friends with Ashley Benson in real life.
  • Runs a blog, Amore and Vita, with her best friend Michaela.
  • Is a supporter and sponsor of the Somaly Mam Foundation.
  • The girls called her the social media butterfly being the most active and one of the most followed liars on social media
  • She is very active on YouTube, and tries to post every Tuesday.


  1. Shay Mitchell to star in new Marlene King show!