Life and CareerEditBorn to Filipino mother Precious and Irish/Scottish father Mark, Mitchell is a native of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. She has a younger brother named Sean. 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. Shay runs a blog with her best-friend Michaela.
By her late teens, Mitchell 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, Mitchell 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, Mitchell appeared in the hit series Degrassi: The Next Generation and booked several national commercials. Mitchell also landed a recurring role in the Disney XD series "Aaron Stone," is featured in the music video for recording artist Sean Paul's hit song "Hold My Hand" and appeared in the Global series Rookie Blue. Her most prominent role is Emily Fields a character in Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family. She had originally auditioned for the role of Spencer Hastings, which ended up going to Troian Bellisario.
In 2011, she was the spokesperson for Pantene hair products. In 2012, Shay became the new face of American Eagle, and 2013 became a mentor for the ACUVUE 1-Day Challenge. Shay is a supporter and sponsor of the Somaly Mam Foundation.
|2008-2009||Degrassi: The Next Generation||Model||Episode: "Up Where We Belong"|
|2010||Rookie Blue||Cute Girl||Episode: "Mercury Retrograde"|
|2010||Aaron Stone||Irina Webber||2 episodes|
|Pretty Little Liars||Emily Fields||90 episodes|
|2010||Famous Teen Awards||Favorite Summer Supporting TV Actress||Pretty Little Liars||Won|
- 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, and mother's cooking.
- Favorite TV shows: Entourage, Californication, and Oprah.
- Favorite vacation place: Moorea, Tahiti.
- 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.
- Double jointed.
- Enjoys guided meditation.
- Watches Glee.
- 7 on "The 2011 AfterEllen's Hot 100 List."
- Friends with Naya Rivera, who is considered her doppleganger.
- Friends with Jacob Artist from Glee.
- Shares the same birthday with Ryan Merriman.
- Is best friends with Ashley Benson in real life.
- She suffered from eating disorder.
- She is dating Ryan Silverstein