Like fellow Iowa native Ashton Kutcher — who was an acquaintance back in their mutual hometown of Cedar-Rapids — this all-American hunk entered showbiz after a talent scout spotted Smith at a mall and encouraged him to attend the International Modeling and Talent Association Convention. In high school, Smith was an avid horseback rider and basketball player, but he turned down an athletic scholarship to college to model, appearing in campaigns for brands like Tommy Hilfiger. He used the money he earned to pay for acting classes and soon began landing TV gigs, including recurring roles on Freaks and Geeks, Joan of Arcadia and 24. Comfortable with both comic (Raising Dad, Eight Legged Freaks) and dramatic fare (a star turn in the 2007 series Drive, the 2010 films Gallowalker and Minuteman) he built up an impressive résumé and proved he was more than just eye candy. An accomplished musician, Smith is also front man for the band Life of Riley.

Fast Facts

  • Began his career as a model after attending the 1997 International Modeling and Talent Association (IMTA) convention in New York, where he roomed with fellow Cedar Rapids native Ashton Kutcher.
  • An agent saw him in ads and flew him out to Los Angeles to audition for the WB pilot Minor Threat.
  • Big TV break came when he appeared in FOX's 24 for a six-episode arc in 2003.
  • Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen handpicked him to play a love interest in their feature film New York Minute (2004).
  • Is the front man for the band Life of Riley; the group released a CD of live performances in 2010.


  • Russ Smith — Father
  • Danneel Ackles — Ex-significant Other
  • Roxanne Smith — Mother

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  • Birth Place: Cedar Rapids, IA
  • Profession: Actor

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