Michelle Ray Smith had planned to become a colorist and make-up artist after graduating high school, when just a few months later, life took an unexpected turn and she was discovered.
A modeling scout took one look at Michelle and set her up with an agency in New York. She had just turned 18 years old and was broke, but she was on her way to a very successful career as a print model.
For 6 years she appeared on various magazine covers and editorials and in several commercials as a spokes model.
The Michigan native traveled the world, but all the while wished to put down roots and make a home in New York City, where her career began.
A short while later Michelle auditioned for a role on the long-running CBS soap opera Guiding Light. She got the part, and on August 24, 2005 made her debut as "Ava Peralta" and started a new chapter in her life.
In July 2008, Michelle gave birth to her first child, Jacob, a beautiful baby boy.