Widely known for her role on NBC's prime-time series Sunset Beach, Susan Ward actually began her career as a model long before she was an actress. Born on April 15, 1976, she was raised in Monroe, LA, and signed with the Ford modeling agency in New York when she was just 13. The huge-eyed, beautiful blonde would be published in a lot of print work while spending time between New York and Louisiana as a teenager. Acting lessons would come along as well, although after high school Ward decided to continue with her formal education. She attended Northeast Louisiana University as a psychology major for one full year before deciding to turn her attention again back to her show business career. Before her network stardom on Sunset Beach, she had other dramatic television roles, beginning with a part on the daytime series All My Children. In 1996, she had a starring role on the short-lived Aaron Spelling teen series Malibu Shores, featuring Keri Russell. Ward also made appearances on episodes of Xena: Warrior Princess, The X Show, and Men, Women, and Dogs. In 1997, she broke into the big-screen world with a small part in Poison Ivy: The New Seduction. She then starred in her first feature in 2000's The In Crowd, a creepy and dramatic teen thriller. Mainstream cinema experience continued with supporting roles in comedies like the Farrelly brothers' Shallow Hal starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Jack Black, and also in the role of Wendy in Going Greek, both in 2001. Perhaps finding more resilience as an actor in comedy, she would make a major motion-picture splash in 2002 starring in Tom Sheppard's Would I Lie to You?