Riley Smith

Riley Smith (born April 12, 1978[1]) is an American actor. He is known for his roles on television, such as recurring roles in the series 24, Joan of Arcadia, 90210, True Blood and The Messengers, and starring roles on the television series Drive and Frequency.

Riley Smith
Born (1978-04-12) April 12, 1978 (age 43)
  • Actor
  • musician
Years active1998–present

Early life and educationEdit

Smith's parents are Russ and Roxanne Smith. He was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and raised in Marion, Iowa[2] on his parents’ horse ranch.[3] He became an accomplished rider, competing in a horse show for the first time when he was 9 years old.[4] When he was 15, he placed 4th in 3-Year-Old Mares division at the American Quarter Horse Youth World Championship,[4] and at 16 won the American Quarter Horse Youth World Championship.[2] When he was 17, he became president of the 50,000-member youth association, becoming the youngest person to serve as president of American Quarter Horse Youth Association.[2][5]

He graduated from Alburnett Junior-Senior High School in 1997, and his original intention was to earn a college degree to complement his Equine interests,[2][3] but he was "discovered" at the Westdale Mall in Cedar Rapids by a local talent scout[6] and flew to New York City to compete at the International Modeling and Talent Association (IMTA) Convention.[3] He was signed to a Tommy Hilfiger modeling campaign.[3][7][8] He used the money he earned to pay for acting classes.[2][9]


Television workEdit

Three months after the Hilfiger campaign, Smith flew to Los Angeles to do a screen test for The WB's 1998 pilot Minor Threat,[10][11] but the pilot was not picked up. Subsequently, he went on to do eight prime time network pilots, and more than a dozen guest-starring roles, and played recurring character roles in three television series.

Smith had recurring roles in the CBS series Joan of Arcadia, the Fox series 24 season 3 as Kyle Singer,[10] the short-lived WB series Summerland and the Judd Apatow NBC series Freaks and Geeks. He was also a main cast member in the short-lived Fox show Drive. Smith played Dean Talon in the Disney Channel movie Motocrossed. He played a love interest and mentor to Andrea "Andy" Carson on the race track.

In 2008 Smith joined in collaboration with The Academy of Cinema and Television to create an online educational series for children and teens interested in the entertainment industry,[3] and in 2009 he appeared in an episode of Ghost Whisperer, a paranormal television series starring Jennifer Love Hewitt. He appeared in seven episodes of the fifth season of 90210 as Riley Wallace, in 2012–2013.

In 2014 Smith played the role of Keith in the HBO series True Blood. In 2015, he played Markus Keen in the ABC musical drama series Nashville. In 2016, he stars as Frank Sullivan in the new CW drama series Frequency.

Film workEdit

Smith has appeared in the film Eight Legged Freaks, Not Another Teen Movie, Radio, New York Minute, Bring It On, and the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury nominee Weapons.[12]

For the film New York Minute, he and co-star Jared Padalecki were hand-picked for their roles by stars Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.[10] After his role as Jim, the love interest for Ashley's character of Jane, he admitted that he could not tell the sisters apart.[13]

In Radio, Smith had the role of Johnny Clay, team star and ringleader of the group pulling nasty pranks on Cuba Gooding, Jr.'s character of Radio.[6] For their work in the film, key production members were awarded a 2005 CAMIE Award; These included executive producer Todd Garner, director Michael Tollin, screenwriter Mike Rich, and actors Cuba Gooding Jr., Ed Harris, Riley Smith, Alfre Woodard, Brent Sexton, S. Epatha Merkerson and Sarah Drew.[14]

He played Russ, the love interest of Mary Elizabeth Winstead's character in the dancing film Make It Happen.


Smith took up the guitar to fill downtime while on film sets, and in 2006, he and Henri O'Connor formed the band "The Life of Riley", of which he is guitarist and lead singer.[12] His original idea was to write music that could be used in his films, but when he and his bandmates had written 16 songs, they picked 11 and cut an album.[12] As of August 2010, the Los Angeles-based group has released three CDs: The Life of Riley (2007), Long Way Home EP (2009) and Live in Hollywood at the Hotel Cafe (2010).[10][15] They have also performed at such music festivals as the New Bohemia Music Festival.[16][17]



Year Title Role Notes
1999 Lovers Lane Michael Lamson
2000 Voodoo Academy Christopher Sawyer
2000 Bring It On Tim
2001 Not Another Teen Movie Les
2002 Eight Legged Freaks Randy
2002 Full Ride Matt Sabo
2003 National Lampoon's Barely Legal Jake
2003 Radio Johnny Clay
2004 New York Minute Jim
2004 The Plight of Clownana Riley
2007 Weapons Jason
2007 White Air Alexi
2007 Graduation Chaucer Boyle
2009 Make It Happen Russ
2010 Minuteman Lance Deakin
2012 Gallowwalkers Fabulos
2014 Shirin in Love William
2016 Bleed Eric


Year Film Role Notes
1998 One World Riley 1 episode
1999 Alien Arsenal Chad Television movie
1999 7th Heaven Tyler 1 episode
2000 Freaks and Geeks Todd Schellinger Recurring role, 5 episodes
2000 Hang Time Dave Carter 1 episode
2000 Wild Grizzly Josh Harding Television movie
2000–2001 Once and Again Pace 2 episodes
2001 Chestnut Hill Jamie Eastman Unsold television pilot
2001 Motocrossed Dean Talon Disney Channel Original Movie
2001 Gideon's Crossing Derek Fitzhugh 3 episodes
2001 All About Us Jeremy 1 episode
2002 Eastwick Dakota Unsold television pilot
2002 Raising Dad Jared Ashby Recurring role, 9 episodes
2002 Boston Public Mark 1 episode
2003 CSI: Miami Jack 1 episode
2003 Peacemakers Eric Soper 1 episode
2003 24 Kyle Singer Recurring role, 6 episodes
2004 Summerland Tanner 2 episodes
2004 Hawaii Sheldon 1 episode
2004–2005 Joan of Arcadia Andy Baker Recurring role, 5 episodes
2005 Spring Break Shark Attack Shane Jones Television movie
2006 The Way Karl Unsold television pilot
2007 Drive Rob Laird Main role, 6 episodes
2007 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Jordan Rockwell 1 episode
2007 Women's Murder Club Jamie Galvan 1 episode
2008 Criminal Minds Ryan Phillips 1 episode
2008 The Madness of Jane Dane Unsold television pilot
2009 Ghost Whisperer Sean Flannery 1 episode
2010 Night and Day Jim Pollard Unsold television pilot
2010 Leverage Dr. Wes Abernathy 1 episode
2011 The Glades Greg 1 episode
2011 Cooper and Stone Danny Kovacs Unsold television pilot
2011 The Closer Trey Gavin Episode: "An Ugly Game"
2012–2013 90210 Riley Wallace Recurring role, 7 episodes
2013 Christmas in Conway Tommy Harris Television movie
2014 True Blood Keith Recurring role, 5 episodes
2014 Deliverance Creek Toby Television movie[18]
2014 10,000 Days Sam Beck Television movie
2015 True Detective Steve Mercier 2 episodes
2015 The Messengers Mark Plowman Recurring role, 6 episodes
2015 Nashville Markus Keen Recurring role,[19] 7 episodes
2016 Urban Cowboy Wes Unsold television pilot[20]
2016–2017 Frequency Frank Sullivan Main role
2018 Life Sentence Dr. Will Grant Recurring role[21]
2019 Proven Innocent Levi Scott Main role
2019–present Nancy Drew Ryan Hudson Main role

Awards and nominationsEdit


  1. ^ "Riley Smith". Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e Rasdal, Dave (February 6, 2001). "Marion's Riley Smith starting out strong in Hollywood". The Gazette (Cedar Rapids).
  3. ^ a b c d e McGlothlen, John (March 14, 2008). "Actor from E. Iowa to create online educational series for youth interested in show biz". The Gazette (Cedar Rapids). Retrieved January 12, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Lucas, Marlene (August 26, 1993). "Riley Smith proves he's a winner". The Gazette (Cedar Rapids). Retrieved January 13, 2011.
  5. ^ Sauerberg, George (February 1, 1996). "More than just competition". The Gazette (Cedar Rapids). Retrieved January 13, 2011.
  6. ^ a b "Former E. Iowan Riley Smith relished 'Radio' role". The Gazette (Cedar Rapids). October 23, 2003. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
  7. ^ Thomas, Karen (February 5, 2004). "2004's letter-perfect men". USA Today. Retrieved January 13, 2011.
  8. ^ "Riley Smith bio". Retrieved January 12, 2011.
  9. ^ "Riley Smith Biography". BuddyTV. April 10, 2007. Retrieved January 13, 2011.
  10. ^ a b c d "Riley Smith – Biography". Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  11. ^ Sterngold, James (May 17, 1999). "For All the TV Pilots, There's Just Not Enough Youth to Go Around". The New York Times. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  12. ^ a b c "Iowa native Smith adds music to his Hollywood repertoire". The Gazette (Cedar Rapids). July 26, 2007. Retrieved January 13, 2011.
  13. ^ "Actor Reports No Worries With Olsens". The Vindicator. May 9, 2004. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
  14. ^ a b "The 2005 CAMIES". CAMIE Awards. August 11, 2008. Retrieved January 12, 2011.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ Doherty, Michael (August 21, 2010). "The Life of Riley: "The Life of Riley" (2007)". Suite 101. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  16. ^ "You have options galore this Labor Day weekend". The Gazette (Cedar Rapids). August 30, 2008. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
  17. ^ Truman, Deanna (August 28, 2008). "For music fest, the show must go on". Press-Citizen. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
  18. ^ Lloyd, Robert (September 13, 2014). "Review: Nicholas Sparks' 'Deliverance Creek' flows in a direct route". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  19. ^ Roots, Kimberly (July 25, 2015). "Nashville Adds True Blood Alum as Rayna's Hot New Highway 65 Artist". TVLine. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  20. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 11, 2015). "'Urban Cowboy' Fox Pilot Adds Riley Smith To Cast". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  21. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 13, 2017). "'Life Sentence': Riley Smith Set To Recur On the CW Dramedy". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 3, 2018.

External linksEdit