The Transformation Of Vanessa Ray From Childhood To Blue Bloods - Looper (2024)

Television

The Transformation Of Vanessa Ray From Childhood To Blue Bloods - Looper (1)

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ByBrandon Rowe/

Whether you know her from "Blue Bloods," "Damages," "Pretty Little Liars," or something else, odds are you've probably seen actress Vanessa Ray at some point in your TV-watching lifetime. The young actress has appeared in a plethora of on-screen roles since she started in the business nearly 20 years ago.

According to a 2010 interview with Broadway Buzz, Ray was born in Livermore, California, but raised throughout Oregon and Washington. Though she didn't appear on screen for the first time until the age of 22, Ray came to the world of show business through theater. Speaking on her experience in the interview, Ray revealed that she got the itch for acting when she was only five years old after watching her older brother audition for a role in a production of the musical, "Oliver!"

For Ray, there was no turning back. After high school, she appeared in live productions of "Footloose" and "Finding Nemo: The Musical," and in 2009, Ray made her Broadway debut in "Hair," in which she played the role of Crissy (via Broadway World). While Ray enjoyed a successful theater career, she is much better known today for her TV roles.

Vanessa Ray's first on-screen appearance was in The Sparky Chronicles: The Map

Vanessa Ray made her first on-screen appearance in a 2003 comedic video short titled "The Sparky Chronicles: The Map."She portrays the character Chris Matthews, a young woman whose wiener dog, Sparky, is stolen prior to the events of the film. The short was shot in a pseudo-documentary style that records the trials and tribulations of "Team Sparky," a group of friends who get together in the aftermath of the canine's dognapping.

The team's chosen (and largely bungled) mission is to rescue the dog and return it to its rightful home. Throughout the short, their bumbling ineptitudes continually halt their ability to succeed in the task at hand. Though the team is ultimately unsuccessful in rescuing the dog at the center of the story, they learn valuable lessons in friendship along the way. Ray appears in the Dan Rutledge-directed short alongside David A. R. White and her first husband, Derek Baynham (via IMDb). The 28-minute short is available for viewing on Vision Video's YouTube channel.

As the World Turns gave Ray her first series regular role

Like most actors, Vanessa Ray didn't jump straight into series regular roles. Her first television appearance was in three episodes of the 2008 musical comedy series "The Battery's Down," in which she plays a character also named Vanessa. In 2009, she also acted in a single episode of the Jason Schwartzman-led HBO comedy series "Bored to Death" (via IMDb). However, she wouldn't get her first regular television role until her next project.

In the same year as her appearance in "Bored to Death," Ray was cast in one of the longest continuously running soap operas of all time, "As The World Turns." In the famous daytime soap opera, Ray plays the role of Teri Ciccone. In a short video filmed in character as a way to introduce herself to the audience, Ciccone says, "Cooking is my passion which is why I went to culinary school to be a chef." She also talks about how her love of cooking led her to reunite with her estranged sister (via YouTube).

The actress played an important role as Jenny Griffith in Suits

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USA Network

After Vanessa Ray's role on "As The World Turns," she joined the cast of "Damages" in a recurring role that lasted for a total of seven episodes, playing a character named Tessa Marchetti. She next appeared in USA Network's "White Collar" and in Showtime's "Nurse Jackie" for single-episode roles.

Then in 2011, Ray took on a recurring role in the USA Network's legal drama "Suits." Fans of "Suits" will remember that former fraudulent lawyer and Pearson Hardman associate Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) finishes the series married to former Pearson Hardman paralegal Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle). However, before the two tie the knot, Mike has a short-term relationship with Jenny Griffith, a character portrayed by Ray. When Griffith makes her first appearance in the series, she and Mike are platonic friends, as she is the girlfriend of Mike's roommate, Trevor.

Throughout the first season, however, things between Trevor and Jenny sour, and shortly thereafter, Mike and Jenny become an item. Ultimately, Trevor's jealousy about Mike and Jenny's relationship leads him to out Mike's fraudulent practice as an attorney to his boss, Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres). Ray doesn't appear on the series after Season 2, Episode 8, but her character certainly has a major impact on the course of the series' eight seasons.

Vanessa Ray recurred as CeCe Drake in Pretty Little Liars

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Freeform

One of Ray's best known parts prior to joining the cast of "Blue Bloods" is her recurring role on Freeform's "Pretty Little Liars."When she first appears on the teen drama series, Ray's characteris introduced as CeCe Drake, but this name is later revealed to be an alias for Charlotte DiLaurentis. However, neither of these names are the one that most "Pretty Little Liars" fans are likely to associate with Ray.

Even those who have never watched the series are probably vaguely familiar with its mysteriously nefarious antagonist, usually referred to by only the single letter alias of "A." The character's popularity led the writers of the series to periodically reincarnate the role with different characters adopting the mononym. Ray's character becomes known as "Big A," the leader of the so-called "A-Team," a group of people responsible for a litany of crimes.

Ray appears in a total of seven episodes during Season 3 of "Pretty Little Liars," but her character is used more sparingly in each subsequent season, only appearing in two to four episodes from then on. This gave Ray more time for additional guest spots in these years, as she features in the spinoff web series of "Pretty Little Liars" called "Pretty Little Secrets," as well as HBO's "Girls," and CBS's "The Mentalist."

Her longest-running series regular role is in Blue Bloods

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CBS

Vanessa Ray has starred in more than 160 episodes of the long-running CBS series "Blue Bloods." Ray makes her first appearance on the police procedural in the role of New York City police officer Edit "Eddie" Janko in Season 4, Episode 1, an episode titled "Unwritten Rules." In her first scene in the series, she meets her future husband, fellow NYC police officer Jamie Reagan (Will Estes).

When Eddie tells him that she is his new partner on patrol, Jamie is taken aback, admitting that he expected a "fat, sweaty, Hungarian guy." Jamie is also shocked to discover that his newest partner is a rookie, having just graduated from the police academy a week earlier. While nothing is outwardly said between the two of them, there is an immediate and obvious attraction between Eddie and Jamie.

However, it takes a whole three seasons for the two to admit their feelings to each other, with Eddie initiating the admission and Jamie responding with a kiss in Season 7, Episode 8. By the end of Season 8, the two are engaged and they wed in the Season 9 finale. In recent Season 12 episodes, Eddie has been studying for the sergeant's exam in order to join her husband in a more elevated position at the NYPD.

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The Transformation Of Vanessa Ray From Childhood To Blue Bloods - Looper (2024)

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