Susan Ward was born in Monroe, LA. An animal lover as a child, she grew up wanting to become a veterinarian. At age 13, however, a local modeling agent changed her mind. Susan and her mother traveled to New York City to see about getting her a modeling job. She thought that modeling would make her enough money to pay her way through veterinary school, and before a week was out she had signed with the prestigious Ford Modeling Agency. Through Ford she did a lot of print work, and that gave her the idea of trying out a career in acting.