Susie Castillo
Birth Date:
Birth Place:
Methuen, Massachusetts, USA
5' 8
Famous for:
Winning the Miss USA 2003 title
actress, model, TV host
Methuen High School, Methuen, Massachusetts
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Miss USA


“It changed (my life) completely - like 180 degrees. I graduated in May 2001 and I decided that I was going to take the summer off and build my interior design portfolio. My portfolio was done, but I needed to have my projects photographed and put in a nice book so I could present it to prospective employers. In the fall, I thought I'd get a full-time job. Of course, September 11th happened and nobody was hiring. I couldn't find a job so I decided to try to break into the entertainment industry somehow. I said, 'I'll try one more time before I give up and look for work as an architect again.’ That's when I decided to enter the Miss Massachusetts USA pageant, which is a preliminary to the Miss USA pageant. It was too late to do it that fall, but I competed the next fall and won that event.” Susie Castillo

Susie Castillo has surfaced as one of the most recognizable faces on television since being crowned with the Miss USA 2003 title, in which she became the first person of Puerto Rican-Dominican lineage to win the competition. She has hosted such TV shows as MTV's “Total Request Live” (2005), ABC's “America's Prom Queen” (2008) and NBC's “Superstars of Dance” (2009), and made appearances in TV talk shows like Fox's “The Morning Show with Mike & Juliet” and NBC's “Today.” She is currently the spokesperson for Neutrogena.

Castillo has also branched out into acting. Making her debut in an episode of “My Wife and Kids” (2004), the Massachusetts native also appeared in episodes of “Half & Half” (2004) and “House of Payne” and in the 2007 film “Underdog,” where she memorably portrayed Diana Flores. She will soon appear in the movie “The Heartbreaker” (2009).

Prior to winning the Miss USA title, Castillo was Miss Massachusetts Teen USA 1998 and Miss Massachusetts USA 2003. She was also No. 13 in the Miss Universe 2003 pageant.

In her free time, Castillo loves traveling, playing golf and poker. She also dedicates her time to volunteer work for Help for Abused Women and Children (HAWC), the Lawrence Girls Club, and the Latinas Against Sexual Assault.

Capstone Winner

Childhood and Family:

Susie Cintron Castillo was born on January 6, 1980, in Methuen, Massachusetts, to a Dominican father and a Puerto Rican mother. Her parents divorced when she was a little girl. After the separation, Susie and her mother moved to Lawrence, Massachusetts, where her mother worked multiple jobs to make ends meet. During her rough childhood, Susie occasionally lived on welfare and took various jobs to help her family.

Susie graduated from Methuen High School in Methuen, Massachusetts, in 1997. In high school, she was active in volleyball, indoor track and a peer leader. She went to college at Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts, from which she earned a Bachelors Degree in Interior Architecture and Design in 2001. At college, she won the Capstone Award, an honor presented to her in acknowledgment of her senior thesis.

Engaged in April 2004, Susie married her long-time boyfriend, Matthew Leslie, on October 7, 2006. The couple held their wedding ceremony in private in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Susie met her husband shortly after she won Miss Massachusetts Teen USA.

Confidence is Queen


A hard-working girl, Susie Castillo had worked professionally as a model by the time she was a teenager. She was featured in a number of teen magazines and did many commercial advertisements. When she was 17 years old, Castillo participated in the 1998 Miss Massachusetts Teen USA contest and went on to become the winner. She subsequently competed at the Miss Teen USA 1998 pageant, where she took home the Clairol Herbal Essence Style Award.

Castillo’s next triumph occurred when she was crowned Miss Massachusetts USA in 2003, making her the first Latina titleholder. As a representative of Massachusetts, she competed at the Miss USA 2003 pageant, which she won. With this win, Castillo made a name for herself as the second representative from the state of Massachusetts to win the contest and the forth ex-Miss Teen USA state titleholder to be crowned the title of Miss USA. Additionally, she became the first woman with Dominican-Puerto Rican heritage to become Miss USA. In May 2003, Castillo flew to Panama City to compete in the Miss Universe 2003 pageant, which was won by Amelia Vega of the Dominican Republic.

Castillo's profile was raised significantly after she became Miss USA in 2003. She was a guest on the April 5, 2004, episode of “On-Air with Ryan Seacrest” and made her debut as an actress in episodes of ABC's “My Wife and Kids” and UPN's “Half & Half” (both also 2004), where she played Sharon and Shaunie, respectively. She also served as a judge on the reality show “The Swan.”

2005 saw Castillo co-host the Miss Teen USA 2005 pageant with actor Galen Gering of NBC's “Passions” fame. However, she did not gain another major boost until she was hired as the host of a popular music show on MTV called “Total Request Live” (TRL). Since then, she has hosted such MTV specials as “Hits,” “MTV Goes Gold: New Year's Eve 2007,” “Laguna Beach,” and the Video Music Awards.

Castillo broke into the film industry in 2007 when she received the small, but memorable, role of Diana Flores on the Frederik Du Chau-helmed “Underdog,” which starred Jason Lee. The film was nominated for Best Family Feature Film (Fantasy or Musical) at the 2008 Young Artist Awards. Also in 2007, she was named a spokesmodel for Neutrogena. In this capacity, she has appeared in a national TV campaign for the brand and has served as the virtual host of “The Big Blush,” a promotional web site for Neutrogena.

From March to April 2008, Castillo served as host on the first season of the ABC Family reality television series “America's Prom Queen.” On July 8, 2008, she appeared in the NBC talk show “Today.” It was not until December 2008 that she resumed her acting career and appeared in two episodes of the comedy series “House of Payne,” playing Mercedes Hernandez. That same year, she also launched a book titled “Confidence is Queen: The Four Keys to Unleashing Your Ultimate Beauty Through the Power of Positive Thinking.”

Entering 2009, Castillo emerged as the co-host of the NBC dance competition series “Superstars of Dance,” opposite Michael Flatley. On the acting front, she plays Linda on the comedy film “The Heartbreaker,” (January 2009). The film is directed by Roberto Carminati and was written by Alec Ward. Among her costars in the film are Todd Rotondi, Giovanna Antonelli, John Joyce and Guy Camilleri.


  • Miss USA: 2003

  • Miss Massachusetts: 2003

  • Clairol Herbal Essence Style Award: 1998

  • Miss Massachusetts Teen: 1998

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SP_COP - June 13, 2013 -
These Miss USA winners are getting naked for a cause!Ahead of this weekend's 2013 Miss USA pageant in Las Vegas, past winners Shanna Moakler (1995), Shandi Finnessey (2004), Susie Castillo (2003) and...
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