Ian Somerhalder Biography

Ian Somerhalder photo

Born: December 08, 1978

IAN SOMERHALDER

Date of Birth: December 8, 1978

Ian Somerhalder grew up in the small town of Covington, Louisiana, and spent his time boating, swimming, riding horses and performing with the local community theater group. When he was 10, his mother encouraged him to take up modeling. During his early modeling days, he traveled to New York each summer and later, landed jobs that took him to Europe, including Paris, Milan and London. At the age of 17, realizing that his modeling career would not last forever, he decided to take acting lessons.

Somerhalder began by working as an extra, before being spotted amongst 400 other extras by a talent manager while filming a crowd scene for the film Black and White (1999). The manager signed Somerhalder to a contract and helped him land a guest role in the TV series Now and Again, followed by a regular role in the summer replacement series Young Americans. Following a lead role in a TV movie, Anatomy of a Hate Crime (2001), he made his feature film debut with a supporting role in the critically acclaimed Life as a House (2001).

In 2002, he made two guest appearances on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, then returned to the big screen for Changing Hearts (2002), starring Lauren Holly and Faye Dunaway, followed by The Rules of Attraction (2002), co-starring Dawson's Creek's James Van Der Beek and 7th Heaven's Jessica Biel.

Somerhalder became a household name when he was chosen to be one of the original cast members of the new series Lost, which went on to become a huge hit. After his character was killed off, he returned to film with a starring role in the thriller Pulse (2006). He also enjoys working onstage, and in December 2005, played a role in the Off-Broadway play Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead.

In 2009 he was cast as vampire Damon Salvatore on the CW series The Vampire Diaries, which went on to become a hit and has enjoyed three seasons to date.

An avid conservationist, Ian formed The Ian Somerhalder Foundation, which focuses on three themes: habitat conservation, species protection, and green energy initiatives, and is in 190 countries. In July 2011 he went before Congress to ask them to pass the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Reauthorization Act.

Ian, who is engaged to Twilight star Nikki Reed, enjoys writing, yoga, skiing and horseback riding in his spare time.

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