Arlen Escarpeta
Birth Date:
April 9, 1980
Birth Place:
Belize, Central America
5' 9" (1.75 m)
Show more
Arlen Escarpeta_150212
Friday the 13th


Belizean actor Arlen Escarpeta first came to fame as Brittany Snow's boyfriend in the historical drama series “American Dreams” (NBC, 2002-2005). He acquired critical plaudit for his breakout film role as Jay in Aric Avelino's acclaimed indie flick, “American Gun” (2005). The Hollywood High School graduate continued to obtain attention thanks to his performances in such films as “We Are Marshall” (2006), “The Ten” (2007), the horror film remake “Friday the 13th” (2009), “Brotherhood” (2010) and “Final Destination 5” (2011). Escarpeta has guest starred in various television shows like “Boston Public,” “ER,” “Judging Amy,” “7th Heaven,” “Without a Trace,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “NCIS: Los Angeles.”     

In 2011, Escarpeta had a short lived marriage with actress Benita K. Nall.


Childhood and Family:

In Belize, Central America, Arlen Alexander Escarpeta was born on April 9, 1981, to a construction worker and a manager at a dental office. His father died when he was there years old. He and his mother then relocated to the United States and settled in Los Angeles. Arlen started to sing and dance in the Young Saints Scholarship Foundation. At age 9, he had the title role in his elementary school's artificial production of Shakespeare's “Hamlet” and was convinced by the applause he earned at the final curtain. Arlen next enrolled in several arts-magnet schools in L.A. before eventually attending Hollywood High School, where he sharpened his skills in drama, technical and music theater, and dance. He also became the captain of his school's football team. After graduation, Arlen took a psychology major at Pasadena City College, where he also played for the junior college's track team. After over two years, however, he quit both school and sports to focus on acting. Arlen now plays for a celebrity basketball team,  Hollywood Knights.

Arlen married longtime girlfriend and actress Benita K. Nall in in May 2011. Their wedding was featured on “My Fair Wedding with David Tutera.” The episode, “Hollywood Glam Bride,” broadcast in 2011. Because of controversy, the couple later divorced.

Final Destination 5


Arlen Escarpeta kicked off his professional acting career in 2000 when he was cast in the role of Reggie in the Greg Morgan directed drama film “The Playaz Court,” opposite Gilbert Glenn Brown and Robert David Cochrane. The same year, he made his television debut with a guest spot in David E. Kelley's drama series, “Boston Public.” It was followed by a guest stint in “Judging Amy” (2001).

In 2002, Escarpeta appeared with Ashley Judd, Morgan Freeman and James Caviezel in the film adaptation of Joseph Finder's book, “High Crimes,” directed by Carl Franklin. The same year, he also appeared in the pilot of NBC's “Boomtown,” starring Donnie Wahlberg, Neal McDonough and Mykelti Williamson, and played Sonny in an episode of “The Shield” called “Circles.”

Escarpeta's big break arrived when he won the role of Meg's good friend turned lover, Samuel “Sam” Walker, on the NBC comedy/drama series “American Dreams,” starring Brittany Snow as the show's protagonist, Margaret “Meg” Pryor. He was on the show throughout its three season run from September 29, 2002 to March 30, 2005.  

After the cancellation of “American Dreams,” Escarpeta appeared as Adrian in an episode of “ER” called “Refusal of Care” (2005) and then as Anhel in an episode of “Judging Amy” called “Getting Out” (2005) and as Clyde Taylor in the episode “Colors” (2005) of “Cold Case.” The same year, he also starred opposite Josh Hopkins and Sean Patrick Murphy in the short film “Show & Tell,” which was directed by Chris Dollard and written by Sean Patrick Murphy and Alvin Shelton.

2005 also saw Escarpeta have his breakout film role as Jay, an honor student caught with a handgun at school in the independent drama “American Gun,” starring Linda Cardellini, Tony Goldwyn, Marcia Gay Harden, Donald Sutherland and Forest Whitaker. Directed and co-written by Aric Avelino, the film was nominated Independent Spirit Awards for Best Feature, Best Male Lead and Best Supporting Female. Escarpeta gained critical acclaim for his performance in the film.

In 2006, Escarpeta co-starred with Shannon Cochran and Casey Kramer in the drama “The Substance of Things Hoped For,” for which he reunited with filmmaker Greg Morgan, and portrayed Reggie Oliver in the drama film “We Are Marshall,” based on the aftermath of the 1970 plane crash that killed Marshall University's football team. The McG directed feature starred Matthew McConaughey as head coach Jack Lengyel, Matthew Fox as assistant coach William “Red” Dawson, David Strathairn as University President Donald Dedmon and Robert Patrick as ill-fated Marshall head coach Rick Tolley. On the small screen, the actor made a guest appearance in an episode of “7th Heaven” (2006).

In 2007, Escarpeta appeared with Jessica Alba, Winona Ryder, Paul Rudd, Famke Janssen, Adam Brody and Gretchen Mol in the David Wain comedy film, “The Ten,” which premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. The film received mostly negative reviews from critics, and grossed $785,528 at the box office. He played Peter Taha and Ezra Odami in episodes of “Without a Trace” and “ Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (both 2007), respectively.

Escarpeta resurfaced two years later when he starred as Corey, the all-around good guy with great potential in “Dough Boys” (2009), a drama film written and produced by Preston A. Whitmore II and directed by Nicholas Harvell. He also portrayed Lawrence in the box office hit horror film remake “Friday the 13th” (2009), from which he gained worldwide acclaim. With a production budget of $19 million, the film, which starred Jared Padalecki, Danielle Panabaker, Amanda Righetti, Aaron Yoo, Travis Van Winkle and Derek Mears, has grossed over $91.3 million worldwide. Still in 2009, he appeared as Lt. Clay Jefferson in an episode of the short lived medical drama “Mental” called “Lines in the Sand.”    

In 2010, Escarpeta worked with Adam Butcher, Nikki Reed, Julian Morris, Seth Adkins and Tatyana Ali in the drama film “Privileged,” directed by Jonah Salander and written by Steve Allison, and starred as Mike, a store clerk who has a platonic friendship with one of the pledging brothers, Adam  (played by Trevor Morgan), in the thriller film “Brotherhood,” which was directed by Will Canon and co-written by Doug Simon and Canon.

In the following year, he starred along with Tracey Walter and Larry Cedar in Scott Leberecht's drama/horror movie, “Midnight Son,” and was cast as Nathan in “Final Destination 5,” the fifth installment in the “Final Destination” film franchise. Helmed by Steven Quale, the latter film gained generally positive reviews from critics and was a commercial success. It earned over $42.5 million domestically and over $115 million overseas for a worldwide total of over $157.8 million, making it the second highest grossing in the franchise.

In November 2011, Escarpeta appeared as Holden Glaser in an episode of The CW's supernatural drama “The Secret Circle” called “Balcoin.” In the following month, he portrayed Chester Wilkins in the episode “Higher Power” of CBS'“NCIS: Los Angeles.”  


--- Show Less
© Retna
© Warner Bros. Pictures
© Retna
© New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures
© Retna
© New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures
© Retna
© New Line Cinema
© Retna
© New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures