Spy Kid Juni
American film and television actor Daryl Sabara was shot to stardom at the age of nine after portraying one of the title roles, spy kid Juni Cortez, in director Robert Rodriguez’s hit Spy Kids (2001), and its popular sequels Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams (2002) and Spy Kids 3D: Game Over (2003). He is also recognized for a variety of television and film appearances, including his voice-over work in the 2004 version of The Polar Express, from which he won a 2005 Young Artist Award.
Recently appearing in such movies as Solace, Maybe It’s in the Water, Keeping Up with the Steins and Her Best Move, Sabara is scheduled to play roles in the forthcoming Bongee Bear and the Kingdom of Rhythm (2006, voice of Mike the Squirrel), Normal Adolescent Behavior (2007, as Nathan) and Miss/Guided (2007, TV).
Off camera, 5-foot-6-inch Sabara plays the guitar and the piano. He mentions the Beatles as his favorite band, and Steven Spielberg’s Hook (1991) as a movie he likes to watch. His favorite books include “The Giver” (by Loďs Lowry) and the Harry Potter’s books.
Childhood and Family:
In Torrance, California, Daryl Christopher Sabara was born on June 14, 1992 to a Jewish family. He has a twin brother named Evan Sabara, who is also an actor. He took ballet lessons at age 3, and a year later started performing with the South Bay Ballet Company. He also learned gymnastics, dance and tae kwon do.
A straight-A-student, Daryl attended Bert Lynn Middle School, and is now studying at West High School. He admires director Robert Rodriguez and is planning on enrolling college and studying film because he is interested in becoming a filmmaker.
The Polar Express
Daryl Sabara began his career on showbiz at an early age. When he was only 3 months old, he was featured on several episodes of the television comedy show “Murphy Brown,” and by age 4, he had performed with a professional ballet company. Young Sabara went on to appear in episodes of “Life’s Work” (1996), “Love & Money” and the popular series “Roswell” (1999). In 1999, he also made his debut as a voice actor with a gig in the animated film My Neighbors the Yamadas, as Noboru.
Guest spots on “Will & Grace” (2000), “John Doe” (2002), “One on One” (2002), What’s New, Scooby-Doo?” (2002, voice of Tommy) and “The O’Keefes” kept Sabara in public eye. But, the young actor did not gain massive notice until he was cast in the leading role of instinctive and creative spy kid Juni Cortez on the Robert Rodriguez-helmed Spy Kids in 2001. The film became a hit among pre-teen audiences, and so did Sabara. He reprised his role as younger sibling of the valiant teen spy Carmen Cortez (Alexa Vega) for the film’s two installments, Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams and Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over, released in 2002 and 2003 respectively. Both films were also well-received at the box office. The latter project even brought Sabara a Young Artist nomination for Best Young Ensemble, sharing with Bobby Edner, Courtney Jines and Alexa Vega, among others.
Sabara had guest roles in “Friends” in 2003 and “Century City” in 2004, before taking on a voice acting as Larry Keating in the animated serial “Fatherhood” (2004). After playing young James Talley in the mystery made-for-TV film Murder Without Conviction (2004), starring Megan Ward, Sabara’s voice-over career gained impetus with director Robert Zemeckis’ The Polar Express (2004), as Hero Boy. Sharing with his costars that included Josh Hutcherson, Chantel Valdivieso, Jimmy Bennett, he took home a Young Artist for Outstanding Young Ensemble in a New Medium in 2005.
From 2004-2005, Sabara provided the voice of Hunter, the male lion cub, on the NBC television animated comedy “Father of the Pride.” He also voiced Mikey on the made-for-TV film animated/comedy Lolo’s Cafe and Hobie in an episode of the animated TV series “American Dragon: Jake Long” (both 2006). The same year, he could also be seen acting in short movies Solace (2006, starred Kathy Bates) and Maybe It’s in the Water (2006), as well as in the comedy feature Keeping Up with the Steins (2006), playing Benjamin Fiedler and directed by Scott Marshall, and in the family film Her Best Move (2006), which starred Leah Pipes as 15 year-old soccer prodigy, Sara Davis. Moreover, he guest starred in such series as “Boys Life,” “Weeds” and “Criminal Minds” (all in 2006).
Sabara is set to voice Mike the Squirrel for the upcoming animation feature Bongee Bear and the Kingdom of Rhythm (2006), written and directed by Brian Zemrak. He will portray Nathan in the comedy/drama film Normal Adolescent Behavior (2007) and Russell in television film Miss/Guided (2007), starring Judy Greer.
- Young Artist: Outstanding Young Ensemble in a New Medium, The Polar Express, 2005