“I couldn’t ask for a better springboard. There was no doubt in my mind, by the time they offered me the role, that the show (“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (2000)) was going to be huge. It was already doing really well, and I was really lucky to get in when I did. It’s also a great learning environment.” Eric Szmanda
An American actor of Polish descent, Eric Szmanda has created a prolific acting career by appearing in many movies and television series as well as on stage in numerous productions. Currently, he enjoys television success as the endearing lab-tech come CSI, Greg Sanders, on the hit series “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (2000-?), from which he picked up a 2005 Screen Actors Guild Award. Szmanda has made guest roles in such shows as “Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane” (2000), “The Division” and “Three Sisters” (both 2001) and has acted in movies like True Vinyl (2000), Rules of Attraction (2002), Little Athens (2005) and Snow Wonder (2005, TV).
As for his personal life, Szmanda is a huge music fan. He loves the music of the Icelandic post-ambient band Sigur Rós and is an admirer of Marilyn Manson. He starred in the video to Manson’s song “(s)AINT.” and served as a music consultant on the feature film Life as a House. Szmanda has a production company named “doop” that combines both music and acting. On a more private note, the owner of a golden retriever named Dax is now single despite circulating rumors stating that the 32-year-old actor was involved with 20-year-old Vreni Yahnke.
Childhood and Family:
Eric Kyle Szmanda was born on July 24, 1975, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Along with his two brothers, Brett and Rob, he was raised in the small town of Mukwonago, Wisconsin, in which he graduated from high school in 1993. He attended Carroll College in Wisconsin and, after graduating, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting. Eric, known by close friends and family as Ercy, attended and graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasadena, California.
Hailed from Wisconsin, Eric Szmanda participated in a number of productions while still in high school. He carried on the passion of performing at college, where he landed the role of Lysander in a production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” He also performed on several regional productions, including “Black Box,” “La Indian Queen” and “The Bullfight.” After college, he headed to Los Angeles to give acting a more serious try.
A graduate of the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Szmanda made his television debut as regular Jacob Resh/Sorcerer in the USA Network “The Net” (1998-1999), a thriller show starring Melrose Place’s Brooke Langton in the role of Angela Bennett. In 1999, he starred as Johnny Dodge on the Canada/America production Dodge’s City, a TV film directed by Ken Sanzel.
2000 saw Szmanda make the leap to the big screen with leading roles on the drama/music feature True Vinyl, giving a memorable turn as Billy Thompson, a local farm boy who has a dream of becoming a DJ, and Douglas Petrie’s Big Time, opposite Jessica Capshaw. Additionally, he was featured on a comedy film by Michael Davis called 100 Girls (2000).
The same year, Szmanda also guest starred in such TV shows as “Oh Baby,” as Brent, and “Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane,” as Max. However, the actor did not receive a huge breakthrough until he won the role of Marilyn Manson-fanatic/forensic nerd Greg Sanders on the popular crime drama series “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” in 2000, costarring opposite Gary Dourdan as Warrick Brown, George Eads as Nick Stokes and Paul Guilfoyle as Captain Jim Brass. Still on the show today, he jointly earned a 2005 Screen Actors Guild for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.
Szmanda continued to appear in three episodes of the action series “The Division” and in an episode of “Three Sisters” (both 2001). Next, he acted in the pilot episode of “CSI: Miami” (2002), had a feature role as a NYU film student in Roger Avary’s comedy film The Rules of Attraction (2002, starred James Van Der Beek), and in 2005, he portrayed Derek in the comedy/drama film Little Athens and Luke in the made-for-TV film Snow Wonder, along side Poppy Montgomery, Camryn Manheim, Jennifer Esposito, Mary Tyler Moore and Jason Priestley.
- Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” 2005