Following his promising debut at the long-running TV series “Little House on the Prairie” (1981-1982), American actor of television and film Jason Bateman gained the status of teen idol in the mid-1980s thanks largely for his roles as the calculating ne’er-do-well Derek Taylor on the hit sitcom “Silver Spoons” (NBC, 1982), “teenaged con man” Matthew Burton in “It’s Your Move” (1984-1985) and the eldest son in “The Hogan Family” (1986-1991). For over a decade, the praised actor experienced a career setback until starting the leading role of Michael Bluth on the popular Fox sitcom “Arrested Development” (2003-2006). The role subsequently put the actor back on the spotlight, and he won a Golden Globe Award and received Emmy and SAG nominations for his work on the series.
The ex-Teen Wolf Too star also has established himself as a favored supporting players with performances in such movies as Sol Goode (2001), The Sweetest Thing (2002), Starsky & Hutch (2004), Dodgeball (2004), The Break Up (2006) and more recently, Smokin’ Aces (2007). Now, he has completed filming two features, The Kingdom (2007) and Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (2007), and has two projects in production, Juno (2007) and Tonight, He Comes (2008).
Off camera, Bateman has enjoyed a joyful family life with his actress-wife, Amanda Anka, and their lovely daughter, Francesca. The Batemans currently lives in Los Angeles, California. The 6-feet actor’s romantic life was once linked to screen beauty Alexondra Lee (together in the mid-1990s). Bateman is a passionate racecar driver. In 1987, he won the celebrity portion of the Long Beach Grand Prix.
Childhood and Family:
In Rye, New York, Jason Kent Bateman was born on January 14, 1969. His father is Kent Bateman, a television and movie director and founder of a Hollywood repertory stage company, while his mother, Victoria Bateman, was a flight attendant. He is the younger brother of actress Justine Bateman (born on February 19, 1966), most known as one of the stars of the 1980s TV series “Family Ties.”
On July 3, 2001, Jason tied the knot with actress Amanda Anka, daughter of composer-actor Paul Anka, in Malibu, California. Together they welcomed a baby girl named Francesca Nora Bateman on October 28, 2006.
Jason Bateman got his acting start at age 10 when he accompanied a friend to an audition for an educational movie. He ended up landing the lead after the director asked him to read. He continued to appear on television commercials and in 1981, made his TV series debut in the long-running NBC drama “Little House on the Prairie: Uncle Jed,” playing James Cooper, an orphan adopted by Michael London. Bateman got his huge break in the following year with his impressive scene-stealing role of Derek Taylor, the scheming friend of star Ricky Schroder, on the popular NBC family sitcom “Silver Spoons,” for which he was nominated for Young Artist twice in the categories of Best Young Actor in a New Television Series (1983) and Best Young Actor in a Comedy Series (1984). Loved by audience, the 15-year-old eventually had his own sitcom, “It’s Your Move” (1984-1985), opposite David Garrison. Remarkably portraying “young con man” Matt Burton, he earned his next Best Young Actor Young Artist nomination. Bateman had his television movie bow in Just a Little More Love (1983) and acted in his first miniseries, “Robert Kennedy and His Times” (1985), as Joe Kennedy III.
Following the cancellation of “It’s Your Move,” Bateman kept himself busy by working on television films and in TV series as a guest star until taking on the regular role of the eldest son of Valerie Harper, David Hogan, on the well-liked and hard-wearing family sitcom “Valerie/Valerie’s Family/The Hogan Family” (NBC, 1986-90; CBS, 1990-91). For his fine portrayal of the wisecracker teen, he nabbed a 1988 Young Artist nomination for Best Young Male Superstar in Television. With the show, Bateman also created a history of becoming the DGA’s youngest-ever director when the 18-year-old helmed three episodes of “The Hogan Family.” While enjoying his sitcom success, the actor also had his feature film debut starring as the struggling teen Todd Howard in the disappointing Teen Wolf Too (1987), produced by his father Kent. Bateman had teamed up with his father before when he and his sister Justine costarred in the NBC made-for-TV drama Can You Feel Me Dancing? (1986), in which his father served as supervising producer.
However, Bateman’s career slowed down after “The Hogan Family” came to an end in 1991. He shared the top bill with Harland Williams in the soon-cancelled The WB sitcom “Simon” (1995), as a jobless MBA and newly divorced big brother of a sanctified naïve, and played the lead of Carl in the NBC family sitcom “Chicago Sons” (1997), which also had a short life. The actor fared better playing the son of Bob Newhart in the CBS sitcom “George and Leo” (1997), but the show was also immediately axed by the network. Bateman’s later series, “Some of My Best Friends” (CBS, 2001), a spin-off series based on the movie Kiss Me, Guido, where he was cast as a Greenwich Village homosexual author named Warren Fairbanks, was also considered as a flop, canceled after only 8 episodes. During the same periods, he also acted in many less memorable television films and guest starred in several TV series, in addition collecting minor big screen credit.
After fine supporting roles in the comedy movies Sol Goode (2001), starring Balthazar Getty in the title role and helmed and written by Danny Comden, and The Sweetest Thing (2002), the vehicle of Cameron Diaz, Christina Applegate and Selma Blair about lesbianism, Bateman re-reached his celebrity status when he landed the starring role of Michael Bluth on the tense Fox sitcom “Arrested Development.” Debuted in 2003, the series had low ratings in its first season, but later went on to become a critical darling. As for Bateman, in 2005, he was handed his first Golden Globe in Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy category, in addition to winning a Golden Satellite for Best Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical and a Satellite for Outstanding Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical. He also earned several award-nominations, including an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and a SAG nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series. He stayed with the show until its demise in 2006.
Bateman supported Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller on the movie remake Starsky & Hutch (2004), in which he portrayed a dodgy throng attorney, and was featured as a sports color reporter on the comedy Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004), opposite Vince Vaughn and (again) Stiller. Later, in 2006, he rejoined Vaughn and teamed up with Jennifer Aniston for the successful comedy/romance The Break Up, as a real estate agent, Riggleman. He returned to series television after the termination of “Arrested Development” by starring as Jake Galvin on the short-lived comedy serial “The Jake Effect” (2006).
More recently, Bateman impressed moviegoers with his prominent performance opposite Ben Affleck and Zach Cumer on the Joe Carnahan-directed Smokin’ Aces (2007). There he played a former lawyer name Rupert “Rip” Reed. The same year, he also costarred with Amanda Peet and Zach Braff on the comedy/romance The Ex. Bateman will join Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Garner for the Middle East thriller The Kingdom (2007) and star along side Natalie Portman and Dustin Hoffman in the family/comedy Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (2007). Besides, he has major roles in the dark comedy Juno (2007) and the action/drama Tonight, He Comes (2008), opposite Will Smith and Charlize Theron.
- Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy, “Arrested Development,” 2005
- Satellite: Outstanding Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical, “Arrested Development,” 2005
- Golden Satellite: Best Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical, “Arrested Development,” 2005