Name:
Milo Ventimiglia
Birth Date:
1977/7/8
Birth Place:
Anaheim, California, USA
Height:
5' 10
Nationality:
American
Famous for:
his role as Jess Mariano in the TV dramedy Gilmore Girls
Profession:
actor
Education:
American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, California
BIOGRAPHY
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Heroes

Background:

First noticed by TV viewers while playing Rory Gilmore's boyfriend Jess Mariano, (2001-2006) on the WB/CW Emmy Award winning and Golden Globe nominated comedy series “Gilmore Girls,” Milo Ventimiglia is currently popular for playing Peter Petrelli in the NBC science fiction television drama series, "Heroes" (2006-Present).

The actor, who debuted on TV as a guest star in "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," previously starred in the short-lived FOX series "Opposite Sex" (as Jed Perry; 2000), NBC's series "American Dreams" (as Chris Pierce; 2004-2005), and the WB mid-season replacement series "The Bedford Diaries" (as Richard Thorne III; 2006). He also guest starred in such TV shows as "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "Boston Public," and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit."

“I was used to playing misled youth, rough-and-tumble guys. It was nice to get back to a big-hearted, warm and gentle soul, a guy who is destined for something a lot larger than he ever expected.” Milo Ventimiglia

On the big screen, Ventimiglia appeared in the films "She's All That" (1999), "Cursed" (2005), "Dirty Deeds" (2005), "Stay Alive" (2006), "Rocky Balboa" (2006) and "Pathology" (2008). He will next be seen in the upcoming films "Game," "Armored" and "The Chaos Theory."

Ventimiglia, who has an interest in directing and started a production company named DiVide Pictures (or the Divide Social Club) with childhood friends, helmed the original short comedy series, "It's a Mall World." He had previously directed the 2003 and 2004 WB Image Campaigns for such popular shows as “Gilmore Girls,” “One Tree Hill” and “7th Heaven.”

The 5' 10 actor, who was featured on the cover of the March 2003 issue of YM as one of “The 10 Hottest Guys on TV,” dated his “Gilmore Girls” co-star Alexis Bledel from 2002 to 2006 and is now dating his "Heroes" co-star Hayden Panettiere.

“I just try not to subscribe to the ways of celebrity. I'm not a celebrity, I'm a working actor. A lot of the events, the parties and the premieres that people go to get noticed, I'm just not into. I'll hang out with my friends, go see punk shows, read at home. At the same time, I have a production company, which is a lot of work.” Milo Ventimiglia


High School Wrestler

Childhood and Family:

“My sisters and mom raised me to respect women and open doors for them.” Milo Ventimiglia

Of Sicilian Italian descent on his father's side and a combination of Irish, English, Scottish, French, Cherokee and Blackfoot descent on his mother's, Milo Anthony Ventimiglia was born on July 8, 1977, in Anaheim, California. His family name is the name of a small city in Liguria (Northern Italy), which is near the border of France. The youngest of three born to a teacher mother and a salesman father, Milo has two older sisters who enjoyed dressing him up like Madonna when he was seven.

“It's [high school] an interesting time in your life because you're trying to act older and mature but you really have no idea what you're doing. You're scared and it's okay to be scared. It's okay to not know completely what you want or what you should be doing and to stumble a little bit.” Milo Ventimiglia

Milo attended El Modena High School in Orange, California, where he was the Associated Student Body president and voted Outstanding Senior Boy Graduate by his school's faculty. He was also a wrestler in high school and a member of the National Honor Society.

“Sometimes I'm just walking around and I hear a high-pitched squeal. It's flattering, but it's hard for me to stomach the fact that people think I'm hot. To be honest, my nose is crooked from being broken so many times while wrestling and my ears aren't even the same shape. I don't seek attention. If anything, I'd rather blend in, remain anonymous.” Milo Ventimiglia

After graduating high school in 1994, Milo attended UCLA as an English Major and received a scholarship to study at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theatre for their summer program.

Milo, who has been a vegetarian since childhood, does not smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol. During his spare time, he enjoys snowboarding, skateboarding, and muscle cars. He is best friends with "Heroes" co-star Adrian Pasdar and a close friend of “Heroes” co-star Kristen Bell and "One Tree Hill" star Sophia Bush.

From 2002 to 2006, Milo dated his "Gilmore Girls" (2000) co-star Alexis Bledel (born September 16, 1981). He has been dating his "Heroes" co-star Hayden Panettiere (born on August 21, 1989) since late 2007/early 2008.

“I'm just a person and I'm not larger than life!” Milo Ventimiglia


Gilmore Girls

Career:

Setting his sights on acting at the tender age of eight, Milo Ventimiglia honed in on his craft at the American Conservatory Theater and UCLA. He began auditioning and landed his first job on television with a one-line part in an October 1995 episode of the NBC sitcom starring Will Smith, “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” The following year, he was featured in the 20 minute short independent film directed by Nickolas Perry, “Must be the Music” (1996), which was later compiled into “Boys Life 2” (1997), a quartet of homosexual erotic short films. He was also spotted as a guest in an episode of ABC/The WB’s sitcom starring Melissa Joan Hart, "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," CBS’ drama "EZ Streets," CBS’ short-lived ensemble police drama series "Brooklyn South," the sitcom "One World," and the CBS family drama "Promised Land." He also had roles in two unaired TV series pilot, the comedy "Rewind" (1997; with Scott Baio) and the romantic comedy "Kelly Kelly" (1998).

In 1999, Ventimiglia portrayed a soccer player in the classic teen romantic comedy starring Freddie Prinze, Jr., “She’s All That,” and was cast as Travis in Nickolas Perry's teen drama film "Speedway Junky," alongside Jesse Bradford, Jordan Brower, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, and Daryl Hannah.

Entering the new millennium, Ventimiglia played the lead role of Jed Perry, one of the three boys attending a previously all-female school, in the short-lived series that aired during FOX's summer 2000 schedule, “Opposite Sex.” During this time, he also appeared in John Chase's independent comedy film "Massholes" and guest starred in an episode of CBS’ crime drama television series "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation."

“The kid I play, Jess, moves to town. He's a troublemaker. He steals, drinks beer, smokes. He's seventeen. He shouldn't be doing any of this stuff.” Milo Ventimiglia

The subsequent year, Ventimiglia got his first big break when he snagged the role of Jess Mariano, a love interest of Rory (played by Alexis Bledel), on the WB/CW Emmy Award winning and Golden Globe nominated comedy series, “Gilmore Girls.” He was a regular during the second and third season and appeared in the fourth and sixth season of the show. In 2003, he signed on for a spin-off of “Gilmore Girls,” titled “Windward Circle,” which never aired.

During his “Gilmore Girls” tenure, Ventimiglia, who appeared in a commercial for Mountain Dew in 2000, was featured in a commercial for Apple ibook (2001) and a PT Cruiser commercial Drive = Love Campaign which was released on September 10, 2001. He also did an Estee Lauder perfume commercial which was released in 2002, and has done three commercials about verbnow.com which was released in November 2002. Additionally, he was featured in a TV Guide article titled “Generation Now” in the November 23, 2002, issue and appeared in a commercial for T-Mobile (December 2003).

Ventimiglia also guest starred as Jake Provesserio, an undercover cop, on multiple 2003 episodes of FOX’s teen drama series “Boston Public.” Afterward, he joined the third and final season of NBC’s “American Dreams” as Chris Pierce (2004-2005), the son of Daphne Zuniga's Shelly Pierce and the rebellious boyfriend of Brittany Snow's Meg Pryor. The part of Chris Pierce was written specifically for him after he met with the show's creators.

2005 saw Ventimiglia with a small role as a gay bully named Bo in Wes Craven’s horror film “Cursed,” starring Christina Ricci. He also landed the regular role of Richard Thorne, the ex-boyfriend of Corri English's Natalie Dykstra, on the WB mid-season replacement series, “The Bedford Diaries.”

Ventimiglia scored another big role in 2006 when he was cast as a New York City hospice worker, who can absorb and mimic the powers of other people, in the NBC science fiction television drama series, “Heroes.” Premiering on September 25, 2006, the show returned with its third season on September 22, 2008. Meanwhile, Ventimiglia’s performance in the critically acclaimed show earned him two Teen Choice Award nominations for Choice TV Actor: Drama, which he won one in 2008.

On continuing with “Heroes,” he commented, “I’m a real guy and I also have a contract that I hope to honor so I’ll be on the show, I think, as long as they would have me and as long as I’m obligated to it and put my best work forward, and I’ll leave everything else up to time. I’ve got other ambitions, but when it comes to the show, and when we’re in production, that’s what I’m doing.”

During this time, Ventimiglia was also cast as Robert Balboa Jr., the son of former Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa (played by Sylvester Stallone), in the latest Rocky installment, “Rocky Balboa” (2006).

In 2007, Ventimiglia, who has a great interest in directing and started a production company named DiVide Pictures (or the Divide Social Club) with childhood friends, directed the original short comedy series, "It's a Mall World," which was made exclusively for American Eagle Outfitters (mini-episodes aired on MTV and on the official American Eagle website), as well as produced and lent his voice to a series of internet claymation shorts named “Winter Tales for American Eagle Outfitters.” He was also featured in the 2007 Fergie music video for the song "Big Girls Don't Cry.” He had previously directed the 2003 and 2004 WB Image Campaigns for such popular shows as “Gilmore Girls,” “One Tree Hill” and “7th Heaven.”

Moviegoers recently caught Ventimiglia starring in Marc Schoelermann's thriller film, "Pathology" (2008), with Lauren Lee Smith, Johnny Whitworth, Alyssa Milano, and Keir O'Donnell. He has also completed his new films, "Game," Mark Neveldine's and Brian Taylor's thriller set in the near future in which he co-stars with Gerard Butler, Michael C. Hall, John Leguizamo, and Alison Lohman, and "Armored," Nimród Antal's dramatic thriller in which he teams up with Columbus Short, Matt Dillon, Laurence Fishburne, Jean Reno, and Skeet Ulrich.

Ventimiglia will soon wrap up his upcoming film project, "The Chaos Theory," a thriller written and directed by Vince Vieluf featuring Samantha Mathis and Mimi Rogers. He will also serve as producer for an upcoming drama feature titled "Blades of Glory."

“Every job built my career in some way or made me grow as a person or I got to meet someone great. I had one line on ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,’ but I met Will Smith and he took 20 minutes out of his day to talk to the kid with one line. To this day, I think that guy is amazing because of that.” Milo Ventimiglia


Awards:

  • Teen Choice: Choice TV Actor: Action Adventure, "Heroes," 2008

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