Though indie-savvy moviegoers may recognize Eric Mabius for his roles in the mid-'90s art-house hits Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995) and I Shot Andy Warhol (1996), Mabius's journey to mainstream recognition has been slow and steady as the talented actor assuredly made his way to starring in such wide-release films as Resident Evil (2002) and Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004). Born April 21, 1971, in Pennsylvania, Mabius studied film, dance, and sculpture at Sarah Lawrence College starting in 1990. Gaining experience in numerous off-Broadway roles, the aspiring actor (who often resembled a young Harrison Ford, with that actor's concomitant appeal) soon landed his first film role in director Todd Solondz's satirical Dollhouse. As the object of awkward seventh-grader Dawn "Weinerdog" Weiner's affection, Mabius's humorous performance raised a few eyebrows as well as a few chuckles. Following strongly with roles in Warhol, Lawn Dogs (1997), and The Minus Man (1999), Mabius turned up in increasingly prominent roles, with his turn as a closeted athlete in Cruel Intentions (also 1999) kicking his career into high gear. Taking over for the late Brandon Lee in the role of the Crow for 2000's The Crow: Salvation, Mabius had ironically auditioned for the role of Funboy in the first entry (a role that eventually went to Michael Massee, the actor who fired the gun shot resulting in Lee's untimely death).
2002 found Mabius in his most prominent mainstream role to date as he joined the cast of the popular video game turned movie franchise Resident Evil. The film grossed upwards of $100 million giving Mabius enough exposure to land him the only leading male role in the 2004 debut season of Showtime's lesbian drama series The L Word. Though the role was diminished to an occasional guest-spot in subsequent seasons, Mabius remained a presence on the small screen with a multi-episode arc as Dean Jack Hess on Fox's The O.C. and a starring role in the short-lived ABC mystery show Eyes.
In 2005, Mabius appeared in two minor films: the police actioner Venice Underground and the slasher movie Reeker. In the former, the actor plays an undercover agent who must help his partners track down the murderer of a narcotic agent, in the latter, the obnoxious Ecstasy supplier of a serial killer's victim. He also made a particularly huge splash on the small screen, as Daniel Meade, the fashion editor boss of "ugly duckling" Betty Suarez (America Ferrera) in the blockbuster prime-time series Ugly Betty (2006), adapted from a popular Spanish telenovela.