After biding his time for several years on the daytime soap One Life to Live (and following it up with an appearance in the direct-to-video horror outing Raising Hell), genial, square-jawed actor Ashton Holmes graduated to fame at the hands of David Cronenberg in the director's 2005 A History of Violence. Cronenberg cast the then-23-year-old actor as Jack Stall, the son of an Indiana restaurateur, who finds himself repeating his father's pattern of violence when he responds to relentless bullying at his school by aggressively standing up for himself -- and then pushes his self-defense into the territory of criminal assault. The film (which screened at Cannes and the Toronto Film Festival and received multiple Oscar nominations) put Holmes on the cultural landscape, and paved the way for many additional follow-ups. Holmes' next major appearance, however, came three years later (under the aegis of tyro Noam Murro) with his portrayal of the son of an emotionally alienated literature professor (Dennis Quaid) in the offbeat, character-driven seriocomedy Smart People (2008). Over the coming years, Holmes would appear on a number of TV series, like The Pacific, Nikita, and Revenge.
Biography by Nathan Southern
- Began acting at 6, when he appeared in a community-theater production of Guys and Dolls.
- Interned at the New York State Theatre Institute during his senior year of high school.
- Landed the lead in the national touring company of Rent after his first audition.
- Began his TV career on the daytime soap One Life to Live.
- Made his big-screen debut in David Cronenberg's acclaimed drama A History of Violence (2005).
- Starred as PFC Sidney Phillips in the HBO World War II miniseries The Pacific (2010).