Texas native Jared Padalecki was only 12 years old when he started studying acting. He took to the stage all throughout high school, competing on his school's speech team and appearing in school plays. In 1999, the 17-year-old won Fox's "Claim to Fame" contest and had the chance to appear at the Teen Choice Awards. The opportunity led to the young actor signing up with an agent and beginning his professional career. He began scoring appearances on shows and in TV movies, playing the victim of a car accident on an episode of ER and a wealthy suitor in Ring of Endless Light. Then in 2001, Padalecki was cast as Dean Forester, love interest of Rory Gilmore on the hit series Gilmore Girls. He stayed with the show until 2005, when he joined up with the sci-fi thriller series Supernatural. Padalecki also ventured onto the big screen, appearing in films like House of Wax and The Christmas Cottage.
Biography by Cammila Collar
- Started taking acting lessons when he was 12.
- Won a Claim to Fame contest in 1999 that sent him to the first Teen Choice Awards where he was noticed by an agent.
- Was a candidate for the Presidential Scholars Program in 2000.
- Planned to attend the University of Texas but changed his mind when he won the role of Dean on Gilmore Girls.
- Received information about mythology to prep him for Supernatural from his mom, Sherri, who is a high school heroes, myths and legends teacher.