When college basketball star Marc Blucas did not make the NBA, he decided to apply to law school. The day before he was scheduled to take the Law School Admission Test, he unwound by watching Rob Reiner's courtroom drama A Few Good Men (1992) and realized that what excited him about the film was not the law, but the acting. A few years later, Blucas was a television veteran with several feature films under his belt and a coveted spot in Vanity Fair's prestigious Hollywood Issue.
Born Marcus Paul Blucas on January 11, 1972, the actor grew up in the small town of Girard, PA. The son of a school superintendent and an education administrator, he made his stage debut as a cupcake in his third grade class' production of Hansel and Gretel. At 6'2" tall, he was the star center on the Girard High School basketball team. An All-State athlete, Blucas averaged 20.8 points and 10.1 rebounds per game and lead his team to two 2A championships. In his senior year, the team went undefeated and was ranked among the best high school basketball teams by USA Today. Blucas earned a full scholarship to Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC, where he majored in business with a minor in speech communication and played shooting guard and small forward for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. He competed in four NCAA tournaments and won the Murray C. Greason Sr. Athletic Academic Award and the Weaver-James-Corrigan Postgraduate Scholarship in his senior year. When Blucas was not picked in the NBA draft, he joined the Manchester Giants and played pro basketball in England for one season. After starting a company that was targeted to assist athletes in endorsement and contract negotiations, he intended to go to law school but tried his hand at acting instead.
Blucas had already appeared opposite Marg Helgenberger and Kris Kristofferson in the television movie Inflammable (1995), when a friend at Wake Forest informed him that the producers of the Whoopi Goldberg comedy Eddie (1996) were looking for a baby-faced basketball player to appear in the picture. He was a perfect fit and made his feature-film debut as a benched player on the New York Knicks. After working as the technical advisor on NBC's sports biopic Never Give Up: The Jimmy V Story (1996), Blucas was able to expand his part as an athlete in Pleasantville (1997) by coordinating the film's basketball sequences. He then dedicated himself to honing his craft through workshops and acting classes, before resurfacing as Jerry O'Connell's best friend in the NBC miniseries The '60s (1999), and as Carmen Electra's ex-beau in Jeff Abugov's The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human (1999). He also appeared on MTV's Undressed, the WB's Clueless, and HBO's Arli$$.
Blucas' breakthrough role came in the fall of 1999, when he was cast as a regular on Joss Whedon's hit series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Portraying Buffy's (Sarah Michelle Gellar) demon-hunting boyfriend, Riley Finn, he became a recognizable actor with a sturdy fan base. Blucas left the show in 2000 (with the promise that he would be back) in order to pursue film work. After starring in the baseball-themed Summer Catch (2001) with Freddie Prinze Jr. and Jessica Biel, he began a back-to-back shooting schedule that included Kevin Smith's Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) with Ben Affleck and Jason Lee, John Sayles' The Sunshine State (2001) with Angela Bassett and Edie Falco, and Randall Wallace's We Were Soldiers (2002) with Mel Gibson and Chris Klein. He also joined the casts of the Gwyneth Paltrow comedy A View From the Top (2002), the thriller They (2002), and the period piece I Capture the Castle (2002).
While still swearing to fans that he will return to Buffy the Vampire Slayer as soon as he can, Blucas signed on to director Alex Steyermark's Pray for Rock 'n' Roll, which stars Gina Gershon, Jennifer Esposito, Jane Adams, and Shelly Cole as a struggling Los Angeles-based girl band. Despite his onscreen success and his busy schedule, the actor still makes time for basketball. He plays on an adult team and serves as a referee for a Los Angeles youth league.