Endowed with the kind of dark, puppy-eyed, lanky looks that have often gotten him cast as sensitive, shy young men, actor Josh Charles first became known to audiences as sensitive, shy prep school boy Knox Overstreet in Dead Poets Society (1989). A native of Baltimore, where he was born September 15, 1971, Charles made his entrance into acting through stand-up comedy, which he began performing at the age of eight. He made his film debut in fellow-native son John Waters' Hairspray (1988), and following the success of Dead Poets Society the next year, earned a reputation as a member of the '90s version of the Brat Pack.
Charles' subsequent film appearances were sporadic and in projects of wildly varying quality; ranking among his better-known work are Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead (1991), Threesome (1994), and the made-for-television Norma Jean and Marilyn (1996). In 1998, Charles was cast as one of the leads in the highly acclaimed TV show Sports Night, a sitcom revolving around the goings-on of a late night cable sports news program. Though Sports Night did indeed gain positive critical notice and a loyal fanbase for its smart writing and multi-dimensional characters, it was unfortunately cancelled before it really had a chance to fully develope. Hollywood did however take notice of Charles' talents as an actor, and the quality and substance of the roles he was being offered slowly began to rise. Following a pair of low-key roles in such indie dramas as Meeting Daddy (2000) and Our America (2002), Charles was cast in the high-profile action thriller S.W.A.T.
Over the next several years, Charles would remain active on screen, appearing on TV series like In Treatment and The Good Wife and films like The Ex and Weakness.