Peter Facinelli

Active - 1995 - Present  |   Born - Nov 26, 1973 in Queens, New York, United States  |   Genres - Drama, Fantasy, Crime, Comedy, Thriller

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Biography by Nathan Southern

Though he could have easily fallen into a "nice guy" Hollywood stereotype, clean-cut actor Peter Facinelli refused to be pigeonholed in one set category or type of role; that very versatility, in turn, became one of Facinelli's trademarks. He grew up amid a large Italian-American family in the Ozone Park neighborhood of Queens, NY, studied at St. Francis Preparatory High, and then enrolled at the Atlantic Theater Company Acting School in Manhattan, where his mentors included Giancarlo Esposito, William H. Macy, and Felicity Huffman. By the mid- to late '90s, Facinelli made a beeline for the West Coast and, in seemingly no time at all, began to build a hefty résumé of acting roles, occasionally in a lead capacity.

Early projects included the 1998 slice-of-lifer Dancer, Texas Pop. 81 (as a wealthy young man eager to leave his Texas town with his buddies and start over in L.A.), the 1998 teen-oriented romantic comedy Can't Hardly Wait, and -- as largely a showcase for Facinelli's acting chops -- the stagy ensembler The Big Kahuna (1999), with Facinelli, Kevin Spacey, and Danny DeVito as industrial lubricant salesmen sharing a hotel suite. In that film, Facinelli played a born-again Christian who threatens to alienate his colleagues when he inadvertently lets their prize client slip through his fingers.

In 2001, Facinelli married 90210 actress Jennie Garth, whom he had met when they co-starred together in the 1996 TV movie An Unfinished Affair (the pair divorced in 2013). He also began to find even greater success on the big screen in 2001, appearing as Takmet in the Rock-headlined blockbuster action movie The Scorpion King, and in a small part in the Penny Marshall-helmed comedy drama Riding in Cars with Boys, starring Drew Barrymore.

In addition to his successful film career, Facinelli found a good deal of exposure on the small screen. His first major TV role was on the short-lived Fox series Fastlane (2002-2003); on that Fast and the Furious-like action program, produced by McG, he starred alongside Bill Bellamy and Tiffani-Amber Thiessen as undercover cop Van Ray. In 2004, Facinelli landed a small recurring role on the critically lauded HBO drama Six Feet Under as Jimmy, one of Claire's (Lauren Ambrose) friends at art school. A few years later, in 2007, the actor cropped up on television again, this time in a recurring role on the suspenseful basic-cable mystery drama Damages, starring Glenn Close; he portrayed Gregory Malina, a seemingly small player early on in season one of that series, who ends up having a pivotal part in the elaborate mystery of that season.

Meanwhile, Facinelli was still active in features, appearing in such films as sci-fi thriller Hollow Man 2 (2006) and the comedy Finding Amanda (2008). He finally appeared in a giant success when he landed the role of Edward's father, Dr. Carlisle Cullen, in the phenomenally successful Twilight films.

In 2009 he began a successful run on the small screen in the award-winning series Nurse Jackie, and in 2011 wrote the gentle family crime film Loosies. The Twilight Saga wrapped in 2012 and Facinelli maintained his role on Nurse Jackie through seven seasons, in addition to a guest arc on Glee. In 2015, he joined the new CBS series Supergirl, playing one of the show's antagonists.

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  • Originally pursued a degree in law, but after interning with a law firm, decided to go into acting.
  • Studied under William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman and Camryn Manheim at the famed Atlantic Theatre Company Acting School at New York University.
  • Left NYU 15 credits shy of graduation after landing a role in 1995 indie film Angela.
  • Met first wife Jennie Garth on the set of 1996 TV movie An Unwanted Affair.
  • Holds dual citizenship with Italy.