While his standout performance as Gabe, the troubled boyfriend of Claire Fisher (Lauren Ambrose), on the acclaimed HBO series Six Feet Under may have made a striking first impression on many viewers, the truth is that Eric Balfour had been acting in television for nearly a decade following his small-screen debut as a member of Kids Incorporated in 1991. A Los Angeles native whose spiritual family used to hold Lakota Indian sweat lodges in their backyard, Balfour is also a talented musician who once took to the stage with fellow actor Brittany Murphy as members of the band Blessed With Soul. Rising through the television ranks after his debut on Kids Incorporated, Balfour made his feature debut in the 1996 film Shattered Image. A high-profile role in the pilot epsiode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, plus supporting roles in such teen-oriented films as Trojan War (1997) and Can't Hardly Wait (1998) were quick to follow, and a key performance in the 1999 family drama Scrapbook gave audiences their first true look at his dramatic abilities. Though subsequent supporting roles in What Women Want (2000) and America's Sweethearts (2001) didn't find Balfour climbing the credits as much as he may have deserved, his breakthrough role in Six Feet Under gave his feature career a notable shot in the arm. After appearing in the short-lived television series Veritas: The Quest and the feature Secondhand Lions, Balfour could be seen running scared in the Hollywood horror remake The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003). He continued to make supporting appearance in films, but really focused more on television; Balfour had a recurring guest spot on The O.C. and a major arc on 24, plus appearances on shows like Life on Mars and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. In 2010, he joined the cast of the SyFy supernatural series Haven.
Biography by Jason Buchanan
- Got his start as a member of the teen cast on the series Kids Incorporated.
- Once performed with Brittany Murphy as members of the band Blessed with Soul.
- Guest starred in the pilot episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a friend of Xander's who is turned to a vampire and eventually staked by Buffy.
- Played Milo Pressman in season 1 of 24; later reprised the role in season 6.
- Appeared on an episode of Celebrity Ghost Stories.
- Lead singer of rock group Fredalba.