An actor since the age of six, when he began appearing in TV commercials, Elden Henson got his first big break in 1998 when he was cast as a warm-hearted giant opposite Sharon Stone and Kieran Culkin in The Mighty. Often cast as social misfits, the red-haired, stocky actor was born in Rockville, MD, on August 30, 1977. Two years later he entered show business as a model, and at the age of six moved to Los Angeles with his family in order to better pursue his career.
After getting bit parts in Jaws: The Revenge (1987) and Turner and Hooch (1989), Henson won a more substantial role in the 1992 preteen hockey comedy The Mighty Ducks, and also appeared in the film's 1994 and 1996 sequels. Following his recognition in The Mighty, which earned him some positive critical notices, he became part of the late-'90s teen flick trend when he was chosen for supporting roles in the Freddy Prinze Jr./Rachael Leigh Cook romantic comedy She's All That (1999) and Idle Hands (1999), a schlocky teen murder ditty that had the misfortune of being released in the wake of the Columbine High School massacre.
In 2001, Henson won one of his most substantial roles to date in Manic, a teen-ensemble drama directed by first-time filmmaker Jordan Melamed. Set entirely in a teen psychiatric ward, it cast Henson as an angry young man in the company of Joseph Gordon Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, as well as the always reliable Don Cheadle. That same year he further increased his exposure by appearing opposite Julia Stiles, Josh Hartnett, and Mekhi Phifer in O, Tim Blake Nelson's modern-day prep school take on Shakespeare's Othello.