An actor who seemed predestined for enlistment as a screen heartthrob, muscle-bound Aussie performer Ryan Kwanten specialized in portrayals of young, well-built, slightly jocky types, including lifeguards, surfers, and athletes. Born in 1976, Kwanten attained Australian celebrity in his early twenties with an ongoing role in the late '90s as lifeguard Vinnie Patterson on the long-running Australian soap Home and Away. That assignment imparted Kwanten with a large and loyal following that found its strongest base among female viewers, and prepped him for one of his first major Hollywood assignments: a lead portrayal of surfer Nick McCallum in the big screen surf drama Liquid Bridge (2003). Beginning the following year, Kwanten turned up as surf shop proprietor Jay Robertson in both seasons of the WB network's Summerland; he also played a widower who comes face-to-face with a small town's ghastly curse in director James Wan's grisly horror outing Dead Silence (2007) and then signed on to play Jason Stackhouse, the brother of a clairvoyant waitress (Anna Paquin) on Alan Ball's HBO vampire series True Blood. He was in Red Hill, and landed the title part in the quirky comedy Griff the Invisible in 2010. The next year he was in the horror comedy Knights of Badassdom.
Biography by Nathan Southern
- Got into acting as a teen when, on his way to a swimming lesson, was discovered by a casting agent at his brother's audition.
- Earned a nomination for a Silver Logie for Most Popular Actor Award in 2002 for the role of Vinnie Patterson on long-running Australian soap Home and Away.
- Commitment to physical fitness runs in family (father a noted paddle boarder, mother an avid runner); lifelong interest in sports includes teen welterweight boxing championships, swimming, surfing, running, biathlon and Vinyasa yoga.
- Avid Scrabble player.