Fort Lauderdale-born, West Bloomfield, MI-raised actor Justin Bartha earns a footnote for one of the more eccentric debuts in American film, when he signed to portray a mentally impaired, rapping kidnap victim in Martin Brest's colossal turkey Gigli (2003). Given the film's poor reception, the assignment represented something of a setback for Bartha, but the role at least clocked in a memorable one and paved the way for continued work in Hollywood A-listers -- notably in the outings National Treasure (2004) and National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007), and the Sarah Jessica Parker/Matthew McConaughey romantic comedy Failure to Launch (2006). He would go on to appear in the major comedy landmark The Hangover franchise and in the sitcom The New Normal, which was canceled after only one season.
Biography by Nathan Southern
- Wanted to be a sports star growing up, but turned to acting after breaking wrist playing tennis.
- Began acting in theater at age 15.
- Wrote, produced and starred in a failed MTV pilot titled The Dustin and Justin Show, which lampooned entertainment-magazine shows.
- Wrote, directed and produced a 2003 short titled Highs and Lows.
- Made big-screen debut in 2003's much-reviled Gigli, playing a mentally challenged brother of a federal prosecutor.
- Played the missing groom in 2009's The Hangover.
- Made his Broadway debut in Lend Me a Tenor in 2010, which was directed by Stanley Tucci and also starred Anthony LaPaglia and Tony Shalhoub.