Michigan native Taylor Lautner had a knack for martial arts from the time he was a young child, winning karate tournaments in the Grand Rapids area while he was still in grade school. By eight, he'd developed enough skill to attract the attention of champion martial artist Mike Chat, who became Lautner's coach. The young athlete eventually won three gold medals in the World Karate Association, but he soon found his interests expanding. Connections in the karate world led to an audition for a role in a TV commercial in Los Angeles, and even though Lautner didn't get the part, he enjoyed the process so much that his family soon began flying him out to the coast regularly for auditions, eventually relocating to L.A. completely. In California, Lautner continued to do well at martial arts competitions, but additionally found success in acting, appearing on shows like My Wife and Kids and Danny Phantom. Then, in 2005, Lautner scored the role of Sharkboy in the Robert Rodriguez film The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl. The 13 year old had only been living in Hollywood for three years, but he instantly became a famous face, especially among young audiences. In 2008, he took on the role of Jacob Black in the highly anticipated film adaptation of the young-adult novel Twilight. The film became a smash-success, and made him a teen heartthrob. He tried his hand at romantic comedy in the ensemble film Valentine's Day in 2010, and had the lead in the thriller Abduction in 2011.
Biography by Cammila Collar
- Began studying karate at age 6, and won three first-place titles at 7; subsequently won numerous national titles.
- Made his acting debut in the 2001 direct-to-video movie Shadow Fury.
- Big-screen breakthrough came when he was cast as Sharkboy in Robert Rodriguez's The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl (2005); parts in Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005) and Twilight (2008) followed.
- Has lent his voice to a number of cartoons, including What's New, Scooby Doo?, Duck Dodgers and Danny Phantom.
- Landed his first series-regular role in 2008, playing the son of Christian Slater's character on NBC spy thriller My Own Worst Enemy.