Ryan Gosling Bio

A tall, lanky actor who began his career as a singer, Ryan Gosling steadily amassed an impressive resume in film and television before finally breaking through with a powerful performance as a Jewish neo-Nazi in the based-on-fact "The Believer" (2001), the Grand Jury Prize winner at the Sundance Film Festival. Born on November 12, 1980 in Ontario, Canada, Gosling began his showbiz career performing with his older sister at local talent shows. After beating out some 17,000 other aspirants, he was selected to join the Disney Channel revival of the "Mickey Mouse Club" in 1993, joining a cast that included future singing superstars Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and JC Chasez of *NSYNC, and Keri Russell.

By the time his last “Mickey Mouse Club” episodes aired in 1996 (he spent two years taping episodes that aired over a four-year period), Gosling had moved on to other projects, including playing a preteen who tries to bring the Creature back to life in "Frankenstein and Me" (Disney Channel). That same year, he delivered a well-received turn as a British foundling in an episode of "The Road to Avonlea" (aired in the USA on Disney Channel), which brought him a Gemini Award nomination. In 1997, Gosling was tapped to play the smooth-talking hypochondriac Sean Hanlon in "Breaker High" (USA Network, 1997-98), a half-hour series about a high school set on a cruise ship. His goofy charm and attractive looks earned him status as a teen pin-up which was further enhanced by casting as "Young Hercules" (Fox, 1998-99), a sort of prequel to the popular series that featured Kevin Sorbo.

Gosling made the transition to the big screen playing one of the squad of players coping with the integration of the football team in the 1970s-set true-life drama "Remember the Titans" (2000). He followed with a galvanizing performance as an articulate and intelligent young Jewish teen who becomes involved with a neo-Nazi group in "The Believer" (2001). The Sundance-screened film was inspired by a real-life event, though writer-director Henry Bean took some liberties with the tale, moving the time frame from the 60s to the present. The film picked up the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in part because of Gosling's star-making turn. The young actor next was cast as another troubled teen trying to cope with life in a violent world in "The Slaughter Rule" (2002) before turning murderous as a teen trying to outwit an FBI agent (Sandra Bullock) in "Murder By Numbers" (2002). Gosling's performance in that film made a mark among Hollywood players, but to the public he was primarily known as Bullock's rumored paramour (both denied any romantic relationship).

He next delivered an adroit turn as the autistic Leland in the otherwise disappointing indie "The United States of Leland" (2004), and then landed what would be his breakout performance in a mainstream film, playing the young romantic lead opposite Rachel McAdams in Nick Cassavetes' effectively sentimental and emotional adaptation of the bestselling novel "The Notebook" (2004). Cast against type after Cassavetes saw "The Believer" and thought the actor had unexplored depths, Gosling delivered a warm and charming performance buoyed by a heartbreaking depression that elevated his status among the actors of his generation. Less satisfying was Marc Forster's ambitious, but murky psychological thriller "Stay" (2005), about a shrink (Ewan McGregor) whose suicidal patient (Gosling) somehow begins invading his dreams and blurring the lines of their realities and individualities.

His next film, “Half Nelson” (2006), marked Gosling as a serious actor on the rise. Gosling gave a stellar performance as an idealistic and inspirational inner-city teacher who engages in an after school drug habit which is discovered by a troubled student (Shareeka Epps), leading to an unexpected friendship that threatens to either undo them both or bring about the change they both desperately need. Gosling earned himself a slew of festival awards and nominations, including a win for Best Male Breakthrough Performance by the National Board of Review and a nod for Best Male Lead from the Independent Spirit Awards. But nothing topped the elation of his first Oscar nomination for the 79th Annual Academy Awards, joining the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Peter O’Toole, Will Smith and Forest Whitaker in the Best Actor category.

Hot off his Academy Award nomination, Gosling matched wits with acclaimed actor Anthony Hopkins in the well-reviewed courtroom thriller, “Fracture” (2007). He played an ambitious Deputy D.A. in line for a big promotion after he closes the books on a seemingly open-and-shut case against a wealthy aeronautical engineer (Hopkins) who shot and killed his much younger wife (Embeth Davidtz) once he discovered her affair with a police hostage negotiator (Billy Burke). But the case starts to unravel when evidence that at first appeared to be a lock starts to suddenly erode the prosecution’s case. Gosling was singled out by many critics for his fully inhabiting a role that most other actors would have simply sleepwalked through.

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