Ryan Gosling, born on November 12, 1980, in London, Ontario, Canada, began his career on The Mickey Mouse Club (1993). As an adult, he starred in the romantic hit The Notebook (2004), and earned an Academy Award nomination for Half Nelson (2006) and a Golden Globe nomination for Lars and the Real Girl (2007). Gosling also appeared in Blue Valentine (2010) and Crazy, Stupid, Love(2010).
Actor Ryan Thomas Gosling grew up in a working-class Mormon family in Cornwall, Ontario. One of Sylvester Stallone‘s action films proved to an early influence on the future thespian. “When I was in first grade I watched First Blood and I filled my Fisher-Price Houdini kit with steak knives and brought them to school and started throwing them at kids in recess,” Gosling later toldMcLean’s magazine. He was suspended for this dangerous re-enactment, but he continued to be inspired by the movies he saw.
Ryan Gosling caught his first big break in 1993, when he joined the cast of The Mickey Mouse Club, a variety show for young people. He sang, danced and acted alongside such future stars as Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera. “I went through puberty in a theme park,” Gosling explained to Esquire magazine about his years on the show filmed at Walt Disney World in Florida. “I’m grateful. That place was a landscape to me. I had adventures every day.”
After the show was canceled in 1995, Gosling went to work on other television series. He appeared in teen comedy Breaker Highfrom 1997 to 1998 before quickly moving on to a more mythical role. At the age of 17, Gosling moved to Los Angeles to star as the title character in the popular teen series Young Hercules.
For his film debut, Gosling had a supporting role in the sports dramaRemember the Titans (2000) starring Denzel Washington. But his first major film breakthrough came in 2001’s The Believer. He played a Jewish neo-Nazi in this critically acclaimed film, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. However, it wasn’t until 2004 and his starring turn in the romantic blockbusterThe Notebook opposite Rachel McAdams that mainstream audiences sat up and took notice. In 2006, he received raves for his role as Dan Dunne in Half Nelson. The intense and moving performance earned him a Best Actor Academy Award nomination.
Always one to tackle diverse roles, Gosling played a young prosecutor in Fracture (2007) opposite Anthony Hopkins. He went on to star as a shy, delusional man who forms a sincere attachment to a doll whom he sees as a human in the offbeat comedy Lars and the Real Girl (2007). For his performance, Gosling earned a Golden Globe nomination.
In recent years, Ryan Gosling has emerged as both serious actor with impressive range and as one of Hollywood’s most popular sex symbols. He gave a strong performance opposite Michelle Williams in the 2010 independent romantic tragedy Blue Valentine, which followed the downward spiral of one couple.
The following year proved to be an even bigger year for the actor. Gosling appeared in three very different types of films, ranging from romantic comedy to political drama to edgy thriller. In Crazy, Stupid, Love (2012), he played a smooth ladies’ man who tries to school a man going through a divorce (Steve Carell) in the ways of winning over women.Emma Stone played Gosling’s love interest in the movie. Gosling co-starred with George Clooney inThe Ides of March, which Clooney also directed and co-wrote. In the film, Gosling played a smart and savvy press secretary to a politician. Moving into a more action-oriented role, he starred in Drive about a stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver.
Gosling continues to challenge himself as an actor. He starred withBradley Cooper in the crime drama The Place Beyond the Pines, which debuted at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. Reteaming with Emma Stone, Gosling played a lawman out to fight such organized crime figures as Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) in Los Angeles in Gangster Squad. The film had originally been set to debut in fall 2012, but it was pushed back until January 2013 because of one of its movie theater shoutout scene too closely mirrored a real-life tragedy. In July 2012, a gunman opened fire on a crowd inside a Colorado movie theater. Warner Brothers, the studio behindGangster Squad, decided to relay the film’s release to make some revisions and changes in light of the Colorado movie theater killings.
In addition to acting, Gosling is also working on his directorial debutHow to Catch a Monster. The film, which he also wrote and produced, stars Christina Hendricks.
Gosling has worked to promote several social causes, including AIDS research, poverty relief and the humane treatment of animals. He likes to box and to make furniture—a skill he picked up while making The Notebook. Gosling is also an accomplished jazz guitarist and singer.