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Michael Vartan Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (23) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 27 November 1968Boulogne-Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine, France
Birth NameMichael S. Vartan
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Michael Vartan was born on 27th November 1968 in France, an only child. Michael's father, Eddie Vartan, was a French musician, whose ancestry was Armenian and Bulgarian on one side, and Hungarian Jewish on the other. Michael's mother, Doris Vartan (née Pucher), is a Polish Jewish immigrant to the United States. His aunt is singer Sylvie Vartan. His parents divorced when he was five (his mother later re-married to screenwriter Ian La Frenais. He spent his childhood shuttling between the tiny Normandy village of Fleury, France (where his father lived) and the United States (where his mother lived). At the age of eighteen, after deciding against joining the French military service (mandatory for all males above 18 in France), Michael shifted to the States. His mother encouraged him to take acting classes, and he enrolled in an acting school after being told by many people that he had the potential for it. He made his acting debut in the French film Un homme et deux femmes (1991) and followed that with another French film, Promenades d'été (1992). It was with the Italian film Fiorile (1993), in which he played, ironically, a French soldier, that he made his international debut. Vartan, who was nominated for a French Caesar Award for Best Up-and-Coming Actor, played two characters in this fable of a curse that haunts a family through centuries. Of his performance, New York Post movie critic Mike Medved heralded the actor, saying, "[Vartan] is so hugely effective that it's hard to understand how he could have (so far) avoided discovery by Hollywood". Soon after, Vartan signed with an agent and landed a role in To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1995) playing the bigoted small-town thug who harasses three drag queens (Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze and John Leguizamo).

He went on to star opposite David Schwimmer, as one of his character's best friends in The Pallbearer (1996), a comedy of escapades surrounding three old high school pals coping with bachelorhood, marriage and a case of mistaken identity. He also gave an impressive performance in The Myth of Fingerprints (1997) as Jake, who, during a Thanksgiving family reunion tries to gain some perspective into the nature of love and family relationships. Michael's true mettle as an actor was seen when he played a character that he has described as being most unlike him. The role was that of the English Lit teacher-cum-Prince Charming Sam Coulson in the 1999 hit Never Been Kissed (1999). He followed his talked-about NBK performance with similar good ones in The Next Best Thing (2000) and It Had to Be You (2000). Meanwhile, he joined stellar company by being one among the biggest names in Hollywood to feature on shows like Ally McBeal (1997) and Friends (1994).

In 2001, he became a regular feature on TV, playing CIA agent Michael Vaughn in the series Alias (2001), and came to international acclaim, playing the role for five seasons. Vartan also appeared in the two-part TNT mini-series The Mists of Avalon (2001), a retelling of the legendary story of Camelotm which was shot on location in Prague. He portrayed "Sir Lancelot", opposite Anjelica Huston, Julianna Margulies and Joan Allen. He then starred opposite Robin Williams in the psychological thriller One Hour Photo (2002), playing "Will Yorkin", a husband and father whose family becomes the obsession of Williams' character, an employee at the local "One-Hour Photo".

Vartan starred opposite Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez in New Line Cinema's summer blockbuster Monster-in-Law (2005). He portrayed Kevin, a man whose overprotective mother (Fonda) tries to derail his engagement to his fiancée (Jennifer Lopez).

In the fall of 2007, Vartan was one of the leads of the ABC/Warner Bros. Television series, Big Shots (2007). He played James Walker, the moral center of the drama, which revolved around four high-powered CEOs who socialize at the same exclusive golf club. Vartan also had a starring role in the action/thriller Rogue (2007) for the Weinstein Company. He played a cynical American travel writer who embarks on a river cruise in the Australian outback, where the group finds themselves stranded in a treacherous lagoon. The role offered a departure from his romantic male leads in the comedies as Monster-in-Law (2005) and Never Been Kissed (1999). Rogue (2007) was written and directed by Aussie Greg McLean (whose debut film Wolf Creek (2005) has received rave reviews). With a reported $25 million budget, it was one of the most expensive locally-produced movies made in Australia. Around the same time, Michael also had a lead role in the independent feature "Jolene (2008): My Life", for director Dan Ireland (The Whole Wide World (1996)). Based on a story from critically acclaimed author E.L. Doctorow (Ragtime (1981), Billy Bathgate (1991)), the film revolved around a woman who at the age of 15, escapes an oppressive foster care system only to jump into three disastrous marriages, each of which forces her to rely on her survival instincts and determination to make something of her life. Vartan played "Brad Benton", the only son and heir to an oil drilling fortune who uses his charms to pursue an uninterested Jolene.

In his limited free time, Vartan has fed his obsession with sports, particularly ice hockey. "If it weren't for acting, I'd give anything to play a professional sport", he has said, still holding onto his lifelong dream.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Leena Dumsai (leena_d@yahoo.com)

Spouse (1)

Lauren Skaar (2 April 2011 - present) (filed for divorce)

Trivia (23)

Wanted to be a professional pool player before deciding to act instead. He played pool 12 hours a day, for 5 years.
Avid sports fan.
Plays hockey as often as he can. This attribute has also been given to his Alias (2001) character Michael Vaughn, who plays pickup hockey occasionally with his co-worker characters.
When the studio resisted casting an "unknown", Drew Barrymore pushed to get him cast in Never Been Kissed (1999).
Speaks French and English fluently.
Turned down a role in Scream 3 (2000) because he wanted to take his career in a different direction.
Nephew of Sylvie Vartan.
Cousin of French singer David Hallyday.
Was engaged to Shannon Gleason (1988-1998).
Also paints and plays guitar.
Although born in France, he is not of French descent. Michael's father, Eddie Vartan, was born in Bulgaria. Michael's paternal grandfather, Georges Vartan, was of half Armenian and half Bulgarian ancestry (the family surname was originally "Vartanian"). Michael's paternal grandmother, Ilona (Mayer), was of Hungarian Jewish background; her father, Rudolf, was a prominent architect. Michael's mother, Doris Vartan (née Pucher), is of Polish Jewish background; she was born in Poland and later became an American citizen.
Appeared in a television ad for the 2004 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. He stated that he hadn't been nervous while acting in 3 years, yet he was very nervous about appearing with the Stanley Cup.
Former nephew by marriage of Johnny Hallyday.
Is a huge fan of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977). He said in an interview that as a child he once watched it every day for a summer and ended up memorizing the lines from the movie.
Stepson of writer Ian La Frenais.
Has a chocolate Labrador Retriever named Millie.
Engaged to Lauren Skaar. They met in 2009 at a Whole Foods parking lot in Los Angeles [March 20, 2010].
Was in a relationship with Alias co-star Jennifer Garner (2003-2004).
Wrapping up filming on the final few episodes of the fourth season of Alias (2001). [March 2005]
Co-starring on Big Shots (2007) with Dylan McDermott, Christopher Titus and Joshua Malina. [September 2007]
Currently in Australia filming a new movie called Rogue (2007). [December 2005]
Will be in Melbourne in January attending the Aussie Millions Poker Championship at Crown Casino [December 2008]
Michael Vartan is a student of DW Brown and a graduate of The Joanne Baron DW Brown Studio.

Personal Quotes (1)

The funny thing is I'm actually a Polish Jew who happens to be born in France. My mom is Polish and my dad is Bulgarian. I don't have an ounce of French blood. But I work it.

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