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Ian Somerhalder

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Ian Somerhalder
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Ian Joseph Somerhalder
Covington, Louisiana
Birth date
December 8, 1978 (age 35)
I’m starting to see my life surface in the art and I’m starting to see the art surfacing in my life. It’s a very interesting dichotomy actors live but they’re supposed to be intertwined. Art should imitate life and life should imitate art.
— Ian Somerhalder on ETOnline

Ian Joseph Somerhalder is an American actor, fashion model, and producer who plays Damon Salvatore on The Vampire Diaries



Ian Somerhalder

Ian Somerhalder was born in Covington, Louisiana on December 8, 1978. His father, Robert Somerhalder, was a building contractor of French and English descent, and his mother, Edna, who is of Irish and Choctaw descent, was a massage therapist. He has a brother, Robert, a wood worker, and a sister, Robyn, a broadcast journalist. Boating, swimming, fishing and training horses filled much of his recreational time growing up, as did the school drama club and performing with the local theater group.

With his mother's encouragement, at age 10 he began a modeling career that took him to New York each summer. By the time he was in  junior high, he opted to put modeling on the back burner and focus more on sports and school. A few years later, when the opportunity to model in Europe arose, Somerhalder grabbed it, embarking on an enriching path of work, travel and study that took him to cities including Paris, Milan and London.

At 17, he began studying acting in New York, and by 19 had committed himself to the craft, working with preeminent acting coach William Esper. His fate was sealed while working as an extra in a club scene in the feature film Black & White(1999). A talent manager visiting a client on the set spotted Somerhalder in a crowd scene of 400 and immediately signed him for representation. Happy to be anchored in New York, Somerhalder spends much of his time studying acting, writinng and practicing yoga. His recreational interests include water and snow skiing and horseback riding. Recently, he has helped raise funds for 'Disaster in the Gulf', to help the people affected by an oil spill on the coast. 

Early Life

Somerhalder was born and raised up in Covington, Louisiana, the son of Edna, a massage therapist, and Robert Somerhalder, an independent building contractor. He was raised as a Catholic, he attended St. Paul's, a private Catholic school in Covington. He embarked on a modelling career from the age of 10. By the age of 17, he began to give acting a try.

Personal Life

While Ian was working on Vampire Diaries, he started dating his co-star Nina Dobrev. He enjoys reading, music, yoga and traveling. He has 3 cats with Nina Dobrev; Jama-Lynx, Dennis and Moke. He likes the colors red, black, blue and white. He and Nina have now split up.


In the summer of 2000 Somerhalder starred in the short-lived WB series, Young Americans, a spin-off of Dawson's Creek. He played Hamilton Fleming, the son of the dean of a prestigious boarding school, who falls in love with a fellow student. The series was filmed in Havre de Grace, Maryland. In 2002, Somerhalder played Paul Denton in Roger Avary's adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' novel, The Rules of Attraction, alongside James Van Der Beek, Shannyn Sossamon, and Jessica Biel. In May 2006, Somerhalder was named one of DNA Models' Top 10 Male Models. He played the role of Boone Carlyle on the hit TV-series Lost. Somerhalder guest starred as Nick in HBO's Tell Me You Love Me, appearing fully nude in a sex scene with actress Michelle Borth. In September 2009, Somerhalder appeared in the movie The Tournament where he played the role of an assassin participating in a lethal competition with other assassins. On 10 October 2009, it was announced that he will star in the Gothic movie Cradlewood, which is to be directed by Harry Weinmann. The movie doesn't have a schedule yet. Somerhalder also appears in the limited-edition coffee table book About Face by celebrity photographer John Russo and Pixie Press Worldwide publishers. Somerhalder currently stars as the vampire Damon Salvatore in the CW TV drama series The Vampire Diaries. For his 32nd birthday he established a foundation.

Acting Career


Year TV show Role Notes
1997 The Big Easy
1999 Now and Again
2000 Young Americans
2001 Anatomy of a Hate Crime
2002 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
2003 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
CSI: Miami 
2004 Fearless
Smallville  Adam Knight 
2007 Marco Polo
Tell Me You Love Me
2008 Lost City Raiders
2009 Fireball
2004–2010 Lost Boone Carlyle
2009- The Vampire Diaries  Damon Salvatore
2014 Years of Living Dangerously As himself Documentary series; 1 episode: "Ice & Brimstone"


Year Movie Role Notes
2008 Celebrity Unconfirmed Uncredited
2001 Life as a House  Josh
2002 Changing Hearts Jason Kelly
2002 The Rules of Attraction  Paul Denton
2004 In Enemy Hands  U.S.S. Swordfish Danny Miller
2004 The Old Man and the Studio  Matt Short Film
2006 National Lampoon's TV: The Movie Unconfirmed Uncredited
2006 Pulse Dexter
2006 The Sensation of Sight Drifter
2008 The Lost Samaritan William Archer
2009 Wake Tyler
2009 The Tournament Miles Shade
2010 How to Make Love to a Woman Daniel Meltzer
2013 Caught On Tape Officer Lewis
2013 Time Framed Agent Black

Short Film

2014 The Anomaly Harkin Langham


0325-ian-accepting-award ob

Accepting Genesis Award

  • 2002 Young Hollywood Awards- Exciting New Face-Male, N/A, Won
  • 2005 Teen Choice Awards-Choice TV Breakout Performance-Male, Lost, Nominated
  • 2006 Screen Actors Guild Awards-Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, Lost(with cast), Won
  • 2010 Young Hollywood Awards- Cast To watch(Along with Nina Dobrev & Paul Wesley), The Vampire Diaries, Won
  • 2010 Teen Choice Awards-Choice TV Villain, The Vampire Diaries, Won
  • 2010 Teen Choice Awards- Choice Male Hottie, The Vampire Diaries, Nominated
  • 2011 Teen Choice Awards-Choice TV actor Fantasy Sci/Fi, The Vampire Diaries, Won
  • 2011 Teen Choice Awards-Choice Vampire, The Vampire Diaries, Nominated
  • 2011 Teen Choice Awards- Choice Male Hottie Nominated
  • 2011 People's Choice Awards- Favorite TV Actor Drama, The Vampire Diaries, Nominated
  • 2011 J-14 Teen Icon Awards- Iconic TV Actor, The Vampire Diaries, Nominated
  • 2012 People's Choice Awards- Favorite TV Actor Drama, The Vampire Diaries, Nominated
  • 2012 Genesis Awards- Wyler Award, for his environment work, Won
  • 2012 Teen Choice Awards- Choice TV Actor Fantasy Sci/Fi, The Vampire Diaries, Won
  • 2012 Teen Choice Awards- Choice Male Hottie Won
  • 2012 Do Something Award- Best TV Star, The Vampire Diaries, Nominated
  • 2012 Do Something Award- Twitter, Nominated
  • 2012 Environmental Media Awards-EMA Futures Award, Won
  • 2012 Fright Night Awards-Favorite Male TV/ Movie Vampire The Vampire Diaries, Won
  • 2012 International Green Awards-Most Responsible Celebrity, Won
  • 2012 J-14 Teen Icon Awards- Iconic TV Actor, The Vampire Diaries, Nominated
  • 2013 People's Choice Awards- Favorite TV Actor Drama, The Vampire Diaries, Nominated
  • 2013 Teen Choice Awards- Choice TV Actor Fantasy Sci/Fi, The Vampire Diaries, Won
  • 2014 People's Choice Awards- Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actor, The Vampire Diaries, Won
  • 2014 People's Choice Awards- Favorite On Screen Chemistry (with Nina Dobrev), The Vampire Diaries, Won
  • 2014 MTVU Fandom Award- Ship Of The Year (with Nina Dobrev), The Vampire Diaries, Won
  • 2014 Young Hollywood Awards-Best Threesome (Along with Nina Dobrev & Paul Wesley), The Vampire Diaries, Won


  • Ian's nickname is 'Smolderholder'
  • Ian's full name is Ian Joseph Somerhalder.
  • Ian was born in Covington, Louisiana, USA.
  • Ian attended St Pauls.
  • Ian's favourite food is fish.
  • Ian's favourite colours are blue, yellow and red.
  • Ian's favourite song is 15 step by Radiohead.
  • Ian's favourite sport is football. He has also played varsity soccer and baseball.
  • Ian's favourite actor is Sean Penn.
  • Ian's favourite movie is The Graduate (1967).
  • Ian owns a pizza parlour.
  • Ian owns a charity called Ian Somerhalder Foundation.
  • Ian was voted "Sexiest Beast" in an Entertainment Weekly poll.
  • Ian was the first actor to be cast in Lost.
  • Ian is the fourth oldest cast member of the Vampire Diaries. Casper Zafer (Finn) is the oldest then Daniel Gillies (Elijah) is second oldest and Matthew Davis (Alaric) is third oldest; he is exactly seven months older than Ian.
  • Ian played a recurring role in Smallville as Adam Knight, one of Lionel Luthor's genetic experiments who befriended Lana in order to find information on Clark Kent.
  • He is well known for his role as Boone Carlyle in Lost.
  • Ian is the second of the three cast members to appear on Smallville before the Vampire Diaries. The first was Paul Wesley (as Lucas Luthor), the third was Sara Canning (as Kat) and the fourth was Cassidy Freeman (as Tess Mercer).
  • Ian is a Sagittarius.
  • Ian is right-handed, as seen in videos.
  • Ian is of English, French, Choctaw and Irish descent.
  • Ian was raised a Catholic.
  • In 2011,  he recorded a music video with Dima Bilan [1]
  • He dated his co-star, Nina Dobrev since 2010, but broke-up in May 2013.
  • Ian is close friends with his co-stars.
  • Ian plays the piano well.
  • He is the newest model for Penshoppe All-Stars.
  • Ian is 5'9 (177cm)
  • He is 79kg.
  • In December 2005, he played "Matt" in the Off-Broadway play, "Dog see God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead", at the Century Center for the Performing Arts.
  • He shares 3 cats with Nina; Jama-Lynx, Moke and Dennis.
  • Ian, along with Kayla Ewell (Vicki) and Sara Canning (Jenna) are the only cast members among the main cast that haven't played a 2nd role.
  • According to Ian, it takes about 8-10 days to shoot an episode of TVD.
  • If he hadn't become an actor, he would have chosen a career in marine biology, writing, or advertising.
  • He enjoys reading, music, yoga and traveling.





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