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Michael Vartan Biography

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Michael Vartan

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Michael Vartan Biography

Michael Vartan was born on 27th November 1968 in France, the only child of a Bulgarian father and a Polish mother who got divorced when he was only five. He spent his childhood shuttling between France (where his father, a musician lived) and the U.S (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. He hadn't really thought about becoming an actor. 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 called Promenades d'été (1992). It was with the Italian film Fiorile (1993), in which he played (rather ironically), a French soldier that he made his international debut. He considers The Pallbearer (1996), in which he starred with David Schwimmer and Gwyneth Paltrow to be his first big American movie.

He 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) and it catapulted Michael to never experienced popularity and adulation. He followed his much talked about NBK performance with similar good ones in The Next Best Thing (2000) and _It Had to Be You (2000/I)_ . 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).

He also played the role of the legendary Lancelot in the serialized version of Marion Zimmer Bradley's novel _"Mists of Avalon, The" (2001) (mini)_ . In 2001, he became a regular feature on TV playing CIA agent Michael Vaughn in the series "Alias" (2001). Still playing the character, he has described it as being more close to home than his previous roles. Hockey is a passion with Michael. He also enjoys other sports, as much for the joy of playing them as for the therapeutic value he derives from them! He continues rendering impressive performances in films, his latest being One Hour Photo (2002).

Michael Vartan Trivia

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 (1988-98).

Also paints and plays guitar.

Although born in France, he comes from a complex ethnic background - his Bulgarian-born father Eddie Vartan is half Armenian and half Hungarian, while his Polish Jewish mother Doris Vartan was born in Poland but later in life became an American citizen.

His favourite NHL Hockey team is the Los Angeles Kings.

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.

Dated "Alias" (2001) co-star Jennifer Garner. (2003-2004)

Nephew of Johnny Hallyday.

Is a huge fan of Star Wars (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.

He is of Armenian, Bulgarian, Hungarian and Polish heritage.

He is half Polish and half Bulgarian with the Bulgarian side being of Armenian and Hungarian ethnicity.

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