The son of the troubled Chico and the Man
star of the same name, Freddie Prinze Jr. was only 10 months old when his famous father committed suicide. Following his dad's death, Prinze was moved by his mother to Albuquerque, N.M., to be raised far from the Hollywood spotlight. But upon graduating high school, Prinze moved back to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career and attend culinary school. His first role was a four-line exchange on Family Matters
in 1994 but meatier parts would soon come his way. In 1996, he landed the lead in the ABC Afterschool Special: Too Soon for Jeff
as a teen who learns his girlfriend (Jessica Alba) is pregnant. Small roles in two features followed (For Gillian on Her 37th Birthday
, The House of Yes
) but it was the 1997 teen horror flick I Know What You Did Last Summer
that got Prinze noticed in Tinseltown. Not only did the film spawn a sequel, it sparked both his career and a romance with costar Sarah Michelle Gellar whom he married in 2002. Prinze cashed in on his newfound heartthrob status by headlining a string of romantic comedies (She's All That
, Head Over Heels
, Summer Catch
) and starred opposite his wife in a pair of critically lambasted but commercially successful Scooby-Doo
movies. In a change of direction (and perhaps as a nod to his late comedic father), Prinze co-created and starred in the vaguely autobiographical series Freddie
in 2005 as a bachelor chef living in a household of female relatives, but the low-rated sitcom only lasted a season. A return to features followed with appearances in Brooklyn Rules
and Jack and Jill vs. the World
, but TV beckoned once again in 2010 with a hefty role in the final season of 24
as Cole Ortiz, the head of field operations for the Counter Terrorist Unit, the job Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) held on season one of the series. In 2009, Prinze and Gellar welcomed daughter Charlotte Grace into their home.Freddie Prinze Jr. Fast Facts:
- Was 10-months-old when his father, Chico and the Man star Freddie Prinze, committed suicide on January 29, 1977, at age 22.
- Enrolled in culinary school in Pasadena but dropped out when he landed his first film role in For Gillian on her 37th Birthday.
- First acting job was a four-line role in a 1994 Family Matters episode.
- Named one of People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in 1999 and 2000.
- Became the youngest executive producer in ABC's history with the 2005 premiere of Freddie, which he also cocreated.
- Enjoys comic books, martial arts and tap dancing.
- Freddie Prinze Jr. Relationships:
- Freddie Prinze - Father
- Charlotte Grace Prinze - Daughter
- Kathy Cochran - Mother
- Sarah Michelle Gellar - Wife
- Rocky James Prinze - Son