Canadian-born Ryan Gosling, who excels at playing quirky characters in offbeat films, first gained national attention when he was cast on Disney's revamped Mickey Mouse Club
in 1993 when he was 12 and performed alongside stars-in-the-making Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. But music wasn't Gosling's primary interest. It was acting. And by the end of the decade he had built up an impressive résumé in a number of juvenile-oriented TV series, most notably as the title character in the action-adventure series Young Hercules
. After a supporting role in the hit Remember the Titans
, Gosling shattered his cute-kid image with his breakout role as a zealous anti-Semite who happens to be Jewish in 2001's The Believer
. Following that critical success, Gosling continued to pursue complex, troubled characters, such as a high-school student turned killer in Murder by Numbers
(which introduced him to one-time love Sandra Bullock) and a depressed teen trying to survive prison in The United States of Leland
. But it was his charming performance as a poor carpenter who falls for a rich girl in the popular 2004 romance The Notebook
that caused women of all ages to swoon, including his costar-cum-girlfriend Rachel McAdams. Ever the rebel, instead of opting to become Hollywood's next leading hunk, Gosling wisely returned to his dark side in Half Nelson
, earning SAG and Oscar nominations for his riveting turn as an inner-city teacher struggling with a cocaine habit. The Anthony Hopkins headliner Fracture
followed before Gosling immersed himself into the life of another eccentric character in 2007's Lars and the Real Girl
as an extremely introverted man who buys an anatomically correct blow-up doll and treats her as if she is real. His sweetly affecting performance earned Gosling his first Golden Globe nod. In 2010, Gosling teamed with Michelle Williams for the indie marital drama Blue Valentine
which wowed audiences at the Sundance and Cannes film festivals.Ryan Gosling Fast Facts:
- Joined the cast of the Mickey Mouse Club in 1993, which included other future stars Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, J.C. Chasez and Keri Russell.
- Lived with Justin Timberlake and his family for a period of time during the MMC.
- Breakthrough role was the lead in 2001's controversial film The Believer, a fact-based tale about a young Jewish man who joins a neo-Nazi organization.
- Worked as an apprentice for a furniture maker to prepare for his role in 2004's The Notebook; some of the pieces he created appear in the film.
- He and Notebook costar Rachel McAdams were born in the same Ontario hospital (St. Joseph's).
- Is co-owner of the Beverly Hills restaurant Tagine.
- Is a member of the two-man band Dead Man's Bones; the duo released a self-titled CD in 2009.
- Ryan Gosling Relationships:
- Rachel McAdams - Ex-significant Other
- Mandi Gosling - Sister
- Donna Gosling - Mother
- Thomas Gosling - Father
- Sandra Bullock - Ex-significant Other
- Eva Mendes - Significant Other
- Ryan Gosling Awards:
- 2011 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama - Nominee
- 2006 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role - Nominee
- 2007 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role - Nominee
- 2006 Oscar: Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role - Nominee
- 2012 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical - Nominee
- 2008 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy - Nominee
- 2012 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama - Nominee