Ian Somerhalder (born December 8, 1978) is an American actor and model, best known for playing Boone Carlyle in the TV drama Lost and Damon Salvatore in the TV drama The Vampire Diaries.
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. In 2002, Somerhalder played bisexual character 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 2004, Somerhalder scored his breakthrough role when he played Boone Carlyle in the hit TV show Lost. Despite his character's death in the twentieth episode of the first season, Somerhalder returned to the role of Boone for seven more episodes between 2005 and 2010, including the series finale. Somerhalder was the first actor to be cast in a role for the series and the first character to die.
In June 2009 Somerhalder was cast in the role of Vampire Damon Salvatore as a series regular in The CW television drama series The Vampire Diaries. The series premiere attracted The CW's highest premiere ratings of any season premiere since the network began in 2006. The series has continued to be the highest rated series on its channel with both Somerhalder's performance and show receiving a positive response from critics. Somerhalder has received a Teen Choice Award for his participation on the series. The show's fourth and most recent season premiered on October 11, 2012.
In October 2012 it was reported that Somerhalder had been cast in the film Time Framed, which had begun filming in Los Angeles.
Somerhalder was born and raised in Covington, Louisiana, the son of Edna, a massage therapist, and Robert Somerhalder, an independent building contractor. He attended St. Paul's, a private Catholic school in Covington. He embarked on a modeling career from age 10 to 13, and by the age of 17 he decided to go into acting.
Somerhalder was involved in the cleanup after the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling disaster on April 22, 2010. His efforts included cleaning of oiled wildlife and taping public service announcements to let the public know how they could help. Somerhalder also supports the St. Tammany Humane Society, an organization for animal shelter and welfare. On November 13, 2010, he hosted a Bash on the Bayou charity fundraiser for the Society. During the event, Somerhalder was presented with a donation of $11,100 by The Vampire Diaries fandom for his birthday project.
Together with his The Vampire Diaries co-stars Candice Accola and Michael Trevino, Somerhalder supports the It Gets Better Project, which makes it a goal to prevent suicide among LGBT youth associated with The Trevor Project.
In September 2011, Somerhalder confirmed that he and his The Vampire Diaries co-star Nina Dobrev were "in a relationship". In May 2013, it was reported that the relationship had ended. This was later confirmed by Teen Wolf actor and close friend Colton Haynes.
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