Date of Birth: April 9, 1987
Jesse McCartney was groomed from a young age to be the teen heartthrob he went on to become. Born in Ardsley, New York, when he was just a child, his mother would drive him from their suburban home into the city so he could audition for roles. At the age of 10 he joined the national touring cast for The King and I and a year later, his family relocated to Los Angeles so he could seriously pursue an acting and music career.
In 1998, McCartney landed his first major role as J.R. Chandler in the ABC soap opera All My Children, a role that earned him two Daytime Emmy nominations and a Soap Opera Digest nomination. At the same time he joined the boy band Dream Street, an experience he describes as a positive stepping-stone in his music career.
In 2001, juggling his soap responsibilities with a pop career became too much and he left the sudser before branching out for a solo music career the following year.
In 2004, at the age of 17, McCartney got his big break on the WB teen soap Summerland, playing Bradin Westerly, a teenager who’s forced to leave his Kansas home and move in with his aunt (Lori Laughlin) in California after his parents die. The show lasted just two seasons but catapulted him to superstardom as a teen heartthrob. That same year, he released his debut solo album, Beautiful Soul. The pop album went platinum, selling five million copies, while the record’s title track performed particularly well on MTV’s Total Request Live as well as peaking at #2 on the AOL music chart. His second album, Right Where You Want Me, dropped two years later with less success.
In 2005 he began dating actress Katie Cassidythe illegitimate daughter of former pop star David Cassidy. The two dated for almost three years before breaking up. The following year, McCartney released his third album, Departure, which featured the hit song “Leavin,” his first #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
In 2008, McCartney scored his first lead role in the independent film Keith, about a love affair between a straight-laced scholar (Elisabeth Harnois) and a rebellious outsider who’s dying of cancer.
A year later, McCartney returned to TV in a recurring role on the ABC Family comedy Greek, playing Andy, a kind-hearted popular jock who befriends the show’s nerdy protagonist Rusty (Jacob Zachar). The arc lasted six episodes.
Aside from voicing Theodore in the Alvin and the Chipmunks movies and JoJo in Horton Hears A Who!, McCartney didn’t play a lead role in a major motion pictures until he was cast in the real life-inspired Warner Bros. horror film Chernobyl Diaries, about a group of young tourists who find themselves stranded at the site of the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, Ukraine.
FilmographyChernobyl Diaries (2012)