Born in Paris to a French father and an American mother who divorced when he was five, Michael Vartan grew up shuttling between the tiny Normandy village of Fleury where his father lived and Los Angeles, where his mother lived. When he was 18, Michael decided to stay in Los Angeles with his mother, who encouraged him to take acting classes.
His first acting jobs were in two small French films, Un homme et deux femmes (1991) and Promenades d'été (1992). Michael grabbed the attention of the international film world with his breakthrough performance in the 1993 Italian epic, Fiorile, for which he received a French César Award nomination for Best Up-and-Coming Actor.
The Pallbearer (1996) starring David Schwimmer and Gwyneth Paltrow was Michael's first big American movie, but it was his starring role as Sam Coulson, the school teacher that Drew Barrymore's character falls in love with in Never Been Kissed (2000) that captured the attention of movie-going audiences. Leads in The Next Best Thing (2000) and It Had to Be You (2000) followed.
After making guest appearances on hit sitcoms such as Ally McBeal and Friends, Vartan played Lancelot in the miniseries The Mists of Avalon (2000) before being chosen to star as CIA agent Michael Vaughn in ABC's spy drama series, Alias. In 2003, he was nominated for two Teen Choice Awards, as "Choice TV Actor - Drama" and "Choice TV Breakout Star - Male," followed by a Saturn Award nomination in 2004 for "Best Actor in a Television Series."
While on hiatus from Alias, Michael filmed Monster-in-Law (2005), playing the romantic lead opposite Jennifer Lopez.
When Alias concluded in 2006, he went on to act alongside Radha Mitchell and Sam Worthington in the action film Rogue (2007) before playing a supporting role opposite Zoe Saldana in Colombiana (2011).
Returning to television, he was cast in a starring role on the ABC drama Big Shots, which ran for one season, then in 2009 he landed the role of Dr. Tom Wakefield on the TNT medical drama series Hawthorne, alongside Jada Pinkett Smith, which lasted until 2011. Michael playing the role of George Heldens on A&E's critically acclaimed series Bates Motel in 2014, then played Terence on E!'s drama series The Arrangement from 2017 to 2018.
Michael married Lauren Skaar in 2011. However, they divorced three years later.
In his spare time, he enjoys playing hockey, painting and playing guitar.
One Hour Photo (2002)
The Next Best Thing (2000)
It Had to Be You (2000)
Never Been Kissed (1999)
Dead Man's Curve (1998)
The Myth of Fingerprints (1997)
Touch Me (1997)
The Pallbearer (1996)
To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (1995)
Promenades d'été (1992)
Un homme et deux femmes (1991)