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Hollywood Actor – Tom Welling
Tom Welling was born on Tuesday, April 26th, 1977, in Putnam Valley, West Point, New York. He spent his early years in Wisconsin before moving to Hockessin, Delaware, in third grade; he remained in Delaware until just after the start of his freshman year when he and his family moved again, this time to Okemos, Michigan. There he lived with his father, a retired executive for General Motors, his mother, a “home engineer,” and his three siblings, two elder sisters – a teacher and a business-woman respectively – and a younger brother.
During his early years at school in Delaware, Tom showed a little of the acting ability that he would later use to great acclaim, appearing in several school plays and pageants until his sixth grade year. A jock during high school, he developed a passion for basketball – which he still plays whenever the opportunity arises – dabbled in baseball, and excelled at soccer where he played as third string goalkeeper in the high school Varsity team during his senior year.
Never particularly studious despite an enjoyment of history and other subjects, he did no better than “fair” in high school, and on graduation on Sunday, June 4th, 1995, from Okemos High School in Okemos, Michigan, he decided that pursuing a college education was not a viable option for him.
Instead he chose a more physically demanding occupation, becoming a construction worker at a warehouse. He continued to live at home with his parents, and spent his free time hanging out with friends.
In the spring of 1997 while Tom and a few friends were on vacation in Nantucket, the then 20-year-old was approached near a bar by an Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue shoot scout working for the world-famous photographer Bruce Weber.
Returning home to weigh up his options, Tom ultimately decided to head to Lake George, New York, where the shoot was to take place; it was to be the start of a new career, and made Tom a few thousand dollars in the process. The shoot was published in the Christmas 1997 Abercrombie & Fitch Quarterly.
Tom soon moved from his parents’ home in Michigan, to Manhattan, modelling periodically over the next two years for New York Model Management.
During this time he also joined Louisa Models, taking assignments from their offices in Munich and Hamburg and modelling for them throughout Europe in Italy, Germany, and Spain.
While working in Miami, Florida, in 1998, Tom met his future wife, Jamie A. White, in a local coffee shop. Jamie – also a model and two years Tom’s senior – and he had met briefly on a number of occasions during their respective careers.
Despite being fairly successful it soon became clear that Tom was not suited to the modelling world. With this in mind, and with the encouragement of friends and family – along with help from contacts he had made during his years as a model – Tom moved to Los Angeles, California, in January 2000. With no acting training and no intention of taking formal lessons, but with the impression that acting didn’t look too difficult, he gave himself one year to decide if this would be a more fulfilling career.
While numerous auditions followed, Tom continued to model for a few more months with representation from both the west coast sister company of New York Model Management, L.A. Models, and the world-renowned Wilhelmina Models. Tom’s details are as follow:
To his surprise, Tom soon realised that he found the auditioning process quite enjoyable. His first acting jobs were in television commercials for 7 Up, T.J. Maxx and Verizon, along with a large role in the music video for the song ‘Picture Perfect,’ by Angela Via, in March 2000.
With the help of the CAA talent agency Tom’s breakthrough role came in late 2000, with a part in the successful drama series Judging Amy. The role of karate teacher Rob Meltzer, Amy’s ten-years-junior love interest, was originally planned to recur in three episodes, however this was increased to a six episode arc due to the success of the storyline, and the impression Tom made on the producers during the shooting of his first three episodes. In May 2001 he appeared in his second – and much less substantial – role in the series Special Unit 2, playing Male Victim #1 in ‘The Depths’. Tom also made a cameo appearance in the pilot episode of the series Undeclared in September 2001 as a frat boy, before making his highly successful leading-man debut in October, starring as the Boy-of-Steel Clark Kent in Smallville.
Tom had twice turned down the offer of an audition for the part, figuring that it would be “lame”. However, having auditioned hundreds of tall, handsome, raven-haired men for the role of Clark, the casting directors were so sure that Tom had the fresh-faced appeal they were looking for that they decided to call him one last time; he relented, and finally took the audition, reading from the infamous graveyard scene. He loved it.
While on the way home from the final audition Tom stopped at a gas station, having decided to call his agent on a pay phone. He was shocked when his agent informed him that he had just received a phone call, and that Tom had won the role.
Tom was overjoyed, and stood screaming at the side of the road.
Following a successful first year in the acting business, capped by his lead role on Smallville, Tom decided to take a further step towards achieving long-term success. Despite have already had much success due to his natural, but raw talent, he chose to begin taking acting classes with the world-renowned Cameron Thor Studios in Los Angeles, in addition to taking a number of private lessons.
During his first year on Smallville, Tom would stay in hotels in Vancouver on weekdays whilst filming, returning to his home in Los Angeles during his breaks from filming to be with his then fiancée, Jamie, and their dogs, which include a pug dog named Cook.
He and Jamie were married on Friday, July 5th, 2002, at Martha’s Vineyard, in a private ceremony attended only by close friends and family. Amongst those in attendance were Tom’s co-stars on Smallville, Kristin Kreuk and Michael Rosenbaum, and at Tom’s request Michael performed a special rendition of the Van Morrison hit, ‘Brown-Eyed Girl.’ Tom wore a custom-made YSL tuxedo for the occasion.
Following their wedding, Tom and Jamie relocated from Los Angeles to Vancouver, where shooting began on the second season of Smallville in late July. Shooting wrapped in mid-April 2003, however Tom’s summer hiatus was scheduled to be quite hectic.
From late-April through to mid-June he filmed his role in an updated remake of the 1950 movie of the same name, Cheaper by the Dozen. Loosely based on the memoirs of the Gilbreth family, the family was renamed Baker for this contemporary update, with Tom portraying the eldest son, Charlie.
At a press conference for the movie held in December 2003, Tom stated that having been a fan since childhood, he accepted the role for three reasons: Steve Martin; Steve Martin; and Steve Martin. While shooting the movie in Santa Rosa, California, he and Steve became quite close, and would often sneak in games of basketball – however Tom refuses to say who was the more talented player of the two.
When shooting began on season three of Smallville in mid-July 2003, Tom’s newly-gained experience both in front of and behind the camera was highly evident. In anticipation of the country-wide US release of Cheaper by the Dozen on Thursday, December 25th, Tom appeared at the world premiere of the movie at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday, December 14th, 2003, accompanied by Jamie, a number of family members, and the cast of the movie. The movie went on to be a box-office hit across the world, climbing to number two in the US charts and attaining the number one spot in the United Kingdom.
Whilst Tom was noticeably absent from the celebrity and promotional scene through the first six months of 2004, in the summer rumours persisted about the possibility of Tom starring in the new Superman movie; a rumour that was strengthened in August when Tom appeared at the Teen Choice Awards and stated that he had signed on for “a movie” – but that he couldn’t give any details about it.
During the rare time off during the filming of Smallville and other projects, Tom likes to spend time with his friends and family, along with reading, running, skiing on Whistler Mountain in Vancouver, and playing basketball. In addition Tom has recently taken up playing golf, a sport at which he has become quite proficient.