Ian Joseph Somerhalder is an American actor, fashion model, and producer who plays Damon Salvatore on The Vampire Diaries.


Ian Somerhalder was born in Covington, Louisiana on December 8, 1978. His father, Robert Somerhalder, was a building contractor of French and English descent, and his mother, Edna, who is of Irish and Choctaw descent, was a massage therapist. He has a brother, Bob, a wood worker, and a sister, Robin, a broadcast journalist. Boating, swimming, fishing and training horses filled much of his recreational time growing up, as did the school drama club and performing with the local theater group. With his mother's encouragement, at age 10 he began a modeling career that took him to New York each summer. By junior high, he opted to put modeling on the back burner and focus more on sports and school. A few years later, when the opportunity to model in Europe arose, Somerhalder grabbed it, embarking on an enriching path of work, travel and study that took him to cities including Paris, Milan and London.

At 17, he began studying acting in New York, and by 19 had committed himself to the craft, working with preeminent acting coach William Esper. His fate was sealed while working as an extra in a club scene in the feature film Black & White (1999). A talent manager visiting a client on the set spotted Somerhalder in a crowd scene of 400 and immediately signed him for representation. Happy to be anchored in New York, Somerhalder spends much of his time studying acting, writing and practicing yoga. His recreational interests include water and snow skiing and horseback riding. Recently, he has helped raise funds for 'Disaster in the Gulf', to help the people affected by a oil spill on the coast.

Early Life

Somerhalder was born and raised up in Covington, Louisiana, the son of Edna, a massage therapist, and Robert Somerhalder, an independant building contractor. He was raised as a Cathoilc and still is a Catholic, he attended St. Paul's, a private Catholic school in Covington. He embarked on a modelling carrer from the age of 10 and 13. By the age of 17, he decided to become more famous by doing movies (acting).He has two siblings brother Bob and sister Robyn.

Personal Life

While Ian was working on Vampire Diaries, he started dating the co- star Nina Dobrev. The most favourite thing he likes to do is a friendly flirt with all girls and read books that he would want to act in, if a director decided to turn the book into a movie. He has his charms, looks and styles... that apparently make girls fall for him, not if you are married from the 20th Century. He like the colours red, black, blue and white.


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, who falls in love with a fellow student. The series was filmed in Havre de Grace, Maryland.In 2002, Somerhalder played 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 May 2006, Somerhalder was named one of DNA Models' Top 10 Male Models. Somerhalder guest starred as Nick in HBO's Tell Me You Love Me, appearing fully nude in a sex scene with actress Michelle Borth. In September 2009, Somerhalder appeared in the movie The Tournament where he played the role of an assassin participating in a lethal competition with other assassins. On 10 October 2009, it was announced that he will star in the Gothic movie Cradlewood, which is to be directed by Harry Weinmann. The movie is set to be released in 2012. Ian Somerhalder also appears in the limited-edition coffee table book About Face by celebrity photographer John Russo and Pixie Press Worldwide publishers. Somerhalder currently stars as the vampire Damon Salvatore in the CW TV teen drama series The Vampire Diaries & has been dating his co-star on the show Nina Dobrev since mid-2010. For his 32 birthday he established a foundation.

Acting Career




  • 2002 Young Hollywood Awards- Exciting New Face-Male, N/A, Won </li>
  • 2005 Teen Choice Awards-Choice TV Breakout Performance-Male, Lost, Nominated </li>
  • 2006 Screen Actors Guild Awards-Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, Lost(with cast), Won </li>
  • 2010 Teen Choice Awards-Choice TV Villain, The Vampire Diaries, Won </li>
  • 2010 Teen Choice Awards- Choice Male Hottie, The Vampire Diaries, Nominated </li>
  • 2011 Teen Choice Awards-Choice TV actor Fantasy Sci/Fi, The Vampire Diaries, Won </li>
  • 2011 Teen Choice Awards-Choice Vampire, The Vampire Diaries, Nominated </li>
  • 2011 Teen Choice Awards- Choice Male Hottie, The Vampire Diaries, Nominated </li>
  • 2011 People's Choice Awards- Favorite TV Actor Drama, The Vampire Diaries, Nominated </li>
  • 2011 J-14 Teen Icon Awards- Iconic TV Actor, The Vampire Diaries, Nominated </li>
  • 2012 People's Choice Awards- Favorite TV Actor Drama, The Vampire Diaries, Nominated </li>
  • 2011 Genesis Awards- Wyler Award, for his environment work, Won </li>
  • 2012 Teen Choice Awards- Choice TV Actor Fantasy Sci/Fi, The Vampire Diaries, Won </li>
  • 2012 Teen Choice Awards- Choice Male Hottie, The Vampire Diaries, Won</li>


    § Ian is the fourth oldest cast member of the Vampire Diaries. Casper Zafar (Finn) is the the oldest then Daniel Gillies (Elijah) is second oldest and Matt Davis (Alaric) is third oldest; he is exactly seven months older than Ian.

    Ian played a recurring role in Smallville as Adam Knight, one of Lionel Luthor's genetic experiments who befriended Lana in order to find information on Clark Kent.

    § He is well known for his role as Boone Carlyle in Lost.

    § Ian is the second of the three cast members to appear on Smallville before the Vampire Diaries. The first was Paul Wesley (as Lucas Luthor) and the third was Sara Canning (as Kat).

    § Ian is a Sagittarius.

    § Ian is right-handed, as seen in videos.

    § Ian is of English, French, Choctaw and Irish descent.

    § Ian was raised a Catholic.

    § In 2011 he recorded a music video with Dima Bilan.

    § Ian is now dating his cost-star, Nina Dobrev.

    § Ian is great friends with his Vampire Diaries co-stars.

    § Ian plays the piano well.


    External links

    § IMDb

    § His Foundation

    § Twitter