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Though he had his start in the soap opera world on "Passions" (NBC, 1999-2008), actor Jesse Metcalfe was catapulted to stardom as the often shirtless teenage gardener John Rowland on the hit series "Desperate Housewives" (ABC, 2004-2012). Virtually overnight, Metcalfe was a star, much to the delight of the show's female fan base. Having been a lead in season one, however, Metcalfe was reduced to recurring status over the course of the next few years, though he continued his rise as the star of the hit comedy, "John Tucker Must Die" (2006). From there, he gained some unwanted attention for a 2007 stint in rehab for alcoholism, starred in the critically maligned box office disaster "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt" (2009), and had a leading role on the short-lived procedural "Chase" (NBC, 2010-11). But Metcalfe bounced back as Christopher Ewing on the hit continuation of "Dallas" (TNT, 2012-14), reassuring fans that his rapid rise was no fluke.
Metcalfe was born on Dec. 9, 1978, though the location ended up the subject of much debate on the internet, with some sources (including his official bio on ABC.com) listing him as a native of Waterford, CT, while others give Carmel Valley, CA as his birthplace. Whatever the case, Metcalfe spent a portion of his formative years in Waterford before attending New York City's famed Tisch School of the Arts from 1996-99 to pursue acting and directing. Though he left the school before graduating, he managed to make ends meet as a print model for several years, landing coverage in youth-oriented publications such as Seventeen and YM. Eventually, Metcalfe ended up an open casting call for a new, wackier than usual daytime soap opera called "Passions" (NBC, 1999-2008). Luck, talent and good genes all played their part in Metcalfe landing the role of Miguel Lopez-Fitzgerald, one of four sons in one of the show's central families. Miguel's story arc centered around his desire for the supernaturally-inclined Charity Standish (Molly Stanton) and the machinations of his childhood friend Kay Bennett (Taylor Anne Mountz) to claim him as her own. This led to Kay bearing Miguel's child. By 2004, Metcalfe departed the show, but his character, now played by Adrian Bellani, returned in 2006. Reportedly, Metcalfe and Mountz dated during their tenure on the soap.
Moving up the ladder of success, Metcalfe logged appearances in two episodes of "Smallville" (The WB, 2001-2001); in both episodes (aired in 2003 and 2004), he played the vengeful Van McNulty, who sought to kill anyone affected by the same freak meteor shower that launched Clark (Tom Welling) Kent's developing powers. Metcalfe also had a small role as a uniformed police officer in the 2003 FX TV movie, "44 Minutes: A Shootout in North Hollywood." In 2004, Metcalfe was cast on "Desperate Housewives," leaving his life forever changed. Viewers immediately responded to his high school gardener, John Rowland's sexy and illicit romance with his older, married boss, Gabrielle (Eva Longoria). His subsequent story arc - which encompassed everything from believing that he had impregnated Gabrielle to being assaulted by her husband Carlos (Ricardo Antonio Chavira) at a gay hate crime trial - was very much in line with the series' hyper-dramatic tone. Leaving the show in 2005, John Rowland had been written as away from Gabrielle and running his own gardening company, but the actor returned to the steamy show in 2006, reprising the role that made him catnip to viewers of both sexes.
The exposure Metcalfe enjoyed from "Housewives" led to some high-profile TV and film appearances. He was featured twice on Ashton Kutcher's reality-comedy series "Punk'd" (MTV, 2003-07), once as part of a gag involving Longoria, and once as the sole focus of a joke. He also turned up in the music video for the song "Let Me Go" by the alt-rock outfit, Three Doors Down. And in 2006, he graduated to leading man status in the comedy "John Tucker Must Die," which co-starred Sophia Bush of "One Tree Hill" (The WB/The CW, 2003-12) and R&B singer/actress Ashanti. The film received almost universally negative reviews, but the savvy advertising campaign (which centered around Metcalfe's face and body) helped bring in the teenage audience, and Metcalfe himself showed a knack for comedy in the title role of a high school lothario whose conquests unite to bring him down. He also turned up in the music video for the song "Let Me Go" by the alt-rock outfit Three Doors Down.
Soon after, he graduated to leading man status in the comedy "John Tucker Must Die" (2006), which co-starred Sophia Bush and Brittany Snow. The film received almost universally negative reviews, but Metcalfe showed a knack for comedy in the title role of a high school lothario whose conquests unite to bring him down. After a high-profile stint in rehab for alcohol abuse, the actor starred in the psychological horror movie "Insanitarium" (2008) and had one of his worst feature failures in the critically maligned remake of "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt" (2009). On the small screen, he had a leading role on the short-lived procedural "Chase" (NBC, 2010-11), before having better luck on the hit revamp of "Dallas" (TNT, 2012-14), where he played Christopher Ewing, son of Bobby (Patrick Duffy) and Pamela Ewing (Victoria Principal), a role played by Joshua Harris on the original series.
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