Having successfully transitioned from modeling to acting, Josh Holloway nonetheless struggled for years in anonymity before finally being plucked from relative obscurity to play the key role of the duplicitous, but ultimately redemptive conman James "Sawyer" Ford on the cult phenomenon "Lost" (ABC, 2004-10). Prior to his high profile gig on the successful mystery/sci-fi series, Holloway struggled to find his way once he committed to becoming an actor, landing bit parts on shows like "Angel" (The WB, 1999-2004) and "Walker, Texas Ranger" (CBS, 1993-2001) while appearing in low-budget movies like "Mi Amigo" (1999) and "Doctor Benny" (2003). But once he joined the soon-to-be celebrated ensemble cast of "Lost," Holloway's fortunes changed overnight; he went from a complete unknown to a celebrity regularly featured in weekly tabloids. But because of the heavy shooting schedule, which required him and the other cast members to live in Hawaii, he was limited in choosing outside projects. Once the series was over in 2010, however, Holloway was ready to translate his bad boy popularity into other areas, including toplining his own series, "Intelligence" (ABC, 2014), assuring any doubters that his fame and talent were no fluke.
Born in San Jose, CA on July 20, 1969, Joshua Lee Holloway was the second of four brothers in his immediate family, which relocated to Georgia when he was two years of age. Holloway grew up in the town of Free Home, GA, where he developed a fascination for acting and motion pictures at an early age. After graduating from high school, he attended the University of Georgia - funded according to him, by a brief but successful turn as a shoplifter - but left to explore a career in modeling. The job took him across the United States and Europe, but he eventually shifted his attention to acting. His debut as "Good Looking Guy" on the series premiere of "Angel" (The WB, 1999-2004) preceded a steady, if unremarkable, string of supporting roles and guest shots on television programs and in independent and low-budget features. His feature debut came in 2001 with "Cold Heart," which found him menacing Nastassja Kinski. He followed his less-than-auspicious debut with the comedy "Dr. Benny" (2003), the monster movie "Sabretooth" (2002), and appearances on the hit procedurals "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (CBS, 2000-15) and "NCIS" (CBS, 2003- ). He also appeared briefly in the Aerosmith music video for their single "Cryin'," as a purse thief who is caught and beaten after attempting to steal from Alicia Silverstone's vixenish heroine. All confirmed Holloway as a capable actor who could work in any genre, yet none were substantial enough to give him the boost his career needed. Frustrated by the lack of solid roles, Holloway received his realtor license to provide himself with a backup career option.
In 2004, Holloway's luck changed when he was cast on "Lost," though he nearly failed to land the part. In the middle of the audition, he forgot his lines and, in frustration, kicked a chair before completing the monologue. The producers, who initially envisioned Sawyer as a slick, well-dressed hustler, changed the part to match Holloway's rougher look, requesting him to add a Southern accent to the part. It was an amusing turn of events, given that Holloway had worked so hard to reduce his own real-life Blue Ridge Mountains accent after coming to Hollywood. In the early seasons of "Lost," Sawyer was an antagonistic character, hoarding valuables rescued from the crash and acting as a thorn in the side of the rest of the characters. Eventually, through flashback and his own actions, Sawyer shows his heroic side on more than one occasion; even a romantic streak in his affairs with fellow castaway Kate (Evangeline Lilly) and scientist Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell). Holloway's blend of roguish charm and wounded pride made him a favorite with viewers, especially women. Along with his castmates, the now recognizable actor received a Screen Actors Guild Award in 2006 for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. Less prestigious, but no less notable, were honors from various magazines that dubbed him among the most attractive stars on television.
Holloway's success on "Lost" did not immediately translate into stardom with other vehicles. The show's demanding schedule and Hawaii locations prevented him from taking several high profile projects, including a Western with Brad Pitt and the role of Gambit in "X-Men: The Last Stand" (2006). He was able to star in an underrated supernatural thriller called "Whisper" (2007), which cast him as a kidnapper who discovers that his young hostage has dangerous psychic powers. He also lent his voice to a key character in the computer game, "Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars" (2007). That same year, he was chosen as the model for the men's fragrance Davidoff Coolwater. In 2008, Holloway joined the cast of the indie comedy "Stay Cool" (2009), as one of two deadbeat friends of a successful author who returns to his hometown to deliver a commencement address at his old high school. In 2010, "Lost" came to an end, giving Holloway more time to pursue other projects. Following a 2011 episode of "Community" (NBC, 2009-15; Yahoo!, 2015), Holloway was called up to the big leagues to briefly play an IMF agent killed by a French assassin in the blockbuster hit "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" (2011). From there, he starred in the indie 3-D musical "Battle of the Year: The Dream Team" (2013) and was an FBI agent opposite Gary Oldman in the action thriller "Paranoia" (2013). Back on the small screen, Holloway made news when he was cast in the upcoming pilot "Intelligence" (ABC, 2014), where he played an intelligence officer implanted with a microchip that allows him to access the entire electromagnetic spectrum.
Landed first television appearance on The WB's "Angel"
First feature opposite Nastassja Kinski in "Cold Heart"
Co-starred with Eddie McClintock and Sarah Wynter in "Moving August"
Played the lead role in the Sci Fi Channel movie "Sabretooth"
Breakthrough role, playing ex-con man James 'Sawyer' Ford on the ABC ensemble drama series "Lost"
Starred as a convicted felon in the horror film "Whisper"
Joined the cast of the Polish Brothers' comedy "Stay Cool"
Nominated for the 2010 Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actor: Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Landed a featured role in the anthology film "Five" (Lifetime)
Cast opposite Tom Cruise in "Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol," directed by Brad Bird