Family & Companions
A handsome, light-haired French-American actor, Michael Vartan began to study his craft as a way to meet people shortly after arriving in Los Angeles. Discovering a knack for performing, he soon lent his engaging presence to a variety of feature projects worldwide. Having completed a number of French productions, most notably "Un Homme et deux femmes" (1991) and the following year's "Promenades d'ete", Vartan made his international debut in 1993's "Fiorile", an Italian film directed by the famed Taviani brothers. In this acclaimed time-spanning film, Vartan played a captivating dual role. He made his US film debut with a featured role in the cross-dressing comedy "To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar" (1995) and the following year co-starred in the comedy "The Pallbearer" as Scott Edelman, best friend of David Schwimmer's Tom Thompson. In 1997, Vartan gave a breakthrough performance in "The Myth of Fingerprints", starring as a sweet but unambitious son returning to the family home for Thanksgiving along with his brother, two sisters and girlfriend Margaret (Hope Davis). Next up was "Touch Me" (1998), in which he appeared as a lecherous but charming health club manager who gets involved with an aerobics instructor (Amanda Peet) in this AIDS-themed drama. He could also be seen in "The Curve/Dead Man's Curve", a college-set black comedy given a limited regional release before landing on video shelves, following the urban legend that roommates of a suicide victim get an automatic 4.0 GPA as condolence. 1999 would see the actor come to the forefront as a leading man with starring roles in two films. In the romantic comedy "Never Been Kissed", he was cast as a young teacher lovestruck by an undercover reporter posing as a student (Drew Barrymore) while the indie "It Had to Be You" teamed him with Natasha Henstridge in a tale of a couple who discover a mutual attraction while planning their respective weddings. In 2000 he had a supporting turn in the Madonna-Rupert Everett comedy "The Next Best Thing," and took the leading role in the drama "Sand," as a man whose life is upended by the arrival of his troublemaking family. Despite the regular flow of feature film work, television would prove to be the medium that would elevate Vartan from actor to star. His early TV work included a memorable guest appearance as the handsome son of Courtney Cox's much older boyfriend (Tom Selleck) on a 1997 episode of NBC's "Friends" before landing a two-episode love interest stint on "Ally McBeal" in 2000. He had a high-profile turn as the legendary knight Lancelot opposite Anjelica Huston, Joan Allen and Julianna Margulies in the acclaimed CBS miniseries "The Mists of Avalon" in 2001, the same year he was cast in his breakthrough as Agent Michael Vaughn, the tortured love interest of college-girl-turned-spy Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner) on the adventure series "Alias" (ABC, 2001-06). His character was killed off in 2005, after rumors of Vaughn's impending demise prompted rabid fans to protest his departure. Vartan's increased profile as a result of his "Alias" role led to more work in features: in the creepy indie drama "One Hour Photo" (2002) he was the husband and father in a family that soon becomes the obsession of a disturbed photo processor played by Robin Williams. Next was a role in the romantic comedy "Monster-In-Law" (2005) as Jennifer Lopez's perfect man whose domineering mother (Jane Fonda) tried to destroy the couple's relationship. A starring role in Australian horror "Rogue" (2007) and a key supporting part in Jessica Chastain-led indie drama "Jolene" (2008) were followed by the broad comedy "Demoted" (2011) and French action drama "Colombiana" (2011). During this period, Vartan starred opposite Jada Pinkett-Smith on hospital drama "Hawthorne" (TNT 2009-2011). Vartan stayed busy in television for a number of years, playing guest shots and arcs in series including "Bates Motel" (A&E 2013-17) and "Satisfaction" (USA 2014-15) before returning to full-time series work on Hollywood drama "The Arrangement" (E! 2017- ). The same year, Vartan also costarred in the thriller "Small Town Crime" (2017).
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Made his screen-acting debut as a boy riding a motorcycle in the TV movie "Black Leather Jacket"
Was featured in the film "Un Homme et Deux Femmes/A Man and Two Women"
Starred in the feature "Promenades D'Ete/Summer Strolls"
Played dual roles in the Italian feature "Fiorile"; directed by the Taviani brothers
Appeared in the "Murder, Obliquely" segment of the Showtime series "Fallen Angels"
Made American film debut with a role in the cult hit "To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar"
Co-starred with David Schwimmer in "The Pallbearer"
Portrayed one of the adult children returning home for Thanksgiving in "The Myth of Fingerprints"
Appeared in an episode of "Friends" (NBC) as Tom Selleck's character's son
Co-starred opposite Amanda Peet as the manager of a health club in the AIDS-themed drama "Touch Me"
Starred opposite Drew Barrymore in the romantic comedy "Never Been Kissed"
Appeared opposite Natasha Henstridge in "It Had to Be You"
Was cast as the Arthurian knight Lancelot in the TNT miniseries "The Mists of Avalon"
Had breakout role of Michael Vaughn on the ABC series "Alias"
Played a husband and father whose family is stalked by Robin Williams in "One Hour Photo"
Co-starred with Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda in "Monster in Law"
Played James Walker on the short-lived ABC drama "Big Shots"
Was cast in the Australian horror film "Rogue"
Was cast as Dr. Tom Wakefield on the TNT medical drama "Hawthorne"
Co-starred with Zoe Saldana in the action film "Colombiana"
Landed a recurring role on "Bates Motel"
Appeared on the TV series "Rectify"
Began playing Terence on "The Arrangement"