Erik von Detten built up a large preteen fan base, appearing frequently on the small screen in TV movies and as a regular on the Disney Channel series "So Weird" (1999), as well as playing Wally in the 1997 feature update of the legendary sitcom "Leave it to Beaver," before a starring role on ABC's "Odd Man Out" (1999-2000) exposed the young actor to a much larger audience. Von Detten began his career at an early age, years before his sunbleached hair and California boy good looks would appear regularly in the pages of teenage pin-up magazines. He made his film debut with a small role as a choirboy in the holiday feature "All I Want for Christmas" (1991) before landing a regular part on the NBC daytime drama "Days of Our Lives" at age eight. Von Detten spent nearly two years on the soap in the role of Nicholas Alamain, a young boy whose natural mother was buried alive by zany villain Vivian, the boy's foster mother. The actor went on to appear in several TV-movies, often playing the sensitive son of the troubled main characters when not taking the lead role in productions aimed at children. In 1994 he played a boy whose mother becomes obsessed with destroying his father following their divorce in the fact-based drama "In The Best of Families: Marriage, Pride and Murder" (CBS). In the following year's "A Season of Hope" (also CBS), he was featured as the child of JoBeth Williams and Stephen Lang, a couple in crisis due to a lemon grove disease that threatens their crops and their livelihood. Among his starring roles are playing half of a pair of children with mysterious powers in a 1995 remake of "Escape To Witch Mountain" (aired as an ABC Family Movie) and a self-absorbed boy who, in an idea borrowed from the feature "Groundhog Day," must relive Christmas over and over again until he realizes the true meaning of the holiday in The Family Channel's holiday fable "Christmas Every Day" (1996), He played the titular champion in-line skater in "Brink!" (1998), a Disney Channel modern adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's "Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates." In 1999, the actor was featured as a teenage boy struggling with his father's infidelity and the break up of his parents' marriage in the CBS TV movie "Replacing Dad."
Following his daytime work on "Days of Our Lives," von Detten returned to series television with a guest appearance as a young boy trapped in a storm drain on a memorable episode of "ER" (NBC). He landed the regular role of Clu, a teenage boy on tour with his rock band manager mother and roadie father, in "So Weird." His Clu was a friend of Fi and Jack, the supernatural phenomena-tracking children of the band's singer, and along with them came across many unexplainable occurrences. In the fall of 1999, Von Detten premiered on the primetime network series "Odd Man Out," playing the lone male in the sitcom family, living with his mother, aunt and three sisters. Starring alongside Markie Post and Jessica Capshaw, this regular role afforded von Detten exceptional visibility and undoubtedly added to his legions of young fans.
On the big screen, von Detten essayed the role as the son of a slain police officer in the Chuck Norris action comedy "Top Dog" (1995) but is perhaps best remembered for a role in which he was never seen. He gave an appropriately menacing voice characterization to Sid, the sadistic, toy mangling young neighbor who nabs cowboy doll Woody and astronaut action figure Buzz Lightyear in the hit computer animated feature "Toy Story" (also 1995) The actor additionally did voice work in Disney's 1997 animated entry "Hercules."
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Had a small role as a choir member in the holiday movie "All I Want for Christmas"
Originated the role of Nicholas Alamain on the NBC daytime drama "Days of Our Lives"
Played a boy whose mother becomes obsessed with destroying his father after a bitter divorce in the CBS true crime miniseries "In the Best of Families: Marriage, Pride and Madness"
Guest starred on an episode of the NBC medical drama "ER" as a boy stuck in a storm drain who is aided by Dr Ross (George Clooney)
Played the son of a slain police officer in the feature "Top Dog"
Was featured as the son of a couple in turmoil due to family problems and a lemon grove disease that threatens their crops and their livelihood in "A Season of Hope" (CBS)
Starred in the Disney remake of "Escape To Witch Mountain", aired as an ABC Family Movie
Voiced sadistic bully Sid in the hit computer animated feature "Toy Story"
Starred as a young boy who relives Christmas over and over again until he learns the true meaning of the holiday in The Family Channel movie "Christmas Every Day"
Appeared in the CBS TV-movie "A Stranger to Love"
Co-starred as Wally Cleaver in Disney's feature remake of the classic television sitcom "Leave It to Beaver"
Starred as a champion in-line skater in "Brink!", a Disney Channel adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's "Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates"
Played a teenager struggling with his father's infidelity and his parents' subsequent separation in "Replacing Dad", a CBS TV-movie
Was a regular on the Disney Channel paranormal children's series "So Weird"
Had co-starring role in "The Princess Diaries"
Cast in the series spin-off of the ABC miniseries "Dinotopia"
Cast as Chris, one of five brothers on ABC's "Complete Savages"