A charismatic performer who spent years on television looking for his big break, actor George Eads finally became a television star portraying forensic investigator Nick Stokes on the hit procedural "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (CBS, 2000-15). Prior to that role, Eads eked out a living with roles on less-than-popular shows like "Strange Luck" (Fox, 1995-96) and Aaron Spelling's short-lived "Savannah" (The WB, 1996-97), before carving out a niche in TV movies like "The Ultimate Lie" (USA, 1996) and "Crowned and Dangerous" (ABC, 1997). He went on to score a few episodes of "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009) and had a regular role on the sitcom "Grapevine" (CBS, 2000), only to find himself out of work once more when that series was canceled after five episodes. But Eads segued right away into "CSI," where he was fortunate enough to have landed on a series that ran well into the next decade, turning him into a known commodity while allowing the actor the comfort of tackling outside roles as he chose. During his time on the show, Eads landed a number of guest spots and TV movies, but none as high-profile as his starring turn as the iconic 1970s daredevil, "Evel Knievel" (TNT, 2004). With his portrayal of Stokes, Eads was elevated from unknown to fan favorite after years of struggle.
Born March 1, 1967 in Fort Worth, TX, Eads was raised by his father, Arthur, a district attorney, and his mother, Vivien, a school superintendent, and grew up in the town of Belton, TX, where he was a star football player at Belton High School. After graduating in 1985, Eads went on to study marketing at Texas Tech University, where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta's Texas Epsilon Chapter. Graduating with a bachelor's in 1990, he went on to work as a copy machine salesman before quitting his job in order to pursue his dream of acting. Relocating to Los Angeles in 1994, Eads began to audition for film and television roles, and made a rather inauspicious screen debut in the little-seen feature "Dust to Dust" (1994). Still, he was building a résumé, and the following year he debuted on television with a guest spot on "Strange Luck" (Fox, 1995-96) before landing a regular role on the short-lived Aaron Spelling drama "Savannah" (The WB, 1996-97). Though his character was killed off in the pilot, Eads appeared in flashback for subsequent episodes and returned to the series for the second season as his dead character's mysterious twin.
Having established himself on the small screen, Eads went on to land roles in two television movies, "The Ultimate Lie" (USA, 1996) and "Crowned and Dangerous" (ABC, 1997), starring Yasmine Bleeth and Jill Clayburgh. He next landed a three-episode arc on "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009) as a charming paramedic who threatens to woo Julianna Margulies away from George Clooney, while appearing in the supernatural thriller "The Spring" (NBC, 2000). Eads went on to land a regular role on the short-lived sitcom "Grapevine" (CBS, 2000), where he played Thumper Klein, a womanizing sportscaster, for five episodes before the series was canceled. His luck changed when he landed the role of Nick Stokes on the crime drama "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (CBS, 2000-15), which turned out to be the break he was looking for. Portraying the strong-willed, but empathetic forensic investigator Nick Stokes opposite series stars William Petersen and Marg Helgenberger, Eads had finally arrived, thanks to being part of a long-running, top-rated show for well over a decade.
A household name with the success of "CSI," Eads began receiving offers for more prominent roles. He went on to appear in a number of TV movies while working regularly on the series, including the comedy "Just a Walk in the Park" (ABC Family, 2002) with Jane Krakowski, the football flick "Second String" (TNT, 2002) alongside Jon Voight, as well as the Western "Monte Walsh" (TNT, 2003) with Tom Selleck. In 2004, he began working as a voiceover actor with a role as Captain Atom on the popular animated series, "Justice League Unlimited" (Cartoon Network, 2004-06), before landing his highest-profile role to date, starring as the famed 1970s daredevil, "Evel Knievel" (TNT, 2004), co-starring Jaime Pressly and Beau Bridges. While his career was at a high point, Eads was suddenly embroiled in a widely publicized conflict on the set of "CSI." During salary negotiations on the hit series, Eads and co-star Jorja Fox were fired after reportedly failing to show up on set for the first day of shooting during the series' fifth season. Eads later issued a public apology, claiming that his absence from work was due to oversleeping, not salary disputes, whereupon he and Fox were immediately hired back on and resumed work on the series. Meanwhile, he continued to work as a voiceover artist as Barry Allen/Flash on "Young Justice" (Cartoon Network, 2010-13), while landing a 2008 guest spot on "Two and a Half Men" (CBS, 2003-15).
By Shawn Dwyer
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Enrolled in a Dallas acting school
Moved to Los Angeles
Acted in the independent film "Only in America"
Guest starred on "Strange Luck" (Fox)
Appeared in the NBC TV-movie drama "The Ultimate Lie"
Landed a role on the primetime soap "Savannah", (The WB) produced by Aaron Spelling; murdered in the series premiere, but proved so popular, he appeared in subsequent episodes in flashbacks, then as the original character's long-lost twin brother Nick
After losing a role in the Showtime TV-movie "The Baby Dance", was contacted by the project's producer Jodie Foster, who encouraged the actor to stick with it
Played the ex-lover of a murdered beauty queen in the ABC TV-movie "Crowned and Dangerous"
Had a recurring role in "ER" (NBC) as the medic who woos Nurse Hathaway (Julianna Marguiles)
Was a regular on the short-lived sitcom "Grapevine" (CBS)
Acted in the supernatural TV-movie thriller "The Spring" (NBC)
Played a forensic investigator with a regular role on the breakout hit crime drama series "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (CBS)
Featured in the football-themed film "Second String", aired on TNT in lieu of theatrical release
Cheated death repeatedly, playing daredevil Evel Knievel, in the TNT biopic "Evel Knievel"
Fired from "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" due to a salary dispute and failure to report for work for the new season; returned to work the following week, after what he called a misunderstanding.
Voiced the role of The Flash on the animated series "Young Justice"
Nabbed a supporting role in the comedy "Sex Ed"
Co-starred on the reboot of "MacGyver"