A multi-faceted actor, David Anders carved out a successful career portraying villainous characters who were seemingly always one step ahead of their heroic counterparts. He first made waves as a sly and ruthless operative on the hit action drama "Alias" (ABC, 2001-06), about a CIA double-agent who takes on dangerous missions to destroy rogue crime cells worldwide. Anders continued to make inroads on television with appearances on a string of dramas, including "Deadwood" (HBO, 2004-06) and "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC, 2005- ), before landing a recurring part on the sci-fi drama "Heroes" (NBC, 2006-2010), in a dual-character role of a Japanese warrior who transforms into a man who possesses the gift of immortality. A prolific character actor who often spoke with a British accent for many his roles, Anders continued to gain momentum with recurring roles on the supernatural drama "The Vampire Diaries" (The CW, 2009-17) and the adventure fantasy "Once Upon a Time" (ABC, 2011- ). Yet, it was his keep-'em-guessing performance on the spy drama "Alias" that gave him the mainstream exposure needed to land more exciting and compelling roles.
David Anders Holt was born on March 11, 1981 in Grants Pass, OR. The youngest of four children, he had one biological brother, an adopted African-American brother, and an adopted Vietnamese sister. He began performing in school plays when he was young, and also spent most of his high school years playing basketball and tennis. At 17, Anders appeared in a regional theater production of "Jesus Christ Superstar" (1970), the following year, he performed in his high school's production of the classic play "Our Town." After graduation, Anders was accepted at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasadena, CA, but he opted to go try his luck in Hollywood instead. To pay the bills, the aspiring actor worked in retail and taught tennis while also appearing on popular television shows like "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (CBS, 2001-15) and "Charmed" (The WB, 1998-2006). In 2002, Anders scored his big break after being cast on ABC's hit spy drama "Alias," about CIA agent Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner) who becomes a double-agent to destroy a far-reaching crime organization called SD-6. With a near perfect British accent, Anders played international crime operative Julian Sark with great villainous glee. Throughout his stint on the show, Sark often changed alliances and masterminded several evil plans, including stealing rare artifacts, detonating neutron bombs, and seemingly throwing a wrench into many of Bristow's missions.
Easily one of the most exciting and ruthless villains on "Alias," Anders' role undoubtedly opened doors and led to even more exciting projects for the actor. He went on to guest star on a string of dramas like the HBO historical miniseries "Deadwood" and the ABC medical drama "Grey's Anatomy," before appearing on "Heroes" (NBC, 2006-2010), which followed a group of seemingly ordinary people with superhuman powers. He portrayed a 400-year-old medieval Japanese warrior who morphs into a man with regenerative powers. After the series wrapped, Anders guest starred on the hit action series "24" (Fox, 2001-2010), where he played yet another villain working with a nefarious Russian group with deadly access to missiles. He followed it up with a multi-arc role on the hit CW supernatural drama, "The Vampire Diaries," based on the book series of the same name by L.J. Smith about two vampire brothers, Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder), who are obsessed with the same girl, Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev). Anders played the menacing uncle and later, after it was exposed, the father of Elena. After biting the dust in 2011 for the greater good, Anders moved from vampires to fairy tale creatures when he joined the cast of ABC's adventure fantasy "Once Upon a Time," about the residents of the magical land of Enchanted Forest who are cursed and transported to the modern-day town of Storybrooke. Anders played Dr. Whale, who had a strong alliance with the town's mayor The Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) and was based on Victor Frankenstein, the protagonist in Mary Shelley's classic 1818 horror novel Frankenstein.
By Candy Cuenco