Popular for playing an unscrupulous con man on the daytime drama "All My Children" (ABC, 1970-2011), Cameron Mathison began his career as romance novel cover-hunk before landing his career-making role as Ryan Lavery in 1989. Mathison's million dollar smile and buff body were a perennial favorite with soap audiences for many years to come. And with these assets, coupled with his charming off-screen personality, he made the leap to primetime as the host of "I Wanna Be a Soap Star" (SoapNet, 2004- ) and as a contestant on the viewer favorite, "Dancing with the Stars" (ABC, 2005- ).
Cameron Arthur Mathison was born on Aug. 25, 1969 and was raised in the town of Thornhill in Ontario, Canada. As a young boy, he was diagnosed with Perthes disease, an unusual inflammation of the hip joints that necessitated he spend months in the hospital followed by several years in metal leg braces. He made a full recovery, and by the time he was a handsome teenager, he was an active athlete with big dreams of growing up to be an actor. However, academically, Mathison was also a strong student, so he made the rare decision that he would further his education before pursuing a career in entertainment.
Accepted into Montreal's McGill University, he played college basketball and graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering. Not long after graduation, as luck would have it, Mathison's affable good looks were instantly discovered by a modeling agent, making all that hard college work pretty much a waste of time and money. Over the next several years, he appeared in print ads and on the covers of Harlequin Romance novels while training to become an actor. After a few TV guest roles in 1997, Mathison found himself on the big screen alongside fellow Canadian up-an-comer Mike Meyers in the comedy "54" (1998). From there, the daytime soap "All My Children" snapped him up, and for the next three years, he enjoyed the high profile role of Ryan Lavery on the top-rated soap.
Only a year after Mathison's memorably shirtless debut on "AMC," he won a Soap Opera Digest award for Most Promising Newcomer, but little did soap fans know that they had not seen anything yet. Mathison's Lavery - a globe-hopping con man with a dizzying rags-to riches-to rags path and a knack for getting shot - earned the actor a Daytime Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actor in 2002. Despite the accomplishment, the actor took a year-long vacation from Pine Valley, making time to marry and start a family, as well as snag some primetime exposure with guest spots on "The Drew Carey Show" (ABC, 1995-2004), "CSI" (CBS, 2000- ) and "Jag" (NBC, 1995-96; CBS, 1997-2005).
Mathison returned to his role as Ryan Lavery in the summer of 2003, but maintained his promise to remain involved in other projects. Beginning in 2004, he snagged a job as host of the SoapNet reality show, "I Wanna be a Soapstar," an acting competition that awarded a daytime deal to the best unknown actor, but which received a fair bit of press for not delivering the promise of the show title. That same year, Mathison received his second Daytime Emmy nomination.
In the fall of 2007, Mathison added a third job to his busy schedule when he was added to the cast of the hit reality show "Dancing with the Stars" - a wise move which promised to broaden his appeal outside of just the daytime TV world. It did more than broaden. Regarded early on as simply a pretty boy with a great chest which he flashed generously, Mathison wowed viewers with his breakout performance: the "Superman"-inspired Paso Doble, in which Mathison nailed the passionate dance, throwing around his partner, Edyta Sliwinska. When Mathison was eliminated in the last few weeks of the competition, many in the cast seemed genuinely sad to see him go. The good part about elimination for Mathison was no longer having to criss-cross the country each week to appear on "Dancing" in LA before returning to New York to tape "Children."