Eric Mabius' Hollywood career took him from the art house to the house of high fashion in one seamless and successful journey. As a star on the Golden Globe-winning series "Ugly Betty" (ABC, 2006-10) Mabius delighted fans with his portrayal of Daniel Meade, the Editor-in-Chief of a fictional fashion magazine, and boss to the unfortunately nicknamed title character, superbly played by America Ferrara. It would not be the first time Mabius had appeared in an underdog-does-good project. He was the dreamboat rocker whom Heather Matarazzo had an adolescent crush on in "Welcome to the Dollhouse" (1995), the movie that propelled Mabius' career into high gear before hitting mainstream success on "Betty."
Eric Harry Timothy Mabius was born on April 22, 1971 in Harrisburg, PA. Of Polish, Irish, and Austrian descent, the Mabius family moved around a lot on the East Coast, with the future actor spending most of his life growing up in Massachusetts. It was athletics - not acting - that was Mabius' first life's calling. He trained and traveled with the Junior National Luge Team before eventually enrolling at the famed Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY to study film. During that time, he appeared in several off-Broadway theater productions which helped prep him for his future Hollywood career. In 1995, Mabius made an auspicious debut in his first film - an independent film written and directed by the always controversial helmer, Todd Solondz - entitled "Welcome to the Dollhouse." In this well received film, Mabius played Steve Rodgers, a longhaired, tight pants-wearing rocker, over whom Heather Matarazzo pines over. Although it was a supporting role, the movie's cult success helped pave the way for Mabius to find consistent onscreen work.
A year later, Mabius appeared in another groundbreaking independent film. "I Shot Andy Warhol" (1996) was based on Valerie Solanas, a sixties radical writer who shot the legendary pop artist. Mabius played Revolutionary No. 2 in the film, which also boasted a cast including Lili Taylor as Solanas and Jared Harris as Warhol. In 1997, Mabius journeyed to the small screen when he landed a guest part on an episode of the medical drama series "Chicago Hope" (CBS, 1994-2000), entitled "And The Hand Played On." Mabius' acting schedule got busier by the late nineties. He acted alongside Sam Rockwell, Angie Harmon, and Mischa Barton in the feature film, "Lawn Dogs" (1997).
By 1999, the handsome actor was becoming more in demand, appearing on an episode of the FOX sci-fi series "Millennium" (1996-99), as well as in the films "The Minus Man" and the Gregg Araki-directed "Splendor." Mabius joined an all-star teen cast that included Sarah Michelle Gellar, Reese Witherspoon, and her future real-life husband, Ryan Phillippe, in the film "Cruel Intentions," a nineties adaptation of the Choderlos de Laclos novel, Les liaisons dangereuses and the film "Dangerous Liaisons" (1988). Mabius closed out that busy year with an appearance in another feature film - the coming-of-age story "Around the Fire," starring Devon Sawa and Tara Reid.
In 2000, Mabius took over the lead role in "The Crow: Salvation." It was the third installment that had begun with the cult hit, "The Crow" - the 1994 film which had starred the late Brandon Lee, victim of an on-set shooting accident at the time. As Alex Corvis, Mabius took a gallant stab at the iconic antihero opposite Kirsten Dunst, but critics panned the film.
Television came knocking again in 2000. Returning to the small screen, the up-and-coming actor appeared on FOX's short-lived sitcom "Get Real" (1999-2000) as well as the WB's successful teen dramedy, "Popular" (1999-2001). Small roles in the 2001 movies "Tempted" and "On The Borderline" soon led to a major part in the surprising hit film, "Resident Evil" (2002). In the big budget thriller, Mabius portrayed his largest role then to date - that of Matt Addison in a film based on a popular video game. He also switched gears by taking on a May-December romance with Jacqueline Bisset in "Dancing At The Harvest Moon" (CBS, 2002) - a move that, no doubt, delighted his growing female fan contingent.
Mabius was involved in a lot of high-adrenaline projects in 2003, starting with an episode of "Fastlane" (FOX, 2002-03) and the films "The Extreme Team" and "The Job," the latter of which co-starred Darryl Hannah. In 2004, Mabius added to his impressive working actor's resume by joining the cast of Showtime's provocative series, "The L Word" (2004-09). On the lesbian-themed hit, he played Tim Haspel, the show's male lead during its first groundbreaking season. In 2005, Mabius left his regular "L Word" stint to join Tim Daly and Garcelle Beauvais in the short-lived ABC series "Eyes." Although a disappointment at the time, the canceled series provided Mabius with the opportunity to reunite with "Lawn Dogs" costar Barton. He played Dean Jack Hess to her troubled Marisa Cooper in FOX's teen soap "The O.C." (2003-07). Television was shaping up to be Mabius' forte, and it eventually brought him to a series that ended up as 2006's most buzzed about new offering, ABC's "Ugly Betty."
The Salma Hayek-produced series, "Ugly Betty," premiered in September 2006 and was an instant ratings hit, bringing in over 14 million viewers to tune in week after week. Mabius played his character Daniel Meade with equal parts heart and sex appeal. It even earned him a well-deserved spot on People magazine's annual "Sexiest Man Alive" issue that same year. The success of "Ugly Betty," including a Golden Globe Award in 2006 for the series and its star Ferrara, made Mabius a household name and a confirmed favorite among female TV viewers. They loyally followed him to Lifetime Television for the holiday movie "A Christmas Wedding," where he starred opposite Sarah Paulson. Earlier that year, however, Mabius was in another wedding - this time, his own - to interior designer Ivy Sherman (whom he had met in high school, reportedly during a sex education class). The couple exchanged vows in the still Hurricane Katrina-ravaged New Orleans, LA. By June, the couple had a son, Maxfield - all of which helped make 2006 one of the best years of Mabius' professional and personal life to date.
Cast (Feature Film)
Landed featured role in "Welcome to the Dollhouse" as Steve Rodgers, the musician and Dawn Weiner's crush
Played an Amish arsonist in the CBS TV-movie "Harvest of Fire"
Filmed the youth romance "Myth America" on location in New York; released in 1998
Appeared as a musician in "I Shot Andy Warhol"
Starred in the drama "Black Circle Boys"
Cast in featured role in "Lawn Dogs"
Guest starred on CBS medical drama "Chicago Hope"
Appeared on an episode of "Millennium" (Fox)
Cast in minor role as a closeted high school football star in "Cruel Intentions"
Acted in the Sundance Film Festival entries "The Minus Man" and "Splendor"
Guest starred as football coach Krupps on "Popular" (The WB)
Starred opposite Kirsten Dunst in the sequel "The Crow: Salvation"
Played Mia Kirshner's boyfriend on Showtime's "The L Word"
Joined cast of "The O.C." (Fox) as the new dean of discipline at the Harbor School
Co-starred on ABC drama "Eyes"
Played <i>Mode</i> magazine's editor-in-chief Daniel Meade on ABC's "Ugly Betty"
Acted on BBC America series "Outcasts"
Cast opposite Milla Jovovich in action horror sequel "Resident Evil: Retribution," written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson