Family & Companions
Actor Chad Michael Murray began as a model in his late teens before successfully seguing to an acting career with breakout roles on a number of youth-targeted television series and in several hit films. The neophyte actor quickly established his niche as a cocky bad boy when he was cast as Tristan DuGrey on the first two seasons of the clever dramedy "Gilmore Girls" (The WB, 2000-06/The CW, 2006-07). Soon after, he refined the persona into that of Lucas Scott, the more introverted outsider he played for six seasons as one of the stars of "One Tree Hill" (The WB, 2003-06/The CW, 2006-2012). With prominent roles in a string of successful teen-targeted feature films that included "Freaky Friday" (2003), "A Cinderella Story" (2004) and "House of Wax" (2005), Murray secured himself a spot as one of film and TV's more sought after young leading men. After contract negotiations broke down with "One Tree Hill" producers in 2009, Murray was free to take on projects with other television networks and pursue non-acting creative endeavors like the graphic novel Everlast, which he created and wrote. Later, he was seen in such indie features as the harrowing true story of drug addiction and redemption "Renee" (2012), starring Kat Dennings. Bringing both an air of romance and mystery to his roles, Murray added a dimensionality to characters that might have otherwise remained uninspired archetypes in the hands of a lesser talent.
Chad Michael Murray was born on Aug. 24, 1981 in Buffalo, NY to Rex Murray, an air-traffic controller. After Murray's mother left the family while he was still quite young, it was up to his father to raise Chad and his siblings as a single parent. In his youth, Murray's interest ran to football as much as acting while attending Buffalo's Clarence High School. Although an unfortunate physical altercation at a Burger King had ended with a badly broken nose, the visibly altered proboscis, combined with the teenage Murray's natural boyish good looks, also imbued him with a ruggedness that paid off handsomely. Upon winning a modeling completion and gaining representation, Murray made the move to Los Angeles in 1999 and was soon appearing in ad campaigns for such high-profile retailers as Tommy Hilfiger, Gucci and Skechers. Not surprisingly, Murray quickly made the transition to acting with his debut in an episode of the inspirational anthology series "Chicken Soup for the Soul" (PAX, 1999-2000) later that year, followed by a guest appearance as a teen suspect on the popular mystery series "Diagnosis Murder" (CBS, 1993-2001).
With his nascent career quickly gaining traction, Murray landed a recurring role as over-privileged prep school student Tristan DuGrey on the popular dramedy series "Gilmore Girls" (The WB, 2000-06/The CW, 2006-07). Initially cast as the tormenter of academically ambitious new girl Rory (Alexis Bledel), Murray's character later made a clumsy attempt at courting her, only to make way for the true object of her affections, Dean (Jared Padalecki). Another recurring role on the same network further boosted Murray's exposure when he was cast as Charlie on the trend-setting young adult drama "Dawson's Creek" (The WB, 1998-2003). His smirking portrayal of the bad boy rocker on the popular series only paved the way for Murray's sudden pervasive presence on nearly every magazine targeted at a young female audience. Simultaneously, the young actor pushed closer to a feature film career with a small role in the low-budget, biblical-themed action-adventure sequel "Megiddo: Omega Code 2" (2001).
While many a young viewer was dismayed at Murray's departure from "Gilmore Girls," his being written out of the show - the prank-pulling Tristan was eventually sent to a military academy by his father - was a direct result of his being cast on a new series for the same network. Murray landed his first leading role as the brooding loner Lucas Scott, opposite co-star James Lafferty on the youth melodrama "One Tree Hill" (The WB, 2003-06/The CW, 2006-2012). The charismatic actor was perfectly cast as a boy from the wrong side of the tracks who struggles through a rivalry with his spoiled stepbrother Nathan (Lafferty) and navigates tricky romantic waters between love interests Peyton (Hilarie Burton) and Brooke (Sophia Bush). By its second season, "One Tree Hill" had become one of the network's highest rated series, a success no doubt aided by its popular star's participation in hit teen features like "Freaky Friday" (2003), in which Murray played a motorcycle-riding hunk who captures the attention of Lindsey Lohan, a high schooler who has temporarily swapped bodies with her strict mother (Jamie Lee Curtis), thanks to an ancient Chinese spell.
Continuing to take on feature film work during breaks from "One Tree Hill," Murray was later seen as Hilary Duff's modern-day version of Prince Charming in "A Cinderella Story" (2004), a contemporary retelling of the classic rags-to-riches tale. He returned to theater screens in "House of Wax" (2005), a loose remake of the Vincent Price classic in which twin siblings (Murray and Elisha Cuthbert) find themselves trapped in the titular house of terror after being waylaid on the way to a concert with a group of friends. Although critically maligned, the gruesome slasher movie - which co-starred Paris Hilton, whose onscreen demise was cited as the movie's highpoint - nonetheless performed well commercially. Flush with success, Murray was surely in a celebratory frame of mind when his married his "One Tree Hill" co-star Sophia Bush in April of 2005. Unfortunately, within months the newlyweds had separated after rumors of his infidelity and were eventually granted a divorce in 2006. That year also saw Murray featured briefly in the Iraq War drama "Home of the Brave" (2006) alongside Samuel L. Jackson and Jessica Biel. After three more seasons on "One Tree Hill," which had begun to struggle in the ratings, contract negotiations broke down near the end of season six, resulting in Murray and co-star Burton leaving the show in 2009, much to the disappointment of fans.
Murray quickly rebounded with roles in the made-for-TV films "Lies in Plain Sight" (Lifetime, 2010), about a sister's investigation into the shadowy past of her deceased sibling's past, and the holiday romance "Christmas Cupid" (ABC Family, 2010). Keeping busy, Murray filmed an unaired pilot for ABC and wrote the pre-Apocalyptic graphic novel Everlast, published by Archaia Entertainment. After returning for a guest spot on "One Tree Hill" in the midst of its final season in 2012, the actor took part in the independent feature "Renee" (2012), a based-on-fact drama starring Kat Dennings as the eponymous young girl whose battles with addiction and self-destructive behavior eventually led to the founding of a philanthropic organization dedicated to helping teens cope with similar issues. The following television season found Murray guest starring on the critically-acclaimed LAPD crime drama "Southland" (NBC, 2008-09/TNT, 2009-13) in a multi-episode role. Following the lead role in the streaming thriller "Chosen" (Crackle 2013-14), Murray joined the Marvel Universe with a supporting part on "Agent Carter" (ABC 2015-16).
By Bryce P. Coleman
Cast (Feature Film)
Moved to Los Angeles, CA
Made acting debut on episode of Pax series "Chicken Soup for the Soul"
Guest starred as a teen suspect on "Diagnosis Murder" (CBS)
Landed recurring role as chief tormenter of Rory (Alexis Bledel) on "Gilmore Girls" (The WB)
Played younger incarnation of Michael Biehn's character in Christian action sequel "Megiddo: Omega Code 2"
Landed recurring role on "Dawson's Creek" (The WB) as Charlie, a love interest for Michelle Williams
Played "The Lone Ranger" in TNT TV movie
Cast as basketball star Lucas Scott on The WB drama ''One Tree Hill''
Co-starred with Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis in feature remake of "Freaky Friday"
Starred opposite Hilary Duff in modern day fairy tale "A Cinderella Story"
Featured in horror remake "House of Wax" with Elisha Cuthbert and Paris Hilton
Cast in Irwin Winkler's drama "Home of the Brave," about the lives of four American soldiers in Iraq and their return back to the U.S.
Made directorial debut on "A Hand to Take Hold of the Scene" episode of "One Tree Hill"
Starred in horror sequel "The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia"
Cast in lead role in the Crackle TV series "Chosen"
Joined the cast of ABC series "Agent Carter"