David Boreanaz

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David Boreanaz was just seven years old when he saw Yul Brynner star in the legendary romance The King And I, and resolved to become an actor. Twenty-five years later the handsome New Yorker looks on course to match Yul's heart-throb status.

Born in Buffalo, New York state, on May 16, 1971, David is the son of Philadelphia weatherman and charity worker Dave Roberts and his wife Patti. After attending a Pennsylvania prep school he majored in film at Ithaca College in New York.

Despite his chiselled good-looks David had to work hard for to make his mark, and he spent several years struggling in un-credited production roles. During those early days the aspiring actor made ends meet by working in a series of less-than-glamorous jobs, including parking attendant and house painter. He even spent some months handing out towels at a sports club.

Ironically, bearing in mind his career to date, one of his first onscreen appearances was as the victim of a vampire in the low-budget independent production A Macabre Pair Of Shorts. His big break came in 1997, however, when Buffy The Vampire Slayer writers decided their demon-trouncing heroine should fall in love with a netherworld heart-throb. A cute bloodsucker was obviously called for.

Step forward Mr Boreanaz, whose brooding performance set hearts aflutter across the United States. At 6ft 1in, the tall, dark, handsome actor made for a distinctly cool ghoul. The moral ambiguity of his character Angel also brought a new complexity to the series' "good versus evil" storylines, and audiences followed Buffy's example by falling head-over-heels for his soft-spoken creature of the night.

David played a similarly introverted, if rather less bloodthirsty, part in his first major movie role. In the teen-slasher flick Valentine he starred as a troubled alcoholic who watches his friends and loved ones fall victim to a serial killer.

Fortunately the actor's own life seems to have been rather more serene than that of his characters. He shares his Los Angeles home with second wife Jaime Bergman and their son Jaden Rayne. "When you have a child it makes the colours brighter, the sounds better and everything much more interesting," he says. "If I'm stressed, I just have to look at my child and realise that's what life is about. I have a lovely child and a very lovely wife. Life is great."

Despite breaking into the silver screen David is not about to forget his netherworld relations. Asked about his success, he says he owes it all to a certain demon-thrashing blonde. "I loved working with Sarah Michelle Gellar - she is great, great person. Without Sarah I wouldn't be standing here right now... I owe her a lot."

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