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Lucy Liu

Shawn Ashmore Biography

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Birth Name: Shawn Ashmore
Born: 10/07/1979
Birth Place: Richmond, British Columbia, CA

Born Oct. 7, 1979, Ashmore and his twin brother Aaron (older by one minute) were raised in Richmond, British Colombia. Both brothers enjoyed performing from an early age, already appearing on camera by the time they were seven years old. By age 10, Ashmore appeared in a 1998 episode of the Canadian television show, "Katts and Dog" (1988-1991), and as a pageant contestant in the Canadian film, "Married to It" (1991). He also appeared in an episode entitled "Colonel Stonesteel and the Desperate Empties" of the Canadian-produced fantastic anthology series, "Ray Bradbury Theater" (1985-1992) during its final year. But it was in his leading role as musician Waylon Tibbins in the 1994 Canadian TV movie, "Guitarman" that he first drew critical notices. Coming seemingly out of nowhere, Ashmore was nominated for a Gemini Award, the Canadian equivalent of an Emmy, that same year. Ashmore followed with small roles in several Canadian television series and movies, including an appearance on episodes of the cult genre favorites, "The Animorphs" (Nickelodeon, 1998-99) in 1998 and "Earth: The Final Conflict" (syndicated, 1997-2002) in 2000.

Around this time, the young actor was tapped by director Bryan Singer for the feature adventure "X-Men" (2000). Although his part was relatively small in the first film, the role of Bobby Drake was instantly recognized by comic book fans as that of superhero, Iceman. All he had to do was make a snowball to impress fellow young mutant, Rogue (Anna Paquin) and with that, Ashmore made an immediate impact. Following the enormous success of the "X-Men," Ashmore starred as part of an ensemble on the Disney Channel series, "In a Heartbeat" (2000) about teen-age paramedics. He followed this run with appearances in a handful of TV movies, such as "The Big House" (ABC) and "Blackout" (CBS), both in 2001, as well as the Disney Channel's "Cadet Kelly," opposite Hilary Duff, in 2002. At the same time Ashmore was making inroads professionally, his twin, Aaron, continued to act as well, with regularly recurring roles on television shows such as "Veronica Mars," (UPN) and "The West Wing" (NBC).

In 2003, Ashmore again played Drake in Singer's "X2: X-Men United." For the sequel, his character was far more integral to the movie, in effect, competing with Hugh Jackman's Wolverine for the affections of Rogue. His larger role in the sequel, which ended up being a bigger hit than its predecessor, raised Ashmore's Hollywood profile. More parts started coming his way, including a recurring role on the superhero series, "Smallville" (The WB, 2001-2011), where he played Eric Summers in the 2002 episode "Leech" and in the 2004 episode, "Asylum." After the initial "X-Men" rush passed yet again, Ashmore appeared in a few more made-for-television movies, including, "Earthsea" in 2004 and "Terry," in 2005, as well as the theatrical release, "3 Needles" that same year.

Following a run of lower-profile gigs, Ashmore returned yet again to the "X-Men" fold, as Bobby Drake. Although Bryan Singer left the project to pursue "Superman Returns" (2006), Brett Ratner stepped in to finish up the original "X-Men" trilogy. Thankfully for Ashmore, the planned expansion of his character did not undergo any last minute changes. In "X-Men: The Last Stand" (2006), an additional love interest, as well as more special effects showcasing his superhuman abilities, were added to showcase Iceman, as well as other young mutants - a move, some thought, to steer the X-Men franchise toward a younger audience for its next offering. Ashmore next appeared in "The Quiet" (2006), a psychological thriller about a family whose dark secrets are exposed after they adopt a recently orphaned deaf girl (Camilla Belle) harboring her own disturbing past.

Ashmore was later seen alongside emerging star Amanda Seyfried in the supernatural thriller "Solstice" (2008), in addition to the horror movie "The Ruins" (2008), in which he and a group of vacationers find themselves prey to an ancient evil atop a Mayan temple. He revisited Iceman for a pair of episodes of the animated kids adventure "The Super Hero Squad Show" (Cartoon Network, 2009- ) prior to being seen in the survival thriller "Frozen" (2010) as one of three unlucky skiers stranded on a chairlift overnight. Ashmore was in survival mode once again for "The Day" (2012), a gritty, post-apocalyptic action-drama covering a 24-hour period in the lives of five people hopelessly surrounded and fighting to see another day.

By Matthew Reynolds