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Joe Manganiello Biography

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Birth Name: Joe Manganiello
Born: 12/28/1976
Birth Place: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Joe Manganiello's natural talent and drive helped him emerge as one of the breakout stars of HBO's gripping vampire saga "True Blood" (2008-2014), playing the half-human, half-werewolf, Alcide. Prior to landing a lead role on the series, Manganiello began his acting career with a featured film role in the action-packed film "Spider-Man" (2002) as Flash Thompson, Peter Parker's archenemy. Guest appearances on crime dramas and sitcoms kept Manganiello busy during his early career, which included recurring roles on "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS, 2005-2014) and NBC's "ER" (1994-2009). Playing Sophia Bush's love interest on the teen soap "One Tree Hill" (The CW, 2003-2012) pushed the actor into heartthrob territory, and gave him a head start on his career-defining role on "True Blood." On the popular show, he gave the shape-shifting Alcide the emotional complexity required to explore his unlikely rise from a pensive werewolf to a leader, and carved out the potential for a successful career filled with many more intense and exciting roles. His appearance in Steven Soderbergh's "Magic Mike" brought his rugged good looks and stunning physique to an even greater audience, making him a regular on "Sexiest Men In Hollywood" lists.

Joseph Michael Manganiello was born on Dec. 28, 1976 in Pittsburgh, PA. He played football at Mt. Lebanon High School, where he also nurtured a passion for making films; often borrowing the school cameras to make films with his friends on weekends. Manganiello also took acting classes and starred in a production of "Oklahoma" during his senior year. After attending a year at the University of Pittsburgh, Manganiello became more serious about acting and signed up for the acting program at Carnegie Mellon University, where he graduated in 2000 with a degree in drama.

Shortly after graduation, he moved to Los Angeles and quickly landed his first feature film role in no less than "Spider-Man" opposite Tobey Maguire in the title role, Kirsten Dunst and James Franco. In the monster hit, Manganiello played Peter Parker's nemesis, Flash Thompson, a role he reprised in "Spider-Man 3" (2007). After starring in two installments of the big-budgeted superhero flick, Manganiello appeared in the independent film "Irene in Time" (2009) and also starred in the direct-to-video war film "Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia" (2009) as a Navy SEAL squad leader.

Manganiello found steady work on television, guest starring on numerous hit shows including "Las Vegas" (NBC, 2003-08), the CBS drama "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (2000- ), "Scrubs" (NBC/ABC, 2001-2010), and played a law school buddy of Jason Segel's character on "How I Met Your Mother." Manganiello also had a four-episode arc on "ER" as a police officer and love interest of Nurse Samantha Taggart (Linda Cardellini). He gained a large fan base of rabid teenage girls when he joined the cast of The CW's "One Tree Hill" as the strong yet sensitive boyfriend of Brooke Davis (Sophia Bush).

In 2010, Manganiello landed a star-making role in director Alan Ball's sexy vampire drama "True Blood" (HBO, 2008-2014), based on the The Southern Vampire Mysteries series of novels by Charlaine Harris, which follows the residents in a small Louisiana town who coexist with modern-day vampires. Manganiello packed on muscle to play the werewolf, Alcide Herveaux, hired by a vampire named Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) to protect human waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) on a search for her vampire beau Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer). Alcide was introduced as a pensive werewolf trying to nurse a broken heart after his psychotic fiancée, Debbie Pelt (Brit Morgan), left him. Alcide, considered one of the good guys on the show, was a construction worker who wound up being the unlikely leader of the wolf pack. Inevitably, Manganiello's character started developing a fondness for the trouble-prone waitress, which ultimately paved the way for a "love square" on the series. As his profile grew, in 2010, he was cast opposite Jaime Pressley in the CBS comedy pilot "Livin' on a Prayer" as a high school football star-turned-nice dad, but the series, created by Craig Thomas and Carter Bays of "How I Met Your Mother" fame never went to series.

Manganiello next appeared on the big screen in a supporting role in the romantic comedy "What To Expect When You're Expecting" (2012), but it was his next film "Magic Mike" (2012) that proved to be his breakthrough. A comedy about Florida strippers starring Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey, "Magic Mike" was a sleeper hit that garnered excellent reviews, both for the film itself and for Manganiello's role as the stripper Big Dick Richie. The role also attracted further attention to Manganiello's impressive physique: in 2013, he published a workout and nutrition book called Evolution: The Cutting Edge Guide To Breaking Down Mental Walls and Building the Body You've Always Wanted.

As "True Blood" wound down in 2014, Manganiello co-starred with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the action thriller "Sabotage" (2014). In July of that year, he was named People magazine's Sexiest Bachelor in Hollywood; around that same time, it was revealed that Manganiello was dating "Modern Family" (ABC 2009- ) star Sofia Vergara.