Biography

Tall and handsome with a confident charm that allows him to veer between good guy and bad boy, Josh Duhamel went from soap star to a leading man role with a breakout role in the series “Las Vegas.” Ever since he was kid, Duhamel wanted to be a dentist or an athlete. Lucky for him he wasn’t very good at either one. His football coaches got on his case and told him he was no good; and he never did quite make it to dentistry school, though he was only one class away from a biology degree. Seemingly by chance, Duhamel became an actor after being discovered while modeling for extra cash. What was a chance discovery soon turned into a career, complete with a major role on a primetime network drama.

Originally from Minot, North Dakota, a relatively new city smack dab in the middle of the state, Duhamel grew up with aspirations of excelling in sports. However, a few coaches let him know that he didn’t have what it takes to make it. Crushed at first, Duhamel later acknowledged that his coaches may have been right. The experience was an eye-opener, and he never forgot what his coaches said. Duhamel shifted gears and planned a career in dentistry. Once again, Duhamel discovered that he didn’t quite have what it takes—his grades weren’t good enough to get him into dental school and he dropped out of college one class shy of his degree.

Duhamel moved back home to North Dakota only to discover his girlfriend—one whom he thought he’d marry—was seeing someone else. His life changed on the spot, both emotionally and geographically. Duhamel moved to Northern California where he modeled for fashion magazines. But his launch into stardom wasn’t immediate. He spent a couple years working odd jobs: operating heavy machinery in construction, the night shift at a warehouse and serving customers as a self-proclaimed horrible waiter.

Duhamel managed to get himself discovered through modeling, which led to his first television role as Leo Dupres on “All My Children”. Duhamel won an Outstanding Supporting Actor Emmy at the 2002 Daytime Emmy Awards, but after three seasons he called it quits. Duhamel moved on to NBC’s “Las Vegas” (2003- ), a primetime drama about the surveillance experts that keep a watchful eye on a group of casinos. Duhamel played Danny McCoy, understudy to head of security Big Ed Deline (James Caan) and a decent guy at heart whose occasional lapses of romantic judgment–such as with Big Ed’s daughter (Molly Simms)–sometimes threaten to derail him. As the show quickly found an audience, Duhamel also made an impression on the big screen as the titular fast-lane Hollywood idol of “Win a Date with Tad Hamilton” (2004) who falls for the sweet and innocent small-town girl (Kate Bosworth) who wins a date with him, and follows her back home for a showdown with the friend who’s always carried a torch for her (Topher Grace).