Milo Ventimiglia is an American actor best known for his roles as Jess Mariano in the drama series Gilmore Girls and as Peter Petrelli in the sci-fi drama series Heroes.
Ventimiglia was born in Anaheim, California to Carol and Peter Ventimiglia. He is of Sicilian descent on his father's side and a combination of Irish, English, Scottish, French, Cherokee, and Indian descent on his mother's.
The youngest of three children, he has two older sisters. He was born with dead nerve endings in his lower right lip.
Ventimiglia attended El Modena High School in Orange, California, where he wrestled and held the office of president in student government (ASB). He graduated in 1995.
At the age of 18, Ventimiglia received a scholarship to study at the American Conservatory Theater for their summer program. He attended UCLA as an English major for four years but dropped out to pursue an acting career.
At 18 years of age, Ventimiglia started auditioning, booking jobs, and working his way up. He received a scholarship to attend the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, California for their summer program.
From there, Ventimiglia studied for a while at UCLA before landing a role on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
Ventimiglia has also guest starred on series such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and Boston Public.
Milo was also featured in the music video "Big Girls Don't Cry" by Fergie in 2007.
From 2001 to 2003, Ventimiglia played brooding teen Jess Mariano on Gilmore Girls. He signed on for a spin-off of Gilmore Girls, entitled Windward Circle, which was going to be focused on the relationship between Jess and his estranged father (Adrian Pasdar, who plays Ventimiglia's brother on Heroes, was up for the role of the father), but the proposed series never made it to the air because of high filming costs.
The season 3 episode "Here Comes the Son" was the pilot for the California-set spin-off, which would have starred Ventimiglia, Rob Estes and Sherilyn Fenn.
He also directed the 2003 and 2004 WB Image Campaigns for the WB. Ventimiglia returned to Gilmore Girls for a few episodes in seasons four and six since his 2003 departure.
In the third and final season of the NBC drama American Dreams, Ventimiglia played Chris Pierce, the rebellious boyfriend of Meg Pryor (Brittany Snow).
Pierce and his single mother, Shelly (Daphne Zuniga), a Playboy bunny, move into the house next to the Pryors. Chris evades the draft, fearing he would be forced to fight in the Vietnam War, where Meg Pryor's older brother, J.J. (Will Estes) was wounded.
Chris and Meg escape Philadelphia in the series finale to Berkeley, California, much to the sadness of Meg's best friend, Roxanne Bojarski (Vanessa Lengies).
In 2005, he starred in the mid-season replacement series The Bedford Diaries, for which he did not have to audition. However, the show lasted only eight episodes and was one of several shows not picked up by the newly-formed network The CW.
During his off-time from television and production work, he has had supporting roles in horror films such as Cursed and Stay Alive as well as starring roles in the short-film Intelligence and the full-length feature Dirty Deeds.
In 2006 he played Robert "Rocky Jr." Balboa, the son of Rocky Balboa, in the latest Rocky installment Rocky Balboa which was released in December 2006.
From 2006-2010 he starred as Peter Petrelli in Heroes, a show about "ordinary" people discovering they have superpowers.
In addition to being hired as a second unit director for the 2003 and 2004 "Image Campaigns" for The WB Network, which is no longer in existence, Divide Pictures (the production company Milo co-owns and operates with best friends Russ Cundiff and Dino DeMilio) produced and developed a mini web-series called It's a Mall World as part of a marketing campaign for American Eagle Outfitters.
The "webisodes" aired on American Eagle's official website, during episodes of a new season of MTV's The Real World, and in American Eagle stores nationwide.