Ian Joseph Somerhalder was born on December 8th, 1978 in Covington, Louisiana. His parents are Edna and Robert Somerhalder and his father was in construction. He has a brother Bob who is a professional cyclist and a sister Robin who is a broadcast journalist.
Ian is of French, English, Irish and Choctaw ancestry. His last name Somerhalder comes from his adoptive great-grandfather. Ian’s biological great-grandfather surname was Hull and he was a rich English landowner. This great-grandfather had a pregnant mistress and he paid one of his immigrant workers to marry her and give the baby a name.
When Ian was 13, his parents divorced and he went to live with his mother. His mother was known to be very spiritual and raised Ian on Eastern medicine and fed him all organic foods. She even made all his baby food. He was never given sugar, white flour or any white-flour products. He was able to have German chocolate cake once a year on his birthday. He states that once in Catholic school, he traded his grilled vegetable sandwich for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and got sick. Ian still eats organic and hasn’t had fast food in years.
When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, his family was greatly affected by it. To this day, they still have not fully recovered what was lost. Ian always enjoyed riding horses, motorcycles and boats. He did get bored easily so using his mothers connections, he started to model. About 10 years old, Ian received a 3 year contract with the Ford Modeling Agency in New York. He modeled in New York, Paris, London and Milan. He modeled for some of the best including Guess?, Calvin Klein, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana.
Ian got the acting bug and started to do television work in 1997 with The Big Easy. In the years following, he has played characters in the following TV shows: Now and Again 1999, Young Americans 2000, Anatomy of a Hate Crime 2001, CSI 2002, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 2003, CSI: Miami 2003, Fearless 2004, Smallville 2004, Marco Polo 2007, Tell Me You Love Me 2007, Lost City Raiders 2008 and Fireball in 2009.
His most notable television roles are on the hugely popular show Lost. He played the character Boone from 2004-2010. His character Boone was killed off in the first season but he has a recurring role showing up in flashbacks and dream sequences.
In 2009, Ian Somerhalder was cast as Damon Salvatore in the hit book series The Vampire Diaries. He plays a wicked vampire in the teen drama series. Due to the vampire craze, this show is becoming a hit on the CW Network.
Not only has Ian been in demand for modeling and television work, he has also had a steady film career. Ian was in his first film titled Life as a House in 2001. The following films proceeded: in 2002, Changing Hearts and The Rules of Attraction: 2004, In Enemy Hands, The Old Man and the Studio, Recess: 2006, National Lampoon’s TV: The Movie, Pulse, The Sensation of Sight: 2008, The Lost Samaritan: 2009, Wake, The Tournament: 2010, How to Make Love to a Woman and due for a 2011 release is Cradlewood.