Josh Duhamel is an American actor and former fashion model. He first achieved acting success in 1999 as Leo du Pres on ABC's All My Children and later as the chief of security, Danny McCoy, on NBC's Las Vegas. He then began appearing in films, most prominently playing one of the protagonists, Captain/Major/Lieutenant Colonel William Lennox, in the box office hit Transformers as well as its sequels, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. He starred in Life as We Know It with Katherine Heigl. He recently starred in Nicholas Sparks's Safe Haven with Julianne Hough.
Life & Career
Duhamel was born in Minot, North Dakota. His mother, Bonnie L. Kemper, is a physical education teacher, and his father, Larry Duhamel, is an advertising salesman. He is of French-Canadian, Irish, English, German, and Norwegian ancestry. Duhamel was raised Catholic.
His parents divorced during his youth. Although he remains close to both, he grew up with his mother and his three younger sisters, Ashlee, Mckenzee, and Kassidy. Duhamel attended Minot State University and played as the back-up quarterback for the university's football team. He planned to attend dental school, but dropped out one-and-a-half credits shy of his undergraduate degree.
Duhamel has stated, "After college, I followed an ex-girlfriend to northern California, did a bunch of odd jobs." Duhamel had won the title of Male Model of the Year in an International Modeling and Talent Association (IMTA) competition in 1997 (the runner-up was actor Ashton Kutcher).
Duhamel began his acting career as an extra in the music videos for Donna Summer's song, "I Will Go With You (Con te partirò)" in 1998 and Christina Aguilera's song, "Genie in A Bottle" in 1999. Josh trained with Scott Sedita Acting Studios. Later that year, he won the role of Leo du Pres on the ABC soap opera All My Children. His work on the show, especially his character's pairing with Greenlee Smythe (portrayed by actor Rebecca Budig), garnered critical acclaim.
In 2003, he earned a Daytime Emmy Award nomination for the Special Fan Award for America's Favorite Couple in 2002, shared with Budig, and a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Leo du Pres. Duhamel left All My Children in 2002 to pursue other acting opportunities. In 2003, Duhamel landed a prime time role on the NBC show Las Vegas, playing the head of security as Danny McCoy for the Montecito Casino. He succeeded James Caan as head of the casino after Caan departed the series at the end of the fourth season. The series ended in 2008.
Duhamel made his big-screen acting debut in 2004's Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! and continued on to star in the thriller Turistas (2006). After watching an episode of Las Vegas in which Duhamel's character had just returned from the war in Iraq, Steven Spielberg handpicked him for the role of Captain William Lennox in 2007's summer blockbuster film Transformers (a film for which Spielberg was the executive producer). Duhamel reprised the role for the sequel, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, released in June 2009, and again in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, released in June 2011.
Duhamel was the official pace car driver for the 2009 Indianapolis 500 driving the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro Pace Car. In 2010, he played the lead role in the film When in Rome as Nick Beamon. On March 23, 2013, Duhamel hosted the 2013 Kids' Choice Awards, which was broadcasted live from Los Angeles. He and his co-star from Safe Haven, Julianne Hough, performed a Safe Haven-themed showcase appearance via video on The Price is Right with Drew Carey.