Zachary Quinto

Zachary Quinto

Zachary Quinto was born in the Pittsburgh, PA borough of Green Tree. Unfortunately, his father John, a Pittsburgh hairdresser, died of cancer when Zachary was only seven. He funneled any grief into his newfound love for theater, first as a young theatergoer and then as an actor-in-training. By the age of 11, he was appearing in productions with the regional music theater company, Pittsburgh City Light Opera. While still in high school he received his first artistic honor, a Gene Kelly Award for his role in "Pirates of Penzance." Quinto quickly made the decision to pursue acting as a career, so after graduating from Central Catholic High School in 1995, enrolled in Carnegie Mellon University's music theater program. He graduated in 1999. Never one to forget his roots, this born stage actor would remain active in theater during his rise on television, appearing in plays in New York and L.A., including three seasons with the Ojai Playwright's Conference.Quinto moved to the West Coast in 2000, beginning the long journey toward making a name for himself in Hollywood. The handsome 6'4" actor fared well at auditions, appearing as a wide variety of characters on shows like "CSI" (CBS, 2000-15), where he was an implausibly attractive chop shop mechanic; "Six Feet Under" (HBO 2001-05), where he played an art school classmate of Claire Fisher's (Lauren Ambrose); and "Joan of Arcadia" (CBS, 2003-05), where he guested as God. In 2004, Quinto landed his first recurring role as techie Adam Kaufman on the award-winning action series, "24" (FX, 2001-2010). It was a peripheral character who only appeared during the show's third season, but the experience of working as part of a cast in a highly-produced weekly drama would be invaluable for Quinto, whose big break was less than a year away.After a few minor roles on the short-lived sitcom "Twins" (The WB, 2005-06) and gritty drama "Blind Justice" (ABC, 2005-06), Quinto was back in regular rotation on "So NoTORIous," playing Tori Spelling's flamboyant Persian-American sidekick on the VH1 sitcom. With Quinto's contribution, the well-reviewed show was nominated for a 2007 GLAAD Media Award. However, the program suffered in the ratings, being cancelled after its first short season. That same year, versatile Quinto blew away producers at an audition for "Heroes" (NBC, 2006-2010) earning a recurring role as the show's complicated villain Gabriel "Sylar" Gray. In the sci-fi drama, which followed an ensemble cast of characters with incredible abilities who save the Earth and all of mankind, Quinto's brain-eating serial killer Sylar was initially shown only as a shadowy figure in a baseball cap and trench coat - a part played by a stuntman. In the show's eleventh episode, the mysterious figure was fully revealed, and the up-and-coming actor quickly became the most popular "quiet psycho" in primetime, most particularly for his deft ability to alternate between raging killer and pensive introvert. Sylar proved to be central to the themes of the show, and Quinto was officially added to the show's cast when it was renewed for the following season.Even bigger news than making cast member on one of the hottest shows on the air was being selected to portray one of the most iconic characters in the history of television and pop culture in general - Mr. Spock, in J.J. Abrams much-anticipated big screen reinvention of the "Star Trek" film franchise. Not only was the casting of Quinto met with almost universal acceptance by even the most critical of fanboys, but more importantly, Leonard Nimoy gave the casting his own personal stamp of approval. For Quinto, who grew up without a father, he seemed not only to have landed a career-making role beyond even the "Heroes" universe, but a kind of father figure in Nimoy, who took the young actor under his wing. As expected, the film was a smash summer hit upon its release in May 2009. Much of the critical kudos were directed in Quinto's direction, due in part to his riveting performance of the stoic, yet emotionally vulnerable Vulcan.Meanwhile, as popular as it had been initially, building criticism over the series' perceived lack of focus and forward momentum ultimately led to the cancellation of "Heroes" at the conclusion of its fourth season. Bidding farewell to Sylar, Quinto aggressively moved forward with several small projects prior to serving as producer and co-star of the independent film, "Margin Call" (2011). A fictionalized account of the events leading up to the financial collapse of 2007-08, the widely acclaimed drama boasted an impressive ensemble cast that included Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Stanley Tucci and Demi Moore. Less heralded was the romantic comedy "What's Your Number?" (2011), in which he appeared briefly as an ex-boyfriend of Anna Faris' lovelorn protagonist. Near the end of the year, Quinto - who had only recently made a public announcement that he was openly gay - took on a juicy recurring role as one of the many spirits haunting a cursed Los Angeles house on the envelope-pushing series "American Horror Story" (FX, 2011-) throughout its first season.