Born and raised in upstate New York, the actor began his career as a child, appearing in his first TV commercials at age eight. Within a few years, he was seen alongside Ricky Schroeder and Joe Namath in the Afterschool Special "An Orchestra Is a Team, Too" (1981) and had a featured role in the busted pilot "One More Try" (CBS, 1982), as Laurence Luckinbill's son. His TV series debut came with the short-lived CBS sitcom "Better Days" (1986) and he made his TV-movie debut as one of "The Stepford Children" (NBC, 1987). Batinkoff returned to series TV in 1994 as the Rev. David Grantland, one of the suitors of a teacher (Kellie Martin) who relocates to eastern Tennessee, in "Christy" (CBS, 1994-95). He also played the taciturn suitor spurned by his long-time girlfriend (Kimberly Williams) in the ABC drama "Relativity" (1996-97). Batinkoff made his feature film debut in "Streetwalkin'" (1985), but had his first leading role as Molly Ringwald's young husband in "For Keeps" (1988). Audiences and critics ignored the film and Batinkoff took a four-year hiatus to complete his studies at Brown University before returning to the screen in supporting roles four 1992 films: Robert Altman's "The Player"; "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"; "The Joke"; and "School Ties." Other feature credits include John Singleton's "Higher Learning" (1995) and "The Peacekeeper" (1997).