Taylor Daniel Lautner (born February 11, 1992) is an American actor, voice actor, model, and martial artist. As a child, Lautner took up martial arts and was ranked number one in his category by the American Sports Karate Association. Lautner soon thereafter began his acting career, appearing in bit roles in comedy series such as The Bernie Mac Show (2003) and My Wife and Kids (2004), before having voice roles in television series like What's New, Scooby-Doo? (2005) and Danny Phantom (2005). In 2005, he appeared in the film, Cheaper by the Dozen 2, and starred in The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D. Lautner got his big break when he was cast as Jacob Black in The Twilight Saga film series, beginning with the first film, Twilight (2008). Lautner returned for the following two movies, The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009) and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010), and is set to appear in the last two films for the series, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn. Lautner has been nominated for several awards for his work in the Twilight series, including honors at the MTV Movie Awards, People's Choice Awards, and Scream Awards.
The late 2000s saw Lautner become a teen idol and rise as a sex symbol, after extensively changing his physique to keep the role of Jacob Black in further Twilight installments, and thereafter generating media attention for his good looks. In 2010, he was ranked second on Glamour's "The 50 Sexiest Men of 2010" list, and fourth on People's "Most Amazing Bodies" list, among other honors. As of 2010, Lautner was considered the highest-paid teenage actor in Hollywood. Lautner was born on February 11, 1992 in Grand Rapids, Michigan to Deborah and Daniel Lautner. His mother works for a software development company, while his father is a Midwest Airlines pilot. He has one younger sister named Makena. Raised as a Roman Catholic, Lautner is of mixed German, French, and Dutch heritage, and has "distant" Native American ancestry (specifically Ottawa and Potawatomi) through his mother. Lautner grew up in Hudsonville, Michigan, a suburb of Grand Rapids. He took his first karate class at the age of six. A year later, he attended his national karate tournament in Louisville, Kentucky, where he met Michael Chaturantabut, the founder of "extreme martial arts". Chat invited Lautner to a camp he held at University of California, Los Angeles.
Lautner trained with Chat for several years, earning his black belt by the age of eight, and winning several junior world championships. He appeared in an ISKA karate event televised on ESPN in 2003 that was later lampooned on the sports-comedy show Cheap Seats that first aired in 2006. Chat, who once portrayed the Blue Ranger in Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue, suggested to Lautner that he take up acting. For a few years, the Lautners flew from Michigan to Los Angeles for auditions when his talent agency called, and returned to Grand Rapids for school sometimes the same day. Lautner balanced karate and acting with being on the football and baseball teams at his school, and taking up jazz and hip-hop dance. After that became tiring, Lautner and his family decided to move to California for a month, to try it out, before moving to Santa Clarita, California permanently in 2002. Although it began after the release of the first film, upon release of New Moon, Lautner and his co-stars Stewart and Pattinson transitioned to teen idol status, with Lautner particularly admired by teens for his new physical characteristics, becoming a sex symbol. The trio appeared on many covers and televised appearances together. In between the second and third films in the Twilight series, Lautner was a part of the ensemble cast in the movie Valentine's Day as Willy Harrinton, acting alongside his rumored girlfriend at the time, American country pop singer, Taylor Swift. The duo was nominated at the 2010 MTV Movie Awards for Best Kiss.
Although it received generally negative reviews, the film grossed $213 million dollars and had the second biggest opening in the United States for a romantic comedy film. Lautner presented at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards and the 82nd Academy Awards. Lautner hosted Saturday Night Live on December 12, 2009, making him one of the youngest celebrity hosts in the show's history. Lautner returned for the third Twilight film, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, in 2010. Receiving mixed reviews from critics, the film surpassed its predecessor to become the highest-grossing film of the franchise and the highest-grossing romantic fantasy, werewolf and vampire movie of all time at the American and Canadian box office. It ranks as the 36th highest grossing film of all-time in the U.S. and Canada. The popularity of Lautner and his cast members continued to summit, especially via the "Team Edward vs. Team Jacob" campaign that promoted the film. Lautner's fanbase also began to expand to older audiences. Lautner won "Best Fantasy Actor" at the 2010 Scream Awards, and he is nominated for "Favorite Movie Actor" for his role in Eclipse at the 37th People's Choice Awards, and "Best Fantasy Actor" at the 2010 Scream Awards. Lautner was initially supposed to be in two films, Moving Lights and a movie based on Max Steel, but pulled out of both films due to scheduling conflicts and better offers.
One of the better offers was the lead in a movie about Stretch Armstrong and a hostage thriller, Cancun. These films and a Bourne Identity-esque spy film with Lily Collins entitled Abduction, as well as the remaining films in the Twilight series, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, are anticipated to be released over a two-year period from 2011-2012. As of 2010, Lautner was considered to be the highest-paid teen actor in Hollywood. Lautner has stated that he doesn't want to be just known for his looks, as some have attributed his popularity to that and not his actual acting skill. In an interview, the actor revealed that he was originally supposed to have a baring scene in the movie Valentine's Day. He stated, "The script said we were walking into school and Willy takes off his shirt. I said, 'Whoa, whoa, whoa. Time out. He's gonna take off his shirt in the middle of school? No, no, no. The reason I took off my shirt for New Moon is because it's written in the book that way. And there's reasons behind it." Lautner later said he would not bare his chest for any role that did not call for it. In June 2010, Lautner covered GQ magazine. The actor was lampooned in conservative writer Laura Ingraham's satirical The Obama Diaries, commenting to have Lautner as a mascot for the White House Easter Egg Roll, to fit their health-conscious theme, and have Lautner don a furry bunny head and appear shirtless. In 2010, Lautner was ranked number two on Glamour's "50 Sexiest Men of 2010 " list. Men's Health ranked him at third on their list of "Top 10 Summer Bodies." Additionally in 2010, he was ranked fourth on People's "Most Amazing Bodies" list
In 2009, Lautner was linked romantically to American country pop singer Taylor Swift and American actress and pop singer Selena Gomez. Between April and May 2009, Lautner was rumored to be in a relationship with Gomez after they were spotted numerous times together, however nothing was confirmed. By June 2009 the duo had reportedly broken up. Reportedly, Lautner and Swift began dating in October 2009 after meeting on the set of their film, Valentine's Day. The pair insinuated a relationship during separate episodes as hosts of Saturday Night Live. It was revealed that they broke up in December 2009, with sources citing lack of chemistry and deciding they were better friends. Other sources said that Lautner was more interested than Swift, and others said that the romance was overblown and not serious from the start. The song "Back to December" from Swift's third album, Speak Now, is rumored to be an apology to Lautner. The first time Swift has apologized in a song, she said it was about a person who deserved the song, further commenting, "This is about a person who was incredible to me, just perfect to me in a relationship, and I was really careless with him." Media pointed out the song had blatant references to Lautner, with Swift referring to her former significant other as tanned skinned, with a "sweet smile."
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