Michael S. Vartan (born November 27, 1968) is a French-American film and television actor. He is probably best known for the role of Michael Vaughn on the American television action drama Alias. He is currently appearing in the TNT medical drama Hawthorne. Vartan was born in Boulogne-Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine, France, the son of Doris (née Pucher), a painter and artist, and Eddie Vartan, a musician. His paternal aunt is singer Sylvie Vartan and his stepfather is writer Ian La Frenais. Vartan's Bulgarian-born father was of Armenian, Bulgarian, and Hungarian ancestry, and Vartan's American mother is Jewish and originally from Poland. Vartan has said about his French background that "The funny thing is I'm actually a Polish Jew who happens to be born in France. My mom is Polish and my dad is Bulgarian. I don't have an ounce of French blood. But I work it". He has stated that he tends to be considered a Frenchman in the United States and an American in France. His parents divorced when he was five and he moved to America with his mother.
He moved back to France to be with his father until his high school years, and grew up a "farm kid" in a "simple environment" in Fleury, Manche, a small town in Normandy. At the age of eighteen, Vartan moved back in with his mother in Los Angeles, telling her that he wanted to be an artist, because he did not wish to fulfill the mandatory military service required in France. In Los Angeles, he attended an acting school after he was told he possessed acting talent. He had also attended the prestigious Lycée Français de Los Angeles. Vartan now considers himself to be American and stated on the talk show Rove that he would like Australia to be his second home. He is bilingual, speaking both English and French fluently. After starring roles in European films, including an acclaimed performance in the Taviani Brothers' Fiorile, and several smaller film roles, Vartan had noticeable supporting roles in major Hollywood movies, including Never Been Kissed (1999), One Hour Photo (2002) and Monster-in-Law (2005). In 2007, he appeared in the Australian horror film Rogue, and starred in the film Jolene in 2008.
Vartan's most notable role to date has been as Michael Vaughn in the American television series Alias (2001–2006). Vartan has also had guest appearances on Friends (as Dr. Tim Burke, Tom Selleck's character's son) and Ally McBeal (as Jonathan Basset). He also appeared on the show Kitchen Confidential, which starred his former Alias co-star Bradley Cooper, as a French chef who was Cooper's rival. In September 2007, Vartan played James Walker, a main role in the ABC drama Big Shots. However, the show was canceled after one season. Vartan is co-starring opposite Jada Pinkett Smith in TNT's series Hawthorne. Vartan replaced Jeffrey Nordling, who played the role in the pilot. Over the course of his relationship with Alias co-star Jennifer Garner, he never made any public appearances with her. Garner confirmed their relationship in August 2003. Vartan began dating Garner in mid-2003, and though rumors of their break-up began in March 2004, Garner only confirmed the end of their relationship in August 2004. On March 5, 2010, he announced his engagement to Lauren Skaar, whom he met in a Whole Foods Market parking lot in Los Angeles in 2009. The couple married on April 2, 2011 at the Pelican Hill Resort in Newport Beach, California. Vartan is a keen supporter of Australian rules football, having watched the game on numerous visits to Australia, in particular Melbourne. He is good friends with Brendan Fevola and supports Carlton. After the completion of the film Rogue, Vartan got a Southern Cross tattoo on his right arm to show his love for Australia.
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