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File: Taylor Lautner
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), The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (2011) and is set to appear in the final film of the series, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 in late 2012. 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. He later found more commercial success with his debut action film, Abduction, which became a sleeper hit.
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. Lautner stated that when he was younger he was bullied in school because he was an actor. He commented, "I just had to tell myself I can't let this get to me. This is what I love to do. And I'm going to continue doing it."
He took his first karate class at the age of six. A year later, he attended the national karate tournament in Louisville, Kentucky, where he met Michael Chaturantabut, the founder of Xtreme Martial Arts. Chaturantabut invited Lautner to a camp he held at University of California, Los Angeles. Lautner trained with Chaturantabut 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.
In junior high, Lautner—who was involved in karate, baseball and hip-hop dance—won the award for "Best Smile" and played in the school's Turkey Bowl American Football game. He went to public school in Valencia until his sophomore year of high school.
Chaturantabut, 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.
Lautner has an intricate workout plan, which was covered by Men's Health, and has a specific diet after developing his body for The Twilight Saga: New Moon. In addition, he still practices and trains in martial arts regularly. He has stated that he is drug and alcohol free.
Lautner resides with his parents and younger sister in Valencia, California, which he says he prefers due to the dearth of paparazzi. Lautner has said that he has never thought of moving out on his own, stating, "The thing I love is that my home life hasn't changed. I still help out with the garbage. I still help out with the lawn." He owns a BMW 5 series, which have tinted windows for obscurity.
The boost given to his career by the success of the Twilight films made him too busy to attend school, so he took the California High School Proficiency Exam to graduate from high school in 2008. He has stated on the David Letterman show that if he does not have work, he would like to go back to school. He now takes online classes at his local community college.
In 2009, Lautner was linked romantically to American country pop singer Taylor Swift and American actress and pop singer Selena Gomez.
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