From ‘Gilmore Girls’ to ‘This Is Us’: What Did Milo Ventimiglia Do Between These Hit Shows?

Milo Ventimiglia is a versatile, appealing actor who achieved universal fame in the heartwrenching TV show This Is Us. As patriarch Jack Pearson, Ventimiglia tugs at viewers’ heartstrings week after week. Although the role of Pearson is his biggest to date, Ventimiglia has acted in a wide variety of roles. From television to film, Ventimiglia has proven that he’ll be an industry mainstay for years to come. Ventimiglia’s climb to the top has been a long time coming. In the years following his first big hit, Gilmore Girls, Ventimiglia was really able to display his acting range. 

How did Milo Ventimiglia get started in acting?

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Milo Ventimiglia was born in 1977 in Anaheim, California. The youngest of three children, Ventimiglia showed an interest in acting while in high school, acting in various school drama productions. Ventimiglia was athletic and charming, and was an accomplished high school wrestler and even acted as student government president. In 1995, Ventimiglia graduated high school and began attending college, with the intent of pursuing a career as an actor.

Ventimiglia was able to break into acting fairly quickly. In the early years of his career, he appeared in a variety of TV shows, including The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Law and Order: Special Victim’s Unit, Boston Public, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.  In 2002, Ventimiglia landed his first major role, in the popular TV series Gilmore Girls. His role as Jess Mariano became hugely popular with fans and Ventimiglia would appear on the series on and off throughout the next four years, until 2006. 

Milo Ventimiglia’s work after Gilmore Girls

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After he ended his run on Gilmore Girls, Ventimiglia found himself in high demand. He appeared in several major feature films, including Rocky Balboa, where he played Sylvester Stallone’s son. Other feature films include Stay Alive, and Pathology. He then turned his attention back to television and accepted the role of Peter Petrelli in the hugely popular drama series Heroes. Petrelli is a paramedic who suddenly discovers that he has special powers. Ventimiglia’s “everyman” qualities lent themselves perfectly to the role of a normal guy who figures out that he has the power to change the world. 

Ventimiglia played Petrelli until the series conclusion in 2010. At that point he began working on a few different projects, including a few that didn’t really take off, like the short-lived TV series Mob City. The star was featured in several more movies, including Gamer and The Divide, and even tried his hand at doing voiceover work. He acted in a few other television shows, including The Whispers and Chosen, although neither series really took off. In 2016, Ventimiglia would receive the biggest role of his career when he was cast in This Is Us

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Milo Ventimiglia made it big with This Is Us

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As Jack Pearson in This Is Us, Milo Ventimiglia found the perfect role for him, one that would challenge and inspire the hardworking actor. Playing  Pearson as he experiences both good times and bad, Ventimiglia has experienced a major career resurgence and has received acclaim from both critics and fans. 

Ventimiglia has continued to appear on This Is Us on each new season, as the show has grown progressively more popular. He even received his first major award nomination for his work in the series: an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. Still, his hard work on This Is Us hasn’t stopped him from working on other projects. He has recently appeared in films such as The Art of Racing in the Rain