Ryan Gosling

An actor, singer, guitarist, pianist, writer and director - Ryan Gosling has many strings to his bow, making him one of Hollywood's biggest names. What's more, he's known as being one of the good guys in life, but how did it all start?

He started off being known for his role in the romantic film 'The Notebook' and has gone on to become one of Hollywood's biggest stars. A great career for a man who was once taken out of school because of bullying by his fellow students.

Ryan Thomas Gosling was born on 12 November 1980 in London, Ontario to travelling salesman Thomas and secretary Donna Gosling. He is the second of their two children and has an older sister called Mandi. Due to his father's job, the family moved around a lot with Gosling living in Cornwall, Ontario and Burlington as a child.

His parents were Mormons, with Gosling stating this impacted every part of their lives. He also credits his parents' divorce and the fact he was brought up by his mother for making him think like a girl. Gosling was educated at Gladstone Public School, Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School and Lester B Pearson.

Gosling has stated he hated being a child as he was bullied from a young age. He has also revealed he had no friends until the age of 14 or 15. He also struggled with attention deficit disorder, for which he was prescribed Ritalin, and could not read. Due to his problems at school, his mother decided to teach him at home for a year. She qualified as a high school teacher in 2011.

It wasn't all doom and gloom though as Gosling found an outlet in performing. As a child, he sang at weddings with his sister, performed with his uncle's tribute act to Elvis Presley and was involved with his local ballet company.

His big break came in 1993 at the age of 13 when he attended an open audition in Montreal for a revival of Disney's 'Mickey Mouse Club'. He won a two-year contract and moved to Florida. Gosling was on the show at the same time as Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears. He even lived with Timberlake for six months while taking part in the show.

In 1995, Gosling retuned to Canada as the show was cancelled. He went on to appear in 'Are You Afraid of the Dark?' (1995), 'Goosebumps' (1996) and 'Breaker High' (1997-98). At the age of 17, he dropped out of high school to focus on his acting career.

At 18 years old, Gosling moved to New Zealand to film the children's show 'Young Hercules', which he enjoyed to start with. However, he wanted to play more characters and decided not to do any more television work.

He was dropped by his agent and initially found it hard to get work in films but in 2000, he was given a supporting role in 'Remember the Titans'. This was followed by his first lead role in 2001 in the controversial film 'The Believer'. In this movie, Gosling played a neo-Nazi who was also Jewish and was therefore conflicted in his beliefs. Despite showcasing Gosling's talents, the film was a financial failure.


In 2002, he played the role of a high school senior who believed he could commit the perfect murder with his friend in 'Murder by Numbers'. Sandra Bullock starred as the detective investigating the crime. The pair dated for a year afterwards. Despite the film only being a minor success, Gosling received high praise for his acting.

The same year, he appeared in 'The Slaughter Role' before taking on the role of a teenager in prison for murdering a disabled boy in 2003's 'The United States of Leland'. Gosling stated he was attracted to the role as it is unusual to find a character emotionally disconnected for the whole film.

Gosling then came to mainstream attention in one of the greatest romantic films ever made, 'The Notebook', which was released in 2004. He played the lead opposite Rachel McAdams, with whom he had a combative relationship on-set. However, in 2005 they started dating and remained together for two years. The film grossed $15 million, making it Gosling's most lucrative to date and he won four Teen Choice Awards as well as an MTV Movie Award.

In 2005, he played a disturbed art student in 'Stay' before taking on the role of a drug-addicted high school teacher who forms a bond with one of his students in 'Half Nelson' in 2006. He was compared to the likes of Marlon Brando and complimented for his acting skills. Gosling was also nominated for an Academy Award for this role.

This was followed by 'Lars and the Real Girl' in 2007, which saw Gosling play an introvert who falls in love with a sex doll. Despite the film failing to recoup its budget at the box office, Gosling was nominated for a Golden Globe. He starred alongside Antony Hopkins in 'Fracture' the same year.

Gosling then took a three-year absence from the big screen to concentrate on his second love – music. With his friend Zach Shields, Gosling set up the band Dead Man's Bones who play dark folk-rock. Gosling sings and plays the piano and guitar in the group. In 2009, they released their self-titled debut album before going on tour.

He returned to film in the independent drama 'Blue Valentine' with Michelle Williams in 2010. The movie jumps between how the couple met and their struggles with married life five years on. Large parts of the film were improvised and proved that Gosling can play troubled yet sympathetic characters. He was nominated for a Golden Globe once again.

The same year, he appeared in mystery crime thriller 'All Good Things' with Kirsten Dunst. He then narrated and produced a documentary about cynicism in today's youth when it comes to politics called 'ReGeneration'.

Gosling finally emerged as a Hollywood name to watch in 2011 when he starred in 'Crazy, Stupid Love' in his first comedic role. He was nominated for a Golden Globe and this became the second-highest grossing film of his career. This was followed by the gritty lead in 'Drive', in which the actor used his own driving skills to complete the stunts. It was also a success and led to positive praise for the actor.

This was followed by political drama 'Ides of March', which also starred and was directed by George Clooney. All of these roles made a name for the young star.

'The Place Beyond the Pines' was next -it was while filming this movie that Gosling met his current girlfriend Eva Mendes.

He also appeared in 'The Gangster Squad' and 'Only God Forgives' and has shot scenes for an as yet-untitled film directed by Terrence Malick. In 2014 he made his directorial debut in 2014 - he filmed and wrote 'Lost River' which received generally negative reviews.