Also Credited As:Eric William Dane
|Eric William Dane on November 9, 1972 in San Francisco, California, USA|
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Born Eric William Dane in San Francisco, CA on Nov. 9, 1972, Dane caught the acting bug while in high school, where he also excelled at sports. His interest lead him to amateur stage work, where his participation in a production of Arthur Miller's "All My Sons" solidified his passion for acting from that moment on. He relocated to Los Angeles and made his TV debut in a 1991 episode of "Saved by the Bell" (NBC, 1989-1993). More supporting roles in episodic work followed, including appearances on "The Wonder Years" (ABC, 1988-1993) and "Roseanne" (ABC, 1988-1997), and in TV-movies like "Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story" (1995). His feature film debut came in 1999 with "The Basket," a historical drama with Peter Coyote and Karen Allen.
Dane's first turn as a TV doctor came the following year with the ill-fated medical drama "Gideon's Crossing" (ABC, 2000-01), which was intended to give star Andre Braugher a home for his formidable talents. Though the series lasted just 20 episodes, it did serve as a conduit for Dane to meet actress Lara Flynn Boyle via a cross-over episode with her series "The Practice" (ABC, 1997-2004). The pair were an item for a brief but arguably intimate period in between her back-and-forth relationship with Jack Nicholson - reportedly, with Boyle going so far as to ink Dane's name on her person.
Following "Gideon," Dane gave TV another shot with "The American Embassy" (Fox, 2002), a comedy-drama about the staff of the U.S. Embassy in England from actor/director/producer Danny DeVito's Jersey Pictures. However, the show disappeared without a trace after just four episodes. Undeterred, Dane moved next to the WB Network as a recurring character on their venerable supernatural series' fifth and sixth seasons of "Charmed" (1998-2006), playing the boss-turned-boyfriend to witch Phoebe (Alyssa Milano), before departing after discovering her magical abilities.
Dane shifted gears dramatically in 2004 for the TV-movie remake of "Helter Skelter," for which he played Manson Family member Charles "Tex" Watson, who participated in the horrific Tate-LaBianca murders in 1969. That same year, he married former "Beverly Hills, 90210" actress and model, Rebecca Gayheart. In an intriguing bit of "small-town" irony, Gayheart had been previously engaged to filmmaker Brett Ratner, who would direct Dane in "X-Men: The Last Stand" only a year later.
The years 2005-06 saw Dane's profile rise considerably; he had the lead role in the much-publicized but little-seen "Feast" (2005), which was the focus of the third "Project Greenlight" (HBO/Bravo, 2000- ) season. He also appeared in a small but memorable role in the third "X-Men" movie, "X-Men: The Last Stand" - that of evil mutant Multiple Man, who, while serving under Sir Ian McKellen's Magneto in the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, is able to duplicate himself. Dane completed this trifecta by starring that year in a German horror feature, "Adrift," which turned up briefly in America under the title "Open Water 2."
But it was "Grey's Anatomy" which pushed Dane to a whole different level of fame. Appearing as the slightly roguish Dr. Sloan, Dane's character served the all-important function of having broken up Dr. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) and his wife, Dr. Addison Montgomery-Shepherd (Kate Walsh). The response to Dane's appearance (especially after emerging from the shower in that towel) helped earn him a place on the popular show's third season, where the tension between him and Shepherd (a.k.a. "Dr. McDreamy) quickly escalated to violent levels - with McDreamy decking McSteamy in his first episode as a regular after he was seen flirting with the show's star and McDreamy's crush, Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo). This bit of male cat-fighting, complete with emasculating nicknames and the occasional shower/towel scene, delighted the show's devoted audience and gave former ratings victor "C.S.I: Crime Scene Investigation" (CBS, 2000- ) a run for its money in the Nielsen race.