Five Things You Don’t Know About Jake T. Austin

The ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’ Star Turns 18 on December 3

Five Things You Don’t Know About Jake T. Austin

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Jake T. Austin at the Tony Bennet Birthday Gala 2011.

When Jake T. Austin was just 7 years old he landed his first acting gig. Commercials and appearances on TV shows like "Late Show with David Letterman" followed. And when he was just 12, he became a star, playing Max Russo on "The Wizard of Waverly Place." Now the five-time Young Artist Award nominee is turning 18 on December 3. Here are five things you don't know about Jake T. Austin.

His Next TV Series Is in the Works

On November 10, Austin bid farewell to the show that made him a household name. He tweeted, "It's officially over. Last moments on set with my tv family for the last 4 1/2 years. # surreal # wizardsreunion." But the former "Waverly Place" star isn't going to have a long time to reflect on the series ending. He'll have three feature films releasing in 2013 - "Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn," "Grantham & Rose" and "The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex." And he's signed on to star in a new show for ABC Family that's being produced by Jennifer Lopez.

He Likes Sharing on YouTube

Although it seems like he's been too busy to post a new video lately, Austin has his own YouTube channel under the name JakeTheKid. The page includes shorts of the actor goofing off with his friends in "The Closet Chronicles," an onset prank from Puerto Rico and his three-part web series "Tales of Sebastian."

Austin Isn't His Real Last Name

Fans of "Wizards" won't be surprised by the fact that Austin's mother, Giny, is of Spanish, Argentine and Puerto Rican descent. But as Austin revealed in a 2009 interview with his father's heritage is Polish, English and Irish. That's how he got his real last name Szymanski.

Austin Is Bi-coastal

Since he works in Hollywood, Austin splits his time between Los Angeles and New York where his father owns a local pub called The Clarksville Inn. He bought the West Nyack watering hole back in 2005. Kids under 12 eat for free on Tuesday nights and can feast on everything from burgers to pizza to penne pasta.

He Works Behind the Camera, Too

While Austin has already found enormous success onscreen, he has an eye for working behind the camera, as well. In 2011 he teamed with Pilgrim Films as an executive producer on a reality show that followed child actors as they went after their dreams of stardom. And he's already written and sold his first screenplay, "Kings of Suburbia," which based on a true story about his cousin growing up in Florida.

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