Justin Bruening is an American actor and former fashion model, often cited as one of television’s most beautiful people. In 2003, his acting career began when he was cast in the role of Jamie Martin on the daytime drama All My Children, earning him a Soap Opera Digest Award in 2005 for the portrayal.
In late 2007, not long after leaving the role, Bruening was cast as Mike Traceur, the son of character Michael Knight, a new take on the original Knight Rider series
Justin Bruening was born on September 24, 1979 in Chadron, Nebraska. Raised in the small town of St. Helena, Nebraska (a then-population of 85), he graduated from high school with only nine classmates.
Following graduation, Bruening moved to San Diego, California. It was there that he was discovered by Sue Nessel, a talent scout for Scott Copeland International, at McDonald’s in Escondido just north of San Diego. Soon there after, Copeland got him his first modeling job for Abercrombie & Fitch.
Following his first commercial job, Bruening was encouraged to study acting by Copeland and was noticed by All My Children casting director Judy Wilson. Bruening originally auditioned for the role of J.R. Chandler on All My Children, but was eventually cast in the role of James “Jamie” Martin in July 2003. For a brief time, in 2004 and 2005, Bruening also portrayed Jamie Martin on One Life to Live during a crossover storyline.
During his role of Jamie, Bruening was featured as Daytime’s Hottest Star in Teen People, Us Weekly, Star and J-14 magazines.
In addition to his work on soap operas, Bruening has had a guest appearance on Hope & Faith and a small part in the movie Fat Girls.
He was up for the role of Superman in Superman Returns, but the part was won by Brandon Routh instead.
He also appeared in the Britney Spears music video “Boys”.
On November 2, 2007, it was announced that he would be starring in a new spin of the original Knight Rider series, portraying the original Knight Rider’s son, Mike Traceur, for a two-hour special on NBC. The original having been portrayed by actor David Hasselhoff, newspaper The Hollywood Reporter immediately took notice to the similarities between the two castings:
“ …the choice of Bruening closely resembles Hasselhoff’s casting a quarter-century ago.
Like Bruening, Hasselhoff was a soap star (The Young and the Restless) with few other credits when he landed Knight Rider. He was almost the same age as Bruening, who is 28.
Bruening proposed to former All My Children co-star Alexa Havins on the set of the soap opera. They were married on June 5, 2005. The two were friends first before falling in love.After Bruening left All My Children, Havins exited shortly after and the couple moved to Los Angeles.
In his spare time, Bruening collects Converse All-Star sneakers, and has 15 or 16 pairs.He says that he TiVos NBC show Heroes, along with Showtime’s Dexter, The CW’s Supernatural, and NBC’s Las Vegas.
Awards and nominations
2005 Soap Opera Digest Award Outstanding Male Newcomer for All My Children
2005 Daytime Emmy Outstanding Younger Actor for All My Children