Gosling has worked professionally since he was 12 years old. His first gig was from 1993 to 1995 on the TV series "The Mickey Mouse Club," where he won a spot after beating out 17,000 other contenders. Later, he had continuing roles on two other TV series, "Breaker High" (1997-1998) and "Young Hercules" (1998-1998), before making his first movie appearance in "Remember the Titans" (2000). His role as an anti-Semitic skinhead in "The Believer" (2001) made critics sit up and take notice, but he really didn't make a big splash with the public until he played opposite Rachel McAdams in the romance "The Notebook" (2004). From then on, it seems every movie Ryan Gosling has been in has been a big hit with both critics and the viewing public.
Gosling doesn't seem to be concerned about the possible box office receipts of movies he makes, often choosing quirky roles in even quirkier movies, such as Lars, who falls in love with a blow-up doll in "Lars and the Real Girl," Dean, the loser husband in "Blue Valentine," and the getaway driver in "Drive." He has also shown that he is as skilled in comedy as he is in drama, stealing nearly every scene in "Crazy, Stupid, Love," where he plays a pickup artist who gets beaten at his own game. He seems to have a knack for choosing roles that allow him a great deal of latitude, and as a result, he has avoided being typecast. He is not seen as just a movie star, just a character actor, or just a leading man. Virtually every movie role he has played in the last decade has garnered nominations and awards from film associations and film festivals worldwide, including an Academy Award nomination for his performance as a drug-addicted teacher in "Half Nelson" and a Golden Globe nomination for his role as Lars in "Lars and the Real Girl."
Gosling was born in London, Ontario, Canada, in 1980 and has an older sister, Mandi. Because of his father's job as a salesman, his family moved around quite a bit when he was small. He attended elementary school in Cornwall, Ontario, and high school in Burlington, Ontario. Gosling struggled in school, and at one point his mother, Donna, home-schooled him for a year. After his parents divorced, his mother raised her two children alone. Gosling has often said that he credits his mother for his sensitive side. He shows his affection for her quite publicly and in 2011 gave her a shout out as she received her bachelor of arts degree from Brock University. Gosling is single, although he has dated many Hollywood actresses, including Sandra Bullock, Rachel McAdams, and, currently, Eva Mendes.
Not content with being just a great actor, Gosling is also a director, writer, producer, and musician. His music has appeared in several of his films, and he is currently a member of the two-man indie rock band called "Dead Man's Bones." He will make his directorial debut when he begins filming "How to Catch a Monster" in the summer of 2013. This film, also written by Gosling, is a fantasy thriller that stars Eva Mendes, Saorise Ronan, and Christina Hendricks.
Besides "How to Catch a Monster," look for Gosling's work in the upcoming movies "Gangster Squad," which also stars Sean Penn, "The Place Beyond the Pines," directed by Derek Cianfrance, who also directed "Blue Valentine," "Only God Forgives," a crime thriller based in Bangkok, and the new Terrence Malick movie, "Lawless."
Outside of the movie and music business, Gosling owns a Moroccan restaurant in Beverly Hills called "Tagine," which he bought and renovated by himself during a period when he had stopped acting. He also devotes a significant amount of time to charity work. Most recently, he has put his efforts behind getting the word out to the world about the plight of people in war-torn eastern Congo by speaking out about it, producing a video with ENOUGH Project cofounder to raise awareness, and participating in projects to develop Congo's infrastructure as well as helping to fund a new hospital.
Although he's rich and famous, Ryan Gosling has managed to keep his nice-guy image. He doesn't make entertainment news for outrageous behavior or out-of-control partying. He seems to have a very sensible head on his shoulders and his feet planted firmly on the ground.