Born April 24, 1980 in Ann Arbor, MI and raised in Austin, TX, Austin Nichols graduated from the University of Southern California in 2002 with an English degree focusing on creative writing. Nichols was also a competitive water skier, representing the U.S. Junior Water Ski Team in the Pan-American Championships in 1997. He was once ranked third in the World Junior Rankings list in the Tricks event and skied in the Junior U.S. Masters Championships twice. Even prior to finishing his English degree, Nichols began acting professionally on the side, appearing in the feature film "The Durango Kids" in 1999. On television that same year, he appeared in an episode of the fantasy series "Sliders" (SciFi 1995-2000) as well as an episode of the sitcom "Odd Man Out" (ABC 1999-2000). Following a series of guest roles, Nichols landed his first series regular role of heartthrob Charlie Darwell opposite actress Alison Lohman on short-lived primetime soap "Pasadena" (Fox 2001-02) and co-starred in the independent film "The Utopian Society" (2002). Nichols' mainstream feature film debut was in the apocalyptic action drama "The Day After Tomorrow" (2004), opposite newcomer Emmy Rossum. The successful disaster flick paved the way for a part opposite stars Kirsten Dunst and Paul Bettany in the romantic comedy "Wimbledon" (2004). Following this bit of high profile big screen success, Nichols landed the regular role of Jackson on the sci-fi adventure series "Surface" (ABC 2005). That same year, he appeared on the big screen as Roderick Usher in "The Fall of the House of Usher" (2005), based on the classic short horror story by Edgar Allan Poe, followed by his biggest film success thus far in the period sports movie "Glory Road" (2006). After starring in indie drama "Lenexa, 1 Mile" (2006), Nichols appeared on western drama "Deadwood" (HBO 2004-06) before costarring on series creator David Milch's next project, metaphysical drama "John from Cincinnati" (HBO 2007). He next joined the cast of long-running teen drama "One Tree Hill" (WB/CW 2003-2012) as ambitious film producer Julian Baker. During this period, Nichols also costarred in L.A. drama "The Informers" (2008), dysfunctional family drama "Beautiful Boy" (2012) and Miley Cyrus drama "LOL" (2012). Following the end of "One Tree Hill," Nichols had recurring roles on the Hollywood thriller "Ray Donovan" (Showtime 2013- ), zombie hit "The Walking Dead" (AMC 2010- ) and origin series "Bates Motel" (A&E 2013-17).