Austin Butler

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Austin Butler
Austin Butler 2019 by Glenn Francis.jpg
Butler in 2019
Austin Robert Butler

(1991-08-17) August 17, 1991 (age 30)
  • Actor
  • singer
Years active2005–present

Austin Robert Butler (born August 17, 1991) is an American actor and singer. He is known for his roles as James "Wilke" Wilkerson in the television series Switched at Birth,[1] Jordan Gallagher on Ruby & the Rockits, Sebastian Kydd in The Carrie Diaries, Tex Watson in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Wil Ohmsford in The Shannara Chronicles. In 2022, he will appear as Elvis Presley in the film Elvis.

Early life[edit]

Austin Butler was born on August 17, 1991, in Anaheim, California, the son of Lori Anne (née Howell), an aesthetician,[2] and David Butler.[3][4][5][6] The two divorced when he was seven.[7] He has an older sister Ashley (born in 1986), who worked as a background actor alongside him on Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide.[5][8]

When Butler was thirteen, he was approached by a representative from a background acting management company at the Orange County Fair who helped him get started in the entertainment industry.[4][5][9][10] He found that he enjoyed it and soon began taking acting classes.[4][9][10]


In 2005, after working as an extra on several television series, Butler landed his first regular job as a background actor playing the role of Lionel Scranton for two seasons on Nickelodeon's Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide.[8][9][11] His friend on the show, Lindsey Shaw, introduced him to her manager, Pat Cutler who immediately offered to represent him, and from that point on, Butler began taking acting seriously as a career.[4][9]

In May 2007, Butler landed a guest starring role on the Disney Channel series Hannah Montana playing the role of Derek Hanson opposite actress Miley Cyrus, and in September of that same year, he portrayed Jake Krandle in the episode "iLike Jake" on the Nickelodeon series iCarly.[5][8][9][11]

Butler in March 2008

In February 2008, Butler landed a main role on another Nickelodeon series Zoey 101 playing James Garrett, the love interest of Jamie Lynn Spears's title character Zoey in the fourth season, and in March of that year, he appeared in an episode of Out of Jimmy's Head playing the role of Lance in the episode titled "Princess".[5][8][9][11]

In July 2009, Butler starred in 20th Century Fox's family adventure movie Aliens in the Attic (originally titled They Came From Upstairs), portraying Jake Pearson, alongside Ashley Tisdale, Carter Jenkins, Robert Hoffman, Kevin Nealon and Doris Roberts.[5][9][11] In the movie, his character, along with his family, battles to save their vacation home and the world from an alien invasion.[5][9] That same summer, Butler appeared in the starring role of Jordan Gallagher on the popular, but short-lived ABC Family series Ruby & the Rockits, alongside David Cassidy, Patrick Cassidy and his good friend, Alexa Vega.[4][5][11] Butler portrayed the cousin of Alexa's character Ruby, whom he has a crush on, reasoning that it was because he never grew up with her.

In February 2010, Butler landed a recurring role as Jones on the CW series Life Unexpected,[4][10][12] and that same month, he appeared in an episode of Wizards of Waverly Place titled "Positive Alex" where he played Alex's new crush, George.[4][12] In June of that year, Butler appeared in two consecutive Jonas episodes where he played Stone Stevens,[4] and in December of that year, Butler's guest-starred on CSI: Miami and The Defenders.[10][12]

Also in 2010, Butler's Aliens in the Attic co-star Ashley Tisdale invited him to audition for a lead role in the film Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure, a spin-off of Disney's High School Musical franchise that followed the adventures of Sharpay Evans after high school as she tries to get her big break on Broadway.[5][10][13] In the film, Butler played Peyton Leverette, a handsome student filmmaker who finds Sharpay nearly as fascinating as she finds herself.[4][10][13]

In December 2010, Butler told Week In Rewind about landing his role in Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure: "I had worked with Ashley once, and then I heard about the movie, because she called me and said, 'Austin, I want you to come and read for the director for this—I think you'd be perfect.' So, I went and met with the director, and it went really well, and I ended up doing the movie."[10] The film wrapped production in July 2010 and was released direct-to-DVD on April 19, 2011.[14]

In 2011, he booked the role of Wilke on the ABC Family series Switched at Birth, debuting on June 27, 2011.[15] In the same year, he signed onto play a lead role of Zack Garvey in the Lifetime TV movie called The Bling Ring, made by Dick Clark Productions and directed by Michael Lembeck. It follows a group of young burglars as they target the homes of some of Hollywood's celebrities. Jennifer Grey of Dirty Dancing plays Iris Garvey, the mother of Butler's character Zack, one of the defendants. The movie also stars Yin Chang, Renee Olstead and Spencer Locke. The movie was released on September 26, 2011.[16]

In January 2012, Butler guest-starred on the NBC comedy Are You There, Chelsea? in the third episode "Believe", playing the role of Luke, a band lead singer who Laura Prepon's title character is attracted to.[17]

In March 2012, Butler was cast in The CW's Sex and the City prequel series, The Carrie Diaries, to play Sebastian Kydd, a brooding heartthrob attending the same high school as Carrie Bradshaw, played by AnnaSophia Robb. The Carrie Diaries is based on Candace Bushnell's novel by the same name and follows Bradshaw's life in the 1980s as a teenager in New York City.[18] The show was cancelled on May 8, 2014, after two seasons.[19]

In April 2014, it was announced that Butler had joined the cast of the play Death of the Author at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. He played the role of Bradley, a pre-law student with a double major in political science and math, and is set to graduate from a wealthy university. The play is directed by Bart DeLorenzo and written by Steven Drukman. Following previews on May 20, 2014, the play ran from May 28 to June 29.[20][21][22] In September 2014, it was announced that Butler had joined the cast of Arrow as the recurring role of Chase. His character was a DJ and a love interest of Willa Holland's character Thea Queen.[23]

He co-starred with Miranda Cosgrove and Tom Sizemore in the thriller film The Intruders,[24] and appeared in Kevin Smith's horror-comedy film Yoga Hosers (2016), about 15-year-old yoga nuts, Colleen Collette and Colleen McKenzie. The films also stars Johnny Depp, Lily-Rose Depp, Harley Quinn Smith and Haley Joel Osment.[25]

In 2016, he began playing the role of Wil Ohmsford in The Shannara Chronicles, MTV's television adaptation of the Terry Brooks novel The Elfstones of Shannara.[26] On January 16, 2018, it was announced that the series had been cancelled after two seasons.[27] Producers later announced that the series is being shopped to other networks.[28]

He made his Broadway debut playing Don Parritt, the "lost boy" in The Iceman Cometh. Previews for the limited run began on March 26, 2018, and the play closed on July 1, 2018. Per Hilton Als' review of the play in The New Yorker: "Although there are many performers in George C. Wolfe's staging of Eugene O'Neill's phenomenal [...] drama, The Iceman Cometh, [...] there is only one actor, and his name is Austin Butler."[29]

In July 2019, he appeared in the Quentin Tarantino film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as a fictional version of Manson Family member Tex Watson.[30][31] That same month, Butler was cast as Elvis Presley in Elvis, a biographical film about the singer directed by Baz Luhrmann.[32][33] In February 2021, he was cast as a lead in the war drama miniseries Masters of the Air.[34] In March 2022 it was reported by Deadline Hollywood that Butler was in talks to play Feyd-Rautha in the upcoming science fiction epic Dune: Part Two.[35] This was confirmed in May 2022 prior to the film's pre-production.[36]

Personal life[edit]

Butler attended public school until the seventh grade when he left to be home-schooled to accommodate his work schedule.[8][9] He continued his home-school education until the tenth grade when he took the CHSPE to finish his formal high school education.

Butler enjoys creating and recording music and taught himself how to play guitar at the age of thirteen and piano at sixteen.[5][9][11] He enjoys collecting guitars, and his other hobbies include outdoor activities that keep him in shape such as basketball, hiking, and cycling, as well as exercising in his home gym.[9]

Butler was in a relationship with actress Vanessa Hudgens from 2011 to 2020.[37][38] In March 2022 he made his first public appearance with model Kaia Gerber.[39]

Butler lost his mother in 2014 to cancer.[7]



Year Title Role Notes
2007 The Faithful Danny Short film
2009 Aliens in the Attic Jake Pearson
2011 Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure Peyton Leverett
2012 My Uncle Rafael Cody Beck
2013 Life Life in in Space Space Assistant Shnotzy Short film
2015 The Intruders Noah Henry
2016 Yoga Hosers Hunter Calloway
2018 Dude Thomas Daniels
2019 The Dead Don't Die Jack
2019 Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Tex Watson
2022 Elvis Elvis Presley Post-production
2023 Dune: Part Two Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen[40][36] Pre-production


Year Title Role Notes
2005–2007 Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide Lionel Scranton Uncredited; 41 episodes
2005 Unfabulous Student Uncredited;[citation needed] episode: "The Eye Randy"
2006 Drake & Josh Extra Uncredited;[citation needed] episode: "The Demonator"
2006 Hannah Montana Toby Uncredited; episode: "Oops! I Meddled Again!"
2007 Zoey 101 Danifer Episode: "Quarantine"
2007 Hannah Montana Derek Hanson Episode: "My Best Friend's Boyfriend"
2007 iCarly Jake Krandle Episode: "iLike Jake"
2008 Zoey 101 James Garrett Main role (season 4)
2008 Out of Jimmy's Head Lance Episode: "Princess"
2009 Ruby & the Rockits Jordan Gallagher Main role
2009 Zeke and Luther Rutger Murdock Episode: "Adventure Boy"
2010–2011 Life Unexpected Jones Mager Recurring role; 10 episodes
2010 Wizards of Waverly Place George Episode: "Positive Alex"
2010 Jonas Stone Stevens 2 episodes
2010 CSI: Miami Josh Chapman Episode: "Happy Birthday"
2010 The Defenders Cody Dennis Episode: "Nevada v. Dennis"
2011 CSI: NY Benjamin Gold Episode: "Do or Die"
2011 The Bling Ring Zack Garvey Television film
2011–2012 Switched at Birth James "Wilkie" Wilkerson Recurring role (season 1)
2012 Are You There, Chelsea? Luke Episode: "Believe"
2013–2014 The Carrie Diaries Sebastian Kydd Main role
2014–2015 Arrow Chase 3 episodes
2016–2017 The Shannara Chronicles Wil Ohmsford Main role
TBA Masters of the Air Gale Cleven Main role; upcoming miniseries

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2010 Young Artist Awards[41] Best Performance in a Feature Film – Young Ensemble Cast (shared with Megan Parker, Henri Young, Regan Young, and Carter Jenkins) Aliens in the Attic Nominated
Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Leading Young Actor Ruby & The Rockits Nominated
2011 Young Artist Awards[42] Best Performance in a TV Series – Guest Starring Young Actor 18–21 The Defenders Nominated


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  2. ^ "Lori Anne Howell-Butler Lori A". Santa Maria Times. September 17, 2014. Archived from the original on August 24, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
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  33. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (July 15, 2019). "Baz Luhrmann Sets Austin Butler In Starmaking Elvis Presley Role Opposite Tom Hanks In Warner Bros Film". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on February 24, 2020. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  34. ^ Kroll, Justin (February 26, 2021). "'Masters Of Air': Austin Butler And Callum Turner To Star in 'Band Of Brothers' Sequel For Apple, Amblin and Playtone". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 17, 2021. Retrieved November 20, 2021.
  35. ^ Kroll, Justin (March 11, 2022). "'Dune: Part Two': Austin Butler Eyed To Play Feyd-Rautha In Upcoming Sequel". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on March 11, 2022. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  36. ^ a b Kit, Borys (May 12, 2022). "Christopher Walken Joins Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya in 'Dune: Part Two'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 12, 2022.
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  40. ^ Kit, Borys (2022-03-10). "'Dune 2': 'Elvis' Star Austin Butler in Talks for Key Villain Role". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2022-04-28.
  41. ^ "31st Annual Young Artist Awards". Young Artist Awards. Archived from the original on 2013-10-12. Retrieved 2011-02-16.
  42. ^ "32nd Annual Young Artist Awards". Young Artist Awards. Archived from the original on 2013-08-08. Retrieved 2011-02-19.

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