Shane West

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Shane West
Shane West (16870759719) (cropped).jpg
West at the 2015 Wondercon
Shannon Bruce Snaith

(1978-06-10) June 10, 1978 (age 44)
OccupationActor, singer, songwriter
Years active1995–present
Musical career
GenresPunk rock

Shannon Bruce Snaith[1][2] (born June 10, 1978),[3] better known as Shane West, is an American actor, singer, and songwriter. He is known for his portrayal of Eli Sammler in the ABC family drama Once and Again, Landon Carter in A Walk to Remember, Dr. Ray Barnett in the NBC medical drama ER, Michael Bishop in The CW spy drama Nikita and in the WGN fantasy adventure historical drama Salem as John Alden. West received critical acclaim for his performance portraying Darby Crash in the biopic What We Do Is Secret.

As well as acting, West has performed with punk rock band the Germs, Jonny Was, and the Twilight Creeps.

Early life[edit]

West was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the son of Leah Catherine (née Launey), a lawyer, and Don Snaith, a drugstore owner.[4][5] Both his parents were musicians and had their own punk bands.[6] His mother is of Cajun French descent and his father was born in Jamaica, of British and Portuguese-Jewish origin.[7][8][9] He is the eldest of three children with a sister Simone and a half-sister Marli Ann. His parents divorced in 1982 when he was four years old.[10] Influenced by his parents, he grew up listening to the Clash, the Jam, Blondie, Elvis Costello, and the Kinks.[6] He said: "I always thought I would be doing music rather than acting."[6]

At the age of ten, West and his sister Simone moved to Compton, California with their mother because she was looking for a better job. They later moved to Norwalk, California.[10][11] Embarrassed by his feminine first name, West went by his middle name Bruce but changed his name to Shane West in High school when he took up acting.[12] He struggled for two years and lived at his manager's house,[11][13] before making his acting debut in 1995, appearing in the CBS drama Picket Fences in the season 4, episode 6 "Heart of Saturday Night", where he played Dave Lattimore.



West at the 2010 CBS Summer Press Tour Party

In 1998, West guest-starred in several television series including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and played Mark Tapper in the stage production of The Cider House Rules.[14] He landed his first major role in 1999 in the ABC family drama Once and Again, playing Eli Sammler for three seasons. West's feature film debut was in Liberty Heights, a film about a Jewish family in Baltimore, directed by Barry Levinson. He also co-starred in teen comedies Whatever It Takes (2000) and Get Over It (2001).

West was cast as Landon Carter opposite singer and actress Mandy Moore in 2002's adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' novel A Walk to Remember. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times found him "quietly convincing".[15] His performance in the film earned him a Teen Choice Award for Choice Chemistry with Moore. He also appeared in the Mandy Moore music video "Cry". That year, West won the Young Hollywood Award Male Superstar of Tomorrow.

In 2003, West starred as an adult version of Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen alongside Sean Connery. A year later, he joined the cast of the NBC medical drama, ER in the eleventh-season premiere, playing resident Ray Barnett. In May 2007, West left ER at the end of the thirteenth season after winning a role in Supreme Courtships,[16] but the series was not picked up by the Fox Network. In October 2008, West returned to ER for three episodes during its fifteenth and final season.[17]

During hiatus between seasons of ER, West worked on shooting What We Do Is Secret, an independent film, which premiered at the 2007 Los Angeles Film Festival after much delay.[18][19] West helped to finance it.[20][21] In the film, he portrays Darby Crash, a member of the 1970s punk band the Germs. Members of the band were so impressed by West's performance that they re-formed the band with West taking the deceased Crash's place. West received positive reviews for his portrayal in the movie; the San Francisco Chronicle stated that he is the one who "lifts the entire film to a whole other level".[22] Similarly, The Seattle Times wrote that his impersonation was "worth saluting" while TV Guide called it "pretty impressive".[23][24] In 2008, he received the Rising Star Award in Philadelphia Film Festival for his work in What We Do is Secret.[25][26]

West starred as Michael Bishop in The CW spy drama Nikita from 2010 to 2013. In 2014, he began starring in the WGN America adventure/historical/fantasy drama Salem as John Alden for three seasons before the show ended in 2017.

West starred in post-apocalyptic film, Here Alone which premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and was released theatrically on March 30, 2017.[27] The film received the Audience Award at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival[28]

In 2018, West was cast as Eduardo Dorrance in the fifth and final season of Gotham.[29] In November 2018, it was revealed that West will portray the role of Billy Millikin in upcoming feature film Gossamer Folds.[30] In November 2019 it was announced that West will star in the upcoming sci-fi thriller No Running.[31]


West (kneeling) performing with the Germs in 2009

West was the lead singer of punk rock band Jonny Was[32] for "seven or eight years".[6] The band was originally known as Average Joe but had to change its name for legal reasons.[33] The band contributed to the A Walk to Remember soundtrack, appearing under the names "West, Gould, and Fitzgerald" because they had not yet decided on a new name.[33] West described their style as "a pop-punk-type band, more Green Day-ish".[6]

In November 2005, while What We Do Is Secret was still in production, it was announced that West would be fronting the Germs on tour.[34] He performed with the band for nearly five years, doing an American tour (including the 2006 Warped Tour) and a European Tour.[35][36] He described the experience as "more exciting" than acting.[37] However, after booking a leading role in Nikita, West had less time to play with the band. His last performance was in December 2009.[35]

In 2015, West reunited with some of his old bandmates from Jonny Was to form a new band called the Twilight Creeps. In October 2016, they released their debut album.[38] In January 2019, they announced they are releasing their second album on February 1.[39][40] In December of 2020, the Twilight Creeps released their first Christmas song entitled "Poison in the Mistletoe".[41]

Personal life[edit]

West is a sports enthusiast and avid supporter of the New Orleans Saints and LSU Tigers football teams. In 2019 he lent his voice to some of the team's pre-season videos.[42] He lived in Toronto, Canada for six years during the filming of the series Nikita.[43]



Year Title Role Notes
1997 The Westing Game Chris Theodorakis
2000 A Time for Dancing Paul, The DJ
2000 Whatever It Takes Ryan Woodman
2000 Dracula 2000 J.T.
2001 Get Over It! Bentley 'Striker' Scrumfeld
2001 Ocean's Eleven Himself
2002 A Walk to Remember Landon Carter
2003 The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Tom Sawyer
2006 The Elder Son Bo
2007 What We Do Is Secret Darby Crash
2009 The Lodger 'Street' Wilkenson
2009 Red Sands Specialist Jeff Keller Also co-producer
2009 Echelon Conspiracy Max Peterson
2010 El Dorado: City Of Gold Jack
2010 The Presence Ghost
2014 Red Sky Tom Craig
2016 Here Alone Jason
2017 Awakening the Zodiac Mick Branson
2020 Gossamer Folds Billy Millikin [44][45]
2022 Escape the Field Ryan
2022 Outsiders Sheriff O'Hare
2022 Chariot Rory Calhoun
2022 Mid-Century Tom Also executive producer


Year Title Role Notes
1995 Picket Fences Dave Lattimore Episode: "Heart of Saturday Night"
1995 California Dreams Doug Episode: "Community Service"
1996 The Crew Store Manager Episode: "Retail Slut"
1996 Boy Meets World Nick Episode: "A Kiss Is More Than a Kiss"
1997 Get a Clue Chris Theodorakis Television
1997 Mr. Rhodes Mick Episode: "The Valentine Show"
1997 Meego Guy With Big Hat Episode: "Morality Bites"
1997 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Sean Episode: "Go Fish"
1997 Sliders Kirk Episode: "California Reich"
1997 To Have & to Hold Mitch Maloney Episode: "Tangled Up in You"
1999–2002 Once and Again Eli Sammler Main Role
2004–2009 ER Dr. Ray Barnett Main Role
2007 Supreme Courtships Unknown Unsold TV pilot
2010 The Search for El Dorado Jack Wilder 2 episodes
2010–2013 Nikita Michael Main Role
2014–2017 Salem John Alden Main Role
2019 Gotham Eduardo Dorrance / Bane 4 episodes

Music videos[edit]

Year Artist Title Role
2001 Mandy Moore "Cry" Boyfriend
2001 Mandy Moore "Only Hope" Boyfriend
2001 Mandy Moore "Someday We'll Know" Boyfriend


Year Association Category Nominated Work Result
2002 Teen Choice Awards Choice Chemistry: Film A Walk to Remember Won
Choice TV Actor: Drama Once and Again Nominated
Young Hollywood Awards Male Superstar of Tomorrow Himself Won
2003 Cinescape Genre Face of the Future Awards Best Male Performance The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Nominated
2008 Philadelphia Film Festival Rising Star Award What We Do Is Secret Won
2011 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actor: Action Nikita Won
2012 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actor: Action Nikita Nominated
2013 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actor: Action Nikita Nominated


  1. ^ "TV Guide".
  2. ^ Weisbard, Eric. Listen again: a momentary history of pop music Experience Music Project
  3. ^ United Press International (June 10, 2022). "UPI Almanac for Friday, June 10, 2022". United Press International. Retrieved July 16, 2022.
  4. ^ Shane West - Biography, Yahoo! Movies
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 28, 2011. Retrieved June 22, 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ a b c d e "Shane West on Joining the Germs and "What We Do Is Secret"". Rolling Stone. August 6, 2008. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  7. ^ Nguyen, Hanh (August 26, 2010). "'Nikita' set visit: Shane West tells tattoo stories, needs yoga". Zap2it. Archived from the original on May 26, 2011. Retrieved August 26, 2010.
  8. ^ Radloff, Jessica (June 19, 2014). "Ashley Madekwe and Shane West: What It's Really Like Living Life in the Spotlight". Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  9. ^ "TV Brew: Casting Done Right – No Excuse for "X-Washing" a Role". April 5, 2019.
  10. ^ a b "'Go West!'". Teen People. April 2003. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  11. ^ a b Scharf, Lindzi. "shane west (interview from 2002)". Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  12. ^ "Glamour". June 19, 2014.
  13. ^ Hirschberg, Lynn (September 5, 1999). "Desperate to Seem 16". The New York Times. p. 7. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  14. ^ "The Cider House Rules". Variety. June 12, 1998. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  15. ^ Ebert, Roger (January 25, 2002). "A Walk to Remember". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  16. ^ Weisman, Jon (March 14, 2007). "'Nine' actors head to pilots". Variety. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  17. ^ Ausiello, Michael (July 31, 2008). "Exclusive: Shane West's 'ER' Comeback a 'Double Surprise'". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on August 6, 2008.
  18. ^ Radish, Christina (September 7, 2010). "Shane West Exclusive Interview NIKITA". Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  19. ^ Schruers, Fred (June 22, 2007). "Resurrecting legacy of doomed punker Darby Crash". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  20. ^ Yao, Laura Yao (August 28, 2008). "After 15 years, his 'Secret' is out". Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  21. ^ Perez, Rodrigo (June 25, 2007). "While You Were Sleeping, Shane West Somehow Got Cast As Darby Crash". The Playlist. Blogspot. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  22. ^ Wiegand, David (August 29, 2008). "Movie review: Germs' toxic 'Secret'". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  23. ^ Hartl, John (October 9, 2008). ""What We Do Is Secret": A standout bad-boy performance in conventional punk-and-drugs biopic". Seattle Times. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  24. ^ Fox, Ken. "What We Do Is Secret: Review". TV Guide. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  25. ^ Longsdorf, Amy (April 11, 2008). "Valley tells the story in award-winning documentary Why don't people vote?". The Morning Call. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  26. ^ "Shane West receives 2008 Rising Star Award At 17 Philadelphia Film Festival Philadelphia". April 12, 2008. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  27. ^ Catsoulis, Jeannette (March 30, 2017). "Review: 'Here Alone' Will Scare You With Menacing Little Jolts". New York Times. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  28. ^ "2016 Tribeca Film Festival Announces Audience Award Winners". Tribeca Film Festival. Tribeca News. April 23, 2016. Archived from the original on March 26, 2022. Retrieved March 26, 2022.
  29. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 11, 2018). "'Gotham': Shane West Set For Key Role On Final Season Of Fox's Batman Prequel". Deadline. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  30. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (November 15, 2018). "Yeardley Smith's Paperclip Ltd. Sets Transgender Drama 'Gossamer Folds' Starring 'Transparent's Alexandra Grey". Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  31. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (November 18, 2019). "Taryn Manning, Shane West, Rutina Wesley & More Star In Sci-Fi Thriller 'No Running' From Defiant Studios". Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  32. ^ "Jonny Was | Listen and Stream Free Music, Albums, New Releases, Photos, Videos". Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  33. ^ a b Murray, Rebecca; Topel, Fred. "Interview with Shane West from "A Walk to Remember"". Archived from the original on November 16, 2011. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  34. ^ "Germs to Tour with Actor West Out Front". Spin. November 17, 2005. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  35. ^ a b Potts, Kim (September 9, 2010). "Shane West Talks 'Nikita,' Punk Rocking With The Germs and His 'Top Gun'-ish Action Flick". AOL TV. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  36. ^ Charaipotra, Sona (September 9, 2010). "Shane West of 'Nikita' Chats With The Stir". The Stir. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  37. ^ Ratledge, Ingela (May 30, 2012). "A Day Out With Nikita's Shane West". TV Guide. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  38. ^ Twilight Creeps by Twilight Creeps, retrieved January 11, 2019
  39. ^ "Twilight Creeps on Instagram: "Hold on to your butts!! Here is the full reveal of our new album "Along Came A Spider"!! We are incredibly honored to have had the…"". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 26, 2021. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  40. ^ "Twilight Creeps on Instagram: "We are so incredibly excited to announce that our 2nd album titled "Along Came a Spider" will be dropping in a few weeks!! Here's a little…"". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 26, 2021. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  41. ^ "Poison Under The Mistletoe". Spotify.
  42. ^ Hagan, Chris. "LSU Football: Hyping up the Tigers". Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  43. ^ "USA Today". USA Today.
  44. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (November 15, 2018). "Yeardley Smith's Paperclip Ltd. Sets Transgender Drama 'Gossamer Folds' Starring 'Transparent's Alexandra Grey". Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  45. ^ BWW News Desk. "Yeardley Smith's Paperclip Ltd and Mill House Motion Pictures Announce "Gossamer Folds" Drama, Begin Principal Photography". Retrieved September 20, 2020.

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