Born Nov. 20, 1985 in Marietta, GA, Daniel Byrd was inspired to act at the age of eight when he saw "The Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway. After cutting his professional teeth in a series of local productions, Byrd landed a recurring role as the young version of the husband of M.E. (Annie Potts) in flashbacks on the nostalgia-heavy drama "Any Day Now" (Lifetime, 1998-2002), for which he won a Young Artist Award. He followed up with a string of small roles on series such as "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009), "Judging Amy" (CBS, 1999-2005), "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (CBS, 2000- ), and "Boomtown" (NBC, 2002-03), as well as in the Sandra Bullock rehab drama "28 Days" (2000). After parts in the Stephen King-inspired television miniseries, "Firestarter 2: Rekindled" (Sci-Fi Channel, 2002) and "'Salem's Lot" (TNT, 2004) Byrd essayed the role of Hilary Duff's quirky, costume-loving best friend in the tween hit "A Cinderella Story" (2004).
Tapped by critics as a rising talent, Byrd landed a starring role on the series "Clubhouse" (CBS, 2004) as Mike Dougherty, an ordinary kid who lands the dream job of being a batboy for a major league baseball team. Although Byrd more than delivered on his potential, the show proved short-lived. He returned to the big screen as the son of a family tormented by mutants in the remake of "The Hills Have Eyes" (2006) and played John Travolta's son in the 1940s real-life serial killer thriller "Lonely Hearts" (2006), which also starred Salma Hayek and Jared Leto. Although a proposed 2007 remake of "Revenge of the Nerds" (1984) featuring Adam Brody and Byrd fell apart soon after production began, the actor rebounded on television.
Critics buzzed about Byrd's leading role as a teenaged social outcast forced to bond with his family's new Muslim foreign exchange student in the dramedy "Aliens in America" (The CW, 2007-08), but despite another excellent performance, the series failed to catch on. He recurred on "Heroes" (NBC, 2006-2010) as an apprentice of the evil Sylar (Zachary Quinto) and lensed a guest spot on "Greek" (ABC Family, 2007-2011), but finally captured long-term television success when he was cast as the snarky Travis, the oft-embarrassed teenage son of Jules (Courteney Cox) and Bobby Cobb (Brian Van Holt) on "Cougar Town" (ABC, 2009- ). Byrd's deadpan delivery and clever quips helped him stand out in a talented ensemble cast, and he generated palpable chemistry with Cox, Van Holt and especially the gleefully trashy Busy Philipps, who proved equal parts street-smart big sister and potential romantic force-to-be-reckoned-with to the sheltered Travis. Nailing both the comedy and the pathos of the character, Byrd notched a memorable supporting role in the comedy smash "Easy A" (2010) as Brandon, a gay student who enlists the help of Olive (Emma Stone) to beef up his reputation as a heterosexual. Proving he could carry a film, Byrd also earned good reviews for his starring turn as a beleaguered high school student who fakes a cancer diagnosis in the dark dramedy "Norman" (2010).
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