Jake T. Austin
December 3, 1994
New York City, New York, United States
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A star on both television and in feature film projects, actor and voice-over artist Jake T. Austin proved his talent went above and beyond his age. Austin began his career providing the voice of the title character in the well-loved and educational animated series "Go, Diego, Go!" (Nickelodeon, 2005-11), where he taught preschoolers the importance of saving endangered animals in the rainforest. Following several high-profile film and television projects, he gained mainstream prominence when he was cast as the mischievous young wizard, Max Russo, in the series "Wizards of Waverly Place" (Disney Channel, 2007-11) and in its big budget made-for-television film, "Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie" (Disney Channel, 2009). Meanwhile, he made his live action film debut in "Hotel for Dogs" (2009), where his comedic timing and onscreen charm made him the film's standout star, as well as a new young actor who became very much in demand.Born on Dec. 3, 1994 in New York, NY, and raised by his father, Joey, and his mother, Giny, Austin grew up loving to imitate accents while making short movies with his friends. Making the segue to acting at a young age, Austin's acting career took off after voicing the character of Diego in the preschool hit "Dora the Explorer" (Nickelodeon, 2000-14) in the episode entitled "Dora and Diego to the Rescue." He then starred in his own animated series, "Go, Diego, Go!," soon after. As Dora's older cousin, the young actor provided the voice of an eight-year-old boy who helped endangered animals in the rainforest. Other actors who appeared or guest-starred on "Go, Diego, Go!" included Rosie Perez, Steve Carell and Kelly Ripa. Austin also lent his vocal talent on the big screen, doing voiceover work in the animated films "The Ant Bully" (2006) with Nicolas Cage and Julia Roberts, and "Everyone's Hero" (2006) with William H. Macy and Rob Reiner.Making his first live action appearance, Austin acted opposite John Leguizamo in the made-for-television movie "A.K.A." (CBS, 2006), a crime drama about a former con artist-turned-undercover cop. He followed up with a featured role in the Disney Channel original movie, "Johnny Kapahala: Back on Board" (2007), as a rebellious teen who competes in the exciting and dangerous sport of mountain-boarding. The cable network took a liking to the young star after his performance and offered him a role in "Wizards of Waverly Place," a comedy series about a family of wizards living in New York City. Austin played Max Russo, the sneaky and witty youngest child in the family who loved to torment his older siblings (Selena Gomez and David Henrie). The show's brand of family-friendly humor along with the star appeal of its young cast made the series a hit with the network's core 'tween viewers. While busy at work with "Wizards," Austin continued doing voiceovers for animated shows, including "Happy Monster Band" (Disney Channel, 2007), where he voiced a blue, keyboard-playing monster named Bluz.The success of "Wizards of Waverly Place" exposed Austin's talent to a wider audience. He made his feature film debut in "Hotel for Dogs" (2009), a family comedy about two orphaned teens who take care of stray dogs in an abandoned hotel. Austin also dabbled in independent film with "The Perfect Game" (2009), a true-to-life drama about the Mexican little league team that became the first non-U.S. team to win the Little League World Series in 1957. In 2009, Austin traveled to San Juan, Puerto Rico for "Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie," a high budget television film that upped the visual effects, graphics and stunts of the lower-end series. That same year, Austin was nominated for Choice TV: Sidekick at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards for his role on "The Wizards of Waverly Place."