Adrian Pasdar (April 30, 1965), was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, but at the age of 2, his father, a prominent heart surgeon, moved the family to Powelton, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. In high school, he excelled at football, eventually leading to a football scholarship at the University of Florida in 1983. Football may have been a promising future, had it not been for a terrible accident during his freshman year that left his face scarred and his legs badly injured. A very driven Adrian finished his freshman year in a wheelchair, doing intensive physical therapy and turning his attention to campus stage productions and rediscovered a childhood interest in writing and acting.
No longer able to play football, he dropped out of school and returned home, taking a job with a theater group People's Light and Theatre Company. Here he worked on sound, lighting and set construction. While constructing a set, he cut off the end of his left thumb. Adrian, having the ability to turn tragedy into triumph, used his medical compensation to pay for attendance at the famous Lee Strasberg Theater Institute. At the age of 19, he auditioned for a role in Top Gun. Director Tony Scott was so impressed that he wrote the part of "Chipper" just for him. This led to bigger roles in Solarbabies (1986), Streets of Gold (1986), and Kathryn Bigelow's cult vampire movie Near Dark (1987), with Pasdar in the lead role of Caleb Colton.
Other major roles include Vital Signs (1990). Pasdar got his biggest break in movies, when he starred as a beautiful woman opposite Julie Walters in the British movie Just Like a Woman. In 1992, he left Hollywood and returned to New York, working as a cashier for room and board, while taking the occasional small part, such as Frankie in Brian De Palma's Carlito's Way (1993). He wrote and directed the short film Beyond Belief and directed his first feature film, the art-house neo-noir Cement, a contemporary re-telling of Othello, in 1999. The $1.7 million independent feature, which won Best Picture awards on the festival circuit, starred Chris Penn, Jeffrey Wright, Sherilyn Fenn, Henry Czerny and was written by Farscape's screenwriter Justin Monjo. "I've used every ounce of energy and every drop of money I had to make Cement," Pasdar said.
Pasdar's major break into television came in 1996, when he was cast as the title character on the short-lived but critically-acclaimed Fox series Profit. He also guest starred in the 2 hour season finale of the fourth season of Touched by an Angel, "The Spirit of Liberty Moon." From 2000 to 2002, Pasdar played the lead role of Anthropology Professor Declan Dunn in the spooky cult drama series Mysterious Ways on PAX. Pasdar played David McClaren in the final two seasons of the long-running CBS drama Judging Amy, from 2003 through 2005. In 2006, he had a high-profile guest role as Gabrielle Solis's sleazy lawyer in Desperate Housewives. He currently stars in the NBC superhero drama Heroes as Nathan Petrelli. He bases his mysterious character on "the most morally liquid characters" that he's encountered in his life. The character is not based on one particular political figure, but on a melange of different ones, both good and bad.
Pasdar's tattoo on his arm depicts an anchor and carries his children's names: the tattoo symbolizes his devotion to his family, their importance in his life.