Peter Facinelli Biography

Actor (1973–)
Peter Facinelli is an American actor best known for his roles as vampire Dr. Carlisle Cullen in the Twilight franchise and Dr. Fitch Cooper on the series Nurse Jackie.


Peter Facinelli was born in New York City on November 26, 1973. He attended New York University before moving to Los Angeles to pursue acting. Facinelli has worked in both the television and film industries. In 2008, he began playing his most iconic role: As vampire Dr. Carlisle Cullen in the Twilight film franchise. Facinelli's success has brought him much tabloid press, including a very public divorce from ex-wife Jennie Garth in 2012.

Early Life

Actor Peter Facinelli was born in Queens, New York, on November 26, 1973. His parents, Peter Sr. and Bruna, were Italian immigrants who worked as a waiter and a homemaker, respectively. The youngest of four and the only boy, Facinelli grew up in the Ozone Park neighborhood of Queens. In third grade, he became fascinated with a picture book about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. A few years later, he saw the Robert Redford and Paul Newman film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), and decided that he wanted to be an actor.

Facinelli enrolled at St. John's University, later transferring to New York University with the intention of studying acting and law. While attending school, Facinelli interned for a New York law firm. The job was not what he expected, however, and he was disheartened to learn that lawyers spend most of their time in an office. As a result, Facinelli began to pursue acting more vigorously and, during his senior year at NYU, landed a role in the 1995 indie film Angela. With one role under his belt, the young actor dropped out of school and moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting full-time.

Commercial Success

Shortly after moving to Los Angeles, Facilnelli began landing small television roles. In 1996, he was cast in the TV movie An Unfinished Affair. On the set, Facinelli met his future wife, Jennie Garth. That same year, he appeared in the Angelina Jolie film Foxfire.

Facinelli soon began landing roles alongside some of the industry's top stars: He appeared in Can’t Hardly Wait with Jennifer Love Hewitt, in Supernova alongside James Spader, and in Penny Marshall's Riding in Cars with Boys opposite Drew Barrymore.

Facinelli went on to star in Finding Amanda with Matthew Broderick in 2008, and then appeared as vampire Dr. Carlisle Cullen in Twilight (2008), a film adaptation of the first installment of Stephenie Meyer's best-selling book series. A box-office phenomenon, Twilight earned Facinelli wide recognition in Hollywood and grew into a film series encompassing five installments. Facinelli has appeared in the entire Twilight franchise, including The Twilight Saga: New Moon, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn- Part 1 and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012).

Facinelli's previous TV credits include roles on FX's Damages and HBO's Six Feet Under. Additionally, since 2009, he has played Dr. Fitch Cooper on Showtime's Nurse Jackie alongside Edie Falco, the show's star.

Personal Life

Facinelli met Jennie Garth in 1996 and married the actress in 2001. However, after nearly 11 years of marriage, the couple filed for divorce in 2012. They share joint custody of their three daughters, Luca, Lola and Fiona.

In 2010, Facinelli started his own production company, Facinelli Films. The company's first film, Loosies, was released in 2012.

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