A native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Shawn Christian grew up acting purely for the love of it. “Acting in and writing for talent shows and school plays was simply a small-town passion until I graduated from Ferris State University,” he says. After earning a degree in marketing, Christian left the next day to pursue his dream as an actor, relocating to Chicago, where he honed his acting skills with a variety of acting coaches and styles.
Christian began to find his true voice with the improvisational company Improv Olympic. Just as he was about to begin Second City in Chicago, he got his first big break portraying working class anti-hero Mike Kasnoff on the New York-based CBS daytime drama “As the World Turns.” After a three-year run, he made the leap to Los Angeles and landed recurring roles on ABC’s “Boston Legal,” as a delinquent husband to Julie Bowen, on NBC’s “Crossing Jordan,” as a wily journalist, and on “Las Vegas” as a nemesis to Josh Duhamel. Christian returned to his comic roots with roles on the HBO series “12 Miles of Bad Road” and on the hit series “Friends,” “Will & Grace,” “The Drew Carey Show,” “Ellen,” “Becker” and “Coupling.”
Christian experienced more than a few failed pilots and shows until he starred in The WB’s hit series “Summerland,” and opposite Jami Gertz and Tyne Daly in the CBS hit movie “Undercover Christmas.” Christian’s additional television work includes starring in the NBC hit family movie “Secrets of the Mountain,” opposite Paige Turco, “Shark,” with James Woods, and “CSI.” Additionally, he played lead roles in John Woo’s action drama USA pilot “Red Skies” and on the quirky, NBC spy comedy “Spy Girl,” opposite Jennie Garth. Eager to play darker characters, Christian was excited for the opportunity to portray convicted killer Danny Pelosi in “Murder in the Hamptons” and a dangerous con man in “Ghost Whisperer.” Christian picked up film roles in Christopher Guest’s feature film For Your Consideration and in Shopgirl, directed by Steve Martin and starring Claire Danes. Additional film roles include How to Leave Your Lover, Almost You and Beautiful, directed by Sally Field and starring Minnie Driver. Christian also appears in a supporting role in Eddie Murphy’s film Meet Dave and stars as the lead in the cult franchise hit Tremors III as the offbeat Zen cowboy, Jack Sawyer.
Christian executive produced, co-directed and starred in the independent film Spanners, which won the award for Best Sci-Fi Film at the 2015 Hollywood Independent Reel Film Festival and Best Actor at the 2015 Hollywood Underground Film Festival. He also stars opposite Chris Pine, Oscar® nominee John Hawks and Oscar® winner Octavia Spencer in Small Town Saturday Night. Christian just finished a long run as Dr. Daniel Jonas on NBC’s “Days of Our Lives.” Since leaving the show near the end of 2015, he has completed three films: he plays villainous street hustler Lance in the suspense thriller Last Seen in Idaho, a duplicitous killer in Hidden Truth and his latest role took him back into comedy with the film Savannah Sunrise. Christian also recently starred in “Ruby Herring Mysteries: Silent Witness,” which premiered in January of 2019 on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.
In addition to acting, Christian is the Executive Director of Operations and Marketing for the non-profit youth mentorship camps Arrow-Heart Adventure Camps. “I believe every kid is at risk. Arrow-Heart is dedicated to enriching, inspiring and empowering young teens through exciting and challenging adventures which nurture young teens with the virtues of commitment, communication, courage, compassion, critical thinking and character.” Arrow-Heart Adventure Camps operate in Idaho and Detroit with progress being made to open camps in Sacramento, Los Angeles, Portland and Atlanta. Arrow-Heart.org.