Jared Padalecki was born in San Antonio, Texas to Gerald and Sherri Padalecki. His father is of Polish descent, while his mother has German, Scottish, French, and English ancestry.

Although he had originally planned to attend the University of Texas after graduating from high school in 2000, Jared decided to move Los Angeles, California instead to pursue an acting career.

Jared won Fox Broadcasting’s 1999 “Claim to Fame Contest”. His first role was a minor role in the 1999 film “A Little Inside”. In 2000, he was cast as Dean Forester on the television series “Gilmore Girls”, a role he played until 2005. Throughout the early 2000s, he appeared in several made-for-television films,including “Silent Witness”, “Close to Home”, and the Disney Channel Original Movie “A Ring of Endless Light”.

Jared had an uncredited role as a high school bully in 2003’s comedy “Cheaper by the Dozen”, which he played after being asked by fellow actor and friend Tom Welling, who played Charlie Baker, and the director of the movie, who wanted someone larger than Charlie to pick on him. In 2004, he appeared in the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen comedy, “New York Minute” as Trey Lipton, a cute boy to whom the Olsens’ characters are attracted. He also landed a role in the thriller “Flight of the Phoenix” alongside Dennis Quaid and Hugh Laurie. In 2005, Jared starred opposite Elisha Cuthbert, Chad Michael Murray and Paris Hilton in “House of Wax”. In 2005, he appeared in another horror film called “Cry Wolf”.

In 2005 Jared was also cast as Sam Winchester on the CW series, “Supernatural”. Sam and his brother Dean (Jensen Ackles) drive throughout the United States hunting paranormal predators, fighting demons and angels, and dealing with all manner of fantasy & sci-fi beasties. The show ended in 2020, after fifteen seasons, making it the longest-running North American sci-fi series in history.

During that time, he also headlined 2008’s “The Christmas Cottage” as Thomas Kinkade, alongside acclaimed actor Peter O’Toole, and played the lead role in the 2009 version of “Friday the 13th” as Clay Miller. He also appeared in “Supernatural” cast-mates Richard Speight Jr. and Rob Benedict’s series “Kings of Con”.

Jared married his Supernatural co-star Genevieve Cortese in 2010, who he met when she starred as Ruby in the show’s fourth season. They have three children together.

In March 2015, Padalecki launched his Always Keep Fighting campaign through Represent.com. His first campaign raised funds for ‘To Write Love On Her Arms’, which supports people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. The cause is particularly close to Padalecki, who has been candid about his own struggles with depression. For the second campaign in the Always Keep Fighting series in April 2015, Padalecki partnered with co-star Jensen Ackles to release a shirt featuring both of their faces, to benefit their newly formed joint charitable fund. Over 70,000 shirts were sold. Later, Padalecki launched a third campaign selling a further 40,000 shirts.

In September 2019, Padalecki was announced as the titular role in Walker, a reboot series of Walker, Texas Ranger in development at The CW. The reboot was ordered to series in January 2020 and premiered in January 2021. In December 2021, it was reported that a prequel series titled, Walker: Independence, was in development with Padalecki as executive producer.  The CW was pleased with the pilot episode and gave a full series order in May 2022. It was not picked up for a second season. Meanwhile, Walker has just been renewed for its fourth season by the CW.