Jensen Ackles was born in Dallas, Texas, the son of Donna Joan and Alan Roger Ackles, an actor. Ackles has a brother, Joshua, who is three years older, and sister, Mackenzie, who is seven years younger. He is of English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry.
Jensen planned to study sports medicine at Texas Tech University and to become a physical therapist, but instead moved to Los Angeles to start his acting career. After modelling on and off since the age of 4, Jensen began to concentrate on an acting career in 1996. He appeared in several guest roles on “Mr. Rhodes”, “Sweet Valley High”, and “Cybill” before joining the cast of the NBC soap opera “Days of Our Lives” as Eric Brady in 1997. He won a 1998 Soap Opera Digest Award for Best Male Newcomer and went on to be nominated three times (in 1998, 1999, and 2000) for a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series.
Jensen departed “Days of our Lives” in 2000 and went on to appear in the mini-series “Blonde”, about the life of Marilyn Monroe. Next he appeared in a guest role on the James Cameron television series “Dark Angel” on Fox in 2001 as serial killer Ben/X5-493, the brother of main character Max/X5-452 (played by Jessica Alba). His character died in the episode, but Jensen returned to the show as a series regular in the second season as Ben’s sane clone, Alec/X5-494. He remained with the show until its cancellation in 2002.
Jensen worked steadily throughout 2003. He joined the cast of the WB’s hit show “Dawson’s Creek” during its final season. Jensen was the producer’s first choice to play Eliza Dushku’s love interest on the second season of “Tru Calling”, but he turned down the role. Funnily the role was then offered to Eric Christian Olsen and the character’s name was changed to “Jensen” because the producers of “Tru Calling” liked Jensen’s name. Jensen returned to Vancouver in 2004 to become a regular on “Smallville”, playing the assistant football coach Jason Teague, who was also the newest romantic interest for Lana Lang (played by Kristin Kreuk). He also had a lead role in the 2005 film “Devour” in which his father, actor Alan Ackles, also played the father of Jensen’s character.
Jensen was cast on the CW horror/drama series “Supernatural” in 2005, where he stars as Dean Winchester. Dean and his brother Sam (Jared Padalecki) drive throughout the United States hunting paranormal predators. Season 14 of “Supernatural” is currently airing.
In the summer of 2007, Jensen took on the role of Priestly in the independent comedy “Ten Inch Hero”. The film began hitting the film festival circuit in early 2007 and Ackles received high praise for his comedic timing in the role. In February 2009, the film was released on DVD. He also appeared on stage from June 5–10, 2007 with Lou Diamond Phillips in “A Few Good Men” at Casa Mañana Theatre in Fort Worth, Texas, as Lt. Daniel Kaffee. Ackles received strong praise for his work in this role, which was also his professional theatre debut.
In the summer of 2008, Jensen was cast in the remake of the cult film “My Bloody Valentine 3D”, which opened nationwide on January 16, 2009.
In summer of 2010, Jensen lent his voice as the Red Hood (Jason Todd) for the animated film, “Batman: Under The Red Hood”, and he subsequently voiced the character of Gibson in the video game, “Tron: Evolution”. He has recently appeared in “Supernatural” castmastes Richard Speight Jr. and Rob Benedict “Kings of Con” show, and Josh Duhamel’s film, “The Buddy Games”.