Who is Daniel Peter Masterson?
Daniel Peter “Danny” Masterson is an American actor, producer, businessperson, and DJ. He has gained prominence for portraying Steven Hyde in ‘That '70s Show’, Milo Foster in ‘Men at Work’, and Jameson "Rooster" Bennett in ‘The Ranch’. Masterson is a native of New York and grew up in a middle-class household. He entered the world of glamour at the age of four, when he began appearing in magazine articles. A year later, he began doing television commercials. Over the course of the following decade, he made appearances in more than a hundred commercials. Masterson was about 12 years old when he made his acting debut in an episode of CBS’ crime drama ‘Jake and the Fatman’. Five years later, he debuted on the big screen in ‘Beethoven's 2nd’. In 1998, he landed his breakthrough role as one of the main characters of Fox’s sitcom ‘That ‘70s Show’. In 2016, he reunited with his ‘That ‘70s Show’ cast mate Ashton Kutcher in Netflix’s sitcom, ‘The Ranch’. However, he was fired from the show in 2017 amidst multiple rape allegations.
Childhood & Early Life
Born on March 13, 1976, in Long Island, New York, Danny Masterson is one of the two sons of Carol and Peter Masterson. His brother, Christopher, is also an actor and disc jockey.
His maternal half-brother Jordan and maternal half-sister Alanna have also followed in their older brother’s footsteps into the world of acting. Through his father, he has another half-brother, Will.
Masterson’s parents, Carol and Peter, parted ways not long after Christopher’s birth. His mother was a manager while his father was an insurance agent.
Danny Masterson began his career as a child model at the age of four, appearing in various magazine articles. After he turned five, he began doing television commercials. He was also interested in acting and when he was eight years old, he started performing in musicals. However, he lost his pleasant voice when he was a teenager.
He has been featured in more than a hundred commercials. He has worked for popular brands, such as Swift Premium, Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, Hardee's, Hostess, Tang, and Clearasil.
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In 1988, Danny Masterson got his first opportunity to portray a character on the small screen. The role was of a young boy named Butch in a season one episode of ‘Jake and the Fatman’.
In 1993, he appeared in the family movie ‘Beethoven's 2nd’, his first film. That year, he was also cast as Leo Gennaro in the short-lived ABC sitcom ‘Joe’s Life’. Between 1994 and 1995, he played various recurring roles in ABC’s sitcom ‘Roseanne’, ABC’s police procedural drama show ‘NYPD Blue’, and ABC’s adventure drama ‘Extreme’.
Through the 1990s, Masterson appeared in a number of films, including ‘Bye Bye Love’, ‘Face/Off,’ ‘Trojan War’, ‘Star Kid’, ‘The Faculty’, and ‘Dirt Merchant’. In 1996, he made guest appearances in CBS’ horror series ‘American Gothic’, HBO’s sketch comedy ‘Tracey Takes On...’, and Fox’s teen drama ‘Part of Five’.
He appeared in his first television film, ‘Seduced by Madness’ in 1996. From 1996 to 1998, he played Justin Thorpe in Chuck Lorre’s ‘Cybill’.
In 1998, Masterson began playing a supporting role in the series ‘That '70s Show.’ In the same show, Ashton Kutcher portrayed Michael Kelso, who was also a member of the same group of friends as Masterson’s character.
In 2000, he played the role of Nightshade in the vampire horror film ‘Dracula 2000’. Two years later, he was cast in the black comedy ‘Comic Book Villains’. He continued to work in low-to-mid budget films in the 2000s and 2010s.
In 2012, Masterson began starring in TBS’ sitcom ‘Men at Work’. He portrayed Milo Foster, a man who has just gotten out of a relationship and attempts to make his way into the dating scene with the help of his friends. Created by Breckin Meyer, the TV series also starred Michael Cassidy, Adam Busch, Meredith Hagner, and James Lesure. TBS aired the show for three years before cancelling it in May 2014.
In 2016, Masterson and Kutcher reunited to play the brothers Colt (Kutcher) and Jameson "Rooster" Bennett (Masterson) in Netflix’s sitcom ‘The Ranch’. The show also stars Sam Elliott as Beau Bennett, Colt and Rooster’s father, and Debra Winger as Maggie Bennett, their mother.
Masterson has worked as a producer on both ‘Men at Work’ and ‘The Ranch’. He also produced his 2008 film ‘The Brooklyn Heist’, for which he became the co-recipient of the Jury Award for Best Florida Comedy.
Since 1999, Danny Masterson has been active as a disc jockey in the Los Angeles’ nightclub scene. It has since turned into a side business for him. He often describes himself as a “rock and hip hop fanatic”. He also listens to indie, electro and funk music and incorporates all of them into his DJ sets.
Masterson is a former owner of a lounge and bar named Downstairs, situated in Park City, Utah. He is an avid poker player and has participated in the 2005 GSN series The James Woods Gang vs. The Unabombers as a member of the latter team.
In Fox’s period sitcom ‘That '70s Show’ (1998-2006), Masterson portrayed Steven Hyde, a blunt, sarcastic, and witty character who serves an archetype for anti-establishment characters in the traditional American TV shows of the 1970s. Masterson’s co-stars were Topher Grace, Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Laura Prepon, and Wilmer Valderrama. Hyde’s relationship with Kunis’ character, Jackie Burkhart, was one of the main subplots of the show.
Family & Personal Life
In 2005, Danny Masterson began a relationship with actress, singer, and model Bijou Phillips after meeting her at a celebrity poker tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada. After getting engaged in 2009, they tied the knot in an intimate ceremony on October 18, 2011. They have one daughter together, Fianna Francis Masterson (born February 14, 2014).
Masterson is a Scientologist and his involvement with the controversial charity organization, New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project, has drawn some criticism. The organization has financial connections with the Church of Scientology.
Accusations of Rape
In March 2017, four women came forward accusing Masterson of rape which they said he had committed in the early 2000s. The Los Angeles Police Department soon began an investigation but they eventually dropped the case. As for Masterson, he has maintained that he is innocent.
In November 2017, Cedric Bixler-Zavala, the vocalist of the American rock band At The Drive-In stated in a Twitter post that his wife had been raped by Masterson. She is one of the four original accusers. He further revealed that their song, ‘Incurably Innocent,’ is based on the incident.
In December 2017, Netflix dismissed him from ‘The Ranch’. That month, another woman accused him of a similar crime. In January 2018, several news outlets reported that United Talent Agency had severed all their ties with Masterson.