Erik Thomas von Detten is an American broker and former actor and voice actor. He has worked extensively on stage, in films, and in TV productions. He is best known for his appearances in films such as ‘Toy Story’ (voice role) and ‘The Princess Diaries.’ He has also been seen in series such as ‘So Weird,’ ‘Complete Savages,’ ‘Escape to Witch Mountain,’ and ‘Brink!’ He forayed into the entertainment industry as a child actor after he was signed on spot when he went to attend an agent-meeting with his sister. Soon, he earned a regular role in the ‘NBC’ daytime soap opera ‘Days of Our Lives.’ Throughout his career span, Erik managed to impress the audiences, featuring in several notable on-screen productions. These include main roles in TV series such as ‘Odd Man Out,’ ‘So Weird,’ ‘Dinotopia,’ and ‘Complete Savages.’ He has also been part of TV movies such as ‘Escape to Witch Mountain’ and ‘Brink!’ He has been featured in big-budget movies such as ‘The Princess Diaries.’ He also gained fame as a voice actor with films such as ‘Toy Story’ and ‘Tarzan’ and TV series such as ‘Recess,’ ‘The Legend of Tarzan,’ and ‘Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat.’ Presently, he works as a broker at ‘Rosland Capital.’
Childhood & Early Life
Erik Thomas von Detten was born on October 3, 1982, in San Diego, California, US, to Volker von Detten and photographer Susan von Detten (née Farber). He is of German descent from his father’s side. His father immigrated to the US from Munich, Germany. He is of English and Russian Jewish descent from his mother’s side. He has three sisters, Andrea, Dolly and Britta, and a brother, Timothy.
He was raised in Southern California. When he was just 9 years old, Erik was signed on spot when he and his sister went to attend an agent-meeting. This paved his way to the entertainment industry.
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He played the regular role of ‘Nicholas Alamain’ in the American daytime soap opera ‘Days of Our Lives’ during 1992–1993. He then went on to feature in several TV films, such as ‘Night Sins’ (1993) and ‘A Season of Hope’ (1995). He was seen as ‘Danny’ in the 1995-released fantasy–adventure film ‘Escape to Witch Mountain,’ which premiered on ‘ABC.’
One of his earliest notable works on the big-screen was as the voice of the villainous toy destroyer ‘Sid Phillips’ in the sensational hit and critically acclaimed ‘Academy Award’-winning 1995 American computer-animated buddy comedy film ‘Toy Story.’ He later reprised the role in the 2010 hit ‘Academy Award’-winning sequel of the film, ‘Toy Story 3.’ Over the years, he has gained fame as a voice actor, contributing to several other animated films. These include the roles of ‘Boy #1’ in ‘Hercules’ (1997), ‘Flynt’ in ‘Tarzan’ (1999), and ‘Erwin Lawson’ in ‘Recess: School's Out’ (2001), ‘Recess Christmas: Miracle on Third Street’ (2001), ‘Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade’ (2003), and ‘Recess: All Growed Down’ (2003).
Meanwhile, he starred as ‘Billy Jackson’ in the American made-for-TV fantasy–comedy film ‘Christmas Every Day.’ The ‘ABC’ movie, based on William Dean Howells’s short story of the same title, was released on December 1, 1996. The following year, he starred as ‘Wallace “Wally” Cleaver’ in the film ‘Leave It to Beaver.’
He reprised his roles of ‘Sid Phillips’ and ‘Erwin Lawson’ (recurring) in the TV productions ‘Toy Story Treats’ (1997) and ‘Recess’ (1997–2000), respectively. He strengthened his TV presence, essaying the titular role of ‘Andy “Brink” Brinker’ in the 1998-released ‘Disney Channel’ original movie ‘Brink!’
The 1999-released TV film ‘Replacing Dad’ featured him as ‘Drew Marsh.’ The same year, he played the starring role of ‘Andrew Whitney’ in the sitcom ‘Odd Man Out.’ The series aired on ‘ABC’ from September 24, 1999, to January 7, 2000. He also played ‘Clu Bell,’ a main character, in the first two seasons of the ‘Disney Channel’- aired American–Canadian series ‘So Weird’ during 1999–2000. He later guest-featured in the role during the third season of the series, in 2001.
The ‘Walt Disney Pictures’-produced blockbuster hit 2001 coming-of-age film ‘The Princess Diaries,’ starring Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews, featured Erik as ‘Josh Bryant.’ In the ensuing years, Erik starred in ‘American Girl’ (2002), ‘National Lampoon's Barely Legal’ (2003), and ‘Smile’ (2005).
His next main role was that of ‘Karl Scott’ in the series ‘Dinotopia,’ based on James Gurney’s series of illustrated books of the same title. The series released on November 28, 2002, and aired for a season on ‘ABC’ during 2002–2003.
He starred as a dumb jock named ‘Chris Savage’ in the American sitcom ‘Complete Savages.’ The series premiered on ‘ABC’ on September 24, 2004. However, its poor rating led the show to feature only for a season, till June 17, 2005.
He has appeared in single episodes of popular series such as ‘ER’ (1995), ‘7th Heaven’ (1996), ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ (2003), ‘Charmed’ (2003), ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ (2005), ‘Bones’ (2008), and ‘Family Guy’ (2009).
He made his stage debut in Santa Monica, appearing in the children's play ‘The Christmas Princess.’ He voiced ‘Sid Phillips’ in the 1996 video game ‘Animated Storybook: Toy Story.’ He also appeared in the music video of the track ‘Wanted’ by Jessie James, in 2009.
Currently, Erik serves as a broker in the precious metals asset-management firm ‘Rosland Capital.’
Family & Personal Life
According to sources, Erik was romantically associated with several women, in the past. He was linked with American actor and singer Erika Christensen in 1997. He then dated American actor, musician, and photographer Jena Malone for a while. He is also said to have dated Haylie Duff, the elder sister of American actor, singer, songwriter, and author Hilary Duff, from 2004 to 2005.
Not much is known about his current relationship status. However, rumors claim that the child seen with him during the premiere of ‘Toy Story 3’ was his son. The actor currently lives in the residential neighborhood of Venice, in Los Angeles, California, US.