Ian Harding is an American actor who became popular for his character Ezra Fitz in the TV series ‘Pretty Little Liars’. He has won eight awards for his portrayal of this character so far! He has done several films, TV movies, and TV serials. He loved acting since he was very young, and was quite talented. He performed on stage throughout his high school years. In an interview he had said that he loves to take up challenges, and would take up films or TV serials that would challenge him. He doesn’t want to play just a few variations of characters. There’s another different yet interesting side to this actor. He has been an avid bird watcher since childhood. Along with working on ‘Pretty Little Liars’, he wanted to do something creative, which prompted him to write about how his life as an actor merged with his love for birding. In May 2017, he released his first book ‘Odd Birds,’ a collection of his essays on birds and bird watching. It, in fact, captures his life in Hollywood through the lens of bird watching, making it a funny and interesting journey for the readers, who will get both celebrity memoirs and birding experience. He has revealed that his father, who is also an author, first suggested that he write a memoir.
Ian Harding’s first big break came in 2009, when he landed a role in the film ‘Adventureland’, a romantic comedy-drama written and directed by Greg Mottola. In the same year, he played the role of Ryan in the film ‘Deadtime Stories 2’.
In 2010, Ian started portraying the role of Ezra Fitz, an English teacher turned successful author, on ABC Family Television’s ‘Pretty Little Liars’ series, which continued for seven seasons. He has won eight Teen Choice Awards for his portrayal of Ezra Fitz so far. In 2010, he also acted in ‘Love & Other Drugs’, a romantic comedy-drama film, written and directed by Edward Zwick. The same year, he acted in ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’, an action television series combining elements of the military drama and police procedural genres. Around the same time, he was also featured in a six-episode web series, ‘Hollywood is Like High School with Money’, where he played Jamie Hunter.
In 2012, he acted in ‘Punk'd’ and ‘I'm Not a DJ’. While ‘Punk’d’ was a hidden camera-practical joke reality television series, ‘I'm Not a DJ’ was a television movie. In 2015 and 2016, he starred in two TV serials, ‘Dynamite: A Cautionary Tale’, and ‘Super Novas’, respectively.
In 2017, he was featured in ‘People You May Know’, and ‘Office Uprising’, a zombie comedy thriller film directed by Lin Oeding and written by Peter Gamble Robinson and Ian Shorr. After wrapping his seven-season stint as Ezra Fitz, Ian bagged a series-regular role in the Fox comedy pilot ‘Thin Ice’ in February 2017.
Ian’s first book, ‘Odd Birds,’ a collection of personal essays about life, acting, and birding, was released in May 2017. He spends a lot of his spare time bird watching. He decided to write this book because he was “feeling a little bit artistically unfulfilled”, and wanted to try his hands on something new. So he decided to write about birding, his hobby since childhood. The book was loved by his fans.
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Ian Harding was born on September 16, 1986, in Heidelberg, Germany, to an American family. His father Stephen Harding is a journalist specializing in military affairs, and an author, who has to his credit New York Times’ bestseller ‘The Last Battle’ and ‘Last to Die.’ His mother, Mary Harding, was a cardiology nurse at Walter Reed Center. He has an elder sister, Sarah.
When Ian was a little boy, his family shifted to Virginia where he started going to Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda, Maryland. He developed an interest in drama, and joined the drama club at his school, and was selected by his class to give the commencement address. He loved acting, and performed on stage throughout his high school years. As a senior in high school, he auditioned for several acting conservatories. However, he was a little uncertain to take it up as a career, and do it for the rest of his life. Later he pursued the Acting/Music Theater program at Carnegie Mellon University.
To support his mother, who has been living with lupus for more than 20 years, he worked with Lupus Foundation of America to raise funds and awareness for lupus research and education.
Currently. he is dating Sophie Hart, who loves fashion and fine art. In his spare time, he likes to cook. Coming to his musical taste, he is a Taylor Swift fan. He has adopted two labradoodles—Mochi and Bailey, from a rescue center. In an interview he had said that if he hadn’t been an actor, then he would have been doing something in psychology.