Jeremy Sumpter is an American actor who is best known for playing lead roles in films such as ‘Peter Pan’ and ‘Into the Storm.’ Born in California and raised in Kentucky, Jeremy started his career as a child model. He won several accolades as a child model before the desire to become an actor overpowered him. His family subsequently moved to Los Angeles, where Jeremy started his acting career. His first film role was in the film ‘Frailty.’ He then appeared in ‘Local Boys’ and ‘Just a Dream.’ His performances as a child actor were highly appreciated, and he ended up winning a few awards and nominations. This acclaim led him to the career-defining role of ‘Peter Pan’ in the film of the same name. The film ‘Peter Pan’ received huge acclaim and was also a box-office hit. He later appeared in several films, such as ‘The Sasquatch Gang’ and ‘Excision.’ His performance in ‘Peter Pan’ earned Jeremy a ‘Saturn Award’ and a ‘Young Artist Award.’ His philanthropic efforts have earned him a ‘Change the World’ award.
Childhood & Early Life
Jeremy Sumpter was born on February 5, 1989, in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, to Sandy and Gary Sumpter. He grew up with a twin sister named Jessica and two other siblings, Jennifer and Travis.
His family shifted to Kentucky when Jeremy was 10 months old. He grew up in a town named Mount Sterling, famous for its picturesque views and its mountains. As a child, Jeremy loved climbing mountains. He spent almost all of his childhood in the arms of nature. This adventurous streak later helped him prepare for the role of ‘Peter Pan.’
Jeremy had an artistic inclination since childhood. Observing his interest in arts, his parents got him enrolled him into the state’s ‘Gifted Arts’ program’ at the tender age of 6. Such was his talent that he was the youngest participant in the highly prestigious program.
After spending his initial years in Mount Sterling, Jeremy moved with his family to another town named Lexington. There, Jeremy first ventured into modeling. He walked the ramp and gradually became a popular local model. At the age of 11, he joined the ‘International Modeling and Talent Association’ and started his career as a model.
Mark Robert was assigned as his personal manager. Jeremy later gave Mark a lot of credit for his early success in modeling. As a model, he won several accolades, such as the ‘Pre-Teen Male Model of the Year’ award in 2000. Shortly after this, Jeremy’s parents decided to move to Los Angeles, where Jeremy could begin his career in acting.
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Jeremy started auditioning for roles as soon as he landed in Los Angeles. One of the first auditions was for the film ‘Hearts in Atlantis.’ He finally made his acting debut in 2001, with a supporting role in the psychological thriller ‘Frailty.’ Jeremy played the younger version of the lead character in the film. The film was a critical and commercial success.
The same year, he made his TV debut with a single-episode role in the series ‘Raising Dad.’ He then made a guest appearance in the series ‘ER.’ He also appeared in the 2001 TV film ‘Murphy’s Dozen.’
In 2002, he appeared in a coming-of-age drama titled ‘Local Boys,’ playing the lead role of ‘Skeeter Dobson.’ The film was a critical success but received a limited release. Jeremy ended 2002 with a key role in the TV film ‘Just a Dream.’
2003 turned out to be a career-defining year for Jeremy, as he auditioned and got selected for the titular role in the fantasy–adventure film ‘Peter Pan,’ directed by PJ Hogan. Jeremy was 13 years old then, and he was chosen to play ‘Peter Pan’ in spite of rumors that an adult would play the role.
Jeremy performed almost all of his stunts in the film himself. He had always been a sports enthusiast, and that helped him. The film received good reviews from critics but was a box-office disappointment. Thus, the plans for the sequel were stalled. However, Jeremy’s performance was appreciated, and he won several awards and nominations for his role.
Following this, Jeremy won the lead role in a 2005 TV film titled ‘Cyber Seduction: His Secret Life.’ The film dealt with the issue of porn addiction among teens. It was a critical success.
In 2004, Jeremy bagged the lead role of ‘Pete Young’ in the TV drama ‘Clubhouse.’ Despite Jeremy’s solid performance and the series’ above-average critical ratings, the series was canceled and was not renewed for a second season.
Jeremy played the lead role in the comedy film ‘The Sasquatch Gang.’ The teen drama premiered at the ‘Slamdance Film Festival,’ where it won a few awards. The film received an average critical response upon its release in the US.
He then starred in the film ‘An American Crime,’ where he played a supporting role. The film did not receive a theatrical release and was featured on ‘Showtime.’ It was later released on DVD. Jeremy also made a guest appearance in the police-procedural series ‘CSI: Miami.’
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As most of his films failed to meet box-office expectations, Jeremy received more supporting roles than lead roles. The 2009 coming-of-age drama ‘Calvin Marshall’ featured him as ‘Caselli.’
In 2010, he appeared in the film ‘Death and Cremation,’ which was a horror–thriller film. Jeremy also appeared in films such as ‘Soul Surfer,’ ‘Excision,’ and ‘Hiding.’
He played the lead role of ‘Tyler’ in the comedy thriller ‘The Culling’ in 2013. He also appeared in the horror–thriller film ‘Animal.’
In 2014, he played a supporting role in the “found-footage style” disaster film ‘Into the Storm’ and then appeared in a lead role in the film ‘The Squeeze.’ His last on-screen performance has been in the thriller ‘Billionaire Ransom.’
Awards & Honors
Jeremy Sumpter has been honored with several awards and nominations, especially in the early phase of his acting career. His titular role in ‘Peter Pan’ earned Jeremy a ‘Saturn Award’ for the ‘Best Performance by a Younger Actor’ and a ‘Young Artist Award’ for the ‘Best Performance in a Feature Film- Leading Young Actor.’ He was also nominated for a ‘Saturn Award’ for his performance in ‘Frailty.’
Jeremy has also been active in philanthropy and has been associated with several social causes. He was honored with the ‘Youth for Humanity Award, Male’ at the ‘Change the World Awards’ ceremony in 2009.
Jeremy is an athletic young man and indulges in several sports when he is not working. He enjoys surfing and swimming, apart from playing golf and basketball.
Jeremy’s father is a part-time filmmaker. Jeremy worked as a cinematographer for his father’s short film ‘The Binge.’
Jeremy has dated actors Alyssa Tabit and Rachel Hurd-Wood in the past. In 2015, he got engaged to his long-time girlfriend, actor Lauren Pacheco II. However, the engagement was called off within a year.