Blessed with all-American good looks, it was no surprise that actor Jared Padalecki began his career as the "boy next door," although his work as a heroic leading man in the horror genre would eventually become his stock in trade. After a nationwide contest led to an appearance on "The 1999 Teen Choice Awards" (Fox, 1999), Padalecki seized the opportunity to make the move to Los Angeles and pursue an acting career. Within a year, he had landed his first recurring role on the family drama "Gilmore Girls" (The WB, 2000-06/The CW, 2006-07) as Dean Forester, the loving but limited first boyfriend of Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel). During his four-year run on the show, Padalecki began transitioning to feature work with several small turns in projects such as "Flight of the Phoenix" (2004). It was, however, his performances in horror fests like "House of Wax" (2005) and "Cry Wolf" (2005) that laid the groundwork for his casting in the macabre adventure series "Supernatural" (The WB, 2005-06/The CW, 2006- ). Each week, he and his stalwart brother roamed the countryside in their trusty '67 Chevy Impala as they vanquished evil entities and solved long-buried family mysteries. Padalecki further cemented his position as a horror fixture with efforts such as "Friday the 13th" (2009), while his popular TV series positioned him for a bright future, even if it continued to be in thematically dark material.