Handsome, dark-haired Kerr Smith got his first taste of show business as an extra in the film "12 Monkeys" (1995). A business major at the University of Vermont, he and his father started a marketing firm after the younger Smith completed his studies. The aspiring businessman learned that he was more cut out for the performance part of his sales presentations than the actual selling, so he decided to pursue a career as a professional performer. Smith moved to NYC from his home in Exton, Pennsylvania to try his hand at acting and soon landed a one-year stint (1996-97) in the role of teen heartthrob Ryder Hughes on the CBS soap "As the World Turns." In 1998, the actor headed to Los Angeles and was cast in a guest role as a mischief-making college student on the syndicated series "Baywatch." Not long after, Smith joined the cast of The WB's popular "Dawson's Creek," playing newcomer Jack McPhee, a sensitive loner, ostensibly with his sights set on Joey Potter (Katie Holmes), Dawson Leery's best friend-turned-girlfriend. In a plot twist, however, the character "came out" as a homosexual creating new and varied storylines.