Shane West

Shannon Bruce Snaith,[1] better known as Shane West, is an American actor, musician, and songwriter. West is known for his portrayal of Eli Sammler in the ABC family drama Once and Again, Landon Carter in A Walk to Remember, Darby Crash in What We Do Is Secret, Dr. Ray Barnett in the NBC medical drama ER, Michael Bishop in The CW spy drama Nikita and Bane in the Fox superhero drama Gotham. He also starred in the WGN fantasy/adventure/historical drama Salem as John Alden.

Shane West
West at the 2015 Wondercon
Shannon Bruce Snaith

(1978-06-10) June 10, 1978
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Other namesShane Wrestler
OccupationActor, musician, songwriter, producer, writer
Years active1995–present

As well as acting, West has performed with punk rock band the Germs and Jonny Was, and the Twilight Creeps.

Early life

West was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the son of Leah Catherine (née Launey), a lawyer, and Don Snaith, a drugstore owner.[2][3] Both his parents were musicians and had their own punk bands.[4] His mother is of Cajun French descent and his father was born in Jamaica, of British and Portuguese origin.[5][6] He is the eldest of three children with a sister Simone and a half-sister Marli Ann. His parents divorced in 1982 when he was four years old.[7] Influenced by his parents, he grew up listening to the Clash, the Jam, Blondie, Elvis Costello, and the Kinks.[4] He said: "I always thought I would be doing music rather than acting."[4]

At the age of ten, West and his sister Simone moved to Compton, California with their mother because she was looking for a better job. They later moved to Norwalk, California.[7][8] When he was fifteen or sixteen, West moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. He struggled for two years and lived at his manager's house,[8][9] before making his acting debut in 1995, appearing in the CBS drama Picket Fences in the season 4, episode 6 "Heart of Saturday Night", where he played Dave Lattimore.


In 1998, West guest-starred in several television series including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and played Mark Tapper in the stage production of The Cider House Rules.[10] He landed his first major role in 1999 in the ABC family drama Once and Again, playing Eli Sammler for three seasons. West's feature film debut was in Liberty Heights, a film about a Jewish family in Baltimore, directed by Barry Levinson. He also co-starred in teen comedies Whatever It Takes (2000) and Get Over It (2001).

West was cast as Landon Carter opposite singer and actress Mandy Moore in 2002's adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' novel A Walk to Remember, which was a modest box office success, grossing over $41 million in the United States.[11] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times found him "quietly convincing".[12] His performance in the film earned him a Teen Choice Award for Choice Chemistry with Moore. He also appeared in the Mandy Moore music video "Cry". That year, West won the Young Hollywood Award Male Superstar of Tomorrow.

In 2003, West starred as an adult version of Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen alongside Sean Connery. The film was a commercial success, earning over $179 million worldwide from a production budget of $78 million.[13] A year later, he joined the cast of the NBC medical drama, ER in the eleventh-season premiere, playing resident Ray Barnett. In May 2007, West left ER at the end of the thirteenth season after winning a role in Supreme Courtships,[14] but the series was not picked up by the Fox Network. In October 2008, West returned to ER for three episodes during its fifteenth and final season.[15]

During hiatus between seasons of ER, West worked on shooting What We Do Is Secret, an independent film, which premiered at the 2007 Los Angeles Film Festival after much delay.[16][17] West helped to finance it.[18][19] In the film, he portrays Darby Crash, a member of the 1970s punk band the Germs. Members of the band were so impressed by West's performance that they re-formed the band with West taking the deceased Crash's place. West received positive reviews for his portrayal in the movie; the San Francisco Chronicle stated that he is the one who "lifts the entire film to a whole other level".[20] Similarly, The Seattle Times wrote that his impersonation was "worth saluting" while TV Guide called it "pretty impressive".[21][22] In 2008, he received the Rising Star Award in Philadelphia Film Festival for his work in What We Do is Secret.[23][24]

West starred as Michael Bishop in The CW spy drama Nikita from 2010 to 2013. In 2014, he began starring in the WGN adventure/historical/fantasy drama Salem as John Alden.

In 2018, West was cast as Eduardo Dorrance in the fifth and final season of Gotham.[25]

In November 2018, it was revealed that West will portray the role of Billy Millikin in upcoming feature film Gossamer Folds.[26]

In music

West was the lead singer of punk rock band Jonny Was[27] for "seven or eight years".[4] The band was originally known as Average Joe but had to change its name for legal reasons.[28] The band contributed to the A Walk to Remember soundtrack, appearing under the names "West, Gould, and Fitzgerald" because they had not yet decided on a new name.[28] West described their style as "a pop-punk-type band, more Green Day-ish".[4]

In November 2005, while What We Do Is Secret was still in production, it was announced that West would be fronting the Germs on tour.[29] He performed with the band for nearly five years, doing an American tour (including the 2006 Warped Tour) and a European Tour.[30][31] He described the experience as "more exciting" than acting.[32] However, after booking a leading role in Nikita, West had less time to play with the band. His last performance was in December 2009.[30]

In 2015, West reunited with some of his old bandmates from Jonny Was to form a new band called the Twilight Creeps. In October 2016, they released their debut album.[33] In January 2019, they announced they are releasing their second album on February 1.[34][35]



1997Get a ClueChris TheodorakisTelevision
2000A Time for DancingPaul, the DJ
Whatever It TakesRyan Woodman
Dracula 2000JT
2001Get Over It!Bentley "Striker" Scrumfeld
Ocean's ElevenHimself
2002A Walk to RememberLandon CarterTeen Choice Awards for Choice Movie Chemistry (with Mandy Moore)
2003The League of Extraordinary GentlemenTom SawyerNominated – Saturn Award for Face of the Future Award
2006The Elder SonBo
2007What We Do Is SecretDarby Crash
2009The LodgerStreet Wilkenson
Red SandsSpc. Jeff KellerAlso co-producer
Echelon ConspiracyMax Peterson
2010The Love AffairCarter TroyShort film
The PresenceGhost
2014Red SkyTom Craig
2016 Here Alone Jason
2017 Awakening the Zodiac[36] Mick Branson
2019 Gossamer Folds[37][38] Billy Millikin


1995Picket FencesDave LattimoreEpisode: "Heart of Saturday Night"
California DreamsDougEpisode: "Community Service"
1996The CrewStore ManagerEpisode: "Retail Slut"
Boy Meets WorldNickEpisode: "A Kiss Is More Than a Kiss"
1997Mr. RhodesMickEpisode: "The Valentine Show"
MeegoGuy with Big HatEpisode: "Morality Bites"
Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeanEpisode: "Go Fish"
SlidersKirkEpisode: "California Reich"
To Have & to HoldMitch MaloneyEpisode: "Tangled Up in You"
1999–2002Once and AgainEli Sammler54 episodes
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actor: Drama
2004–2009ERDr. Ray Barnett67 episodes
2007Supreme CourtshipsN/AUnsold TV pilot
2010The Search for El DoradoJack Wilder2 episodes
2010–2013NikitaMichael73 episodes
Teen Choice Awards for Choice TV Actor: Action
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actor: Action (2012–13)
2014–2017SalemJohn Alden36 episodes
2019 Gotham Eduardo Dorrance / Bane 4 episodes

Music videos

2001 Mandy Moore "Cry" Boyfriend
2001 Mandy Moore "Only Hope" Boyfriend
2001 Mandy Moore "Someday We'll Know" Boyfriend


Year Association Category Nominated Work Result
2002 Teen Choice Awards Choice Chemistry: Film A Walk to Remember Won
Choice TV Actor: Drama Once and Again Nominated
Young Hollywood Awards Male Superstar of Tomorrow Won
2003 Cinescape Genre Face of the Future Awards Best Male Performance The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Nominated
2008 Philadelphia Film Festival Rising Star Award What We Do Is Secret Won
2011 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actor: Action Nikita Won
2012 Nominated


  1. Weisbard, Eric. Listen again: a momentary history of pop music Experience Music Project
  2. Shane West - Biography, Yahoo! Movies
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 28, 2011. Retrieved June 22, 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. "Shane West on Joining the Germs and "What We Do Is Secret"". Rolling Stone. August 6, 2008. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  5. Nguyen, Hanh (August 26, 2010). "'Nikita' set visit: Shane West tells tattoo stories, needs yoga". Zap2it. Archived from the original on May 26, 2011. Retrieved August 26, 2010.
  7. "'Go West!'". Teen People. April 2003. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  8. Scharf, Lindzi. "shane west (interview from 2002)". Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  9. Hirschberg, Lynn (September 5, 1999). "Desperate to Seem 16". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. p. 7. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
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  11. A Walk to Remember (2002) - Box office / business
  12. Ebert, Roger (January 25, 2002). "A Walk to Remember". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  13. "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  14. Weisman, Jon (March 14, 2007). "'Nine' actors head to pilots". Variety. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  15. Ausiello, Michael (July 31, 2008). "Exclusive: Shane West's 'ER' Comeback a 'Double Surprise'". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on August 6, 2008.
  16. Radish, Christina (September 7, 2010). "Shane West Exclusive Interview NIKITA". Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  17. Schruers, Fred (June 22, 2007). "Resurrecting legacy of doomed punker Darby Crash". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  18. Yao, Laura Yao (August 28, 2008). "After 15 years, his 'Secret' is out". Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  19. Perez, Rodrigo (June 25, 2007). "While You Were Sleeping, Shane West Somehow Got Cast As Darby Crash". The Playlist. Blogspot. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  20. Wiegand, David (August 29, 2008). "Movie review: Germs' toxic 'Secret'". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  21. Hartl, John (October 9, 2008). ""What We Do Is Secret": A standout bad-boy performance in conventional punk-and-drugs biopic". Seattle Times. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  22. Fox, Ken. "What We Do Is Secret: Review". TV Guide. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  23. Longsdorf, Amy (April 11, 2008). "Valley tells the story in award-winning documentary Why don't people vote?". The Morning Call. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
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  25. Andreeva, Nellie (September 11, 2018). "'Gotham': Shane West Set For Key Role On Final Season Of Fox's Batman Prequel". Deadline. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  26. Ramos, Dino-Ray (November 15, 2018). "Yeardley Smith's Paperclip Ltd. Sets Transgender Drama 'Gossamer Folds' Starring 'Transparent's Alexandra Grey". Deadline. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  27. Jonny Was myspace
  28. Murray, Rebecca; Topel, Fred. "Interview with Shane West from "A Walk to Remember"". The New York Times Company. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  29. "Germs to Tour with Actor West Out Front". Spin. November 17, 2005. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  30. Potts, Kim (September 9, 2010). "Shane West Talks 'Nikita,' Punk Rocking With The Germs and His 'Top Gun'-ish Action Flick". AOL TV. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  31. Charaipotra, Sona (September 9, 2010). "Shane West of 'Nikita' Chats With The Stir". The Stir. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  32. Ratledge, Ingela (May 30, 2012). "A Day Out With Nikita's Shane West". TV Guide. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  33. Twilight Creeps by Twilight Creeps, retrieved January 11, 2019
  34. "Twilight Creeps on Instagram: "Hold on to your butts!! Here is the full reveal of our new album "Along Came A Spider"!! We are incredibly honored to have had the…"". Instagram. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  35. "Twilight Creeps on Instagram: "We are so incredibly excited to announce that our 2nd album titled "Along Came a Spider" will be dropping in a few weeks!! Here's a little…"". Instagram. Retrieved January 11, 2019.

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