Daniel J. Gillies (born 14 March 1976) is a Canadian-born New Zealand actor. Daniel is partly Maori, the natives of New Zealand. He is best known for his role as Elijah Mikaelson on the television series The Vampire Diaries and its spin-off The Originals, as well as Dr. Joel Goran on the Canadian series Saving Hope. He wrote and directed the 2012 film Broken Kingdom.
Gillies was born 14 March 1976 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. When Gillies was five, his parents decided to return to their native New Zealand, and moved to Invercargill and then to Hamilton. Though born into a family of strong medical background (his father is a pediatrician, his mother a nurse, and his great-great-great-grandfather was the renowned ENT/plastic surgery pioneer Sir Harold Gillies), he became interested in acting and studied at the Unitec School of Performing Arts.
Frustrated with the lack of opportunities in New Zealand, he moved to Sydney, Australia for six weeks in 2001, before returning to his native Canada for two months, where he worked as a waiter and dishwasher until deciding to move to Los Angeles, USA.
Gillies began his career starring in several Auckland Theatre Company productions, before landing a two season lead role in the television drama Street Legal. After realizing that his acting options in his native New Zealand were limited, Gillies explored his options in Sydney and Canada. Gillies then moved to Los Angeles and was soon cast in the movies Bride & Prejudice and Spider-Man 2.
Since 2002, Gillies has worked in Canadian and American film and television - at times simultaneously. Before landing lead roles in television series, Gillies landed guests spots on television shows such as Masters of Horror, NCIS, and True Blood. In 2010, he was cast on the hit The CW drama The Vampire Diaries as Elijah Mikaelson. In 2013, CW created a successful spin-off of The Vampire Diaries chronicling the lives of the first (aka "the Original") vampires. Gillies' once recurring part as Elijah from The Vampire Diaries became a lead part in The Originals. A potential nightmare existed for CW since Gillies was already under contract to play the playboy-ish Dr. Joel Goran in the supernatural series, Saving Hope. Saving Hope initially aired in the US on NBC, but the series was not renewed. However, Canadian viewers were strong enough to keep Saving Hope broadcasting in Canada. He continued both shows. In 2012, Gillies wrote, directed and starred with his wife Rachel Leigh Cook in Broken Kingdom.
Gillies married American actress Rachael Leigh Cook on 8 August 2004, after less than a year of dating. They have two children: daughter Charlotte Easton Gillies (born September 2013) and son Theodore Vigo Sullivan Gillies (born April 2015).
- Daniel Gillies at the Internet Movie Database