Taylor Daniel Lautner (born February 11, 1992) is an American actor and martial artist who is perhaps best known for his 2005 performances in the family films The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D and Cheaper by the Dozen 2, and as Jacob Black in the 2008 film Twilight. He also appeared on the UPN sitcom Love Inc.
Lautner was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the son of Deborah, who works for a software development company, and Daniel Lautner, a commercial airline pilot. He is of mostly Dutch, French, and German descent, and claims some Native American (specifically Ottawa and Potawatomi) ancestry through his mother. He has a younger sister, Makena.
Lautner is an accomplished martial artist, having studied karate from the age of six to thirteen. When he was eleven, he was ranked number one in the world for NASKA's Black Belt Open Forms, Musical Weapons, Traditional Weapons and Traditional Forms and, at the age of twelve, he won the Junior World Championships.
Lautner began acting in 2001, appearing in the made-for-television film Shadow Fury. He subsequently had roles on the series Summerland, The Bernie Mac Show, and My Wife and Kids. He also appeared in a number of other television shows and movies, including The Nick & Jessica Variety Hour. He appeared as himself in America's Most Talented Kids, putting on an exhibition of his Martial Arts skills. In addition to television, Lautner has been very successful in voice-over work. Lautner has booked a recurring role as Youngblood on the cartoon Danny Phantom, and has recorded episodes of What's New, Scooby-Doo? and He's a Bully, Charlie Brown. Taylor has also been as booked a series regular of a pilot presentation called Which Way Is Up?, in addition to voicing the character of Silas in the animated series Silas and Brittany.
His big break came in 2005 when, at the age of thirteen, Lautner won the role of Shark Boy in the Robert Rodriguez film, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D, a film that showcased his martial arts skills. He spent three months on location in Austin, Texas filming. Within months, he successfully auditioned to play Elliot, the son of the Bakers' rivals, in Cheaper by the Dozen 2.
In October 2008, Lautner played Christian Slater's son in the television series My Own Worst Enemy, until the show was cancelled after only 9 episodes. Lautner then played Native American character Jacob Black in Twilight, the movie adaptation of the novel by Stephenie Meyer. Due to major physical changes that occur in the character of Jacob Black throughout the series, the director of Twilight's sequel, New Moon, considered replacing Lautner with a different actor in the second film. In an attempt to keep the role, Lautner weight-trained excessively and gained approximately 30 pounds. Lautner will be reprising his role as Jacob in New Moon. Lautner has also been cast in the film Valentine's Day as Tyler Harrinton.