Named after the famed Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh, actor Vincent Kartheiser made his mark as a child actor with supporting roles in mostly family-friendly fare like "Little Big League" (1994) and "The Indian in the Cupboard" (1995). But as an adult actor, it was his performance as the ambitious, but amoral Pete Campbell on "Mad Men" (AMC, 2007- ) that transformed Kartheiser into a star. Prior to "Mad Men," the young actor established himself on the small screen with more mature roles, most notably in playing a homeless, drug-addled street hustler in Larry Clark's "Another Day in Paradise" (1998). Moving over to the small screen, Kartheiser spent three seasons on "Angel" (The WB, 1999-2006) playing Connor, the superhuman son of the series' titular vampire, which led directly to his better known role on "Mad Men," where his Pete Campbell used his cunning ambition to climb from account executive to partner of Madison Avenue advertising firm Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Because of the popularity of his character, Kartheiser landed substantial roles in films like "Rango" (2011) and "In Time" (2011), while maintaining his presence on "Mad Men" as the character everybody loved to hate.
A native of Minneapolis, MN, Vincent Paul Kartheiser was born on May 5, 1979 and was one of five children born to Marie Gruye and James Ralph Kartheiser. Nicknamed "Vinnie" as a child, he was home-schooled for most of his life, but received his formal college education at UCLA. His acting career, though, began way before that time. At age 12, Kartheiser made his screen acting debut with a bit part in the Marisa Tomei-Christian Slater romantic drama, "Untamed Heart" (1993). This led to more work, primarily in G- and light PG-rated fare, most notably in the underrated "The Indian in the Cupboard" and the adventure drama "Alaska" (1996), in which he starred opposite Thora Birch and Charlton Heston. While the movie took a critical drubbing from reviewers, "Alaska" led to Kartheiser getting his first lead role in the lighthearted kiddie comedy, "Masterminds" (1997) starring Patrick Stewart. His next role firmly established his range and capacity to take on more complex parts. In 1997, Kartheiser played the drug-addicted street urchin Bobby in director Larry Clark's unsettling drama, "Another Day in Paradise," opposite James Woods and Melanie Griffith. In 2000, Kartheiser's excellent turn in director Rob Schmidt's "Crime and Punishment in Suburbia" further solidified the young star's desire to re-invent himself. A loosely based modernized take on Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, Kartheiser's performance in the film was singled out as a highlight of an otherwise mediocre outing when it screened at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival.
In 2002, Kartheiser landed his first series regular role as David Boreanaz's son, Connor, on the supernatural action-drama "Angel." The offspring of Boreanaz's eponymous bloodsucking antihero and a beautiful vampiress named Darla, Connor was kidnapped soon after birth by Angel's arch-enemy, the demon Holtz. Raised to adolescence in a hellish alternate dimension called Quor-Toth, Connor grew up hating his father. Due to the slower passage of time in the "real world," however, only days passed since the infant's abduction. Eventually Connor discovered the truth about his past and returned to the real world with Angel. Unfortunately, Connor's abrupt transition from the bowels of Hell to modern-day Los Angeles proved too much for the youth to handle. Connor's gradually unraveling mental state subsequently became one of the main focuses of the show's fourth season. Returning to film work, Kartheiser starred in the well-received coming-of-age drama "Dandelion," which was shown at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. Two years later, Kartheiser popped up in a supporting role as one of Jesse James Hollywood's drug-dealing cronies in director Nick Cassavetes' "Alpha Dog" (2006).
In 2007, Kartheiser returned to the small screen for his most serious role to date, playing roving-eyed accounting executive Pete Campbell on Matthew Weiner's Emmy-winning critical darling, "Mad Men" (AMC, 2007- ), an exquisite drama set in the world of 1960s advertising executives on Madison Avenue. An ambitious and decidedly amoral go-getter from old New York money, Pete climbs up the ladder from account executive to partner at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce despite conflict with the firm's creative star Don Draper (Jon Hamm). While maintaining his role on "Mad Men" for over six seasons, Kartheiser starred in the British-made "Money" (BBC, 2010), an adaptation of the Martin Amis novel of the same name, and voiced Ezekiel in the animated feature "Rango" (2011). From there, he had a small role as a time-loaning billionaire in the dystopian sci-fi thriller "In Time" (2011), starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried.