TORONTO — Canadian actor Ryan Gosling is celebrating a birthday on Tuesday.
The singer, dancer, actor (and one of People‘s sexiest men alive) was born 33 years ago at St. Joseph’s Health Centre in London, Ont. to Thomas and Donna, who moved the family to Cornwall, Ont.
Gosling caught the performing bug early. He was just five years old when he performed at the Cornwall Lion’s Club Bandshell in Lamoureux Park.
It was a trip to Montreal to audition for the reboot of Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club that changed Gosling’s life forever. He signed a two-year deal to star on the Orlando-based series — with castmates including Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears.
Upon returning to Canada, he lived with his mom and sister Mandi in Burlington, Ont. and quickly landed acting jobs in a string of made-in-Canada shows, including Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Ready of Not, Goosebumps and Avonlea.
Gosling headed to B.C. to star in the Canadian series Breaker High and then signed on to play the titular character in the series Young Hercules, which was shot in New Zealand.
Today, at 33, he’s a bona fide Hollywood star — but he hasn’t forgotten his native country. Gosling regularly comes north to visit his mother at her Burlington home.
In 2012 he caused a stir when he and his girlfriend, actress Eva Mendes, attended his mother’s graduation ceremony at Brock University in St. Catharines. Gosling also took Mendes for a romantic visit to Niagara Falls.
In honour of Gosling’s 33rd birthday, here’s a look back at some highlights:
In this video from a 1991 talent show, Gosling belts out “When a Man Loves a Woman” and then busts some moves with his sister Mandi to C+C Music Factory.
During his run on Mickey Mouse Club, Gosling returned to Cornwall, Ont. with a camera crew to give his fans a hometown tour.
MICKEY MOUSE CLUB
Check out Gosling singing (his solo is at the 1:30 mark) on Mickey Mouse Club with fellow stars-to-be Justin Timberlake and JC Chasez.
Gosling was shirtless a lot in this short-lived Canadian series set on a cruise ship.
Gosling moved to New Zealand to star in this syndicated adventure series.
Gosling got a lot of attention for his serious turn in this 2001 movie about a Jewish man who develops anti-Semitic views. The role earned him an Independent Spirit Award nomination.
MURDER BY NUMBERS
This 2002 movie starring Sandra Bullock was Gosling’s first big commercial Hollywood flick. It also sparked rumours of a romance between he and Bullock.
For the rest of his life, this 2004 weeper will be the film for which Gosling is most closely associated. He and co-star Rachel McAdams — who was born in the same hospital as Gosling — fell in love while making the movie.
Gosling earned a Best Actor nomination at the Academy Awards for his performance in this 2006 drama.
LARS AND THE REAL GIRL
Gosling came home to Ontario for this 2007 movie about a man with a rather unusual companion.
CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE
In this 2011 relationship comedy/drama, Gosling famously shows off his ripped torso. Suddenly, “cute” Gosling became “hunk” Gosling.