Taylor Daniel Lautner was born on 11 February 1992 to Deborah, who worked for a software company, and Daniel, a pilot.
Taylor, who is of German, French, Dutch and Native American descent, grew up in Michigan with his younger sister, Makena, who stays out of the limelight.
Taylor attended his first karate class at the age of six – and apparently loved it. He went on to win several junior world championships and, though his karate career looked promising, his mentor suggested he take up acting.
He made his film debut in The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D, which saw him take on the role of Sharkboy. He spent three months filming in Texas but the film wasn’t well received. Taylor’s star was still yet to shine.
After a few TV bit parts, Taylor landed the role of Eliot Murtaugh in Steve Martin comedy Cheaper By The Dozen 2. This film was also panned but Taylor was starting to make a (small) name for himself, and was nominated at the 2006 Young Artist Awards.
Next up, Taylor became Christian Slater’s son. Well, not really. But Christian did play Taylor’s dad in short-lived TV drama My Own Worst Enemy.
But it was the vampire series Twilight that gave Taylor his breakthrough. Despite not having heard of the bestselling books, Taylor went to the open casting for the role of Jacob Black in Oregon and read his lines with Kristen Stewart, who had already been cast. He bagged the role – but the downside was that he had to wear a wig for the entire first film.
Despite getting an MTV Movie Award nomination for his role in Twilight, Taylor had a battle on his hands when it came to the second film, New Moon. Initially, director Chris Weitz wanted to recast Jacob due to his changed physical appearance.
In an attempt to keep his role, Taylor weight-trained, gaining 30 pounds of muscle between films. Taylor’s new look led co-star Robert Pattinson to quip: "I saw him and thought 'Jesus, I'm going to get fired’."
2009 was not a bad year for Taylor; he won the Best Male Breakout Performance at the Scream Awards and became the highest-paid teen actor in Hollywood. Nice!
Taylor is relatively frugal with his fortune – although he is a fan of fast cars, including his BMW 5.
There might be romance rumours between Twilight co-stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, but the actress also has strong feelings for Taylor. “I love that kid. I would do anything for him. I would kill for him, literally,” she has said.
Taylor was becoming hot property and one person that had her eye on him was Selena Gomez. "I went to Vancouver thinking I was going to focus on my work, but instead I got to meet him, and it ended up being the best thing ever,” she said. “He is so sweet. Taylor has made me so happy. I didn’t know I could be that happy. You probably see it in the pictures! I’m smiling so big.” Their fledging relationship didn’t go the distance, although they remain friends.
The success of the Twilight Saga led Taylor to take up other acting projects. These included playing a school jock, alongside Taylor Swift (more on her later), in romantic comedy Valentine’s Day.
Taylor Lautner hooked up with namesake Taylor Swift in November 2009, but remained coy about the nature of their romance. When asked by a group of journalists about it, he said: “You guys have seen every single move that I make, so I guess I will leave that up to you to decide.” Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be and the pair went their separate ways in December of the same year.
Taylor went back to his karate kid roots when he hosted Saturday Night Live. He beheaded a Kanye West mannequin for heckling “close friend” Taylor Swift at the MTV Music Awards, before a high-pitched voice (intended to be Swift’s) said: “You are the bravest man I've ever known.”
Whatever happened to their relationship, the Taylor & Taylor’s chemistry was obvious and their on-screen smooch was nominated for MTV Movie’s Best Kiss in 2010. They narrowly missed out to Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, who won for the second year running.
As well as his rippling muscles, Taylor's acting was praised in New Moon – and he won the Breakout Movie Actor at People’s Choice Awards in January 2010.
Taylor reprised his role as werewolf Jacob Black in 2010’s Eclipse, which became the 36th highest grossing film of all time.
Taylor takes on his first leading man role in the upcoming Abduction with Lily Collins. The thriller centres on a teenager who finds out that his parents aren’t who he thought they were.
...And, after filming had finished, Taylor hooked up with Lily. "Lily told pals that she wasn't looking to fall in love, but soon realised she had strong romantic feelings," a source said.
This November sees the penultimate Twilight film hit the big screen with the release of Breaking Dawn. Only time will tell which road Taylor will take afterwards, but what’s certain is that we’ll be watching.