Living, muscular proof that ugly ducklings can indeed turn into swans, Jerry O'Connell first became known to film audiences as "that fat kid from Stand By Me," when he starred in the 1986 film at the age of eleven. Several years and many lost pounds later, he emerged as a tall, handsome screen lothario, something that provoked substantial commentary from both film critics and any number of film viewers.
Born in New York City on February 17, 1974, he began taking acting s at the age of six. He got his first professional work acting in commercials when he was ten, and a year later made his film debut in the critically acclaimed Stand By Me. Jerry was somewhat overshadowed by the presence of teen idol co-stars River Phoenix and Corey Feldman, but still managed to win a place in the coming-of-age film lexicon. After Stand By Me, he appeared in a television series or two and enrolled at Manhattan's Professional Children's School. Following his graduation, he attended New York University, where he attained a B.A. in Film and Television in 1995. While still an NYU student, he appeared in the Jason Priestley vehicle Calendar Girl in 1993.
After his college graduation, Jerry began to pursue his acting career full-time. He soon landed a starring role on the sci-fi series Sliders, which, despite low ratings, had a very loyal viewership. In 1996, the actor's popularity grew beyond the confines of television when he starred in both Joe's Apartment and Jerry Maguire. The latter film was a particular success, and he began to find steady film work. Next up was Scream 2 (1997), in which he played Neve Campbell's boyfriend. After an uncredited role in the Jennifer Love Hewitt vehicle Can't Hardly Wait (1998), he returned to television to star as a young Vietnam War soldier in the miniseries The '60s in 1999. That same year, he starred as a Neanderthal-like jock in Body Shots, a film about the search for love and/or a lay amongst a group of Los Angeles twenty-somethings.
Since then he has landed roles in TV shows including Crossing Jordan & Carpoolers and can currently be seen on Do Not Disturb. In 2003 he appeared alongside Hang Time star Anthony Anderson in the movie Kangaroo Jack.