Television and movie heartthrob Justin Chambers began life on a difficult course; along with his fraternal twin brother, he reportedly battled multiple bouts of pneumonia, which forced the two boys to spend lengthy periods of time in oxygen tents. As a young man, this Springfield, OH, native flipped burgers at Hardee's and sold orthopedic shoes, then signed with a modeling agency and tackled print work across Europe in the early '90s. The leap from modeling to acting was a relatively short and easy one, and in 1996, Chambers commenced supporting roles in big-screen feature films, telemovies, and prime-time series. He began with acclaimed telemovies -- such as the Hallmark Hall of Fame production Rose Hill (1996), directed by Christopher Cain, and the fish-out-of-water drama Harvest of Fire (1996), directed by Arthur Allan Seidelman -- before landing one of his highest-profile roles as Trey in Barry Levinson's gentle coming-of-age period piece Liberty Heights (1999). In 2001, he could be seen in action adventure The Musketeer as lead character D'Artagnan and in The Wedding Planner as Massimo, a quirky love-struck Italian. A number of small-scale limited releases followed over the next several years, until 2005, when Chambers landed the role that first brought him substantial acclaim and recognition: the cocky but emotionally guarded Dr. Alex Karev on the popular medical drama Grey's Anatomy.