Nathan Karl Kress
November 18, 1992 (age 18)
Glendale, California, U.S.
Nathan Kress was born on November 18, 1992, Glenda,California. He was born to devout Christian parents, and has 2 older brothers, Andrew (born October 23, 1987) and Kevin (born May 30, 1990) who are notinvolved in show business.
Kress began his professional career at the age of 3 when he displayed a natural talent for memorizing and re-enacting the shows he saw on television, prompting his mother to take him to an open "cattle city" showcase where he was quickly signed with a talent agent. Over the next three years, Kress modeled for various print advertisements, as well as performing in numerous commercials and voice-over roles; the most notable of which was his dual role as the voices of "Easy" and "Tough Pup" in the 1998 feature film Babe in the City.At the age of 6, he decided to take a break from acting and return to regular school, where he led a relatively "normal" life for the next five years until deciding to return to acting professionally at the age of 11.
In 2004, at the age of 11, Kress was cast in the lead role as "The Emperor" in a school production of The Emperor's New Clothes. The role rekindled his interest in performing, and at the end of his 5th grade school year, he asked his parents if he could be home-school so he could return to acting. A friend from school put him in touch with an agent, and after attending a summer acting "boot camp", Kress was soon going on professional auditions once again.
In 2005, Kress made his first television appearance since returning to acting in a comedy sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live! where he played a young Simon Cowell ofAmerican Idol, and would continue to appear in various comedy sketches on the show a total of 5 times over the next year. Kress continued to land steady work over the next two years, appearing in guest-starring roles on dramatic series such as House M.D., Standoff, and Without a Trace as well as the Disney Channel comedy series The Suite Life Of Zack and Cody. Kress also appeared in several short films including Pickled, Magnus, Inc., and Bag, for which he was awarded a 168 Film Festival Jury Award for his portrayal of a small-fry drug dealer with a conscience. In addition to live-action roles, Kress continued to work as a voice-actor, lending his voice to various characters in the animated feature film Chicken LIttle and on the Nickelodeon animated seriesShuriken School.
In 2006, Kress landed a small role on the popular Nickelodeon comedy series Drake & Josh. He played the role of Toplin, a "geeky" kid at a birthday party with romantic designs on Megan Parker (Miranda Cosgrove) in the episode Battle of Panthatar. Kress didn't know it at the time, but this small role would lead to an opportunity that would catapult him to stardom. While filming his scenes for Drake & Josh, television show creator and executive producer Dan Schneider took an interest in him and called him over to talk with him and to introduce him to some network executives. At the time, Schneiderwas developing a new series for Nickelodeon, and was on the lookout for someone to play one of the lead roles in the untitled project, which would later become known as iCarly.
The role of Toplin was similar to a character named "Freddie" that Schneider was looking to cast on iCarly. Schneider had been so impressed with Kress' performance that he remembered him, and about 6 months after filming his small role on Drake and Josh, Kress was called in to audition for the role of "Freddie" shortly after his 14th birthday. After several rounds of auditions, Kress was invited back for a screen test with Miranda Cosgrove and Jennette McCurdy and a couple of days later he was notified that he had landed the role of "Freddie". Although iCarly wouldn't premiere until the fall of 2007, the decision was made to cut Kress' scenes with Miranda Cosgrove out of the Drake and Josh episode that had started it all, in order to avoid any potential confusion among the youngNickelodeon viewing audience.
On September 8, 2007, iCarly debuted on Nickelodeon and quickly became a fan favorite. On the show, Kress plays Fredward "Freddie" Benson, the technical producer for the fictional web-show iCarly, which stars his character's two best friends, Carly Shay (Miranda Cosgrove) and Samantha "Sam" Puckett (Jennette McCurdy). His character has a crush on the main character Carly, and a feuding, bitter-sweet, love/hate relationship with Carly's best friend and web-show co-star, Sam. The show became Nickelodeon's most-watched show aimed at tweens, and catapulted Kress to international fame among adolescents. Kress' performance on the show has been characterized by one reviewer for Variety as "sweetly nerdy".
In 2008, Kress starred in the Nickelodeon television movie Gym Teacher: The Movie. In the movie, Kress played "Roland", a decidedly uncoordinated student who transfers to a new school and must be whipped into shape by his ambitious gym teacher, Dave Stewie (Christopher Meloni). Later that same year, he starred as Freddie Benson in the television movie iCarly: iGo to Japan, Nickelodeon's first television film adaptation of the popular iCarly television series. Throughout 2009, Kress continued to play the role of Freddie on iCarly, but was unable to take on other projects due to Nickelodeon's decision to film both seasons 2 and 3 of the show back-to-back without the usual hiatus between filming seasons, in order to make up for the time lost during the 2008 writers strike.
In 2010, Kress appeared in a dramatic guest-starring role on the popular CBS television series CSI. Kress played a scheming, greedy teen, Mason Ward, in the episode titled Neverland. In March 2010, Kress told Fanlala.com of his CSI role "It was a great opportunity to try my hand at something different. I had done scenes in dramas in the past, but other than a few semi-serious scenes on iCarly, it had been a long time since I've had the opportunity to do anything other than comedy." Later that same year, Kress returned to comedic roles, guest-starring as Prince Gabriel on the Nickelodeon comedy series True Jackson, VP, and as the voice of Ronald on the Nickelodeon animated series The Penguins of Madagascar.
As of 2011, Kress continues to appear in the role of Freddie Benson on the 4th season of iCarly, and in January 2011, Miranda Cosgrove began telling news sources that she was looking forward to returning to Hollywood to begin filming the 5th season of the show. On January 27, 2011 Cosgrove told Cleveland Live News "We're getting ready to start the next season, right after the (Dancing Crazy) tour. I would be willing to do the show as long as people like it and as long as it works." On January 28, 2011, Reuters news agency also reported that Cosgrove was preparing to begin filming season 5, and on February 3, 2011Cosgrove told The Middletown Press, when speaking of the show and her co-stars, Kress and Jennette McCurdy “I’ve known them since I was little. I can’t wait to get back. I’m really comfortable doing (iCarly). It’s like my home away from home.”, leading many to conclude that Kress and McCurdy would also be returning for a 5th season.
As of spring 2011, Kress is currently finishing up his senior year of high school and hopes to one day attend college at UCLA, which is also his father's alma mater. While filming iCarly, Kress is tutored on the set along with his co-stars Miranda Cosgrove and Jennette McCurdy, and is home-schooled on the weekends or when on hiatus from shooting. Kress is a fan of the Lord of the Rings films, and his hobbies include football, tennis, air-soft, and video games, as well as an avid interest in photography.
Kress is a devout Christian and has said that he feels a responsibility to be a role model to his younger fans. Kress wears a purity ring as a symbol of his vow to remain abstinent until marriage, and has stated that he prefers to keep his relationship status private. In September 2009, Kress told BlogTalkRadio "Relationship status-wise, I’ve decided to set this trend—When doing interviews for magazines or websites or radio, I’m gonna see what happens if I keep relationship status sort of private, so even if something does change, there’s not all kinds of news coverage about it."
When he isn't busy with school and work, Kress devotes his time to various charitable and environmental causes including The Big Green Help, which helps raise awareness of easy ways for kids to be more green, The Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions, and The Starlight Children's Foundation which is dedicated to improving the quality of life for children with life-threatening and chronic medical conditions. In the summer of 2003, before returning to his acting career, Kress and his family traveled to Lithuania with the Christian missionary organization, YWAM (Youth Wish A Mission), where he helped to build houses for the needy.