Hayden Christensen (born April 19, 1981) is a Canadian actor. He appeared in Canadian television programs when he was young, then diversified into American television in the late 1990s. He moved on to minor acting roles before being praised for his role of Sam in Life as a House, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. He gained international fame portraying the young Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader) in the second and third films of the Star Wars prequel trilogy.
Christensen was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, the son of Alie, a speechwriter for the heads of large companies, and David Christensen, a computer programmer and communications executive. His father is of Danish descent and his mother has Swedish and Italian ancestry. Christensen has an older brother and sister, Tove and Hejsa, and a younger sister, Kaylen. Raised outside Toronto in Thornhill, Ontario, Christensen attended E.J. Sand Public School, Baythorn Public School and Unionville High School in Unionville, Ontario, Canada. He was an athlete in high school, playing hockey competitively and tennis on a provincial level.
He spent summers in Long Island with his maternal grandmother, Rose Schwartz, and attended the Actors Studio in New York as well as the Arts York program for drama at his high school. He was "discovered" when his older sister Hejsa, a former trampoline champion, was shopping around for an agent after he landed a role in a Pringles commercial.