Nathan Fillion was born on 27 March 1971 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He is the son of Cookie (Early) and Bob Fillion, both retired English teachers, and has an older brother, Jeff. In Canada, he attended Holy Trinity Catholic High School, Concordia University College of Alberta and University of Alberta. Before moving to New York City in 1994, he participated in improv theatre, including Theatresports with Rapid Fire Theatre and improvised soap opera Die-Nasty. He also appeared in a TV Movie Ordeal in the Arctic (1993) starring Richard Chamberlain and in Strange and Rich (1994).
Fillion's first regular role was on a daytime soap opera, One Life to Live (1968), as Joey Buchanan, for which role he was nominated in 1996 for a Daytime Emmy Award. He left the series after three years in 1997. During the late 1990's, he appeared in small roles in the films Saving Private Ryan (1998) and Blast from the Past (1999). Fillion also guest starred on Das Bootie, Mama's Got a Brand New Bag (1998) and Starcrossed (1999). His biggest break by then happened in 1998, when he was cast as Johnny Donnelly on the 2nd season of Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place (1998) opposite Traylor Howard, Ryan Reynolds, Richard Ruccolo and Suzanne Cryer. He starred on the show for 60 episodes.
After "Two Guys" ended in 2001, Fillion gained critical acclaim and a large cult of fans when he starred as Captain Malcolm Reynolds on the Joss Whedon's Firefly (2002). Unfortunately the show was prematurely canceled in late 2002. He also guest starred on several episodes of two short lived TV shows, Pasadena (2001), as Rev. Glenn Collins and Miss Match (2003), as Adam Logan. In 2003, Whedon gave Fillion another chance to display his range when he cast Fillion as the twisted preacher Caleb, a villain, in the final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997). Before and after "Firefly", Fillion appeared in many movies, Dracula 2000 (2000), Alligator Point (2003), Water's Edge (2003), If Dad Only Knew (2004) and Hollywood Division (2004).
Whedon vowed to resurrect "Firefly" in some way, and Fillion played Captain Reynolds again in the feature-film Serenity (2005). Fillion followed this film with more big screen leading roles, in the horror-comedy Slither (2006), in White Noise 2: The Light (2007), in the indie hit Waitress (2007) opposite Keri Russell and in Trucker (2008). He also continued to be a force in television, starring in the short-lived Fox-TV series Drive (2007) and appearing on a recurring role as Dr. Adam Mayfair on the 4th season of ABC's Desperate Housewives (2004), opposite Dana Delany. He also appeared on I Do (2006) and was a voice actor on many video games (e.g. Halo 3 (2007)).
In 2008, he took his first singing part (and cemented his cult appeal) as Captain Hammer in Whedon's musical Internet smash Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (2008), with Neil Patrick Harris, Felicia Day and Simon Helberg. In 2009, he was cast as the title character Richard Castle in ABC's hit television series, Castle (2009). The show has aired more than 160 episodes and Nathan Fillion has won four People's Choice Awards for Favorite Dramatic TV Actor, as of 2016. In 2018, Fillion took the starring role in The Rookie (2018) as John Nolan, a contractor who starts over as a rookie police officer in the LAPD after a life-altering event. Besides starring on "Castle", he has appeared in many movies, in Super (2010) as The Holy Avenger, in Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing (2012) as Dogberry, the incompetent chief of security, in Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013) as Hermes and in Thrilling Adventure Hour Live (2015).
His credits as a voice-actor are numerous: on Bright Lights, Dean City (2010) as Brown Widow, in Wonder Woman (2009) as Steve Trevor, in Green Lantern: Emerald Knights (2011), Justice League: Doom (2012), Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013) and Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (2015) as Hal Jordan/Green Lantern, in Robot Chicken: DC Comics Special (2012) as Green Lantern/Mr. Freeze, on American Dad! (2005), in Pixar's Monsters University (2013) as Johnny, in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) as Monstrous Inmate and on Gravity Falls (2012) as Preston Northwest. He also voices the lead, Shojun in the animated movie, Yamasong: March of the Hollows (2017). He has also continued voicing characters in video games, such as in Destiny (2014) and in Halo 5: Guardians (2015).
He has also guest starred on The Daly Superheroes (2012) as himself, on Community (2009) as Bob Waite, on The Comic Book Store Regeneration (2015) as himself, on Twins (2015) as Mountie McMinniman, on Con Man (2015) as Jack Moore and on Space (2015) as Wernher Von Braun. He also narrated the documentary, Highway of Tears (2015).More