Not unlike the character that would catapult his acting career, Brandon Routh was born in a rural state, far from the bright lights of Hollywood. Raised in the Des Moines suburb of Norwalk, IA, Routh discovered his love of acting in high school when he began participating in community theater at the Norwalk Theater of the Performing Arts. After graduation, he enrolled at the University of Iowa intending to study English. His desire to begin his career was too much to resist, however, and he left after a year to see what opportunities might await him on the West Coast.
Routh began paying his dues with appearances on Odd Man Out, Undressed, and Gilmore Girls. In 2002, he completed a year-long stint on the soap opera One Life to Live, continuing to make single-episode appearances over the next few years on popular shows like Cold Case, Will & Grace, and Oliver Beene.