Gilmore Girls Wiki
Gilmore Girls Wiki

For any of Jess’s shenanigans, he did have a very, very good heart. He wasn’t without sympathy, he wasn’t without kindness. He had all of that inside. He was just, you know, a little wounded when he was a kid and he had to grow out of it
—Ventimiglia on Jess[1]

Milo Ventimiglia is an American Emmy-nominated[2] actor, who portrayed Jess Mariano on WB drama Gilmore Girls. He currently stars on NBC drama This Is Us.


Ventimiglia started out his acting career with a bit role as a teen on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air[3]. On contract with Warner Bros. he was in Scott Baio helmed series Rewrite, and a high school dramedy entitled The Opposite Sex, which also starred future Captain America, Chris Evans[4].

While on Gilmore Girls, Ventimiglia had a recurring role on NBC drama American Dreams. He went on to star as Rocky's son in the new installment of the Rocky series, Rocky Balboa (2006)[5], portrayed Peter Petrelli in Heroes, and also starred in the Nicole Kidman helmed Grace of Monaco (2012)[5].

After his role on webseries Chosen (2013)[3], Ventimiglia had a 2015 guest arc on FOX drama Gotham (2014) and starred on the Spielberg-produced ABC series The Whispers (2015). Ventimiglia currently stars in acclaimed NBC drama This Is Us.

Private life

Ventimiglia is of Sicilian heritage on his father's side, Irish, Scottish, French, Cherokee and Blackfoot on his mother's[5]. He moved to L.A. when he was 18[4]. Ventimiglia knows a bit of French, Spanish and Italian, and is currently taking weekly classes in Japanese.[4].


  • Ventimiglia was nominated for a 2017 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Emmy, for This Is Us[2]
  • As a souvenir from the set, Ventimiglia stated he still has Jess's leather jacket.[6]
  • His mother was a huge fan of Gilmore Girls before he got the part of Jess[4].
  • After the cancellation of the proposed Gilmore Girls spin-off Windward Circle, Ventimiglia had a meeting where he was offered either a part on The West Wing or E.R. – and chose E.R[4].
    • However, Warner Bros. decided they wanted to extend a partnership with Ventimiglia, although this did not come to fruition[4].
  • Ventimiglia is Team Dean, citing the 'purity of the character' and also the feeling that it would be a bit narcissistic to be Team Jess. He does go on to state that he never thought that Jess was Rory's endgame, but someone she could 'learn a lot about life from'.[4].
  • During filming, Ventimiglia dated Bledel.