Three Cheers for Milo Ventimiglia's Iconic TV Characters! Which of His Roles Is Your Favorite?

Three Cheers for Milo Ventimiglia's Iconic TV Characters! Which of His Roles Is Your Favorite?


NBC, Justin Lubin/NBCU Photo Bank, WB

Milo Ventimiglia is the TV man of our dreams.

Beginning in the mid ’90s, the actor has wooed fans one TV series after the other. He’s been on shows like American Dreams and The Bedford Diaries and those are just some of the lesser known roles he’s had.

Sure, he’s acted in films as well including 2018’s Second Act and Creed II, but television is where he shines brightest. Since today the California native turns 42 years old, it’s time to celebrate him the best way we know how…by reliving all of his memorable TV roles.

Even though Ventimiglia has more than 30 TV credits to his name as of now, some of which include voicing animated characters on shows like Wolverine, there are three big shows that fans will always think of when they think of the birthday boy.

So what are the big three? Gilmore Girls, Heroes and This Is Us!

Back in the early ’00s, Ventimiglia played Jess Mariano on Gilmore Girls and we’ve never quite gotten over how dreamy he was. 

On the series he was the smart, quiet guy who won over Rory Gilmore’s (Alexis Bledel) heart even though he had a bad boy exterior and wasn’t exactly the golden boy like her first boyfriend.

Then there was Peter Petrelli on Heroes. For four seasons he was the medic who could absorb other people’s powers as his own, which made him even more badass.

Currently, the actor plays Jack Pearson on This Is Us and wow, is he good. Just when we thought we couldn’t love the star anymore he won over our hearts as Jack, everyone’s favorite super dad, no matter what era he appears in.

Throughout his career, Ventimiglia has proven that his characters stay with his fans and that’s why we want to know which Milo is your favorite Milo? Vote now! 


Opposite Sex

Opposite Sex was the Emmy-nominated actor’s first real TV role (that wasn’t just one episode) back in 2000. He played Jed Perry, who was a teenager who moved to a Northern California town with his father after his mom’s death. When he starts at his new school he quickly learns that he is only one of three boys who go there…since it was traditionally an all-girls institution. The show also starred Chris Evans.


American Dreams

American Dreams was set in the ’60s and followed the lives of a Philadelphia family as the times began to change. The main character was Meg, played by Brittany Snow and Ventimiglia played her boyfriend Chris Pierce. Although the two road off into the sunset together when the series ended fans wanted another season, which sadly never came. 

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Gilmore Girls

Gilmore Girls (and the eventual revival Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life) is easily one of Ventimiglia’s top three roles of all time…in both TV and film. On the WB series he played Jess Mariano, one of Rory Gilmore’s (Alexis Bledel) love interests. Jess was the bad boy who was actually super well-read and just misunderstood. Even though he left town and broke Rory’s heart, we will always love him as the leather-jacket wearing bookworm that shook Stars Hollow.

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The Bedford Diaries

The Bedford Diaries was the college drama series you might’ve forgotten about, but should definitely re-watch. It aired in 2006 and only had one season. The show focused on six students taking a human-sexuality class at a New York City liberal arts college. At the time, the 41-year-old actor played Richard Thorne III, who was a Park Avenue bad boy who turned his life around after his ex-girlfriend attempted suicide. Even with his new outlook on life, and being sober and focused on school, his past demons just wouldn’t go away.

NBC Photo: Adam Taylor


For five years Ventimiglia played Peter Petrelli on Heroes and what a whirlwind it was following this series, which focused on ordinary people who discovered they had super powers. Peter was a complex character who began as a hospice nurse and eventually became a paramedic who had the power to absorb and mimic the powers of other people. While it sounds cool there were a lot of issues with this power and Ventimiglia managed to perfectly portray each and every complication that his character faced. It was such an intense series!


Mob City

The California native played Ned Stax on the short-lived TNT series Mob City back in 2013. Ned was an attorney who represented criminals in Los Angeles in 1947 and although he might’ve looked clean he definitely got his hands dirty within the criminal enterprise.


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For two seasons, Ventimiglia played Ian Mitchell, a father, husband and lawyer, on Crackle’s Chosen. After he discovers a mysterious box on his doorstep with a gun and photo of a stranger he must kill within a short time frame (in order to save his own family) he transforms from an ordinary man to an unwilling assassin…all to protect his loved ones.


The Whispers

In 2015, the actor played Sean Bennigan on the ABC show The Whispers. When fans first met his character he was a John Doe waking up three months after a near-death experience. He was in the African desert, but eventually made his way back to Washington D.C. where he thought someone might be waiting for him. Little did he know he was going to become the target of a city-wide manhunt!

Ron Batzdorff/NBC

This Is Us

Jack Pearson forever! Ventimiglia’s current role as Jack on NBC’s This Is Us is probably his most heartbreaking, and at the same time, inspiring role to date. As the head of the Pearson household he holds everyone together and even though he dies when his kids are in high school, his life, the lessons he taught them and the man he was made a huge impression on everyone. Oh, and he frequently makes viewers cry and we’re oddly OK with that.

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