Crawford, the son of a dermatologist, works as a model while attending Trinity Christian Academy. After graduation in 2003, he heads west to Malibu's Pepperdine University. "Everyone else knew what they wanted to do," Crawford tells Teen Vogue in 2007. "But not me – I was the lone wolf." He eventually tries his hand at auditioning for commercials.
Crawford lands his first major role in the supernatural thriller, The Covenant (right). He plays one of the four males leads, which includes the equally gorgeous Taylor Kitsch of NBC's Friday Night Lights. The film opens at No. 1, grossing more than $23 million.
Crawford dons prep school blazers and khakis to play conflicted hunk Nate Archibald in Gossip Girl, The CW's adaptation of the juicy novels by Cecily von Ziegesar. The teen drama follows a group of rich New York City Upper East Siders. "I'm proud to be part of a show that's kind of redefining what it means to be a hit show with today's younger generation that is very media-savvy," Crawford (pictured with onscreen girlfriend Leighton Meester) tells the Los Angeles Times. The series costars Blake Lively (Serena), Penn Badgley (Dan), Ed Westwick (Chuck) and Taylor Momsen (Jenny).
Crawford, 22, is spotted out on the town in New York City with country music sensation and American Idol winner Carrie Underwood (right), 24, but the singer downplays the relationship. In April 2008, Underwood confirms a split: "We've parted ways. I actually haven't spoken to him in over a month." PEOPLE reports that sources say Underwood broke Crawford's heart, but he was the one who decided it wasn't meant to be.
With Gossip Girl costars Ed Westwick (left) and Penn Badgley (right), Crawford appears on gay and lesbian lifestyle magazine Out. The magazine calls the show a "cultural phenomenon whose early adopters weren't actually teenage girls but rather gay men trapped in arrested development or seeking to vicariously prolong their youth." Later that month, former 'N Sync star JC Chasez dismisses online speculation that he and Crawford are more than friends as a lie and "outright stupid."
The cast of Gossip Girl strips down for a tantalizing cover of New York magazine, which calls the teen soap, "the most awesomely awesome show ever." Of the coverage about his relationship with Underwood, Crawford tells the magazine, "I wasn’t ready for all that craziness. I didn’t realize what that was going to entail." That week, the entire cast also lands on PEOPLE's Most Beautiful List.
The boys of Gossip Girl put their smoldering good looks to use on the November cover of Details. With the success of GG, whose second season earns its highest ratings yet with 3.7 million viewers, Crawford discusses becoming a target of the rumor mill. "Model turned actor, dime a dozen, eye candy, doesn’t know what he’s doing…and Perez Hilton says I have 'gayface,'" says Crawford. "So on top of everything else, I have to overcome gayface."
With his sexy coiff and piercing blue eyes, Crawford tops PEOPLE's Hottest Bachelors list. "I'm not not looking for a girlfriend–but I'm not particularly looking for a girlfriend, either," the Gossip Girl hunk says. "I have the rest of my life to do that. I'm not in any rush."
Fresh off of playing a drug dealer in his upcoming film Twelve, Crawford, 24, is arrested in a pub parking lot in Plano, Texas, after police discover less than two ounces of marijuana in the car he's in. The charge is a misdemeanor.
After six seasons, the hit CW series comes to an end in a finale that sees Penn Badgley's Dan Humphrey revealed to be the anonymous writer of the Gossip Girl blog. In a flash-forward to the future, Crawford's character, Nate Archibald, is shown to be a successful executive, and a possible contender for mayor of New York.
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Splash News Online; Everett Collection; CW; INF; courtesy New York Magazine; Splash News Online; Giovanni Rufino/The CW