At Newton South High School in Massachusetts, Krasinski appears in a satirical high school play written and cast by B.J. Novak, future writer and costar on The Office. "I think John started acting as a direct result of my casting him in the senior show," Novak tells the Boston Globe in 2005. "So technically, he has me to thank for all of this, right?"
Krasinski interns at NBC's Late Night with Conan O'Brien and graduates as an honors playwright from Brown University. Instead of becoming a writer, the recent grad pursues acting, landing guest spots on C.S.I., Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Without a Trace (left). "I don't think I ever planned on being an actor," he tells Canada's Financial Post. "I planned on being an English teacher, but I don't know where that went."
Krasinski plays the smirking paper salesman Jim Halpert, who has a crush on coworker Pam Beesly (played by Jenna Fischer, right), in NBC's adaptation of the British comedy, The Office. Ken Kwapis, who directs Krasinski in the series and License to Wed, says, "From the moment [I met Krasinski], I knew he was a very rare specimen – very attractive, potentially a leading man and also someone who is funny." With the success of costar Steve Carell's The 40- Year- Old Virgin, the show becomes a hit.
The critically applauded series wins the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series (pictured with Carell, Novak, Fischer and Rainn Wilson). Fresh from their Emmy win, the cast also wins a Screen Actors Guild award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.
Rashida Jones, daughter of music mogul Quincy Jones and The Mod Squad actress Peggy Lipton, joins The Office as a love interest for Krasinski. Reports surface linking Krasinski and Jones (right), who also stars in his upcoming film Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. That November, Krasinski is named one of PEOPLE's Sexiest Men Alive.
After appearing as a sexually frustrated husband in Kinsey, Krasinski is cast opposite Renée Zellweger in the George Clooney-directed 1920s football comedy, Leatherheads (left). When asked by EW whether he will leave TV for film, he says, "There is not even an inkling. It's given me everything. The fact that I could go do a movie and then 'come home' to this? That's the best of both worlds."
Krasinski plays the male lead in the romantic comedy License to Wed. In the film, he undergoes a pre-marriage course taught by a kooky minister (Robin Williams) with fianceé Mandy Moore (right), who tells PEOPLE she "felt completely unprofessional" working with Krasinski "because I could not keep a straight face."
Entertainment Weekly features Krasinski and Fischer on its cover when The Office romance between Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly heats up. "There's something about Jim and Pam that is true love personified in a TV show," Fischer tells the magazine. When Krasinski is asked by Glamour if he'd want a real life love like Pam, he says, "Yes, please! It's not about celebrity or not. It's all about, do you have that 'girl in a cardigan' in you. You gotta have that."
Krasinski, 29, is linked to actress Emily Blunt, 25, but it isn't until their engagement in August 2009 that the pair confirms their relationship. "She's a wonderful girl. Someone had to do it," The Office star says of popping the question. "It was a tough gig, but somebody had to do it."
With SNL alum Maya Rudolph, Krasinski stars in director Sam Mendes' Away We Go. In the film, which follows an expectant couple that travels in search of the perfect place to raise their child, Krasinski and Rudolph "project terrific chemistry," according to USA Today, which calls them "one of the most appealing and believable screen couples to star in a romantic comedy."
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): NBC; Janet Gough/Celebrity Photo; Alberto Rodriguez/Getty; Universal Studios; Warner Brothers; Bauer Griffin; Focus Features