Clayne was born as Joey Crawford in Clay, Alabama in 1978.
He moved west to Los Angeles initially with dreams of playing baseball for UCLA, but a knee injury ended those dreams and led to him finding construction work. After observing his friends being well paid for appearing in commercials he decided to turn to acting. Although he didn’t achieve overnight success with this he did appear in local productions and met and became engaged to Sunny Mabrey – an actress from his native Alabama – although they later split.
After 4 years with little success he changed his acting name to Clayne Crawford in honor of an ancestor named Clan and his hometown of Clay.
“It sounded really strong,” he says. “It sounded very original. It just fit.”
The change of name worked and finally in 2001 he was offered the lead role in the independent drama ‘Gas Station Jesus’ and a guest role in ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’; a recurring role on ‘Roswell’ soon followed. A supporting role in 2002’s touching teen drama ‘A Walk to Remember’ saw Crawford portraying the best friend left behind when Shane West’s bad boy does a 180 and starts dating a conscientious minister’s daughter. His first studio film, ‘A Walk to Remember’ would serve as Crawford’s breakthrough, while the Miramax teen stalker pic ’Swimfan’ (also 2002) helped to solidify the actor’s status as one to watch.
“I don’t want people to get bored of me. I want to play a little bit of everything. I’d love to work with the greats like Sean Penn, Gary Oldman, the Coen brothers, Brad Pitt. But mostly I just want to keep working so I don’t have to go back to the bricks”
More films followed including ‘A Love Song for Bobby Long’ and ‘The Great Raid’ as well as a recurring role in the first season of ‘Jericho’ and guest roles in programs such as ‘Life’, ‘CSI Miami’, ‘Criminal Minds’ and ‘Cold Case’
It was the role of Kevin Wade during Season 8 of 24 that bought Clayne to a much wider audience. Clayne himself said of characters like Kevin Wade:
“I never look at them as bad guys. I look at them as guys that are misunderstood, guys that didn’t get that love from a certain person. They’re still looking for something. They’re still trying to figure out who they are. And through that, they end up hurting a lot of people”
Recently he has been seen reviving his role as Quinn in ‘Leverage’, playing Ray Cargill in ‘The Glades’ and Lance in ‘Justified’ and in 2012 we can expect to see him as Brick Oodie in the film ‘The Baytown Disco’
Clayne is married with two children and, although he resides in LA, he makes regular trips back to his hometown of Clay
Sources: Hollywood.com, tv.com, movies.yahoo.com, blog.al.com, inbaseline.com
Edit 5/3/12: Clayne informed me that he never went to LA to play baseball. He always wanted to be an actor and doesn’t know where the rumors about baseball came from even though they are part of his bio on many sites.
Has won two awards:
2006 – New York International Independent Film & Video Festival – Best Actor for F8
2003 – Young Hollywood Awards – One to Watch – Male