Channing Tatum: Dancing to the Top

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After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt and Jenko when they go deep undercover at a local college.
Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures
June 12th, 2014

Channing Tatum worked a number of odd jobs on his way to becoming the actor and producer that is well-known in Hollywood today. As he built his film career, Tatum also expanded his personal life, meeting his future wife on the set of a film in which the two starred in 2006. In addition to being named People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive in 2012, Channing Tatum proves that he is much more than just a pretty face.

Channing Matthew Tatum was born on April 26, 1980 in Cullman, Ala. to Kay, an airline worker, and Glenn Tatum, a construction worker. Tatum's family, including his sister Paige, relocated to Mississippi when Channing was 6 years old. When he was young, his parents signed him up for football, soccer, baseball, track and field and martial arts to try to thwart his troublesome ways. While attending Catholic high school as a ninth grader, Tatum discovered his love for football. He was voted most athletic as a senior and earned a full athletic college scholarship to Glenville State College in West Virginia. He later dropped out of college, however, and returned home.

After returning to Mississippi, Tatum worked a number of odd jobs, including that of a salesman, a mortgage broker, a construction worker and a stripper for eight months. As a stripper, he performed under the stage name Chan Crawford. In 2000, Tatum auditioned in Orlando, Fla. to be in a Ricky Martin video and landed the role as a dancer in "She Bangs." He was paid $400 for the 7-day shoot, and shortly thereafter, he began working as a model and appeared in ads for Abercrombie & Fitch, Gap, Aeropostale and Nautica and in television commercials for Mountain Dew, Pepsi and American Eagle. In 2001, he was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful Faces by Tear Sheet magazine and signed contracts with Ford Models in New York City and Beatrice Model Agency in Milan, Italy.

Tatum's acting career began in 2004 when he had a one-episode role on "CSI: Miami," and by 2005, he landed the role of a high school basketball player alongside Samuel L. Jackson in "Coach Carter." In 2006, he starred opposite Amanda Bynes in the romantic comedy "She's the Man," and in the same year, he starred with Jenna Dewan in the musical dance drama "Step Up." A role in the war drama "Stop-Loss," a film in which he co-starred with Ryan Phillippe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, came in 2008. In 2009, Tatum acted opposite Terrence Howard in the sports drama "Fighting," and in the same year he landed roles in "Public Enemies" with Johnny Depp and Christian Bale as well as "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra."

In 2010, he starred with Amanda Seyfried in "Dear John" based on the bestselling novel by Nicholas Sparks. The following year brought roles in "The Dilemma," "The Son of No One," "The Eagle," "10 Years" and "Haywire." 2012 was a successful year for Tatum as he starred with Jonah Hill in "21 Jump Street" and with Matthew McConaughey in "Magic Mike," a film based on Tatum's experience as a male stripper. Tatum also received credit as an executive producer and producer on those films, respectively. In 2013, he reprised his role as Duke in "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" and starred in "White House Down." In 2014, he starred with Steve Carell in "Foxcatcher" and reprised his role as Jenko in "22 Jump Street."

While co-starring with Jenna Dewan in the 2006 film "Step Up," Tatum formed a friendship with the actress, and the two started dating shortly after they finished filming the movie. The couple got engaged in Maui in September of 2008, and they were married in Malibu on July 11, 2009. The couple welcomed their first child, daughter Everly Elizabeth Maiselle Tatum, on May 31, 2013.

Tatum, his wife and several friends own two production companies, 33andOut Productions and Iron Horse Entertainment. "Earth Made of Glass," a documentary about Rwandan President Paul Kagame, was their first production, and the film premiered at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival.

Throughout his career, Tatum has been nominated for a number of awards for his acting abilities. He won a Teen Choice Award in 2008 for "Stop-Loss" and "Step Up 2: The Streets" and in 2010 for "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra." In 2012, he won an award for "21 Jump Street."

Two films starring Tatum are expected to be released in the second half of 2014." Jupiter Ascending" with Mila Kunis is set to hit theaters in July, and "Book of Life," an animated film in which Tatum has voice credits, will be released in October. "Magic Mike XXL" is scheduled for 2015, and it has been announced that Tatum is to play the role of Gambit in the 2016 film "Gambit" and "X-Men: Apocalypse." There is no telling what other exceptional roles lie ahead for this talented actor and producer.