Shannon Bruce Westgarth Snaith, better known as Shane West, is an American actor, musician, and songwriter. West is known for his portrayal of Eli Sammler in the ABC family drama Once and Again, Landon Carter in A Walk to Remember, Darby Crash in What We Do Is Secret, Dr. Ray Barnett in the NBC medical drama ER, Michael Bishop in The CW spy drama Nikita and Bane in the Fox superhero drama Gotham. He also starred in the WGN fantasy/adventure/historical drama Salem as John Alden. He currently has a number of projects awaiting release including Gossamer Folds and No Running.
As well as acting, West has performed with punk rock band the Germs and Jonny Was, and the Twilight Creeps.
West was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the son of Leah Catherine (née Launey), a lawyer, and Don Snaith, a drugstore owner. Both his parents were musicians and had their own punk bands. His mother is of Cajun French descent and his father was born in Jamaica, of British and Portuguese origin. He is the eldest of three children with a sister Simone and a half-sister Marli Ann. His parents divorced in 1982 when he was four years old. Influenced by his parents, he grew up listening to the Clash, the Jam, Blondie, Elvis Costello, and the Kinks. He said: "I always thought I would be doing music rather than acting."