Connor Paolo (born July 11, 1990) is an American actor. He is perhaps best known for his portrayal of the adolescent Alexander the Great in Oliver Stone's Alexander and his portrayal of Eric van der Woodsen of The CW series Gossip Girl.
Paolo was born in New York City, New York. His father is a writer and his mother is a musician. As of 2007, he attends the Professional Performing Arts School, the high school from which Alicia Keys and Claire Danes graduated. He began taking acting classes at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute and now studies with Peggy Lewis. For several summers, he attended Appel Farm Arts and Music Center Summer Arts Camp located in Elmer, NJ.
Paolo began acting at the age of nine, first appearing on the soap opera All My Children. He first came to wide attention when he played Zachary Connor, a preteen murderer-rapist in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He made his motion picture debut in Clint Eastwood's Oscar-nominated Mystic River, playing Young Sean. In 2004, Paolo was a recurring player in the daytime soap opera One Life to Live as Travis O'Connell. Paolo recently made a second appearance on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, as Teddy Winnock, a disturbed teenager (based on the real case of Justin Berry). His most recent motion picture role was Steven McLoughlin in World Trade Center for Oliver Stone in 2006. Paolo has completed roles in two other films that are pending release: Warren Hardesty in Snow Angels, directed by David Gordon Green, and Ross Embry in Favorite Son, his first leading role.
Paolo has a background in theatre, and commercials. He has appeared on the Broadway stage in the hit musical The Full Monty and off-Broadway in the New York public theater production of Shakespeare's, Richard III. Paolo attended Appel Farm Arts and Music Center, a summer arts camp with a strong theatre program, in 2005. He played Bottom in an abridged production of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream.
He also attends NYU.