November 1, 1997
Los Angeles, California, United States
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Most actors would shy away from the responsibility of portraying a character with Asperger syndrome, an autism-spectrum disorder marked by difficult social interactions and highly repetitive behavior. But Max Burkholder, who portrayed the Asperger-afflicted teen Max Braverman on NBC's "Parenthood" (2010-15), took pride in his collaboration with medical experts and researchers, and at the positive reception given by critics and audiences alike. Though comedy ruled in his debut film "Daddy Day Care" (2003), Burkholder quickly established himself as a thoughtful and talented actor. A string of minor TV appearances in the mid-2000s led the California-born actor to voice-over roles on a number of series, including "Family Guy" (FOX, 1999-2003, 2005- ) and "The Land Before Time" (Cartoon Network, 2007-08). After switching gears with supporting roles in dramas such as "Brothers & Sisters" (ABC, 2006-2011) and HBO's "In Treatment" (2008-2010), Burkholder took on the highly intelligent Max in "Parenthood." Put together with his expansion into horror in "The Purge" (2013), Burkholder proved capable of handling just about anything.Burkholder grew up in Los Angeles with an unusually stately middle name - Henry Wolf - and a desire to act. When he was just seven he landed a small but memorable role in the Eddie Murphy comedy "Daddy Day Care," which earned the young ensemble cast a collective Young Artist nomination. Following a steady string of TV guest spots and the occasional feature film, in 2005 Burkholder broke into voice acting with various characters on the cult animation series, "Family Guy." He next brought his youthful enthusiasm to the playful Chomper on Cartoon Network's "The Land Before Time," based on Don Bluth's beloved 1988 film; and was cast as excitable Roo on the Disney Channel's "My Friends Tigger & Pooh" (2007-10). Though his age was just barely into double digits Burkholder had decided acting was what he was interested in above all else. The same year he voiced both a dinosaur and kangaroo, Burkholder began taking on more dramatic fare. He portrayed the son of complicated, secretive fathers on two different series: "Brothers & Sisters," which revolved around the squabbling Walker siblings; and "In Treatment," a typically intense HBO drama about a therapist (Gabriel Byrne) who seeks out psychiatric help while aiding his own damaged patients. A few years later Burkholder was offered the role of Max on "Parenthood," and quickly dove into the emotionally fragile but gifted character. As the series progressed and Burkholder's attentive, honest performance gained fans, he became a de facto spokesperson for the Asperger community. He began attending charity events and speaking out to the media, with people often asking if he himself had the disorder (a polite but exasperated "no"). While on hiatus from the series Burkholder starred in "The Purge," a mildly successful horror thriller about a family forced to defend themselves during a government-sanctioned violent free-for-all.