Milo Anthony Ventimiglia was born in Anaheim, California, the youngest child of Carol (née Wilson) and Peter Ventimiglia, a Vietnam War veteran. He has two older sisters, Leslie and Laurel. His father is of Italian-Sicilian descent and his mother is of English and Scottish ancestry. Ventimiglia was born with a self-described "crooked mouth" that is the result of damaged nerves on the left side, which cause that side to remain immobile, much like actor Sylvester Stallone. After a series of roles in television series and parts in independent films, he gained international recognition for his roles in the television series Gilmore Girls and Heroes.
Ventimiglia made his film debut playing a gay teenager in the anthology film Boys Life 2 (1997). His later roles include playing Rocky Balboa's son (Rocky Jr.) in the sixth installment of the Rocky series, Rocky Balboa (2006). He starred as Peter Petrelli on NBC's Heroes from 2006 to 2010, for which he received nominations for Teen Choice, Saturn and People's Choice Awards. He also had roles in the horror films Pathology (2008) and Kiss of the Damned (2013).
For his role on NBC's This Is Us, Ventimiglia has received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. As part of the This Is Us cast, he went on to win a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in January 2018.
Ventimiglia attended El Modena High School in Orange, California, where he wrestled, acted in drama productions and held the office of president in student government. He graduated in 1995. At eighteen years of age, Ventimiglia studied at the American Conservatory Theater for their summer program. He attended the University of California, Los Angeles as a theatre major.