Austin Butler© GettyImages

These Are Austin Butler’s Most Iconic Roles In Film & TV

The year 2022 saw Austin Butler rise to stardom with his electrifying performance as the legendary Elvis Presley in the biopic Elvis, earning him critical acclaim and numerous accolades, including an Oscar nod. However, what many may not know is that Butler has been honing his craft in the entertainment industry for over a decade, driven by a passion instilled in him by his late mother, who passed away when he was only 23. With a deep love for acting, the Disney star’s impressive body of work is a testament to his dedication and talent in the industry.

“Being silly with her is what broke me out of my shell, and it’s the core of what started me in acting,” Butler said with tears in his eyes during his Saturday Night Live monologue in December 2022. “Even though I had this crippling shyness, when I was with her, I’d do anything to make my mom laugh. I’d make funny faces and voices. I’d even do this ridiculous Gollum impression.”

Butler got his start on TV in 2007 at the young age of 16, and hasn’t stopped working since. While not all of his roles were award-winning, they’re all worth revisiting. Take a look back at some of Butler’s best work in both film and television ahead.

Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide

Butler’s early acting career included a recurring role on this popular Nickelodeon series where he portrayed the uncredited character Zippy Brewster, a student at James K. Polk school, for 41 episodes spanning from 2005 to 2007. Although his character had limited lines, he appeared frequently on screen alongside the main cast of the show.

Watch it here.

Hannah Montana

Before he became a leading man in Hollywood, Butler had a brief but memorable stint on the iconic Disney Channel series Hannah Montana, where he shared the screen with none other than Miley Cyrus. In 2006, he made his debut on the show as Toby, and returned the following year as Derek Hanson, a hapless blind date for Hannah. Although his time on the show was brief, it was enough to leave an impression on viewers and solidify Butler’s place in the hearts of his fans.

Watch it here.

The Faithful

Butler’s debut film in 2007, The Faithful, saw him play a furry protagonist with a twist. He portrayed Danny, a lovable dog who magically transforms into a human, all thanks to the birthday wish of his teen owner, Kevin. Danny’s newfound human form quickly captivates the attention of Kevin’s classmates, causing some unexpected romantic rivalries to arise. Butler’s performance in this family-friendly flick is a must-see for fans of the actor.

Watch it here.

Zoey 101

Butler’s stint on the hit Nickelodeon series Zoey 101 proved to be a breakout role for the young actor. He first appeared on the show as Danifer in 2007, before returning as the charming and intelligent James Garrett, who became friends with Zoey (Jamie Lynn Spears) after moving into a room with Logan Reese and Michael Barret.

Watch it here.

Ruby & the Rockits

Butler was a part of the main cast in this Freeform sitcom about an aging rock star who forces his former Rockits bandmate brother to take in his newfound daughter, Ruby. Butler played Ruby’s cousin and newfound housemate, Jordan Gallagher, for the show’s entire one-season run in 2009.

Watch it here.

Wizards of Waverly Place

In a brief but unforgettable stint on Wizards of Waverly Place in 2010, Butler melted hearts in his role as George, the romantic interest of Selena Gomez’s character, Alex Russo. Though he only appeared in one episode, Butler’s charm and charisma left a lasting impression on fans of the hit Disney Channel show.

Watch it here.

Life Unexpected

Butler played Jones Mager for 10 episodes from 2010 to 2011 on this short lived CW drama. His character was a love interest—and later the boyfriend of—main character Lux (Britt Robertson).

Watch it here.

Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure

This 2011 film followed High School Musical star Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale) as she headed to New York City in hopes of starting a Broadway career. Butler starred alongside Tisdale as Peyton Leverett, an aspiring filmmaker and family friend whom Sharpay connects with when she lands in the city. Peyton not only helps Sharpay by offering her a place to stay, but is a loyal and encouraging friend.

Watch it here.

Switched at Birth

Butler played Wilke, the wealthy bandmate and friend of Toby (Lucas Gabriel) in 14 episodes of the teen drama about sisters who were (as the title would suggest) switched at birth from 2011 to 2012.

Watch it here.

The Carrie Diaries

In the 2013 CW series, The Carrie Diaries, Butler starred as the main character Sebastian Kydd for the show’s two seasons. Set in the ’80s, the series followed the younger years of Sex and the City’s iconic character Carrie Bradshaw, and Butler’s portrayal of Sebastian, a charming and rebellious high school heartthrob, garnered him a dedicated fan following.

Watch it here.

The Shannara Chronicles

Butler played Wil Ohmsford in this TV series from 2016 to 2017 that follows adventures, magic, war, and evil that occur throughout a mystical world called the Four Lands.

Watch it here.


In the 2018 Netflix movie, Butler portrayed the character of Thomas, one of the main cast members, in a heartwarming tale of teenage love and friendships amidst the challenges of growing up. The movie, also featuring an ensemble of talented actors such as Lucy Hale, Kathryn Prescott, Alexandra Shipp, and Awkwafina, explores the complexities of life as a high school senior, including the themes of love, loss, and self-discovery.

Watch it here.

The Dead Don’t Die

Butler and Gomez met once again on-screen for this 2019 film about a quiet town that becomes overrun by zombies. The actor took on the role of Jack, while Gomez played Zoe. The A-list cast also included screen legends Bill Murray (Chief Cliff Robertson), Adam Driver (Officer Ronald), Tilda Swinton (Zelda Winston), Chloë Sevigny (Officer Minerva “Mindy” Morrison), and Danny Glover (Hank Thompson).

Watch it here.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Butler’s portrayal of Tex Watson in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood marked a pivotal point in his career. The 2019 film, which boasted an A-list cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie, told a gripping tale about a washed-up television actor and his stunt double striving to succeed in the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Watch it here.


Butler starred as the late Elvis Presley in this 2022 award-winning Baz Luhrmann-directed biopic. His portrayal of the musician earned him a BAFTA award for Best Leading Actor, a Golden Globe award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama, a People’s Choice award for Drama Movie Star, apart from an Oscar nomination, cementing his star status in Hollywood.

Watch it here.