Jake T. Austin

By: Heather Daugherty

Jake Austin Szymanski

Jake was born on December 3, 1994, in New York City, the son of Giny Rodriquez Toranzo (Puerto Rican, Argentinian, and Spanish descent) and Joe Szymanski (Polish, English, and Irish ancestry). His middle initial, "T" is taken from his mother's maiden name, "Toranzo". His younger sister, Ava, is his only sibling. Austin embraces his Puerto Rican heritage despite not being fluent in Spanish, and currently divides his time living in Los Angeles and New York with his parents, his younger sister, and the family's two dogs, Bogey and Beju.

Life Span


Jake's Acting Career

Jake started acting at age of 7 in commercials. Austin is a five-time Young Artist Award nominee. He is best known as Max Russo, the youngest sibling on Disney Channel's Wizards of Waverly Place, the voice of Diego, the 8-year-old animal rescuer,on Go, Diego, Go!, and Hotel for Dogs. He now co-stars in the ABC seires The Fosters as Jesus Foster.


  • "Having constant supporters and people who are always there and always giving back and knowing that they're loving what you're doing is always awesome to see." -Jake T. Austin
  • My best feature would have to be my hair. That sounds so cliche - but my hair is like a separate entity.
  • It's important to have a fallback and other activities that keep you interested. I started acting when I was about nine or 10 years old. My father was a midtown firefighter so I always wanted to be a firefighter, but then acting came along. I have to have a plan B.

Jake's Accomplishments

  • From 2006 - 2010 he was nominated for various rewards (mainly for Young Artist)
  • In 2012 he won Favorite Television Actor
  • He was nominated three more times (2012, 2013, 2014) for Teen Choice Award and Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award .
  • Austin also devotes time to various charitable causes including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Starlight Children's Foundation, Variety's Power of Youth initiative, and has recently teamed up with the Boys & Girls Clubs.
  • He is currently attending the Professional Children's School in Manhattan.