The first time you bump into DJ Qualls or see him on camera, you would hardly believe he is in his 40s already. Skinny and soft-spoken, Qualls has braved the odds to make a decent career for himself in showbiz. A cancer survivor, he is a testament to the fact that you can go after your dreams in spite of the limitations challenging your efforts.
Donald Joseph, best known as DJ Qualls, is an American actor, producer, and fashion model who has made appearances in several TV shows like The Big Bang Theory, Castle, Scrubs, CSI, Breaking Bad, Supernatural, Lost, and many more. He was born in a small city in Tennessee, USA, on the 10th of June 1978 to Debbie and Connie Qualls.
Battles With Cancer And Side Effects On His Growth
At the age of 14, Qualls was diagnosed by his doctors of Hodgkin’s Disease. This is a kind of blood cancer that attacks the lymphatic system, weakening it over time and making it impossible for your body to fight off infections and diseases.
At the time of the diagnosis, the cancer was at stage 3 which meant chemotherapy was the only feasible treatment option available to him. After two years of treatment, the side effects of the treatment had taken a toll on his body metabolism and left scars he would forever live with.
As a result of the chemotherapy, his bones which were at a formative stage never widened, they only grew vertically. This lopsided growth, triggered by the chemo, resulted in his rather peculiar looks – something he has been living with all his life.
Career Trajectory and Foray Into Entertainment
Qualls grew up in the small city of Manchester and after studying at King’s College, University of London, he returned to Tennessee where he began acting in a local theatre. His unique looks caught the fancy of photographers David La Chappelle and Steve Klein, which led to his modeling gig for Prada, as well as other advertising campaigns. In addition to his professional modeling accomplishments, Qualls dabbled into acting.
His first shot at acting came in 1994 when he got a role as an extra in the film Against the Wall. He has also made appearances in other movies – Road Trip (2000), Cherry Falls (2000), in which he co-stars with Jay Mohr, Brittany Murphy, and Gabriel Mann. Earlier in his acting career, he appeared in the miniseries Mama Flora’s Family (1998), based on the book by Alex Haley.
He starred as Archie in the 2002 film Comic Book Villains and played Theodore Donald “Rat” Finch in the sci-fi film The Core. That same year, he played Andrew in the film Big Trouble. He has also appeared in the teen comedy The New Guy, where he played Dizzy Gillespie Harrison. In 2005, he landed the role of Shelby in the film Hustle & Flow.
DJ Qualls has appeared in popular music videos – such as Britney Spears’ “Boys”, He has also made appearances in music videos by popular artists like Beyonce and Simple Plan.
He also has some TV appearances to his credit – the most notable being his works on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Breaking Bad, Monk, Scrubs, Memphis Beat, among a host of others.
Is DJ Qualls Gay?
For many years, DJ Qualls has kept his private life off the public eye. In the previous years, there had been numerous speculations regarding his sexuality, with rumors that he was frequenting gay clubs. His romance with actress Nikki Reed which commenced in 2006, shut down the rumours for a while but the relationship didn’t work out as it came to an end in 2007. With his relationship with Nikki, many laid to rest speculations that he might be gay.
However, in January 2020, while appearing on Comedy Centrals’ “The Jim Jeffries Show,” he broke his silence, revealing he has been gay all along. He reiterated this via his personal Twitter account later that night, saying he had grown tired of worrying about how people would take the news.
After the announcement, Qualls received a lot of goodwill and support from his fans all over the world. What he hasn’t done so far is to disclose who he is in a relationship with. However, given that he just came out, sooner, rather than later, we are going to find out who his partner is.