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Just How Old Is Jason Earles?

I remember that there was an interesting controversy during Hannah Montana's original run concerning Jason Earles' real age. Jason was born on 26 April 1977, so as of March 2021, he is 43 years old. The thing was, though, back when Hannah Montana was still airing on Disney Channel, for a long time most of us didn't know the year of his birth because we couldn't reliably find out, not even with the Internet.

Now that I look back upon it, the entire situation was very unusual and very strange, even unbelievable: here was one of the main cast members of not just any Disney Channel show, but Hannah Montana, its immensely popular flagship series in the late 2000s, and most of the world did not even know, and also could not reliably learn, such a basic fact as the guy's age. I can remember back in the day that not even Wikipedia (my main source of information back then; if Wikipedia didn't know, then it truly was a mystery) could tell me: its archived articles concerning Jason Earles from, for example, 23 January 2007, 31 July 2007, 29 December 2007, 1 March 2008, 8 August 2008, and 2 January 2009 either do not list his birthday at the very beginning of the page, or list two possible birthdays. Even as late as 21 April 2009, Wikipedia still did not know.

Jason Earles himself and Disney Channel kept pretty quiet about it back in the day. He was almost 29 when Hannah Montana premiered, whereas his Jackson Stewart character was (early on in the show) a teenager in high school, so the age difference probably would have hurt Disney Channel's goal of selling us, its audience back then, that Jason was a kid. I recall that for a while after I first got hooked on Hannah Montana, I thought that Jason was around the age his Jackson character was supposed to be. Then, one day (probably in 2008), I stumbled upon a YouTube video (which I could not find again when writing this page) made by somebody who believed that Jason was significantly older than his Jackson Stewart character. I can remember that the author of the video argued that Jason Earles was wearing makeup when he was portraying Jackson, so as to look younger; additionally, the author also presented a picture of Jason from a movie or TV show he acted in a few years before Hannah Montana, in which he appeared pretty much the same—something quite unlikely if he were a teenager. At the time, I do not think this video convinced me fully that he was much older, but after watching it, I did have my doubts; when I went to check his Wikipedia page, his age was not listed, and then I really began to wonder.

Most of us probably discovered his real age later on, when Wikipedia was finally able to nail down his birthday definitively. Back then, I thought that it was a little odd that he was in his thirties portraying a teenager in a children's show, but it did not detract from my enjoyment of the show at all. I did not really mind; I thought he was very funny as Jackson.

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This page last modified on 3 May 2021.