After modelling on and off since the age of 4, Ackles began to concentrate on an acting career in 1996. Rhodes, Sweet Valley High, and Cybill before joining the cast of the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives as Eric Brady in 1997.
He won a 1998 Soap Opera Digest Award for Best Male Newcomer and went on to be nominated three times (in 1998, 1999, and 2000) for a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series for his work on Days of our Lives.
In August 2015, the actor took to Twitter to share his reasoning behind joining Instagram shortly after posting an adorable photo of himself and JJ.
In summer of 2010, Ackles lent his voice as the Red Hood (Jason Todd) for the animated film, Batman: Under The Red Hood, which was released to DVD and Blu-ray on July 27.
On October 22, 2010, Disney Interactive Studios announced that he would be voicing a character named Gibson in the video game, Tron: Evolution, which was released on December 7, 2010.
He remained with the show until its cancellation in 2002. He joined the cast of the WB's hit show Dawson's Creek during its final season, playing CJ, Jen Lindley's lover.
Afterward, Ackles filmed several episodes of the unaired series Still Life for Fox before it was abruptly dropped.