Actor/musician Daniel Patrick Ellis has moved to Center City to be closer to his mother, who is recovering from a stroke at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. The 19-year-old grew up in Florida, but his folks were both locally raised. The former child model started acting at age 10 and was part of a Disney group called Mac7. As a solo artist he has toured with Hannah Montana and Cheetah Girls.

"I left Disney because I didn't want to be a sellout pop tart," he told us Monday while aboard a bus from the Jersey shore back to Philly. He's into darker material, citing "Girl, Interrupted," "Gia," and "Bully," among his favorite films, and wants to do indie dramas.

He has played a drug-addicted street kid in a "CSI" episode and next month plays a "totally sleazy guy," in "Ventful," shooting in L.A.

He'll soon appear with Joe Mantegna in "Lonely Street."

Ellis can currently be seen on Lifetime's "Falalala Lifetime" holiday segments that air regulary on the cable channel. He says he'll be in Philly as long as he has to be to care for his mother, whom he credits as being the biggest supporter of his career. He'll travel to New York for audtions and is also meeting with local TV producers.