Tatlıtuğ was born in Adana, southern Turkey. He has four other siblings. The name Kıvanç means "pride" in Turkish and Tatlıtuğ is a portmanteau of the Turkish words tatlı (meaning "sweet") and tuğ (the tail of a horse). Tatlıtuğ is of Bosnian ancestry.
Kıvanç hosted some pageants and shows. A turning point in Tatlıtuğ's career was when he starred in Gümüş as the character Mehmet Şadoğlu. He acted in the comedy movie "Amerikalılar Karadeniz'de 2" which was directed by Kartal Tibet. He has also starred in other shows such as "Menekşe ile Halil" where he played alongside of Sedef Avcı. In his latest TV series "Aşk-ı Memnu", Kıvanç starred with Beren Saat where he played a cowardly, selfish casanova that has an affair with his uncle's beautiful young wife. He won the "Altın Kelebek Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role" for his performance in "Aşk-ı Memnu". Kıvanç dated Miss World 2002 Azra Akın from 2005 to 2009 and actress Meltem Cumbul from early 2009 to August 2009. He dated İdil Fırat, the daughter of millionaire Önder Fırat, but they broke up. Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ returned to his ex-girlfriend Azra Akın in 2011 and the couple are making marriage plans. He provided the voice of Ken for the Turkish dubbed version of Toy Story 3. Since 2011, he plays Kuzey Tekinoğlu in the series Kuzey Güney.