James Spader biography

James Spader

Date of Birth: February 7, 1960

The descendent of a long line of teachers and professors, Bostonian James Spader first discovered acting while attending high school. After performing extensively in theatre in Massachusetts, Spader dropped out of Phillips Andover prep school in order to study acting at New York's Michael Chekhov school.

Until landing his first role in 1978's Team-Mates, James Spader supported himself by busing tables, shoveling manure, and teaching yoga. After a few failed TV shows and movies, Spader finally broke into the Hollywood scene with a role in John Hughes' Pretty in Pink (1986).

Although he found work in films including Mannequin, Less Than Zero, and Baby Boom (all 1987), it wasn't until sex, lies, and videotape (1989) that he became a quasi-household name. His role as a dysfunctional filmmaker established him as a versatile actor creating unforgettable, charismatic roles and won him the Best Actor prize at Cannes. Though he made some uneven films in the late eighties, his roles in Stargate (1994), Wolf (1994), and 2 Days in the Valley (1996) garnered praise. His performances as a man struck with amnesia on an island with a single young woman resident in Driftwood (1996) and as a kinky thrill-seeker in Crash (1996), David Cronenberg's controversial flick about the joys of automobile-erotic stimulation, only added a whole new disturbing dimension to his acting ability.

Spader can most recently be seen playing the role of W.N. Bilbo alongside Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Steven Spielberg's biographical drama Lincoln (2012). Most recently, he appeared in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).

James Spader is divorced from set director Victoria Kheel. They have two children together, Sebastian and Elijah.

James Spader Filmography


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