James Spader in 2007
|Born||James Todd Spader
February 7, 1960
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Victoria Spader (m. 1987–2004)(divorced) 2 children|
|Partner(s)||Leslie Stefanson (2008–present; one child)|
James Todd Spader (born February 7, 1960) is an American actor best known for his eccentric roles in films such as Pretty in Pink, Less Than Zero, Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Crash, Stargate, Secretary, and Lincoln. His most famous television roles are those of the colorful attorney Alan Shore in The Practice and its spin-off Boston Legal, for which he won three Emmy Awards, Robert California in The Office, and Raymond "Red" Reddington in The Blacklist.
Spader was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Jean (née Fraser) and Stoddard Greenwood "Todd" Spader, both teachers. One of Spader's great-great-grandfathers was William Ingersoll Bowditch (of the historic William Ingersoll Bowditch House); Spader's ancestors also include deaf educator Laurent Clerc, mathematician Nathaniel Bowditch, American Revolution general Joshua Babcock, and Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia Paul Mascarene.
During his early education, Spader attended The Pike School (where his mother taught art) and enrolled in the Brooks School (where his father taught), for one year, in North Andover, Massachusetts. Spader later transferred to Phillips Academy, but dropped out of school in the eleventh grade to pursue acting at the Michael Chekhov School in New York City. Before becoming a full-time actor, Spader held a variety of jobs including being a yoga instructor, busboy, truck driver, stable boy, and railroad-car loader.
Spader's first major film role was in 1981 as Brooke Shields' brother in Endless Love, and his first starring role was in Tuff Turf alongside good friend Robert Downey, Jr. However, he did not rise to stardom until 1986, when he played Molly Ringwald's arrogant rich playboy foil Steff in Pretty in Pink. He starred opposite Andrew McCarthy, another friend, in Mannequin, and in the film adaptation of Less Than Zero, where he played a drug dealer named Rip. Supporting roles in movies such as Baby Boom and Wall Street followed until his critical breakthrough in 1989. In Sex, Lies, and Videotape, he played a sexual voyeur named Graham Dalton who complicates the lives of three Baton Rouge residents. For this performance, he received the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival. His roles in the early 1990s included playing a young, affluent widower opposite Susan Sarandon in White Palace, John Cusack's best friend in True Colors, and a poker-playing drifter who collides with Mandy Patinkin in The Music of Chance. In 1994, he starred as Egyptologist Daniel Jackson in the blockbuster film Stargate. He played car-accident fetishist James Ballard in the controversial Canadian film Crash in 1996 and assassin Lee Woods in 2 Days in the Valley. In 1997, Spader guest starred in an episode of Seinfeld as an angry recovering alcoholic who refuses to apologize to George for making fun of him. In 2000, he played a drug-addicted detective tracking down serial killer Keanu Reeves in The Watcher. In 2001, he starred as Maggie Gyllenhaal's sadistic boss in the critically acclaimed Secretary.
From 2004 to 2008, Spader starred as the lead character Alan Shore in the television series Boston Legal, in which he reprised his role from the television series The Practice. Spader won the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Emmy Award for his portrayal of Alan Shore in 2004, on The Practice and won it again in 2005 and 2007, for Boston Legal. With the 2005 Emmy Win, Spader became one of the few actors (along with co-star William Shatner as Denny Crane) to win an Emmy award while playing the same character in two different series. Even rarer, Shatner and Spader each won a second consecutive Emmy while playing the same character in two different series. Spader also won the Satellite Award for Best Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical for Boston Legal in 2006.
In October 2006, Spader narrated China Revealed, the first episode of Discovery Channel's documentary series Discovery Atlas. Boston Legal castmate Candice Bergen would follow him in narrating France Revealed. He has also done the voice-over in several television commercials for Acura.
Spader starred as a lead character in Race, a play written and directed by David Mamet, alongside Richard Thomas, David Alan Grier and Kerry Washington. It opened on December 6, 2009 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway. The show closed on August 21, 2010 after 297 performances.
In March 2011, Spader was named to star in By Virtue Fall, a film written and to be directed by Sheldon Turner. Also set to star in the film are Eric Bana, Carla Gugino, Ryan Phillippe, Treat Williams and Kim Coates. As of June 2011[update], the movie is in pre-production, and set to be released 2013.
Spader was one of a number of prominent guest stars in "Search Committee," the final episode of season 7 of The Office. He portrayed a man named Robert California. On June 27, 2011, Ricky Gervais (an executive producer on the show) announced Spader was to join the cast on a permanent basis. Spader planned to stay only through the eighth season, and while the original plan was just to do the guest appearance, executive producer Paul Lieberstein said, "those two scenes became a season."
Spader met his first wife, Victoria Kheel, a decorator, while working in a yoga studio, after he moved to New York in the 1980s. They married in 1987 and have two sons, Elijah and Sebastian. Spader filed for divorce from Kheel in 2004 and, as of June 2011[update], has plans to marry his girlfriend (and former Alien Hunter co-star), Leslie Stefanson, with whom he had another son in August 2008.
|1981||Endless Love||Keith Butterfield||as Jimmy Spader|
|1985||Tuff Turf||Morgan Hiller|
|The New Kids||Dutra|
|1986||Pretty in Pink||Steff|
|Baby Boom||Ken Arrenberg|
|Less Than Zero||Rip|
|Wall Street||Roger Barnes|
|Jack's Back||John/Rick Westford||Nominated - Saturn Award for Best Actor|
|1989||Sex, Lies, and Videotape||Graham Dalton||Cannes Film Festival: Best Actor
Nominated - Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated - Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead
|The Rachel Papers||Deforest|
|1990||Bad Influence||Michael Boll|
|White Palace||Max Baron|
|1991||True Colors||Tim Gerrity|
|Bob Roberts||Chuck Marlin|
|1993||The Music of Chance||Jack Pozzi|
|Dream Lover||Ray Reardon|
|1994||Wolf||Stewart Swinton||Nominated - Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|Stargate||Dr. Daniel Jackson|
|2 Days in the Valley||Lee Woods|
|Keys to Tulsa||Ronnie Stover|
|Critical Care||Dr. Werner Ernst|
|1998||Curtain Call||Stevenson Lowe|
|The Watcher||Joel Campbell|
|2001||Speaking of Sex||Dr. Roger Klink|
|2002||Secretary||E. Edward Grey||Nominated - Chlotrudis Award for Best Actor|
|The Stickup||John Parker|
|2003||I Witness||Douglas Draper|
|Alien Hunter||Julian Rome|
|2004||Shadow of Fear||William Ashbury|
|2012||Lincoln||William N. Bilbo||Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture|
- "James Spader Biography (1960-)". filmreference.com. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Obituary, October 28, 2007; Massachusetts
- "James Spader Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved 2007-09-23.
- "Awards for James Spader". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-09-17.
- James Spader Emmy Award Winner
- James Spader at the Primetime Emmy Award Database
- Greenberg, Karl (2006-10-13). "Acura Targets 'Alpha' Driver In New Ads". Marketing Daily.
- "New York Production Listings." Back Stage. 24 June 2009. (accessed June 25, 2009).
- James Spader Rips Into Mamet's 'Race' The New York Times May 12, 2009
- James Spader, Carla Gugino, Ryan Phillippe Join Cast of 'By Virtue Fall' The Hollywood Reporter
- Elavsky, Cindy (2012-03-16). "Celebrity Extra". Downriver Sunday Times. Retrieved 2012-03-23.
- "James Spader Plans to Wed Again". Contact Music. 2005-12-29. Retrieved 2007-09-17.
- James Spader at the Internet Movie Database
- James Spader at the TCM Movie Database
- James Spader at AllRovi
- James Spader at Emmys.com