James Spader

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James Spader
The Blacklist - James Spader (cropped).jpg
Spader at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con
Born James Todd Spader
(1960-02-07) February 7, 1960 (age 54)
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Occupation Actor
Years active 1978–present
Spouse(s) Victoria Kheel
(1987–2004)
Partner(s) Leslie Stefanson
(2002–present)
Children 3

James Todd Spader (born February 7, 1960) is an American actor best known for his eccentric roles in films such as Pretty in Pink; The Pentagon Papers; 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, and Robert California in The Office. He currently stars as Raymond "Red" Reddington in The Blacklist, and he is set to play Ultron in Marvel Studios' upcoming film Avengers: Age of Ultron.[1]

Early life[edit]

Spader was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Jean (née Fraser) and Stoddard Greenwood "Todd" Spader, both teachers.[2][3]

During his early education, James 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.[4] 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.[4]

Career[edit]

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 the rich, arrogant playboy Steff in Pretty in Pink which co-starred Molly Ringwald and Andrew McCarthy. He co-starred with McCarthy again 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 in which he played a sexual voyeur who complicates the lives of three Baton Rouge residents. For this performance, he received the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival.[5] His roles in the early 1990s included playing a young, affluent widower opposite Susan Sarandon in the romantic drama 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 sci-fi 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 2002, 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 Emmy Award for 'Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series'[6] in 2004 for his portrayal on The Practice and won it again in 2005 and 2007 for Boston Legal.[5][7] 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.[5]

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.[8]

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[9] at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway. The show closed on August 21, 2010 after 297 performances.[10]

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, the movie is in pre-production, and set to be released 2013.[11]

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.[12] 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."[13]

On August 29, 2013, Marvel Studios announced that Spader will join the Avengers: Age of Ultron cast as villainous robot Ultron. Scheduled for a 2015 release, the film is the sequel to the 2012 release The Avengers.

Spader currently stars in NBC's television series, The Blacklist, which began in September 2013. He portrays the fictional Raymond "Red" Reddington, one of the FBI's most wanted fugitives.

Personal life[edit]

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, has plans to marry his girlfriend (and former Alien Hunter co-star), Leslie Stefanson,[14] with whom he had a son, Nathaneal, in August 2008.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1978 Team-Mates Jimmy
1981 Endless Love Keith Butterfield Credited as Jimmy Spader
1983 Cocaine: One Man's Seduction Buddy Gant Television film
1983 A Killer in the Family Donny Tison Television film
1984 Family Secrets Lowell Everall Television film
1985 Starcrossed Joey Callaghan Television film
1985 Tuff Turf Morgan Hiller
1985 The New Kids Dutra
1986 Pretty in Pink Steff
1987 Mannequin Richards
1987 Baby Boom Ken Arrenberg
1987 Less Than Zero Rip
1987 Wall Street Roger Barnes
1988 Greasy Lake Digby
1988 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
1989 The Rachel Papers Deforest
1990 Bad Influence Michael Boll
1990 White Palace Max Baron
1991 True Colors Tim Gerrity
1992 Storyville Cray Fowler
1992 Bob Roberts Chuck Marlin
1993 The Music of Chance Jack Pozzi
1993 Dream Lover Ray Reardon
1994 Wolf Stewart Swinton Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
1994 Stargate Dr. Daniel Jackson
1996 Crash James Ballard
1996 2 Days in the Valley Lee Woods
1996 Keys to Tulsa Ronnie Stover
1997 Driftwood The Man
1997 Critical Care Dr. Werner Ernst
1998 Curtain Call Stevenson Lowe
2000 Supernova Nick Vanzant
2000 The Watcher Joel Campbell
2000 Slow Burn Marcus
2001 Speaking of Sex Dr. Roger Klink
2002 Secretary E. Edward Grey
2002 The Stickup John Parker
2003 I Witness Douglas Draper
2003 Alien Hunter Julian Rome
2003 The Pentagon Papers Daniel Ellsberg Television film
2004 Shadow of Fear William Ashbury
2009 Shorts Mr. Black
2012 Lincoln William N. Bilbo Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2014 The Homesman Aloysius Duffy
2015 Avengers: Age of Ultron Ultron Post-production

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1983 The Family Tree Jake Nichols Unknown episodes
1994 Frasier Steven (voice) Episode: "Slow Tango in South Seattle"
1997 Seinfeld Jason 'Stanky' Hanky Episode: "The Apology"
2003–2004 The Practice Alan Shore 22 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
2006 Discovery Atlas Narrator Episode: "China Revealed"
2004–2008 Boston Legal Alan Shore 101 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (2005, 2007)
Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series (2007–09)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2007–09)
2011–2012 The Office Robert California 20 episodes
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
2013–present The Blacklist Raymond "Red" Reddington 22 episodes
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Actor on Television

Awards and nominations[edit]

Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actor

Won — Cannes Film Festival: Best Actor
Nominated — Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead

Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor

Won — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama

Won — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

Won — Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

Won — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series

Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

References[edit]

  1. ^ EXCLUSIVE: 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Casts James Spader as the Film's Legendary Villain
  2. ^ "James Spader Biography (1960-)". filmreference.com. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ Obituary, October 28, 2007; Massachusetts
  4. ^ a b "James Spader Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved 2007-09-23. 
  5. ^ a b c "Awards for James Spader". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-09-17. 
  6. ^ James Spader Emmy Award Winner
  7. ^ James Spader at the Primetime Emmy Award Database
  8. ^ Greenberg, Karl (2006-10-13). "Acura Targets 'Alpha' Driver In New Ads". Marketing Daily. 
  9. ^ "New York Production Listings." Back Stage. 24 June 2009. (accessed June 25, 2009).
  10. ^ James Spader Rips Into Mamet's 'Race' The New York Times May 12, 2009
  11. ^ James Spader, Carla Gugino, Ryan Phillippe Join Cast of 'By Virtue Fall' The Hollywood Reporter
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ Elavsky, Cindy (2012-03-16). "Celebrity Extra". Downriver Sunday Times. Retrieved 2012-03-23. 
  14. ^ "James Spader Plans to Wed Again". Contact Music. 2005-12-29. Retrieved 2007-09-17. 

External links[edit]