Spader at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con
|Born||James Todd Spader
February 7, 1960
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
James Todd Spader (born February 7, 1960) is an American actor. He is best known for portraying eccentric characters in such films as the romantic comedy-drama Pretty in Pink (1986), the drama Less Than Zero (1987), the Steven Soderbergh-directed drama Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989), the action science fiction film Stargate (1994), the controversial psychological thriller Crash (1996), the erotic romance Secretary (2002), the historical TV film The Pentagon Papers (2003), and the epic historical drama film Lincoln (2012).
His most well-known television roles are those of attorney Alan Shore in The Practice and its spin-off Boston Legal (for which he won three Emmy Awards), and Robert California in the comedy-mockumentary The Office. He currently stars as high-profile criminal Raymond "Red" Reddington in the crime drama The Blacklist and is set to play the villainous android Ultron in Marvel Studios' upcoming 2015 superhero film Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Spader was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Jean (née Fraser) and Stoddard Greenwood "Todd" Spader, both teachers. During his early education, Spader attended The Pike School (where his mother taught Art) and enrolled in the Brooks School (where his father taught) in North Andover, Massachusetts for one year. He later transferred to Phillips Academy but dropped out in the 11th grade to pursue acting at the Michael Chekhov School in New York City. Before becoming a full-time actor, he held a variety of jobs, including yoga instructor, busboy, truck driver, stable boy, and railroad car loader.
Spader's first major film role was in the film Endless Love (1981), and his first starring role was in Tuff Turf (1985). However, he did not rise to stardom until 1986, when he played the rich, arrogant playboy Steff in Pretty in Pink. He co-starred in Mannequin (1987) and the film adaptation of Less Than Zero (1987), in which he played a drug dealer named Rip. Supporting roles in films such as Baby Boom (1987) and Wall Street (1987) followed until his breakthrough in Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989), in which he played a sexual voyeur who complicates the lives of three Baton Rouge, Louisiana residents. For this performance, he received the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival.
Spader's roles in the early 1990s included a young, affluent widower opposite Susan Sarandon in the romantic drama White Palace (1990), John Cusack's best friend in the drama True Colors (1991), and a poker-playing drifter in The Music of Chance (1993). In 1994, he starred as Egyptologist Daniel Jackson in the sci-fi film Stargate. In 1996, he played car accident fetishist James Ballard in the controversial Canadian film Crash and assassin Lee Woods in 2 Days in the Valley. In 1997, Spader guest starred in the Seinfeld episode "The Apology", 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 a serial killer in The Watcher. In 2002, he starred as a sadistic boss in the critically acclaimed film Secretary.
From 2004 to 2008, Spader starred as Alan Shore in the series Boston Legal, in which he reprised his role from the television series The Practice. He won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 2004 for his portrayal on The Practice and won it again in 2005 and 2007 for Boston Legal. With the 2005 win, he became one of only a few actors to win an Emmy award while playing the same character in two different series. Even rarer, he won a second consecutive Emmy while playing the same character in two different series. He 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. He has also done the voice-over in several television commercials for Acura. He starred in Race, a play written and directed by David Mamet, which 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, he was named to star in the film By Virtue Fall, written and to be directed by Sheldon Turner. As of June 2011[update], the movie was in pre-production.
Spader guest starred as Robert California in "Search Committee", the season 7 finale of The Office. On June 27, 2011, it was announced that he would join the cast on a permanent basis. He 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".
On August 29, 2013, Marvel Studios announced that Spader would join the Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) cast as villainous robot Ultron. Spader currently stars in the NBC series The Blacklist, which premiered on NBC September 23, 2013. He portrays Raymond "Red" Reddington, one of the FBI's most wanted fugitives.
Spader met his first wife, decorator Victoria Kheel, while working in a yoga studio after he moved to New York City in the 1980s. They married in 1987 and have two sons, Elijah and Sebastian. Spader filed for divorce from Kheel in 2004. He began dating his former Alien Hunter (2003) co-star, Leslie Stefanson, in 2002; they have one son, Nathaneal (born August 2008).
|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||Baby Boom||Ken Arrenberg|
|1987||Less Than Zero||Rip|
|1987||Wall Street||Roger Barnes|
|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||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||2 Days in the Valley||Lee Woods|
|1996||Keys to Tulsa||Ronnie Stover|
|1997||Critical Care||Dr. Werner Ernst|
|1998||Curtain Call||Stevenson Lowe|
|2000||The Watcher||Joel Campbell|
|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|
|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 (voice)||Post-production|
Awards and nominations
- "EXCLUSIVE: 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Casts James Spader as the Film's Legendary Villain". Marvel.com.
- "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". Emmys.com.
- 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.
- "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.
- "This Side of the Truth". RickyGervais.com.
- 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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to James Spader.|
- James Spader at the Internet Movie Database
- James Spader at the TCM Movie Database
- James Spader at AllMovie
- James Spader at Emmys.com