Woods at the 47th Primetime Emmy Awards, 1995
|Born||James Howard Woods
April 18, 1947
Vernal, Utah, U.S.
|Education||Pilgrim High School|
|Alma mater||Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
|Occupation||Actor, producer, voice artist|
James Howard Woods (born April 18, 1947) is an American actor, producer and voice artist. After his first Golden Globe nomination for a breakthrough role in The Onion Field (1979), Woods starred in Once Upon a Time in America, the Oliver Stone films Salvador and Nixon, Ghosts of Mississippi, and in the legal series Shark. He has won three Emmy Awards – for television movies Promise and My Name Is Bill W., and for the animated series Hercules. He has been nominated twice for an Academy Award. His voice work has been heard in the animated series The Simpsons, Family Guy, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and in films Stuart Little 2 (as Falcon) and Disney's Hercules (as Hades).
Woods was born in Vernal, Utah. His father, Gail Peyton Woods, was an army intelligence officer who died in 1960 after routine surgery. His mother, Martha A. (née Smith), operated a pre-school after her husband's death and later married Thomas E. Dixon. Woods grew up in Warwick, Rhode Island, where he attended Pilgrim High School. He is of part Irish descent and was raised Catholic, briefly serving as an altar boy.
Woods ultimately chose to pursue his undergraduate studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he majored in political science (though he originally planned on a career as an eye surgeon). While at MIT, Woods pledged to Theta Delta Chi Fraternity. He was also an active member of the student theatre group "Dramashop" where he both acted in and directed a number of plays. In order to pursue a career in acting, he dropped out of MIT in 1969 before his graduation. Woods has said that he became an actor thanks to Tim Affleck (father of actor Ben Affleck), who was a stage manager at the Theatre Company of Boston while Woods was a student there.
Woods appeared in 36 plays before making his Broadway debut in 1970 at the Lyceum Theatre, in the first US production of Frank McMahon's Borstal Boy. He got the part by pretending he was British. He returned to Broadway the following year to portray David Darst in Daniel Berrigan's The Trial of the Catonsville Nine. In 1971, he played Bob Rettie in the American premiere of Michael Weller's Moonchildren at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. The production moved to Broadway the following year and Woods won a Theatre World Award for his performance. He returned to Broadway in 1973 to portray Steven Cooper in the original production of Jean Kerr's Finishing Touches.
Film and television
A prominent Hollywood character actor, Woods has appeared in over 130 films and television series as of 2013[update], beginning with his first television appearance All the Way Home in 1971 and his film debut The Visitors in 1972. He is known for his dark, intense characters. Early examples include his portrayals of a sadistic murderer in 1979's The Onion Field, and of serial killer Carl Panzram in 1994's Killer: A Journal of Murder. He appeared in an episode of The Rockford Files, playing a son whose parents were murdered. He has been twice nominated for an Academy Award: first, for Best Actor, for playing a journalist chronicling events in El Salvador in the early Oliver Stone film Salvador (1986), and again in 1996, for Best Supporting Actor, for his performance as real-life white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith in drama Ghosts of Mississippi. One of his favorite film roles is Max, the domineering gangster, in Sergio Leone's epic Once Upon a Time in America (1984). In 1995, Woods took the role of pimp Lester Diamond in Martin Scorsese's Casino. That same year, he portrayed H. R. Haldeman in Nixon, the biopic of Richard M. Nixon, directed by Oliver Stone. In one of his most prominent television roles, Woods starred in the CBS legal drama series Shark, which ran for two seasons between 2006 and 2008. He played an infamous defense lawyer who, after growing disillusioned when his client commits a murder, becomes a successful prosecutor with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office.
He was briefly considered for the role of The Joker by director Tim Burton and screenwriter Sam Hamm for the 1989 film Batman. Hamm recalls that he and Burton thought, "James Woods would be good and wouldn't need any makeup, which would save a couple of hours' work every morning." The role ended up going to Jack Nicholson. Quentin Tarantino wrote a part in Reservoir Dogs with Woods in mind, but Woods' agent rejected the script without showing it to the actor. When Woods learned of this some time later, he fired his agents (CAA), replacing them with ICM. Woods was also considered for the part of Donald Kimball in American Psycho, but he turned it down. The part was given to Willem Dafoe. In 2006, Woods starred in the political thriller End Game with Cuba Gooding, Jr. He makes a cameo appearance as himself in the first episode of Entourage's third season. In 2011, Woods appeared as Richard S. Fuld, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Lehman Brothers, in HBO's Too Big to Fail, for which he gained an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Mini-series or Movie.
Woods has lent his voice talents to many animated television shows and feature films. He garnered critical praise for his voice work as Hades in the 1997 Disney film Hercules and he won a Daytime Emmy Award in 2000 for the role in the follow-up television series (for the 1999 season). He also voiced Phillium Benedict, the twisted former headmaster who attempts to abolish summer vacation in the 2001 film, Recess: School's Out. He also appeared as a fictional version of himself in the episode of The Simpsons entitled "Homer and Apu" and in seven episodes of Family Guy, which is set in Woods's home state of Rhode Island. Other references in Family Guy include the local high school, James Woods High School, and a forest named James Woods briefly mentioned in "The Fat Guy Strangler". In 2004, Woods voiced Jallak in the animated film Ark and Mike Toreno in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. He was also in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.
During a press interview for Kingdom Hearts II, Woods noted that he is an avid video game player. He is an active dealer of antiques in Rhode Island. Some of his favorite activities are playing golf and cooking.
Woods is an avid poker player, playing in cash games and many tournaments. He played in the WPT's Hollywood Home Game series in 2004 for the American Stroke Association charity. As of 2013[update], he has to his credit 22 major event finishes, including two 2nd place, a 3rd place, and a 24th place finish (of 692) at the 2006 L.A. Poker Classic $10K final event, paying $40K. Living part time in the northeast, while not filming, he plays many tournaments at Foxwoods Casino in eastern CT throughout the year.
In 1988, Woods sued Sean Young for $2 million, accusing her of stalking him after they appeared together in the movie The Boost. Young later countered that he had overreacted after she had spurned his advances on set. The suit was settled out of court in August 1989. On July 26, 2006, Woods' younger brother, Michael Jeffrey Woods, died from cardiac arrest at the age of 49. Woods sued Kent Hospital in Warwick, Rhode Island, alleging negligence. The suit was settled in 2009.
Woods was a vocal supporter of former U.S. President George W. Bush and the Iraq War, though he is still a registered Democrat. He is a supporter of former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani. Woods lobbied hard to play Giuliani in the biopic Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story, and considers the role one of the favorites of his career. In 2008, Woods appeared in David Zucker's comedy An American Carol (presented from a conservative-leaning perspective), along with active Republican actors Kelsey Grammer and Kevin Farley. Woods's name was in an advertisement in the Los Angeles Times (August 17, 2006) that condemned Hamas and Hezbollah and supported Israel in the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict. Woods endorsed John McCain and Mitt Romney for President in 2008 and 2012, respectively.
In late August 2001, Woods was on a flight from Boston to Los Angeles. On the flight he noticed four men near him acting suspiciously. He said that they never drank anything, ordered food service or talked to anybody. They were just whispering to each other. Woods reported his suspicions to the co-pilot in flight, and he claimed that those concerns were passed on to the FAA. On the evening of September 11, Woods called the FBI and repeated his concerns, who interviewed him at his home the next morning. Woods believed that he had encountered four of the nineteen terrorists/hijackers that were just on the flight to study it in preparation for the attacks. Woods has been interviewed several times by FBI agents regarding this incident. Woods has confirmed that he looked at pictures of the hijackers and has identified two terrorists as being among the men that he had seen on his flight.
|1972||Hickey & Boggs||Lt. Wyatt|
|1972||The Visitors||Bill Schmidt|
|1973||The Way We Were||Frankie McVeigh|
|1974||The Gambler||Bank Officer|
|1976||The Billion Dollar Bubble||Art Lewis|
|1976||The Disappearance of Aimee||Asst. Disty. Atty. Joseph Ryan||Television movie|
|1976||Raid on Entebbe||Capt. Sammy Berg||Television movie|
|1977||The Choirboys||Harold Bloomguard|
|1978||The Gift of Love||Alfred Browning||Television movie|
|1979||The Incredible Journey of Doctor Meg Laurel||Sin Eater||Television movie|
|1979||The Onion Field||Gregory Ulas Powell|
|1979||And Your Name Is Jonah||Danny Corelli||Television movie|
|1982||Split Image||Charles Pratt|
|1984||Against All Odds||Jake Wise|
|1984||Once Upon a Time in America||Maximilian 'Max' Bercovicz|
|1985||Cat's Eye||Dick Morrison|
|1985||Badge of the Assassin||Robert K. Tannenbaum / Assistant District Attorney||Television movie|
|1985||Joshua Then and Now||Joshua Shapiro|
|1987||In Love and War||James B. 'Jim' Stockdale||Television movie|
|1988||Cop||Lloyd Hopkins||Also producer|
|1988||The Boost||Lenny Brown|
|1989||True Believer||Eddie Dodd|
|1989||My Name Is Bill W.||Bill Wilson||Television movie|
|1989||Immediate Family||Michael Spector|
|1991||The Hard Way||Detective Lt. John Moss, NYPD|
|1991||The Boys||Walter Farmer||Television movie|
|1992||Citizen Cohn||Roy Marcus Cohn||Television movie|
|1992||Straight Talk||Jack Russell|
|1994||The Getaway||Jack Benyon|
|1994||Curse of the Starving Class||Weston Tate|
|1994||The Specialist||Ned Trent|
|1994||Jane's House||Paul Clark||Television movie|
|1994||Next Door||Matt Coler||Television movie|
|1995||For Better or For Worse||Reggie Makeshift|
|1995||Killer: A Journal of Murder||Carl Panzram|
|1995||Indictment: The McMartin Trial||Danny Davis||Television movie|
|1995||Nixon||H. R. Haldeman|
|1996||Ghosts of Mississippi||Byron De La Beckwith|
|1996||The Summer of Ben Tyler||Temple Rayburn||Television Movie|
|1997||Kicked in the Head||Uncle Sam|
|1998||Another Day in Paradise||Mel||Also producer|
|1999||True Crime||Alan Mann|
|1999||The Virgin Suicides||Ronald Lisbon|
|1999||Hercules: Zero to Hero||Hades (voice)||Direct-to-video|
|1999||The General's Daughter||Col. Robert Moore|
|1999||Any Given Sunday||Dr. Harvey Mandrake|
|1999||Play It to the Bone||Ringside Fan|
|2000||Dirty Pictures||Dennis Barrie||Television movie|
|2001||Recess: School's Out||Dr. Philliam "Phil" Benedict||Voice|
|2001||Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within||General Hein||Voice|
|2001||Scary Movie 2||Father McFeely|
|2001||Riding in Cars with Boys||Mr. Leonard Donofrio|
|2001||Race to Space||Dr. Wilhelm von Huber|
|2002||John Q||Dr. Raymond Turner|
|2002||Stuart Little 2||The Falcon||Voice|
|2002||Mickey's House of Villains||Hades (voice)||Direct-to-video|
|2003||Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story||Rudolph 'Rudy' Giuliani||Television movie|
|2003||Northfork||Walter O'Brien||Also executive producer|
|2003||This Girl's Life||Pops|
|2005||Pretty Persuasion||Hank Joyce|
|2005||Be Cool||Tommy Athens|
|2006||End Game||Vaughn Stevens|
|2007||Surf's Up||Reggie Belafonte||Voice|
|2008||Big Fat Important Movie||Agent Grosslight|
|2010||Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths||Owlman (Voice)||Direct-to-video|
|2011||Straw Dogs||Tom Heddon|
|2011||Too Big to Fail||Richard Fuld||Television movie|
|2012||Officer Down||Captain Verona|
|2013||White House Down||Martin Walker|
|2013||Jobs||Dean Jack Dudman|
|2013||Mary and Martha||Tom||Television movie|
|2014||Jamesy Boy||Lt. Falton|
|1974||Kojak||Caz||Episode: "Death Is Not a Passing Grade"|
|1974||The Rockford Files||Larry Kirkoff||Episode: "The Kirkoff Case"|
|1975||Welcome Back, Kotter||Alex Welles||Episode: "The Great Debate"|
|1975||The Streets of San Francisco||Doug||Episode: "Trail of Terror"|
|1975||The Rookies||Ted Ayres||Episode: "A Time to Mourn"|
|1976||Barnaby Jones||Danny Reeves||Episode: "Sins of Thy Father"|
|1976||Police Story||Lewis Packer||Episode: "Thanksgiving"|
|1977||Family||Dr. Robert Styles||Episode: "An Eye to the Future"|
|1978||Holocaust||Karl Weiss||4 episodes|
|1979–1980||Young Maverick||Lem Fraker||2 episodes|
|1993||Dream On||Dennis Youngblood||Episode: "Oral Sex, Lies and Videotape"|
|1993||Fallen Angels||Mickey Cohen||Episode: "Since I Don't Have You"|
|1994||The Simpsons||Himself (voice)||Episode: "Homer and Apu"|
|1998–1999||Hercules: The Animated Series||Hades (voice)||27 episodes|
|2001||Clerks: The Animated Series||Major Baklava (voice)||Episode: "Leonardo Is Caught in the Grip of an Outbreak of Randal's Imagination
and Patrick Swayze Either Does or Doesn't Work in the New Pet Store"
|2001–2002||House of Mouse||Hades (voice)||10 episodes|
|2005||Odd Job Jack||Manny Kowalski||Episode: "Orgy: The Musical"|
|2005–2014||Family Guy||Himself (voice)||7 episodes|
|2006||ER||Dr. Nate Lennox||Episode: "Body & Soul"|
|2006–2008||Shark||Sebastian Stark||38 episodes|
|2009||iCarly||Security Guard #2||Episode: "iWant My Website Back"|
|2012||Coma||Dr. Theodore Stark||2 episodes|
|2013||Ray Donovan||Patrick Sullivan||6 episodes|
|2002||Kingdom Hearts||Hades (voice)|
|2004||Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas||Mike Toreno (voice)|
|2005||Kingdom Hearts II||Hades (voice)|
|2006||Scarface: The World Is Yours||George Sheffield (voice)
Nominated - Spike Video Game Award for Best Supporting Male Performance
|2007||Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix+||Hades (voice)|
|2010||Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep|
|2011||Kingdom Hearts Re:coded|
|2013||Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix|
|2014||Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix|
Awards and nominations
- Warwick Online: Michael Woods remembered for a smile, and a laugh at the Wayback Machine (archived November 11, 2007)
- James Woods Biography (1947–)
- McCardle, Kevin (September 17, 1999). "Face of the Day". The Herald.
- Stated on Inside the Actors Studio, 2000
- New York Times Service, published by New York Times and Arno press, 1989, page 788
- Lidz, Franz (10 February 2000), "FILM; Ben Affleck Shocker: I Bargained With Devil for Fame", New York Times, retrieved 4 March 2012
- Turner Classic Movies biography, James Woods, accessed January 2, 2011
- Batmanmovieonline.com at the Wayback Machine (archived February 11, 2008)[dead link]
- Hollywood's new radicalism: war, globalisation and the movies from Reagan to George W. Bush, by Ben Dickenson, 2006, page 157
- Film voices: Interviews From Post Script, by Gerald Duchovnay, 2004, pages 244–245
- James Woods Emmy Nominated
- 2011 Emmy Nominations List: 63rd Primetime Emmy Nominations Announced, Huffington Post, July 14, 2011. Accessed July 15, 2011
- New York Magazine, July 7, 1997, page 54
- Video on YouTube
- PAWT RI ANTIQUES WOODS The Times
- Generally, a major event is one with a prize pool of at least $10K.
- "James Woods Poker Tournament Results". CardPlayer.com. December 3, 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
- newspaper article, Woods Suit May be Settled, by Anne Trebbe, USA Today, August 23, 1989
- "Young Revisits 20-Year-Old James Woods Harassment Controversy," ContactMusic.com, 17 September 2007
- "Time Out". Orlando Sentinel. August 25, 1989. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
- Puig, Claudia; Cerone, Daniel (August 24, 1989). "Legal File". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
- James Woods – Shark Halted After Woods' Brother Dies, ContactMusic.com, July 28, 2006
- James Woods settles suit over brother’s death, by Associated Press, published by MSNBC.com, December 1, 2009
- Reiter, Amy Woods on Fire, Front Page Magazine, Originally published in Salon.com August 1, 2003
- Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story (2003) (TV)
- "Nicole Kidman and 84 Others Stand United Against Terrorism" Hollywood Grind. 18 August 2006.
- "James Woods, Friendly on Friday". Bauergriffinonline.com. April 25, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-12.
- "Other Hollywood Celebrities include:". Retrieved August 4, 2012.
- Woods, James. "Interview with Bill O'Reilly". YouTube. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- Newspaper article, Probe reconstructs horror, calculated attacks on planes, by Glen Johnson, Boston Globe Staff, November 23, 2001
- James Woods Reported Suspicious Passengers to FBI, ABC News.com, September 19, 2001
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to James Woods.|
- James Woods at the Internet Movie Database
- James Woods at the Internet Broadway Database
- James Woods at Emmys.com