James Roday

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James Roday
James Roday by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Roday at the San Diego Comic-Con International in July 2013
James David Rodriguez

(1976-04-04) April 4, 1976 (age 43)
  • Actor
  • director
  • screenwriter
Years active1999–present

James David Rodriguez[1] (/rˈd/; born April 4, 1976), known professionally as James Roday, is an American actor, director and screenwriter. He starred on the USA Network series Psych as hyper-observant consultant detective and fake psychic Shawn Spencer. He currently stars in A Million Little Things.[2]

Early life[edit]

Roday was born in San Antonio, Texas, as James David Rodriguez.[1] He attended Taft High School in San Antonio.[3] His father, Jaime "Jim" Rodriguez, is of Mexican descent, and his mother, Deborah Collins, is of English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry. Roday's father is a retired Air Force Master Sergeant and used to be the regional catering manager of Taco Cabana.[4][5]

At New York University's Experimental Theatre Wing, Roday studied theatre and earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts.[6] At the age of 22 he selected the professional name James Roday as there was already another "James Rodriguez" registered in the Screen Actors Guild.[3]


Roday started his acting career starring in various theatrical productions, including Three Sisters, A Respectable Wedding and Severity's Mistress. He took on leading roles in Sexual Perversity in Chicago and Extinction which he produced with his theatre company Red Dog Squadron, for which he also directed the play Greedy and wrote and directed the one-act play Sustenance. His most recent foray onto the stage was in December 2016, when he starred in the New York production of White Rabbit Red Rabbit by Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour.[7]

His big screen debut was in the 1999 movie Coming Soon alongside Ryan Reynolds and fellow debutant Ashton Kutcher. Other early film credits include the 2003 film Rolling Kansas and the 2005 film adaptation of The Dukes Of Hazzard. Behind the scenes, he and writing partners Todd Harthan and James DeMonaco wrote the screenplay for the 2006 film Skinwalkers. The team also worked on a script for the film adaptation of the video game Driver.

Roday directed his first feature film, Gravy, in 2013, written by him and Todd Harthan. He co-wrote (one again with Todd Harthan) and directed his second film Treehouse as part of Hulu's monthly horror movie anthology Into The Dark, which aired in March 2019.

Roday's television credits include starring roles in 2001's First Years on NBC's Miss Match in 2003. His big break came on July 7, 2006, with the series premiere of USA Network's original series Psych. Airing following the season premiere of USA's other comedic success, Monk, it was the highest-rated scripted basic cable TV show premiere of 2006.[8] Psych ran for 8 seasons until 2014.

After Psych ended, Roday starred in various pilots and independent films, most notably Pushing Dead by independent filmmaker Tom E. Brown which accumulated a slew of awards at film festivals all over the country. At the same time, he began focusing more and more on his work behind the camera as a director, writer and producer. He has since directed episodes for Battle Creek, Rush Hour, Rosewood, Blood Drive and The Resident. He also developed, wrote and directed the pilots Shoot The Moon for USA and Quest For Truth for E!.

In 2017, Roday returned to his most famous role as he starred in and executive produced Psych: The Movie. The TV movie, which he also co-wrote with Psych's series creator Steve Franks, aired in December 2017. A sequel was officially announced on February 14, 2019. It was filmed in Vancouver in March and April and is set to air in late 2019.[9][10]

Roday is currently starring as Gary Mendez on ABC's dramedy A Million Little Things. A second season is due to begin filming in June for the 2019–2020 Fall Season.[11]

Awards and nominations[edit]

In 2006, Roday was nominated for the Best Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical for Psych by the Satellite Awards. He was listed as #62 in People magazine's 100 Most Beautiful People issue in 2007. In 2008, he was nominated for Outstanding Actor In a Comedy Television Series for Psych by the NCLR ALMA Awards.[12]

His role as Shawn Spencer in Psych earned him an EWwy Award nomination in 2009 for Best Actor in a Comedy Series. In 2009, he was nominated by the ALMA Awards for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series for Psych. In 2011, he was nominated again by the ALMA Awards for Favorite TV Actor-Leading Role for Psych. In 2010, he was nominated by the Image Awards for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series for Psych for the episode "High Top Fade Out." In 2009 and 2011, he was nominated by the Imagen Foundation Awards for Best Actor-Television for Psych. Roday also won the award for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series at the 2nd Annual Timmys Awards in 2012, after being nominated the previous year, but lost to Hugh Laurie. In 2012, Roday won the award for Best Actor in a television series for Psych at the Imagen Awards.

In 2017, Roday won the FilmOut Festival Award for best actor for his performance as Dan Schauble in Pushing Dead.

Personal life[edit]

Roday is the co-artistic director of the Red Dog Squadron, a Los Angeles theater company he co-founded with Brad Raider.[13][14] In 2012, Roday and Black Dahlia artistic director Matt Shakman bought the El Centro Theatre and started a long process of renovations with the intent of reopening it under its original name Circle Theatre. In a newsletter from August 2018, Raider and Roday announced that they had to resell the theatre in early 2018.[15]

Roday dated his Psych co-star Maggie Lawson from 2006 to 2013.[16]



Year Title Role Notes
1999 Coming Soon Chad
1999 Ryan Caulfield: Year One Vic Series Regular
2000 Believe Bruce Arm / Agent Johnny Short
2000 Get Real Trent Sykes
2001 First Years Edgar Series Regular
2002 Repli-Kate Max Lead
2002 Providence Alexander Conrad
2002 Showtime 'Maxis' Cameraman
2002 Rolling Kansas Dick Murphy
2003 Miss Match Nick Paine Series Regular
2004 The Revolution n/a aka New York Summer Project[17]
2005 Don't Come Knocking Mickey, First Assistant Director
2005 The Dukes of Hazzard Billy Prickett
2006 Beerfest German Messenger
2006–14 Psych Shawn Spencer Also writer, director, and producer 2009–2014
2008 Fear Itself Carlos Episode: "In Sickness and in Health"
2009 Gamer News Co-Host #1
2011 WWE Tough Enough Himself Episode: "I've Been Bamboozled & Flabbergasted"
2011 Love Bites Jeff Episode: "TMI"
2012 WWE Raw Super Show Himself Special guest ring announcer
2013 Mr. Payback Malikai Short
2015 Gravy Marty Also director and co-writer
2015 Good Session Joel Pilot, lead
2015 Christmas Eve B Aka Stuck
2015 Baby Baby Baby J.B.
2015 The Nerd Herd Kip Mitchell Pilot, lead
2016 Pushing Dead Dan Schauble Lead
2017 Psych: The Movie Shawn Spencer TV film - Also co-writer and executive producer
2018–present A Million Little Things Gary Mendez Series regular
2018 Fortune Rookie[18] Roday Recurring
2019 The Buddy Games Zane
2019 Berserk Officer Duane
2019 Psych: The Movie 2 Shawn Spencer TV film - Also co-writer and executive producer


Year Title Notes
2009–14 Psych 8 seasons, also lead actor and occasional writer
2014 Shoot The Moon[19] Pilot, also writer
2015 Gravy Also actor and co-writer
2015 Battle Creek Episode: "Homecoming"
2015 Quest For Truth Pilot, also co-writer
2015–16 Rosewood 5 episodes
2016 Rush Hour Episode: "Knock, Knock... House Creeping!"
2017 Blood Drive 2 episodes
2018 The Resident 3 season 1 episodes
2019 Treehouse Also co-writer


Year Title Notes
2002 The Driver Unused first draft
2006 Skinwalkers Co-written with James DeMonaco and Todd Harthan
2006–14 Psych 16 episodes, also lead actor and occasional director
2014 Shoot The Moon[19] Pilot, also director
2015 Quest For Truth Pilot, also director
2015 Gravy Also actor and director
2017 Psych: The Movie Also lead actor and executive producer
2019 Treehouse Also director
2019 Psych: The Movie 2 Also lead actor and executive producer


  1. ^ a b Lee Hernandez (October 12, 2011). "EXCLUSIVE: 'Psych' Star James Roday Explains Why He Changed His Latino Last Name for Hollywood". Latina. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2019-01-09. Retrieved 2019-01-08.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b Martinez, Kiko. "Psych out". Hispanic Magazine. Archived from the original on February 10, 2009. Retrieved February 17, 2011.
  4. ^ Hernandez, Lee. "EXCLUSIVE: 'Psych' Star James Roday Explains Why He Changed His Latino Last Name for Hollywood". Latina. Retrieved 2013-01-17.
  5. ^ "'Psych' star James Roday on life, family in Waxahachie". Waxahachietx.com. 2012-02-29. Retrieved 2013-01-17.
  6. ^ Roberts, Robin (August 9, 2007). "Psych's Two Sleuths Reveal Their Poker Faces". TV Guide.
  7. ^ "Psych Tony Nominee Micah Stock and PSYCH's James Roday Headed to WHITE RABBIT RED RABBIT". October 24, 2016.
  8. ^ Reuters (July 11, 2006). "Psych premiere sets basic cable mark". TV.com.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2019-02-15. Retrieved 2019-02-15.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Psych: The Movie 2 Is Coming to USA Network Later This Year! - Blog". USA Network. 14 February 2019. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  11. ^ https://cartermatt.com/355678/is-a-million-little-things-new-tonight-season-2-filming-news/
  12. ^ Dare, Johnny (June 25, 2009). "Interview: James Roday". freejohnnydare.com. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  13. ^ Tarnoff, Brooke (February 9, 2010). "'Psych' Star James Roday Is a Big, Fat Liar". PopEater. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  14. ^ Lufkin, Bryan (July 7, 2010). "James Roday, Steve Franks Promise "Twin Peaks" Episode of Psych". Starpulse.com. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  15. ^ "Roday, Raider, & Red Dog's Return". Myemail.constantcontact.com. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  16. ^ David, Mark (17 January 2014). "Maggie Lawson Lists Eco-Friendly Los Feliz Home". Variety.com. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  17. ^ "Michele Noble". IMDb.com. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  18. ^ "About the Rookie". Fortunerookie.net. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  19. ^ a b "James Roday Signs with ICM Partners". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 24, 2017.

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