James Marsden

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James Marsden
James Marsden at the World Premiere of Robot and Frank, January 2012.jpg
Marsden at the world premiere of Robot & Frank in January 22, 2012
BornJames Paul Marsden
(1973-09-18) September 18, 1973 (age 41)
Stillwater, Oklahoma, U.S.
OccupationActor, singer, model
Years active1993-present
Spouse(s)Lisa Linde (m. 2000; div. 2011)
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James Marsden
James Marsden at the World Premiere of Robot and Frank, January 2012.jpg
Marsden at the world premiere of Robot & Frank in January 22, 2012
BornJames Paul Marsden
(1973-09-18) September 18, 1973 (age 41)
Stillwater, Oklahoma, U.S.
OccupationActor, singer, model
Years active1993-present
Spouse(s)Lisa Linde (m. 2000; div. 2011)

James Paul Marsden (born September 18, 1973)[1] is an American actor, singer and former Versace model. Marsden began his acting career guest-starring in multiple television shows such as Saved by the Bell: The New Class, Touched by an Angel and Party of Five. He would then gain prominence with his portrayal of Scott Summers/Cyclops in the X-Men film series and starred in 2006's Superman Returns which earned him a Saturn Award nomination.

Following his breakthrough in comic book films, Marsden went on to star in various genre films including 2007's Hairspray which was a critical and commercial success and won many awards for its ensemble cast. As Corny Collins, he sang two songs for the film's soundtrack which has been certified Platinum by the RIAA.[2] He would continue his success and star in family friendly films such as Enchanted, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore and Hop.

Marsden later starred in a range of independent films such as Small Apartments, Bachelorette, and Robot & Frank. He also returned to television guest-starring in Modern Family and playing Liz Lemon's love interest, Criss Chros in 30 Rock in a supporting role. Marsden then portrayed President John F. Kennedy in Lee Daniels' The Butler, and had a supporting role as an antagonist in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.

Early life and family[edit]

Marsden was born in Stillwater, Oklahoma, the son of Kathleen (née Scholtz) and James Luther Marsden.[3] His father, a professor of animal sciences and industry at Kansas State University,[1] and his mother, a nutritionist, divorced when he was nine years old.[4] His ancestry includes English, Scottish, German, and French.[3]

He has four siblings: two younger sisters, Jennifer and Elizabeth, and two brothers, Jeff and Robert. He attended Hefner Middle School and Putnam City North High School, in Oklahoma City, and later went on to attend Oklahoma State University, where he studied broadcast journalism.[5] He was also a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity. However, Marsden left after one and a half years, opting instead to move to Los Angeles in order to pursue his acting career.


Early career[edit]

Marsden got his first job on a series of episodes of The Nanny as Eddie, Margaret Sheffield's boyfriend. He then went on to star in the Canadian television series Boogies Diner, which aired for one season. With the end of that series, he guest starred on other television shows such as Saved by the Bell: The New Class and Party of Five. He later starred in the ABC show Second Noah. He lost out to Edward Norton for a role in Primal Fear and turned down the lead role in 54, which later went to Ryan Phillippe. He then went on to star in Disturbing Behavior opposite Katie Holmes and Gossip opposite Kate Hudson. He also appeared in the television series Ally McBeal, as one of the main cast members during the first half of season 5, where he also showcased his singing abilities.

X-Men films[edit]

Main article: X-Men (film series)

Marsden was cast as Cyclops in the X-Men films. His character is prominent in the comics; his screen time in the films, however, is increasingly reduced, particularly in the sequels. Notably, Marsden also appeared in Bryan Singer's Superman Returns. Singer dropped out of the third installment to direct Superman and Marsden was cast as Lois Lane's fiancé, Richard White, but due to schedule conflicts, Marsden's screen time in X-Men: The Last Stand was reduced, stirring controversy from fans of the comics.[6] Marsden's portrayal of Cyclops in the films was well received and garnered him a Blockbuster Award award for Best Supporting Actor.[7]

In 2014, after his character had died in the The Last Stand, Marsden reprised his role of Cyclops in a brief cameo for X-Men: Days of Future Past, as did a few of the original actors from the first film including Anna Paquin and Famke Janssen. He has expressed interest in returning for future films.[8]

Breakthrough roles[edit]

Marsden at the set of Enchanted in 2006

In 2004, Marsden co-starred with Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling, James Garner and Gena Rowlands in the romantic drama The Notebook based on the Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name as Lon Hammond, Jr., the second man Allie Hamilton (McAdams) falls in love with. He was apparently cast for his close resemblance to Garner, who played the older Noah Calhoun, while Gosling portraying the younger Noah Calhoun looked nothing like Garner. In 2007, Marsden played Corny Collins in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical Hairspray, based on the 1988 John Waters film of the same name. In which he sang two songs, "The Nicest Kids In Town" and "(It's) Hairspray." Both "Hairspray" and the its soundtrack were critically acclaimed, the latter of which has since sold over 1,200,000 copies to date in the United States and was certified Platinum by the RIAA.[9] His next role was with Amy Adams in the Disney hybrid animated/live action film Enchanted, playing Prince Edward. He sang one song as a duet with Adams at the beginning of the film and a duet with Idina Menzel that was cut from the film. Enchanted was well received critically and proved to be a commercial success, earning more than $340 million worldwide at the box office.[10]

Following his successes in 2007's Hairspray and Enchanted, Marsden played the male lead in the 2008 romantic comedy 27 Dresses opposite star Katherine Heigl, which grossed $160 million worldwide.[11] He also starred in the teen comedy Sex Drive. Though the film was a moderate success, Marsden's performance was heavily praised.[12] Marsden also received a Teen Choice Awards nomination for Choice Movie Actor in a Comedy for his roles in Enchanted and 27 Dresses.[13]

In 2009, Marsden also played the male lead in the film The Box, based on the 1970 short story "Button, Button" by author Richard Matheson, which was earlier made into an episode of The Twilight Zone.[14] He starred opposite Cameron Diaz and re-united with Superman Returns co-star Frank Langella.[15] In 2010, Marsden was cast in the comedy Death at a Funeral along with Chris Rock, Luke Wilson, Danny Glover and Columbus Short, which was a remake of the 2007 British film of the same name.

Recent work[edit]

Marsden made an appearance on ABC's Modern Family in January 2011, playing a homeless squatter of Cam and Mitchell.[16] In April, Marsden appeared as the male (live-action) lead in Hop, an Easter-themed comedy co-starring Russell Brand as the Easter Bunny. Although the film was considered a commercial success, opening at the top of the weekend box office and grossing over $100 million in the U.S. box office, Hop generally received negative reviews.[17][18] Later in 2011, Marsden played the lead in the remake of Straw Dogs, re-uniting with Superman Returns co-star Kate Bosworth and Zoolander co-star Alexander Skarsgard. A marked departure from previous roles, the film received mixed reviews and ultimately ended up being a box office flop.[19][20]

In 2012 and 2013, Marsden appeared in a recurring role in the sixth and seventh seasons of 30 Rock, playing Criss Chros, the boyfriend (and later husband) of the series' main character, Liz Lemon. Simultaneously, his range of films were independent films which included Robot & Frank, Small Apartments, Bachelorette and As Cool as I Am. In 2013, he co-starred with Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg in the action film 2 Guns, which debuted at number one in its weekend release beating out the animated film The Smurfs 2 which came in second. Soon after, he starred in Lee Daniels' historical drama The Butler as President John F. Kennedy. The film, featuring an ensemble, opened at the top spot and received positive reviews. Marsden played Jack Lime in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, a rival reporter to Will Ferrell's Ron Burgundy.

Personal life[edit]

Marsden married actress Mary Elizabeth "Lisa" Linde, daughter of country music songwriter Dennis Linde, on July 22, 2000. Marsden and Linde have two children: son Jack Holden and daughter Mary James.[21][22] Linde filed for divorce on September 23, 2011.[22] Marsden also has a son, William Luca Costa-Marsden, born on December 14, 2012, with former girlfriend Rose Costa.[23] In April 2010, Marsden was added to the Putnam City Schools Wall of Fame by the Putnam City Public Schools Foundation.[24]



1993Ambush in Waco: In the Line of DutySteven WillisTelevision film
1993Princess and Two PeasPea Number OneTelevision film
1994No Dessert, Dad, till You Mow the LawnTyler Cochran
1996Public EnemiesDoc Barker
1996Gone in a HeartbeatMichael GallerTelevision film
1997On the Edge of InnocenceJake WalkerTelevision film
1997Campfire TalesEddieSegment: "The Hook"
1997Bella MafiaLukaTelevision film
1998Disturbing BehaviorSteve Clark
2000GossipDerrick Webb
2000X-MenScott Summers/CyclopsBlockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actor - Science Fiction
Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Team
2001Sugar & SpiceJack Bartlett
2001ZoolanderJohn Wilkes Booth
2002Interstate 60: Episodes of the RoadNeal Oliver
2003X2: X-Men UnitedScott Summers/Cyclops
2004The 24th DayDan
2004The NotebookLon Hammond, Jr.
2004HeightsJonathan Kestler
2006The AlibiWendell Hatch
200610th & WolfTommy
2006X-Men: The Last StandScott Summers/Cyclops
2006Superman ReturnsRichard WhiteNominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
2007HairsprayCorny CollinsCritics' Choice Award for Best Acting Ensemble
Hollywood Film Festival Award for Ensemble of the Year
Palm Spring International Film Festival Award for Ensemble Performance
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2007EnchantedPrince EdwardNominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actor - Comedy
200827 DressesMalcolm Kevin DoyleNominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actor - Comedy
2008Sex DriveRex Lafferty
2009The BoxArthur Lewis
2010Death at a FuneralOscarNominated—Teen Choice Award for Scene Stealer - Male
2010Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty GaloreDiggs (voice)
2011HopFred O'Hare
2011Straw DogsDavid Sumner
2012Robot & FrankHunter Weld
2012Small ApartmentsBernard Franklin
2012BacheloretteTrevor Graham
2013As Cool as I AmChuck Diamond
20132 GunsHarold Quince
2013The ButlerJohn F. KennedyNominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2013Anchorman 2: The Legend ContinuesJack Lime
2014Walk of ShameGordon
2014X-Men: Days of Future PastScott Summers/CyclopsCameo
2014The Best of MeDawson Cole
2014Welcome to MeRich
2014The LoftChris Vanowen
2014The Tale of Princess KaguyaPrince Ishitsukuri (voice)English dub
2015Business TripPost-production


1993Saved by the Bell: The New ClassChad WesterfieldEpisode: "Homecoming King"
1993The NannyEddie2 episodes
1994Boogies DinerJasonMain role
1995BlossomJoshEpisode: "The Date"
1995Party of FiveGriffin HolbrookEpisode: "Ides of March"
1995Touched by an AngelJakeEpisode: "Angels on the Air"
1996–97Second NoahRicky Beckett22 episodes
1998The Outer LimitsBravEpisode: "Rite of Passage"
2001–02Ally McBealGlenn Foy13 episodes
2002Bram & AliceArnold CooperEpisode: "Scribbling Rivalry"
2009Robot ChickenJason Chambers / Lion (voices)Episode: "Especially the Animal Keith Crofford"
2011Modern FamilyBarryEpisode: "Slow Down Your Neighbors"
2012–1330 RockCriss Chros13 episodes
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
2014Wander Over YonderSir Brad Starlight (voice)Episodes: "The Hero"
"The Enemies"


Savannah Film Festival [25]

YearAward/CategoryNominated WorkResult
2011"Spotlight Award"Honorary AwardWon

Grammy Awards[26]

YearAward/CategoryNominated WorkResult
2008Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual MediaHairsprayNominated

Billboard Year End Charts

YearAward/CategoryNominated WorkResult
2007Top Independent Album of the YearHairsprayWon

American Music Awards

YearAward/CategoryNominated WorkResult
2007Favorite SoundtrackHairsprayNominated

Screen Actors Guild Awards

YearNominated workAwardResult
2007HairspraySAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion PictureNominated
2013The ButlerSAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion PictureNominated
201330 RockSAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy SeriesNominated



2007"True Love's Kiss" (with Amy Adams)Enchanted
"That's Amore"
"The Nicest Kids in Town"Hairspray
"(It's) Hairspray"

Marsden performed the song "Glow", written by Kevin Houlihan on the soundtrack of the movie Gossip in 2000.



  1. ^ a b "James Marsden Biography (1973-)". FilmReference.com. Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  2. ^ Gold & Platinum - Hairspray Soundtrack[dead link] RIAA. October 12, 2007
  3. ^ a b "James Paul Marsden". ancestry.com. Retrieved May 26, 2013. 
  4. ^ "James Marsden Biography". Retrieved August 12, 2008. 
  5. ^ "James Marsden- Biography: About James Marsden". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved May 26, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Superman Returns (2006): Reviews". Metacritic. June 28, 2006. Retrieved November 14, 2008. 
  7. ^ "Actor Cast As Scott Summers In Wolverine!?". X-Men Films.net. May 6, 2008. Archived from the original on May 10, 2008. Retrieved May 7, 2008. 
  8. ^ Josh Wilding (December 11, 2013). "James Marsden Expresses Desire To Return As 'Cyclops' In X-MEN: APOCALYPSE". Comic Book Movie. Retrieved June 24, 2014. 
  9. ^ Ernio Hernandez, "'Hairspray' Movie Soundtrack Goes Gold", September 12, 2007.
  10. ^ "Enchanted". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 20, 2008. 
  11. ^ Pandya, Gitesh. "Weekend Box Office (January 18 - 21, 2008)". boxofficeguru.com. Retrieved May 26, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Sex Drive Reviews, Ratings, Credits". Metacritic. October 17, 2008. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Miley Cyrus Hangs Ten as Host of 'Teen Choice 2008'" (PDF) (Press release). Fox Broadcasting Company. June 17, 2008. Retrieved January 30, 2009. 
  14. ^ Gregg Goldstein (November 2, 2007). "Marsden wrapped up in 'Box' role". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 11, 2008. [dead link]
  15. ^ Kit, Borys; Goldstein, Greg (June 29, 2006). "Box' is a dark place for Diaz". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  16. ^ "Keck's Exclusives: X-Men's James Marsden To Go Shirtless on Modern Family". TV Guide. Retrieved October 24, 2010. 
  17. ^ Young, John (April 3, 2011). "Box office report: 'Hop' springs into first place with $38.1 million". Entertainment Weekly. 
  18. ^ "Hop – Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 7, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Straw Dogs– Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 7, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Alexander Skarsgard's Straw Dogs Flops at the Box Office". Wetpaint. Retrieved November 7, 2013. 
  21. ^ "'X-Men' Star James Marsden's Wife Files for Divorce". TMZ. Retrieved September 30, 2011. 
  22. ^ a b "James Marsden's Wife Files for Divorce". People. Retrieved September 30, 2011. 
  23. ^ "James Marsden Welcomes Son William Luca". People. Retrieved December 19, 2012. 
  24. ^ ""Shining Star" Celebration honoring James Marsden-A Night to Remember". Putnam City Schools Foundation. Retrieved April 10, 2011. 
  25. ^ Savannah Festival
  26. ^ "New Line Records Scores High on Billboard" (Press release). New Line Cinema. January 8, 2008. Retrieved August 11, 2008. 

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