James Spader

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James Spader
The Blacklist - James Spader (cropped).jpg
Spader at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con
BornJames Todd Spader
(1960-02-07) February 7, 1960 (age 54)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
OccupationActor
Years active1978–present
Spouse(s)Victoria Kheel
(1987–2004)
Partner(s)Leslie Stefanson
(2002–present)
Children3
 
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James Spader
The Blacklist - James Spader (cropped).jpg
Spader at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con
BornJames Todd Spader
(1960-02-07) February 7, 1960 (age 54)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
OccupationActor
Years active1978–present
Spouse(s)Victoria Kheel
(1987–2004)
Partner(s)Leslie Stefanson
(2002–present)
Children3

James Todd Spader (born February 7, 1960) is an American actor. He is best known for portraying eccentric characters in such films as Pretty in Pink (1986), Less Than Zero (1987), Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989), Stargate (1994), Crash (1996), Secretary (2002), The Pentagon Papers (2003), and Lincoln (2012). His most famous 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 Office. He currently stars as Raymond "Red" Reddington in The Blacklist and is set to play Ultron in Marvel Studios' upcoming 2015 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, 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.[4] Before becoming a full-time actor, he held a variety of jobs, including yoga instructor, busboy, truck driver, stable boy, and railroad car loader.[4]

Career[edit]

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.[5]

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 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.[6][5][7] 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.[5]

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.[8] 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.[9] The show closed on August 21, 2010 after 297 performances.[10] 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, the movie was in pre-production.[11]

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.[12] 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".[13]

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.

Personal life[edit]

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;[14] they have one son, Nathaneal (born August 2008).[citation needed]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1978Team-MatesJimmy
1981Endless LoveKeith ButterfieldCredited as Jimmy Spader
1983Cocaine: One Man's SeductionBuddy GantTelevision film
1983A Killer in the FamilyDonny TisonTelevision film
1984Family SecretsLowell EverallTelevision film
1985StarcrossedJoey CallaghanTelevision film
1985Tuff TurfMorgan Hiller
1985The New KidsDutra
1986Pretty in PinkSteff
1987MannequinRichards
1987Baby BoomKen Arrenberg
1987Less Than ZeroRip
1987Wall StreetRoger Barnes
1988Greasy LakeDigby
1988Jack's BackJohn / Rick WestfordNominated — Saturn Award for Best Actor
1989Sex, Lies, and VideotapeGraham DaltonCannes Film Festival — Best Actor
Nominated — Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead
1989The Rachel PapersDeforest
1990Bad InfluenceMichael Boll
1990White PalaceMax Baron
1991True ColorsTim Gerrity
1992StoryvilleCray Fowler
1992Bob RobertsChuck Marlin
1993The Music of ChanceJack Pozzi
1993Dream LoverRay Reardon
1994WolfStewart SwintonNominated — Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
1994StargateDr. Daniel Jackson
1996CrashJames Ballard
19962 Days in the ValleyLee Woods
1996Keys to TulsaRonnie Stover
1997DriftwoodThe Man
1997Critical CareDr. Werner Ernst
1998Curtain CallStevenson Lowe
2000SupernovaNick Vanzant
2000The WatcherJoel Campbell
2000Slow BurnMarcus
2001Speaking of SexDr. Roger Klink
2002SecretaryE. Edward Grey
2002The StickupJohn Parker
2003I WitnessDouglas Draper
2003Alien HunterJulian Rome
2003The Pentagon PapersDaniel EllsbergTelevision film
2004Shadow of FearWilliam Ashbury
2009ShortsMr. Black
2012LincolnWilliam N. BilboNominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2014The HomesmanAloysius Duffy
2015Avengers: Age of UltronUltron

Television[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1983The Family TreeJake Nichols
1994FrasierStevenVoice
Episode: "Slow Tango in South Seattle"
1997SeinfeldJason "Stanky" HankyEpisode: "The Apology"
2003–2004The PracticeAlan Shore22 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
2004–2008Boston LegalAlan Shore101 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, 2008, 2009)
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, 2008, 2009)
2006Discovery AtlasNarratorVoice
Episode: "China Revealed"
2011–2012The OfficeRobert California20 episodes
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
2013–presentThe BlacklistRaymond "Red" Reddington27 episodes
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama
Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actor on Television

Awards and nominations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Casts James Spader as the Film's Legendary Villain". Marvel.com. 
  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". Emmys.com. 
  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.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  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. ^ "This Side of the Truth". RickyGervais.com. 
  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]