skip navigation
James Spader

James Spader

Up
Down

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

 
 

The Watcher DVD A detective on the case of a serial killer moves to a new city after giving up... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Speaking Of Sex DVD Those who can, do. Those who don't, seek therapy! In this unlikely sex farce,... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

White Palace DVD A vulnerable advertising exec, played by James Spader, falls for a blue-collar... more info $9.99was $9.99 Buy Now

Wall Street DVD One of Oliver Stone's most iconic films, "Wall Street" (1987) is a melodramatic... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Fox Best Actor Double Feature... One must give outstanding performances to earn the coveted title of "Best Actor"... more info $19.98was $19.98 Buy Now

Stargate: Special Edition... Join the team on interstellar adventures in "Stargate: Special Edition" (1994),... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now



Also Known As: James Todd Spader Died:
Born: February 7, 1960 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Boston, Massachusetts, USA Profession: actor, truck driver, yoga instructor, amusement park worker, railroad car loader, soda jerk, stable boy

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Actor James Spader was known for playing intriguing deviants in a number of acclaimed independent films in the 1980s and 1990s before his magic touch with morally ambiguous outsiders found its way to television on "Boston Legal" (ABC, 2004-08). Spader began his career playing a series of unsympathetic yuppie types in the era of the shamelessly wealthy, then put films like "Wall Street" (1987) and "Less Than Zero" (1987) behind him in favor of exploring man's attraction to danger - often sexual - in acclaimed indie films like "sex, lies, and videotape" (1989), "Crash" (1996) and "Secretary" (2002). In 2003, he was handpicked to shake things up on David E. Kelley's stale law drama, "The Practice" (ABC, 1997-2004), before being given a starring role as lawyer of questionable ethics in the spin-off, "Boston Legal," for which he earned several Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. By the time he joined the cast of "The Office" (NBC, 2005-2013) in 2011, Spader was firmly established as a credible lead in television and on film, capably performing in just about any role that came his way.

Actor James Spader was known for playing intriguing deviants in a number of acclaimed independent films in the 1980s and 1990s before his magic touch with morally ambiguous outsiders found its way to television on "Boston Legal" (ABC, 2004-08). Spader began his career playing a series of unsympathetic yuppie types in the era of the shamelessly wealthy, then put films like "Wall Street" (1987) and "Less Than Zero" (1987) behind him in favor of exploring man's attraction to danger - often sexual - in acclaimed indie films like "sex, lies, and videotape" (1989), "Crash" (1996) and "Secretary" (2002). In 2003, he was handpicked to shake things up on David E. Kelley's stale law drama, "The Practice" (ABC, 1997-2004), before being given a starring role as lawyer of questionable ethics in the spin-off, "Boston Legal," for which he earned several Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. By the time he joined the cast of "The Office" (NBC, 2005-2013) in 2011, Spader was firmly established as a credible lead in television and on film, capably performing in just about any role that came his way.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Homesman, The (2014)
3.
 Lincoln (2012)
4.
 Shorts (2009)
5.
 Alien Hunter (2003) Julian Rome
6.
 Secretary (2002) Mr. Grey
7.
 Supernova (2000) Nick Vanzant
8.
 Slow Burn (2000)
9.
 Watcher, The (2000) Campbell
10.
 Curtain Call (1998) Stewanson Lowe
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Moved to NYC and performed in stage productions with the Actors Studio
1981:
First major film role, playing Brooke Shields' brother in "Endless Love"
1983:
TV acting debut, playing Fenwick (role originated by Kevin Bacon in the feature) on the unsold CBS pilot "Diner"
1983:
Appeared in the TV-movie, "Cocaine: One Man's Seduction" (NBC)
1985:
Acted in the feature "Tuff Turf"
1986:
Played Blane's (Andrew McCarthy) rakish friend Steff in "Pretty in Pink"; scripted by John Hughes
1987:
Played a loathsome drug dealer named Rip in "Less Than Zero," based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis
1989:
Breakthrough film role, played a sexual voyeur in Steven Soderbergh's "sex, lies, and videotape"
1990:
Played a young, affluent widower opposite Susan Sarandon in "White Palace"
1991:
Played John Cusack's moral best friend in "True Colors"
1992:
Played the lead role in Mark Frost's "Storyville"
1993:
Had a memorable role as a hot-headed young gambler in Phillip Haas' "The Music of Chance"
1994:
Featured as Jack Nicholson's friend turned enemy in Mike Nichols' "Wolf"
1994:
Cast as Egyptologist Daniel Jackson in the blockbuster hit "Stargate"
1996:
Played car fetishist James Ballard in David Cronenberg's controversial "Crash"
1996:
Cast as assassin Lee Woods in the ensemble feature "2 Days in the Valley"
1997:
Portrayed an unethical resident physician in Sidney Lumet's "Critical Care"
2000:
Featured in "Supernova"; director Walter Hill took his name off the troubled project (was credited as Thomas Lee)
2000:
Appeared with Minnie Driver and Josh Brolin in "Slow Burn" (filmed 1998)
2000:
Appeared with Keanu Reeves in "The Watcher," playing a former FBI agent who returns to search for a serial killer
2002:
Starred as Maggie Gyllenhaal's sadomasochistic boss in the critically acclaimed "Secretary"
2003:
Joined the cast of "The Practice" (ABC) as attorney Alan Shore
2004:
Reprised role of attorney Alan Shore for "The Practice" spinoff "Boston Legal" (ABC); received Golden Globe (2005) and SAG (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009) and Emmy (2008) nominations for Actor in a Drama Series
2006:
Narrated "China Revealed," the first episode of Discovery Channel's documentary series "Discovery Atlas"
2009:
Made Broadway debut in David Mamet's "Race" at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre
2011:
Guest-starred as Robert California on the final episode of season 7 of "The Office" (NBC)
2011:
After much speculation as to who would replace Steve Carell, joined cast of "The Office" (NBC) as series regular, reprising his role of Robert California; announced he was leaving the show in 2012
2012:
Played political operative W.N. Bilbo opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln"
2013:
Announced as the lead villain in "The Avengers: Age of Ultron"
2013:
Starred on the crime drama series "The Blacklist"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Phillips Andover Academy: Andover , Massachusetts -
Michael Chekhov School: New York , New York -

Notes

With regard to the impact of "sex, lies and videotape" on his career: "Well, to put this in perspective, I should say that at the time it started to acquire a great deal of attention, I was entering rehearsals on 'Bad Influence', and my wife was entering the last term of her pregnancy. My life was extremely chaotic anyway. Basically, the way it's affected my life is that different people have started to take notice of my work who took no notice of it before--at least in my perception." --James Spader to Lawrence Van Gelder in THE NEW YORK TIMES, August 18, 1989

"But I don't know what IS taking a chance, because I don't have any sense of career choices. I don't know what the hell's good for a career. I don't have a clue. I don't know what dictates success in film, or failure in terms of people going to see it. And I don't know how any of that translates into one's own facility for reaping the roles one wants to reap. I don't know how all that works. Every project I ever do is always picked quite specifically to that time in my life and that project." --Spader quoted in NEW YORK NEWSDAY, June 26, 1994

Career inattention "may come from the fact that my career is not the dominating thing in our [his and wife Vickey's] life." More important is family in Massachusettes, where he owns the house next door to his parents.

"It is absolutely paramount to me that my kids grow up around their family, so I protect that pretty dearly." --Spader to Kathryn Baker in USA Today, October 28, 1994

On working in Brat Pack era movies [i.e., "Pretty in Pink" and "Less Than Zero"]: "There was a sort of club. There were a whole bunch of young actors who were all sort of leads in these films, but I was pretty removed from that. I didn't live in L.A. I was living in New York. I was a hired gun during the period; I was never a member of the club." --Spader quoted in PREMIERE, January 1997

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Victoria Spader. Set decorator. Served as set decorator for "sex, lies, and videotape" (1989); met in the late 1970s; married c. 1979.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Todd Spader. Teacher.
mother:
Jean Spader. Teacher.
mother-in-law:
Lee Kheel. Actor. Primarily a NYC stage actor but has also appeared several times on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC).
son:
Sebastian Spader. Born in July 1989.
son:
Elijah Spader. Born c. 1992.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute