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James Van Der Beek

James Van Der Beek

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Also Known As: James William Van Der Beek Jr. Died:
Born: March 8, 1977 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Cheshire, Connecticut, USA Profession: actor, singer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Plucked from obscurity to become an instant heartthrob, James Van Der Beek played the earnest, hypersensitive high school kid Dawson Leery on the seminal teen soap "Dawson's Creek" (The WB, 1998-2003). The weekly foibles of Dawson and his adolescently-charged, anachronistically savvy friends made breakout stars of Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, Michelle Williams and Joshua Jackson. It provided the actor with a launchpad for roles in youth-targeted movies, among them "Varsity Blues" (1999), "Texas Rangers" (2001) and "Rules of Attraction" (2002). After "Dawson" shuttered, Van Der Beek found consistent project work difficult to come by. He ramped his screen presence back up in the late 2000s, scoring star billings in the NBC miniseries "The Storm" (2009) and buzz-worthy indie project in "Formosa Betrayed" (2010), capped by his mid-season casting on the NBC medical drama "Mercy" (2009-2010) and playing a version of himself on the hotly anticipated sitcom "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23" (ABC, 2012- ). Amid a career renaissance of sorts, Van Der Beek still remained inexorably tied in the public mind to his central role in The WB Generation's most iconic coming-of-age tale.

Plucked from obscurity to become an instant heartthrob, James Van Der Beek played the earnest, hypersensitive high school kid Dawson Leery on the seminal teen soap "Dawson's Creek" (The WB, 1998-2003). The weekly foibles of Dawson and his adolescently-charged, anachronistically savvy friends made breakout stars of Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, Michelle Williams and Joshua Jackson. It provided the actor with a launchpad for roles in youth-targeted movies, among them "Varsity Blues" (1999), "Texas Rangers" (2001) and "Rules of Attraction" (2002). After "Dawson" shuttered, Van Der Beek found consistent project work difficult to come by. He ramped his screen presence back up in the late 2000s, scoring star billings in the NBC miniseries "The Storm" (2009) and buzz-worthy indie project in "Formosa Betrayed" (2010), capped by his mid-season casting on the NBC medical drama "Mercy" (2009-2010) and playing a version of himself on the hotly anticipated sitcom "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23" (ABC, 2012- ). Amid a career renaissance of sorts, Van Der Beek still remained inexorably tied in the public mind to his central role in The WB Generation's most iconic coming-of-age tale.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Labor Day (2013)
2.
 Backwards (2012)
3.
 Salem Falls (2012)
4.
 Big Bang, The (2011)
5.
 Formosa Betrayed (2010)
6.
 Mrs. Miracle (2009)
8.
 Stolen (2009)
9.
 Stone's War (2007)
10.
 Eye of the Beast (2007)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Starred as Danny Zuko in a community theater production of "Grease"
1994:
Made professional stage debut in the off-Broadway production of Edward Albee's "Finding the Sun"
:
Appeared in a revival of the musical "Shenandoah" at the Goodspeed Opera House
1995:
Made film debut as a sadistic bully in "Angus"
1997:
Appeared in the independent film "I Love You, I Love You Not" opposite Claire Danes and Jude Law
1998:
Breakthrough role as aspiring filmmaker Dawson Leery on The WB teen drama series "Dawson's Creek"
1999:
Played the leading role in the high school football feature "Varsity Blues"
1998:
Co-starred with Mary McCormack in the independent drama "Harvest"
2001:
Co-starred in the Western themed "Texas Rangers"
2002:
Played Sean Bateman in the film adaptation of Brett Easton Ellis' "The Rules of Attraction"; written and directed by Roger Avary
2003:
Returned to the stage in the New York Premiere of Lanford Wilson's "Rain Dance"
2006:
Co-starred in the indie comedy "Standing Still"
2007:
Cast in the two-part, post-Super Bowl episode of "Criminal Minds" (CBS) playing a man with Dissociative Identity Disorder
2008:
Played a recurring role on "One Tree Hill" (The CW) as a movie director
2010:
Cast as a doctor on the medical drama "Mercy" (NBC)
2012:
Played a fictionalized version of himself on ABC comedy "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Drew University: Madison , New Jersey -
Cheshire Academy: Cheshire , Connecticut - 1995

Notes

On being mobbed with "Dawson's Creek" co-star Joshua Jackson at a Seventeen magazine party: "We walked out and everybody went nuts. We were throwing T-shirts out, but we had to stop because people were trampling each other to get them.

"I was like a deer in the headlights. I didn't know how to react." --James Van Der Beek in USA Today, January 20, 1998.

Costar Joshua Jackson ... says that Van Der Beek is just as "sweet" and "earnest" as the character he plays. "He's the good-looking, polite, college-educated kid who says 'sir' and 'madam'." That squeaky-clean image is no act. Jackson shared an apartment with Van Der Beek during the show's four-month shoot in Wilmington, N.C., last fall. "People called us the Odd Couple," says Jackson, "and I was definitely not Felix." --From People, March 23, 1998.

Van Der Beek on working with hitmaker Kevin Williamson and the surprise success of "Dawson's Creek": "I didn't know Kevin had written 'Scream' when I met him. He was just the 'good guy' at the audition. I didn't realize what a phenomenon this was going to become. When we were doing the pilot it was 'We'll definately be picked up' (by a network). And I thought, 'We'll see.' Then I heard 'This is getting a big marketing push.' I'd heard that with 'Angus' which they had me believe was the Second Coming and I'd be a star. It bombed, so I didn't expect any of that." --quoted in Boston Herald, January 12, 1999.

"The problem with teen idols is they grow up. The trick is to prove you're an actor in the process. I'm trying to establish myself as an actor as opposed to a novelty, but I can use the novelty-item status to get opportunities to act. So, I've got an opportunity here. I don't know if it'll work" --Van Der Beek to Movieline, February 1999.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Heather McComb. Actor. Began dating c. 1996; became engaged at Christmas 2001; married July 5, 2003.

Family close complete family listing

father:
James Van Der Beek. Cellular phone company executive. Former pitcher for the Dodgers.
mother:
Melinda Van Der Beek. Gymnastics studio owner, former Broadway dancer.
brother:
Jared Van Der Beek. Born c. 1979.
sister:
Juliana Van Der Beek. Born c. 1981.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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