{ james van der beek }

Date of birth (location): 8 March 1977 - Cheshire, Connecticut, USA
Birth Name: James William Van Der Beek, Jr.
Spouse: Heather McComb (05 July 2003 - present)


Much like the character he portrays, James Van Der Beek's dedication and talent surfaced at an early age. A mild concussion sidelined his school football career, and instead Van Der Beek found himself playing the lead role in a local children's theater production of "Grease." He fell in love with the theater and continued to perform locally. Football resurfaced later, however, when he started last year in the film "Varsity Blues" as a Texas high school football player. The film was a hit and Van Der Beek's performance cemented his reputation in the world of film as well as television, leading to his starring role with Dylan McDermott in this summer's highly anticipated Miramax film "Texas Rangers." This John Milius-scripted Western follows a ragtag group of youngsters who band together after the Civil War, charged with the dangerous, ruthless duty of cleaning up the West.

"Dawson reminds me of myself at that age," says Van Der Beek. "I grew up in a small New England town and vacationed on Cape Cod, where the show takes place, and we both come from loving supportive homes. We also look alike," jokes the 23-year-old actor.

Says Van Der Beek, "Dawson is a burgeoning filmmaker, whose idealism and naivete have made the last couple of years of high school a real emotional challenge. Now somewhat disillusioned, he's given up on his film aspirations for the time being. But that passion is still inside of him, waiting to be rediscovered, and I hope that this year it will be."

When Van Der Beek was 16, his mother, noting his intense interest in performing, offered to support his aspirations by accompanying him on daily six-hour round trips into New York City to test the waters. At 17, Van Der Beek was cast in the off-Broadway play "Finding the Sun," written and directed by Edward Albee. Juggling the long commute for rehearsals and performances during the play's limited three-month run while attending high school, Van Der Beek credits the play as the defining experience for him as an actor - and he still managed to finish the school year second in his class.

His first screen performance occurred in the 1995 feature film "Angus" as an arrogant jock. In addition to "Varsity Blues," Van Der Beek also appeared in the earlier films, "I Love You�I Love You Not" (Miramax) with Claire Danes and the independent feature "Harvest."

An excellent student, Van Der Beek received an academic scholarship to attend Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, where he majored in English and made the Dean's List prior to beginning work in Wilmington, North Carolina on DAWSON'S CREEK.


» Was an English major at Drew University before leaving school to do "Dawson's Creek" (1998).
» Was roommates with Joshua Jackson during the first season of "Dawson's Creek" (1998).
» He is the oldest of three children. His father is a cellular phone salesman and his mother runs a gymnastics studio.
» Chosen by People Magazine as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world. [1998]
» He started acting because a concussion stopped him from playing football.
» Was identified as dyslexic in kindergarden and learned to read in a special class. Later became an honors student.
» Has a brother Jared (1979) and a sister Julianne (1981)
» His favourite city is New York
» His favourite group is the Dave Matthews Band and his favourite ice-cream is Vanilla.
» He won a MTV video award for Varsity Blues (1999), and another for the best cameo with Scary Movie (2000).
» His favourite football team is Green Bay Packers.
» His hobbies are: playing the guitar, sleeping, staying with his friends and playing sports.
» His favourite movie is The Shawshank Redemption (1994).
» Lives in New York City for most of the summer - when his show is on hiatus or when he is not shooting a film.
» James enjoys watching football on weekends and still plays football with his friends whenever he has the time.
» The necklace that he wore on "Dawson's Creek" (1998) was made by one of his best friends.
» Is a Dutch-American
» Oddly, the literal translation of his Dutch surname means 'from the creek'.
» Brother-in-law of Jennifer McComb.
» Shares a birthday with Freddie Prinze Jr. and Camryn Manheim.
» Met his wife after her sister, Jennifer McComb, played a small guest-role in an episode of "Dawson's Creek." Jennifer kept in touch with the "Dawson's" crew and introduced James and Heather.

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