James Spader

James Spader

381 Fans
Feb. 7th, 1960
Born in
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
5' 10

James Spader's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
The Blacklist TV Show
The Blacklist
Boston Legal TV Show
Boston Legal
The Practice TV Show
The Practice
Discovery Atlas TV Show
Discovery Atlas
The Family Tree TV Show
The Family Tree

Main Movie Roles

2015 - Avengers: Age of Ultron
2014 - The Homesman
2012 - Lincoln
2009 - Shorts
2003 - Alien Hunter
2003 - I Witness
2002 - Secretary
2002 - The Stickup
1997 - Critical Care
1996 - Crash
1996 - 2 Days in the Valley
1994 - Wolf
1994 - Stargate
1992 - Bob Roberts
1991 - True Colors
1990 - Bad Influence
1990 - White Palace
1989 - The Rachel Papers
1988 - Jack's Back
1988 - Jack's Back
1987 - Mannequin
1987 - Wall Street
1987 - Less Than Zero
1987 - Baby Boom
1986 - Pretty in Pink
1985 - Tuff Turf
1981 - Endless Love

Guest TV Roles

Show Name
Characters Played
Ep Count
Robert California
Steven (Voiced)
Himself - Guest
[Complete List]


James Todd Spader (born February 7, 1960) is an American actor. His most famous television roles are those of the colorful 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. He is set to play Ultron in Marvel Studios' upcoming film The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).

Spader was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Jean (née Fraser) and Stoddard Greenwood "Todd" Spader, both teachers. One of Spader's great-great-grandfathers was William Ingersoll Bowditch (of the historic William Ingersoll Bowditch House); Spader's ancestors also include deaf educator Laurent Clerc, mathematician Nathaniel Bowditch, American Revolution general Joshua Babcock, and Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia Paul Mascarene.

During his early education, Spader attended The Pike School (where his mother taught art) and enrolled in the Brooks School (where his father taught), for one year, in North Andover, Massachusetts. Spader later transferred to Phillips Academy, but dropped out of school in the eleventh grade to pursue acting at the Michael Chekhov School in New York City. Before becoming a full-time actor, Spader held a variety of jobs including being a yoga instructor, busboy, truck driver, stable boy, and railroad-car loader.

Spader's first major film role was in 1981 as Brooke Shields' brother in Endless Love, and his first starring role was in Tuff Turf alongside good friend 'Robert Downey, Jr.' However, he did not rise to stardom until 1986, when he played Molly Ringwald's arrogant rich playboy foil Steff in Pretty in Pink. He starred opposite 'Andrew McCarthy', another friend, in Mannequin, and in the film adaptation of Less Than Zero, where he played a drug dealer named Rip. Supporting roles in movies such as Baby Boom and Wall Street followed until his critical breakthrough in 1989. In Sex, Lies, and Videotape, he played a sexual voyeur named Graham Dalton who complicates the lives of three Baton Rouge residents. For this performance, he received the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival. His roles in the early 1990s included playing a young, affluent widower opposite 'Susan Sarandon' in White Palace, John Cusack's best friend in True Colors, and a poker-playing drifter who collides with Mandy Patinkin in The Music of Chance. In 1994, he starred as Egyptologist Daniel Jackson in the blockbuster film Stargate. He played car-accident fetishist James Ballard in the controversial Canadian film Crash in 1996 and assassin Lee Woods in 2 Days in the Valley. In 1997, Spader guest starred in an episode of Seinfeld 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 serial killer 'Keanu Reeves' in The Watcher. In 2002, he starred as Maggie Gyllenhaal's sadistic boss in the critically acclaimed Secretary.

  • Greatly admires the work of 'Charles Laughton' (qv).
  • Auditioned for the film Taps, but eventually lost the part to 'Sean Penn (I)' (qv).
  • Is quick to point out that, unlike the sleazy, slime ball characters he is best known for playing, he is actually a nice, friendly guy in real life.
  • Has very poor eyesight, and cannot wear contact lenses. Has said that in roles in which he does not wear his eyeglasses, he can barely make out the face of the actor across from him in the scene.
  • Children: Sebastian Spader (born 1989) and Elijah Spader (born 1992).
  • First performer to win Leading Actor Emmy's for portraying the same character (Alan Shore) on two different shows (_"The Practice" (1997)_ (qv) and _"Boston Legal" (2004)_ (qv)) without one of the Emmy wins being for guest actor/actress.
  • Has a photographic memory. He can look at a script and he remembers what the pages look like. As he films a scene he "reads" the page. The only reason he screws up a line is if very similar words (e.g. it and is) are written fairly close together.
  • Fiance Leslie Stefanson gave birth to his third son on August 31, 2008.

Related sites for this celeb
» BuddyTV
» TVGuide
» AceShowbiz
» Celebrity-Mania
» Zap2it.com
You are successfully logged out.

ShareTV Login

Enter the text in the image shown if you are human.
WARNING: after 2 more failed attempts you will be locked out

Create Account

Verify Password

Verification code (check your email for the verification code)

Verification code has been sent to the following email address:
If you didn't receive the verification code:

1. Check your bulk/spam folder.

2. Try to whitelist our email address (noreply@sharetv.org)

3. Resend verification email

If you mistyped your email address change it here
Create a free ShareTV account to make a personalized schedule of your favorite TV shows, keep track of what you've watched, earn points and more.
Verify your username and email to complete your Registration
Enter the text in the image shown if you are human.
WARNING: after 2 more failed attempts you will be locked out

Forgot Your Password?

Enter the email address you used to create the account and your password will be emailed to you.