Apr. 18th, 1947
Vernal, Utah, USA
James Woods' Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
James Howard Woods (born April 18, 1947) is an American film, stage, and television actor. After his first Golden Globe nomination for a breakthrough role in The Onion Field (1979), Woods starred in Once Upon a Time in America, the Oliver Stone films Salvador and Nixon, Ghosts of Mississippi, and in the legal series Shark.
He has won three Emmy Awards – for television movies Promise and My Name Is Bill W., and for the animated series Hercules. He has been nominated twice for an Academy Award. His voice work has been heard in the animated series The Simpsons, Family Guy, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and in films Stuart Little 2 (as Falcon) and Disney's Hercules (as Hades).
Born in Vernal, Utah. His father, Gail Peyton Woods, was an army intelligence officer who died in 1960 after routine surgery. His mother, Martha A. (née Smith), operated a pre-school after her husband's death and later married Thomas E. Dixon. Woods grew up in Warwick, Rhode Island, where he attended Pilgrim High School. He is of part Irish descent and was raised Catholic, briefly serving as an altar boy. He reportedly scored a perfect 800 on the verbal section of the SAT and 779 on the math section of the SAT, yielding a total score of 1579. He was nominated for the United States Air Force Academy and received scholarships from Tufts University and Johns Hopkins University for both undergraduate and graduate studies, intending to go to medical school.
Woods ultimately chose to pursue his undergraduate studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he majored in political science (though he originally planned on a career as an eye surgeon). While at MIT, Woods pledged to Theta Delta Chi Fraternity. He was also an active member of the student theatre group "Dramashop" where he both acted in and directed a number of plays. In order to pursue a career in acting, he dropped out of MIT in 1969 before his graduation. Woods has said that he became an actor thanks to Tim Affleck (father of actor Ben Affleck), who was a stage manager at the Theatre Company of Boston while Woods was a student there.
During a press interview for Kingdom Hearts II, Woods noted that he is an avid video game player. He is an active dealer of antiques in Rhode Island. Some of his favorite activities are playing golf and cooking.
In late August 2001, Woods was on a flight from Boston to Los Angeles. On the flight he noticed 4 men near him acting suspiciously. He said that they never drank anything, ordered food service or talked to anybody. They were just whispering to each other. Woods reported his suspicions to police officers at the airport and it reached the FBI but they did not worry or take it seriously. When the (September 11) attacks occurred about two weeks later, Woods believed that he had encountered 4 of the 19 terrorists/hijackers that were just on the flight to study it in preparation for the attacks. Woods has been interviewed several times by FBI agents regarding this incident. Woods has confirmed that he looked at pictures of the hijackers and has identified two terrorists as being among the men that he had seen on his flight.
- He plays a character who works for 'Richard Nixon' (qv) in _Nixon (1995)_ (qv) and played one of a band of men who wore Nixon masks when they robbed a police depository in _Best Seller (1987)_ (qv).
- Is against capital punishment.
- He was accepted into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on a full scholarship, majoring not in the physical sciences but in political science. He also pursued acting, appearing in 36 plays at MIT, Harvard, and the Theater Company of Boston and also performed in summer stock at the Provincetown Playhouse. He dropped out of MIT during his last year to move to New York and pursue acting full-time.
- Childhood friend of Wall Street Journal personal technology columnist Walt Mossberg.
- He was considered a brilliant student, enrolling in a UCLA linear algebra course while still attending high school. He scored a perfect 800 on the verbal SAT and a 779 on the math portion.
- Majored in Political Science at M.I.T.
- Was allegedly harassed and stalked by 'Sean Young (I)' (qv) after their dating relationship ended.
- Is a member of MENSA (as are 'Geena Davis' (qv), 'Cy Frost' (qv), 'Chino XL' (qv), 'Ben Rollins' (qv) and 'Alan Rachins' (qv)).