James Spader Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (3)  | Trade Mark (3)  | Trivia (26)  | Personal Quotes (20)  | Salary (2)

Overview (4)

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Birth NameJames Todd Spader
Nickname Jimmy
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

James Todd Spader was born on February 7, 1960 in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of teachers Jean (Fraser) and Stoddard Greenwood "Todd" Spader. He attended Phillips Academy in Andover with director Peter Sellars; he dropped out in eleventh grade. He bused tables, shoveled manure, and taught yoga before landing his first roles. Spader's first major film role was as Brooke Shields' brother in the romance drama Endless Love (1981). Spader graduated from television movies to Brat Pack films, playing the scoundrel. In Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989), he played a sexual voyeur who complicates the lives of three Baton Rouge residents. This performance earned him the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival and led to bigger and more varied roles. His best known role is the colorful attorney Alan Shore on the David E. Kelley television series The Practice (1997) and its spin-off Boston Legal (2004).

He won 3 prime time Emmy Awards in the Best Actor, Drama category for playing the same character Alan Shore in two different television series 'The Practice' and 'Boston Legal' out of the 4 nominations he received for the same between the years 2004-2008. He also received a Golden Globe and several Screen Actor Guild Award Best Actor nominations for reprising this role.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: <z115aa@tamvm1.tamu.edu> and Ishani Verma

Family (3)

Spouse Victoria Spader (1987 - 2004)  (divorced)  (2 children)
Children Sebastian Spader
Spader, Elijah
Nathaniel Spader
Parents Fraser, Jean
Greenwood Spader, Stoddard

Trade Mark (3)

Rich smooth voice with slow long drawl
Often plays spoiled or smarmy yuppies
Often plays sleazy, sneaky villains

Trivia (26)

Has two sons: Sebastian Spader (born 1989) and Elijah Spader (born 1992).
Greatly admires the work of Charles Laughton.
Has two unsuccessful television pilots, Diner (1983) and Starcrossed (1985), to his credit.
Is known to prefer being called "Jimmy".
His wife, Victoria Spader, was the set decorator for Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989).
Refuses to watch any of the movies he has appeared in.
Born on the same date (February 7, 1960) as Saturday Night Live (1975) "TV Fun House" writer/cartoonist Robert Smigel, best known as the voice of Triumph the insult comic dog from Late Night with Conan O'Brien (1993).
Loves cooking and is an excellent chef.
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.
First performer to win Leading Drama Actor Emmy Awards for portraying the same character (Alan Shore) on two different series (The Practice (1997) and Boston Legal (2004)).
Is quick to point out that, unlike the sleazy, sneaky characters he is best known for playing, he is actually a nice, friendly man in real life.
Has appeared with Andrew McCarthy in three films: Pretty in Pink (1986), Mannequin (1987) and Less Than Zero (1987).
Has appeared with Eric Stoltz in four films: A Killer in the Family (1983), The New Kids (1985), 2 Days in the Valley (1996) and Keys to Tulsa (1997).
Auditioned for the role of Cadet Captain Alex Dwier in the drama film Taps (1981), but eventually lost to Sean Penn.
He was working as a janitor at a rehearsal studio run by acting teacher & casting director Trent Gough in Times Square when he landed his first feature film Endless Love (1981).
His father died two weeks before he began production on Critical Care (1997).
Has an eidetic 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.
Fiancée Leslie Stefanson gave birth to his third son on August 31, 2008.
Ex-son-in-law of Lee Kheel.
Parents are Stoddard Greenwood and Jean (Fraser) Spader, both educators.
Has English, as well as smaller amounts of Scottish, French, Dutch, German, and Swiss-German, ancestry. Many of his ancestral lines trace back to Colonial America of the 1600s. Among James's famous ancestors are Laurent Clerc, an educator of the deaf, mathematician Nathaniel Bowditch, Revolutionary War general Joshua Babcock, and Paul Mascarene, a Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia. James also shares a common "Vanderbilt" ancestor with famous businessman Cornelius Vanderbilt.
The birth date on the "Ten Most Wanted" poster for Raymond "Red" Reddington on The Blacklist (2013) in February 7, 1960, Spader's actual birth date.
Was close friends with John Kennedy Jr., both having attended Phillips Academy (Andover) high school together. Spader even dined occasionally with John Jr. at his mother Jacqueline Kennedy's Upper East Side apartment in New York.
Is a huge fan of the immortal Bob Dylan.
Did commercial voice-overs for Acura car commercials.

Personal Quotes (20)

If I don't need the money, I don't work. I don't mind going to somebody and saying, "Okay, this is how much money I need to pay my bills for the next six months. If you pay me that, I'll do the film.".
[Why did he accept the lead in Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)?] I took the film because I was interested in doing that part. Looking at work as stepping stones is something I don't have any time or energy for. It seems a shame to look at your work as some sort of means to an end, because the end is death, you know? The means is the flesh and blood, so you had better enjoy it. Fuck the end.
If I don't need the money, I don't work. I'm going to spend time with my family and friends, and I'm going to travel and read and listen to music and try to learn a little bit more about how to be a human being, as opposed to learning how to be somebody else.
Studio people are afraid of Crash (1996). It makes a statement about whoever releases the film. Miramax took a lot of flak for releasing Kids (1995). The same will happen for whoever releases Crash (1996).
I have my own artistic sensibilities and Crash (1996) complements them. It is a provocative, challenging, disturbing film made for adults. It's not a skeleton in the closet for me.
[on his sadomasochistic scenes in the movie Secretary (2002)] I did something in that scene that I'd never done in a film before but that's been the case with so many of my movies.
You just want to work. I like playing character roles and I do not mind being a real son-of-a-bitch, or embarrassing myself. But as you go along you begin to realize that the work has a criterion and as your choices get broader you start cutting out the things that are not worth the time. On the whole I have been lucky; I do not look back with a huge amount of distaste for the work I have done.
Acting is a great way to make a living, especially when I consider what my alternatives were and probably still are. I mean, you are only making movies. It is a lot less pressure than being a surgeon; although it seemed like the only other thing that I was qualified for was manual labour.
Sometimes with people their work is the most important thing to them, and sometimes the work enables you to do other things that are more important to you. I probably am closer to that.
[2005] I've had a lazy career, sometimes one film a year, sometimes none. I'm walking around in the street and doing this other thing, living, that I'm much more interested in. I just do some acting on the side.
I played cops and robbers and pirates and all the rest when I was a kid, but I didn't want to grow up and be an actor and play cops and robbers and pirates. I wanted to grow up and be that, be cops and robbers and pirates.
I grew up a Red Sox fan. I grew up going to Fenway Park and the Museum of Fine Arts and the Science Museum and Symphony Hall and going to the Common, walking around. My whole family at different times lived and worked in Boston.
[1990] You know, when you choose to make your living as an actor, it's all fine and good to look at it as some kind of artistic endeavor. At its best, it is that. But the fact is, most of the actors out there don't earn $3 million a picture and can't afford to take two years off between films and look for the right thing. Most of us are tradesmen. Acting for me, is a passion, but it's also a job, and I've always approached it as such. I have a certain manual-laborist view of acting. There's no shame in taking a film because you need some money. No shame in taking a film because you have always wanted to visit China. I was thinking about this last night as I was driving home. I started to go back through the different films I've done, and the television movies I've done and I started to think about why I chose them at that time. And I realized, every single film I've ever done I've taken because of the money. Every single one. I'm not ashamed to say that.
[1990] I had real trouble, actually, for a long time, getting people to hire me. My anxiety used to manifest itself in strange ways. I'd go in to read for some innocent, vulnerable character, and the feedback would be, "Well, we met Jimmy... and he scared us.".
[1995] I'm not eager at all to present my life out there for public consumption. I like to do one or two films a year and then do what is absolutely obligatory in terms of promoting them. My life outside of films is vital to me.
[on doing Stargate (1994)] I didn't have a great knowledge of this genre. The only demand I was putting on the picture was that my paycheck came in and that I had fun making it. It seemed like it would be rather light-hearted. And it was. I'm not a big fan of films that take themselves seriously.
[on his role on Boston Legal (2004)] The most interesting heroes have a bit of villainy to them, and the most interesting villains have a certain bit of heroism to them, I think (Alan Shore) intends to do the right thing, but his view of the world is very different so, to get to the right place, he sometimes take a path through a very dark forest.
[on his menial jobs before acting] I drove a truck for a while for a meat packing plant. I shoveled manure at the Clarmont Riding Academy in New York. Mopped floors for a while. I uploaded railroad cars and trailers at a warehouse. I wasn't really qualified for anything else.
When you're a kid running around playing make-believe, everything is changing from moment to moment - and a television show is like that too. That's what I got into the business for! I like to know just enough to do the job.
I've always loved antiheroes. Those were the characters I was drawn to growing up, and if I'm equipped to play a hero at all, it's certainly an antihero!

Salary (2)

Stargate (1994) $1,000,000
Secretary (2002) $400,000 + gross points

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