James Todd Spader was born on February 7, 1960 in Boston, Massachusetts. Both of his parents, Todd and Jean, were teachers. Initially, James attended high school at The Pike School in Andover, Massachusetts but transferred to Phillips Academy. He dropped out of Phillips Academy in the eleventh grade and moved to New York City to pursue an acting career. He had a variety of jobs before he became an actor. Some of those include being a bus boy, shoveling manure, and teaching Yoga.
His first role in a major motion picture was in the 1986 film, Pretty in Pink
and it was a catalyst for his career. He became more successful in the film industry after starring in several of 'The Brat Pack' films as a bad guy during the 1980's. However, he is most well know for playing eccentric characters in films such as Sex, Lies, and Videotape
, and Secretary
His most recent role is that of the quirky lawyer, Alan Shore
, in David E. Kelly's
television series entitled Boston Legal
. He played the same role in The Practice
which was also created by David E. Kelly
. James won an Emmy for his performance as Alan Shore in both series. He is one of two actors to win two Emmys consecutively for the same role but in two different series. The awards he's won include 3 Emmy Awards for his role as Alan Shore
. He won the first one in 2004 for playing the role on The Practice
. He won the second in 2005 and the third one in 2007 for playing the role on Boston Legal
. He also won a Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival for his role in Sex, Lies, and Videotape
James met Victoria Kheel on the set of Sex, Lies, and Videotape
, where she was a set designer, and they were married in 1989. They have two sons whose names are Sebastian and Elijah. In 2005, he filed for divorce.
He is acclaimed as one of the most talented and versatile actors of his generation. He has appeared in over 43 motion pictures and continues to work in both film and television.