James Woods was born in Vernal, Utah and raised in Warwick, Rhode Island. He's 6' tall with brown hair and brown eyes. James Pilgrim High School and went to college at MIT, where he majored in Political Science. He dropped out of college to pursue his acting career when he was just one credit shy of earning his degree. He is known as one of Hollywood's most intense supporting and leading actors and he has built a distinguished career on stage, screen, and television.
Early in his career, Woods, with his lean body, close-set eyes, and narrow, acne-scarred face, specialized in playing sociopaths, psychopaths, and other crazed villains in films such as 1979's The Onion Field, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1980. In the 1990s, he added a sizable number of good guys to his resume. He was nominated for an Academy Award twice. The first nomination was in 1987 for Best Actor in Salvador and the second was in 1996 for Best Supporting Actor in Ghosts of Mississippi.
James has been nominated for seven Emmy Awards, which include two nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Special for his acclaimed performances in the 1993 special entitled Citizen Cohn and in the 1995 special, Indictment: The McMartin Trial. In 2003, he was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story, and he was nominated in 2006 for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of Nate Lennox in the Season 12 ER episode Body and Soul. He has also won several Emmys: in 1987, he won Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Special for his role in Promise, and in 1989 he won Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Special for his poignant portrayal of an alcoholic in My Name is Bill W. In 2000, he also won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program for his voice role as Hades in Disney's Hercules.
In 2006, James was cast in the leading role of the CBS legal drama Shark.