Home   >   Movie Stars   >   U   >   James Urbaniak
James Urbaniak
  • Biography

James Urbaniak

James Urbaniak first gained the attention of moviegoers as the reticent Simon Grim in Hal Hartley's Henry Fool. In its review of the film, the New York Post described Urbaniak's performance as a revelation and dubbed him the nerd Brando. Urbaniak also appeared in Hartley's most recent film No Such Thing, with Sarah Polley. Most recent feature credits include Charles Herman-Wurmfeld's Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde; Zev Berman's Briar Patch, opposite Dominique Swain, Lynn Hershman Leeson's Teknolust, opposite Tilda Swinton, and Parker Cross's Fortunes. Other film credits include George Clooney's Confessions of A Dangerous Mind; Hilary Grougher's indie sci-fi epic The Sticky Fingers of Time; Woody Allen's Sweet and Lowdown; and Ang Lee's Ride With the Devil. He has appeared in several short films, including Hal Hartley's Opera No. 1 and 3/94 NYC; Itamar Kubovy's Chekhov adaptation Upheaval, starring Frances McDormand; J. Todd Walker's Passengers; and Deborah Chow's upcoming Daypass. Other film/TV credits include the Hartley featurette Book of Life and the role of a foot fetishist shoe salesman on HBO's Sex and the City.

Urbaniak is a veteran of New York's downtown theatre scene. With director Karin Coonrod, he co-founded the theatre company Arden Party, acting in and producing over thirty plays, both classics and originals, from the late 1980's through the 1990's. Recent off-Broadway credits include "The World Over: Shoppers Carried By Escalators into the Flames"; he played the dual roles of the French polemicist Guy Debord and Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones in the critically acclaimed Lipstick Traces, a theatrical adaptation of the Greil Marcus book; Jose Rivera's Sueno at Manhattan Class Company; and most recently Melissa James Gibson's [sic] at Soho Rep. He originated roles in several plays by fellow downtown veteran Todd Alcott (screenwriter of Antz) including Jane Faust, A Pound of Flesh and Helsinor and has worked with many esteemed off-off-Broadway theatre companies including Cucaracha Theatre, Target Margin, Clubbed Thumb and Elevator Repair Service. In 1996, Urbaniak won an Obie Award for his performance as the angst-ridden main character in the avant-garde writer/director Richard Foreman's play The Universe.

Urbaniak has recorded the poetry of author Joe Wenderoth for the CD Sweet and Vicious, a compilation of readings from the online magazine Nerve, and for the CD accompanying Wenderoth's book Letters to Wendy's, published by Verse Press. He lives in New York City.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

James Urbaniak Facts

BirthdaySeptember 17, 1963 (58)
BirthplaceNew Jersey, USA

Selected Filmography

Not available.