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James Van der Beek

At age 20, James Van der Beek burst onto the world scene as the title character in the hit television show Dawson's Creek, a groundbreaking cultural phenomenon that ran for six years, established the fledgling WB Network, and is now syndicated globally. On the feature film front, he anchored the sports classic Varsity Blues, and subverted his teen idol image to great dramatic effect in Oscar winner Roger Avary's The Rules of Attraction, based on the Bret Easton Ellis novel.

Born in Connecticut to a professional baseball player and a former dancer, Van Der Beek grew up playing sports until a concussion sidelined him from football at age 13. He took the opportunity to do a play in his hometown of Cheshire, and fell in love with performing. He first began working professionally on the New York stage at age 16, with three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Edward Albee in the NY premiere of his play, Finding the Sun, which garnered rave reviews.

After more stage work and a few films, Van Der Beek took a break from acting to study English and Sociology on an academic scholarship at Drew University. It was toward the end of his sophomore year that he landed his big break on Dawson's Creek. The runaway success of the show and the subsequent movies he filmed during hiatus landed him on People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful list, Premiere Magazine's 100 most Powerful in Hollywood list, earned him an MTV Movie Award (for Varsity Blues), and even got him a hosting gig on the legendary Saturday Night Live, which provided a showcase for his before-then-untapped comedic chops.

Since the conclusion of Dawson's Creek, Van Der Beek has displayed an impressive dramatic range in numerous TV and film roles, portraying everything from a killer with multiple personality disorder in the two-hour Criminal MindsTV event; an FBI agent with an unshakeable moral compass in the independent film Formosa Betrayed (for which he and the film both won top prizes at the San Diego Film Festival); and an aging, balding former Mr. Teen Winnipeg on How I Met Your Mother. Most recently he was seen in the NBC medical drama Mercy as Dr. Joe Briggs, and completed filming the feature The Big Bang, opposite Antonio Banderas. Up next, Van Der Beek will be seen guest starring on the TNT series Franklin & Bashand as a series regular in the ABC comedy Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2012.
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James Van der Beek Facts

Birth NameJames William Van Der Beek Jr.
BirthdayMarch 8, 1977 (45)
BirthplaceCheshire, Connecticut, USA
Height5' 10" (1m78)  How tall is James Van der Beek compared to you?
Awards1999 MTV Movie Awards: Breakthrough Male Performance (for Varsity Blues)
Social Media vanderjames

Selected Filmography

Indiana Home Shopping with James Van Der Beek and Anna Camp
Texas Rangers
Castle in the Sky
Dawson's Creek: The Complete Series
Final Draft
Mrs. Miracle
The Big Bang
CSI: Cyber
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