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James Van Der Beek was born on March 8, 1977, in Cheshire, Connecticut, as the oldest of three children to father Jim Van Der Beek, a cellular-phone company executive and mother Melinda Van Der Beek, a gymnastics studio owner and former Broadway dancer. James has a brother named Jared who was born in 1979 and a sister named Juliana who was born in 1981. James started acting at 13 after suffering a concussion playing football that prevented him from playing for a year on doctor's orders. He landed the role of Danny Zuko in his school production of Grease. After that, the acting bug sank in and the next three years he spent time doing local theater. Around 16, he and his mother went to New York City to find an agent and possible auditions. A year later, he was cast in an off-Broadway play called Finding the Sun. After doing another play called Shenandoah in 1994, James received an academic scholarship to Drew University in NJ, where he was working towards obtaining a major in English with a minor in sociology and also at that time he won the role of Rick Sanford in the movie Angus (1995). In 1996, he won a very small supporting role in I Love You, I Love You Not (1996). After that film his acting career was at a dead end and he decided to continue with his schooling and eventually made the Dean's list. In early 1997, Van Der Beek auditioned for three television pilots. One of them was for the fledgling WB Network show Dawson's Creek. Van Der Beek won the title role of "Dawson Leery," and the show's 1998 debut was a success that helped to establish the network and its cast, which included Katie Holmes, Michelle Williams, and Joshua Jackson.
In 2012, Van Der Beek portrays a fictionalized version of himself in the show Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23.
|1996||I Love You, I Love You Not||Tony|
|1999||Varsity Blues||Jonathon "Mox" Moxon|
|2000||Scary Movie||Dawson Leery||Uncredited|
|2001||Texas Rangers||Lincoln Rogers Dunnison|
|2001||Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back||Himself|
|2002||The Rules of Attraction||Sean Bateman|
|2003||Castle in the Sky||Pazu (voice)||English dub|
|2006||The Plague||Tom Russell||Direct-to-video|
|2007||Eye of the Beast||Dan Leland||Television film|
|2007||Final Draft||Paul Twist|
|2009||Taken in Broad Daylight||Anthony Steven "Tony Zappa" Wright||Television film|
|2009||Formosa Betrayed||Jake Kelly|
|2009||Mrs. Miracle||Seth Webster||Television film|
|2010||The Big Bang||Adam Nova|
|2011||Salem Falls||Jack St. Bride||Television film|
|1993||Clarissa Explains It All||Paulie||Episode: "Alter Ego"|
|1995||As the World Turns||Stephen Anderson||3 episodes|
|1996||Aliens in the Family||Ethan||Episode: "You Don't Have a Pet to Be Popular"|
|1998–2003||Dawson's Creek||Dawson Leery||Main cast|
|2005||Three||John-O||Unsold CBS pilot|
|2006||Sex, Power, Love & Politics||Ozzie||Unsold CBS pilot|
|2006||Robot Chicken||Various voices||2 episodes|
|2007||Football Wives||Brian Reynolds||Unsold ABC pilot|
|2007||Criminal Minds||Tobias Hankel/Raphael||2 episodes|
|2007||Ugly Betty||Luke Carnes||Episode: "Grin and Bear It"|
|2008, 2013||How I Met Your Mother||Simon||3 episodes|
|2008–2009||One Tree Hill||Reese Dixon||4 episodes|
|2009||Eva Adams||Connor Strikes||Unsold Fox pilot|
|2009||Medium||Dylan Hoyt||Episode: "All in the Family"|
|2009||The Storm||Dr. Jonathan Kirk||Miniseries|
|2009||The Forgotten||Judd Shaw||Episode: "Lucky John"|
|2010||Mercy||Dr. Joe Briggs||10 episodes|
|2011||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Rex Tamlyn||Episode: "To the Boy in the Blue Knit Cap"|
|2011||Franklin & Bash||Nathan||Episode: "Bachelor Party"|
|2012–2013||Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23||James Van Der Beek||Main cast|
|2012||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Sean Albert||Episode: "Father Dearest"|
|2013||Friends with Better Lives||Will Stokes||Pre-production|
Notes and TriviaEdit
- His hobbies are: playing the guitar, sleeping, staying with his friends and playing sports.
- He was roommates with Joshua Jackson during the first season of Dawson's Creek.
- He had two children with his wife Kimberly Van Der Beek: a girl named Olivia and a boy named Joshua.