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James Van Der Beek Biography

James Van Der Beek


Date of Birth
8 December 1977, Cheshire, Connecticut, USA

Birth Name
James David Van Der Beek Jr.

Baby James, Beek

6' (1.83 m)

Mini Biography
James David Van Der Beek was born on March 8, 1977 in Cheshire, Connecticut, as the oldest of three children of Melinda (Weber), a gymnastics studio owner and Broadway dancer, and Jim Van Der Beek, a cell phone company executive. He 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) which starred Claire Danes. 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. The college experience soon became old for James, so he took some time off to travel and when he returned he auditioned for a role in Dawson's Creek (1998). He won the lead in the show, and his life changed forever. Though James has taken a hiatus from his college studies to shoot the series, he still plans to finish his degree. He has starred in several hit films over the past couple of years, like Varsity Blues (1999) andTexas Rangers (2001).

  • Was an English major at Drew University before leaving school to do Dawson's Creek (1998).
  • Was roommates with Joshua Jackson during the first season of Dawson's Creek (1998).
  • He is the oldest of three children. His father played minor league baseball before he was born, and his mother was a dancer. His dad later worked for the phone company, and his mother ran and owned her own gymnastics studio.
  • Chosen by People Magazine as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world. [1998]
  • He started acting because a concussion stopped him from playing football.
  • Was identified as dyslexic in kindergarten and learned to read in a special class. Later became an honors student.
  • Has a brother Jared (1979) and a sister Juliana (1981).
  • His hobbies are: playing the guitar, sleeping, staying with his friends and playing sports.
  • His favourite movie is The Shawshank Redemption (1994).
  • Lives in New York City for most of the summer - when his show is on hiatus or when he is not shooting a film.
  • James enjoys watching football and baseball, and on weekends and still plays whenever he has the time.
  • The necklace that he wore on Dawson's Creek (1998) was made by his mother.
  • He has Dutch, German, and English ancestry.
  • Oddly, the literal translation of his Dutch surname means 'from the creek'.
  • Ex-brother-in-law of Jennifer McComb.
  • Met his ex-wife after her sister, Jennifer McComb, played a small guest-role in an episode of Dawson's Creek (1998). Jennifer kept in touch with the Dawson's Creek (1998) crew and introduced James and Heather.
  • There was a third story in Storytelling (2001) with Van Der Beek as a college student realizing his sexuality, which was subsequently cut out of the film.
  • Has five children with wife Kimberly Van Der Beek. Daughters: Olivia (b. September 25, 2010), Annabel (b. January 25, 2014), Emilia (b. March 23, 2016), Gwendolyn (b. June 15, 2018) and son Joshua (b. March 13, 2012),.
  • In off-Broadway play "Rain Dance" and filming Standing Still (2005). [June 2003]
  • Quotes
  • "I love New York City. Everyone is busy with their own lives - and no one is interested in some Hollywood celebrity walking past in downtown Manhattan.Thats why it's my favorite city. You can do what you want without attracting a crowd of curious onlookers".
  • I'm not about to talk about what's romantic in my life - I figure if you talk about it once - then that's an open invitation for everyone to dig into your personal life even further. So, I just keep my private life to myself.
  • [Talking about shooting a TV show] "Sometimes it can be really stressful. But that's where it's important to have a close cast working together. On our show - Michelle, Katie, Josh and I get along really well. We all started together - and we back each other whenever we have any problems with the writers. So if there's unity amongst the cast then that reduces the level of stress and tension that can work its way into a long running show".
  • [on 'Dawson's Creek'] As popular as the show was, the fact that people are still all relevant however many years later, the fact that none of us are in jail, is pretty staggering. The odds that four people that young, who got that famous that quickly, would all turn out okay is pretty rare. I think a lot of it had to do with shooting in North Carolina, and being away from the pitfalls that come in Hollywood. We all kept each other honest to a degree.

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