JAMES VAN DER BEEK Biography - Actors and Actresses


Biography » actors and actresses » james van der beek


Name: James William Van Der Beek, Jr.                                                 
Born: 8 March 1977 Cheshire, Connecticut, United States                               
James William Van Der Beek, Jr. (born March 8, 1977) is an American television       
and film actor, known for his role as Dawson Leery in Dawson's Creek.                 
Van Der Beek was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, the son of Jim, then                 
professional baseball player in the Dodgers Minor League system, and Melinda,         
a gymnastics teacher and former professional dancer. His father retired from         
baseball shortly after James' birth and took a job with the phone company as         
sales account manager.                                                               
The family then moved to Cheshire, Connecticut, where James played American           
football, baseball, ran track and field and even had a brief stint on the diving     
team. He mowed lawns around the neighborhood to earn money, and earned a full         
academic scholarship to the private school Cheshire Academy.                         
He suffered a concussion at age 13 while playing football, which prevented him       
from playing the rest of the season. So instead, he played Danny Zuko in his         
hometown's community theater production of Grease. This lead to many more             
community theater roles, and at age 15 he was so passionate about performing         
that he asked his mother to take him into New York City that summer to see if he     
could get an agent and try his hand professionally.                                   
He got an agent his first day in New York, but then auditioned for commercials       
for a year and a half with no success.