JAMES VAN DER BEEK Biography - Other artists & entretainers


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James William Van Der Beek, Jr. (born March 8, 1977 in Cheshire, Connecticut) is an American film actor. He is the son of former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Jim Van Der Beek and former Broadway dancer Melinda Van Der Beek.


James Van Der Beek began acting at age 13, playing Danny Zuko in a his school’s performance of Grease. He began auditioning in New York City at age 16 and appeared in the off-Broadway play Finding the Sun; he also appeared in the play Shenandoah in 1994. He attended high school in Cheshire, at a private school named Cheshire Academy, where he starred in many of the school’s plays. Later, he was given a scholarship to attend Drew University, where he was an English major.


He started his film career with the movie Angus in 1995. However, his career didn’t really take off until he was cast as Dawson Leery in the television series Dawson’s Creek in 1998. He stopped going to college to film the series, but plans to return to earn his degree.


In 2002 he married actress Heather McComb.