JAMES WOODS Biography - Other artists & entretainers


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James Howard Woods (born April 18, 1947) is an American actor. Born in Vernal, Utah, he grew up in Warwick, Rhode Island where he attended Pilgrim High School. He attended MIT, but dropped out in 1969, just before his graduation, in order to pursue a career in acting.


His career has been noted for the intense characters he has chosen. He was nominated for an Academy Award twice: the first in 1987 for Best Actor in Salvador and again in 1997 for Best Supporting Actor for Ghosts of Mississippi. He has also garnered critical praise for his voice work for Hades in Disney’s Hercules.


On a flight to Los Angeles several weeks before the attacks on September 11th, 2001, James Woods grew suspicious of four of his fellow-passengers: well-dressed men who appeared to be of Middle Eastern extraction.


Woods became so convinced that the men were “casing” the plane that he kept his cutlery after lunch and shared his suspicions with a flight attendant. “I said, ‘I think this plane is going to be hijacked.’ I told her, ‘I know how serious it is to say this,’ and asked to speak to the captain.” The first officer promptly assured Woods that the cockpit door would be kept locked and the plane landed safely.


On the evening of September 11th, Woods told the FBI in Los Angeles about the encounter. At six-forty-five the next morning he was roused by a telephone call from an FBI agent. “I said, ‘I’ll get ready and I’ll come down to the federal building,’” Woods recalled. “He said, ‘That’s O.K. We’re outside your house.’” When he was shown photographs, Woods thought he recognized two of the hijackers - Hamza Alghamdi, who was on United Airlines Flight 175 (which struck the south tower of the World Trade Center) and Khalid Almihdhar, who was on American Airlines Flight 77 (which struck the Pentagon).


James Woods appeared as himself in the episode of The Simpsons entitled “Homer and Apu.”