The Many Faces Of James Spader

We will have to do without our regular episode of The Blacklist tonight. {Moan.} But it will be back in a few weeks. In the meantime, I thought I'd look up some history on James Spader.

James Todd Spader was born on February 7, 1960 in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of teachers Todd and Jean Spader. He attended Phillips Academy in Andover with director Peter Sellers; he dropped out in eleventh grade. He bused tables, shoveled manure, and taught yoga before landing his first roles.
Spader's first major film role was as Brooke Shields' brother in the romance drama Endless Love (1981). Spader graduated from television movies to Brat Pack films, playing the scoundrel. In Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989), he played a sexual voyeur who complicates the lives of three Baton Rouge residents. This performance earned him the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival and led to bigger and more varied roles. His best known role is the colorful attorney Alan Shore on the David E. Kelley television series The Practice (1997) and its spin-off Boston Legal (2004).
- IMDb Mini Biography By: <>

  Spouse (1)

Victoria Spader (1987-2004) (divorced; 2 children)

Trademark (2)

Rich smooth voice
Often plays sleazy, sneaky villains

Trivia (22)

Children: Sebastian Spader (born 1989) and Elijah Spader (born 1992).

Greatly admires the work of Charles Laughton.

Has two unsuccessful television pilots, Diner (1983) and Starcrossed (1985), to his credit.

Is known to prefer being called "Jimmy".

His wife, Victoria Spader, was the set decorator for Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989).

Refuses to watch any of the movies he has appeared in.

Born on the same date (7 February 1960) as Saturday Night Live (1975)'s "TV Fun House" writer/cartoonist Robert Smigel, best known as the voice of Triumph the insult comic dog from Late Night with Conan O'Brien (1993).

Loves cooking and is an excellent chef.

Has very poor eyesight, and cannot wear contact lenses. Has said that in roles in which he does not wear his eyeglasses, he can barely make out the face of the actor across from him in the scene.

First performer to win Leading Drama Actor Emmys for portraying the same character (Alan Shore) on two different series (The Practice (1997) and Boston Legal (2004)).

Is quick to point out that, unlike the sleazy, sneaky characters he is best known for playing, he is actually a nice, friendly man in real life.

Good friends with actors Christian Clemenson, Robert Downey Jr., Eric Stoltz and Jason Alexander.

Has appeared with Eric Stoltz in four films: A Killer in the Family (1983), The New Kids (1985), 2 Days in the Valley (1996) and Keys to Tulsa (1997).

Auditioned for the role of Cadet Captain Alex Dwier in the film Taps (1981), but eventually lost to Sean Penn.

He was working as a janitor at a rehearsal studio in Times Square when he landed his first feature film Endless Love (1981).

His father died two weeks before he began production on Critical Care (1997).

Has a photographic memory. He can look at a script and he remembers what the pages look like. As he films a scene, he "reads" the page. The only reason he screws up a line is if very similar words (e.g. it and is) are written fairly close together.

Fiancée Leslie Stefanson gave birth to his third son on August 31, 2008.

Ex-son-in-law of Lee Kheel.

Is a huge fan of Bob Dylan.

The birth date on the "Ten Most Wanted" poster for Raymond 'Red' Reddington on The Blacklist (2013) is February 7, 1960, Spader's actual birth date.

He has English, as well as smaller amounts of French, Dutch, German, and Swiss-German, ancestry.

Many of his ancestral lines trace back to Colonial America of the 1600s.


I'll be back this afternoon with Tweak It Tuesday.

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  1. Boston Legal will always be one of my all time favorite shows. It would be worth buying the series on DVD is it's available. Everyone in that show was just so good!

  2. I have been in love with James Spader for years even though his characters were not always nice. I was finishing up a project late last night so I put on Baby Boom. There was JS looking so good.

  3. Thank you so much for the wonderfully entertaining info on James Spader! He's an interesting, unique man. I see I've missed a few of his movies. I'll have something to watch during the next few weeks.

    I'll really miss my favorite show! I'm so looking forward to the next episode...

  4. Oh- Thank you, Brenda, for giving me my Spader "fix" for the week. I didn't realize that the season had ended. DARN IT!!! xo Diana

  5. You know I'm a Spader fan! I think his face has gotten more interesting as he has aged!!

  6. I'll be having Blacklist withdrawals for the next few weeks.

  7. I loved him in Pretty In Pink, even though I sort of hated his character. Grew up with a boatload of those types at my high school. Anyhow, I watched the first two episodes of Blacklist and then this last one, so I have missed a whole chunk in between. I need to catch up on those before it comes back.

  8. Hi Brenda! I'm on a blog break but when I saw you had posted on James Spader, I had to comment. I have loved his movies and in his younger roles he was so beautiful. As much as I still love him, I don't think he's aged as well as I wanted him too! :) I think I remember him in a TV movie called "Jack's Back" and it was about a Jack the Ripper killer. Love those spookies. Hope you're doing well.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  9. Thanks so much for hosting! Have a great week!

  10. Thank you for this! I love James Spader and I miss Alan Shore so much! I was really sad when Boston Legal ended and I love Blacklist -- talk about 2 completely different characters! He is an amazing actor!

  11. I loved to hate (but really secretly love) him in Pretty in Pink! He played such a jerk!! I also really liked him in White Castle with Susan Sarandon. I was watching The Blacklist in the beginning to watch him, but I actually grew weary of the predictable plot each episode. Don't hate!! :)


  12. thanks for sharing all the info! My favorite Spader role is in Stargate where he was a super nice guy!!!


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