James Van Der Beek

James Van Der Beek is an American actor, writer, and producer. Though he is best known for his role as Dawson Leery in WB’s television series Dawson’s Creek, the role was just one in a successful career that has spanned 30 years. Born in Cheshire, Connecticut, Van Der Beek discovered his love of acting in his middle school years, in the production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

After visiting New York at the age of 15, he made his professional debut at the Signature Theatre Company in the off-Broadway New York premiere of Edward Albee’s play Finding the Sun. Before finishing high school at Cheshire Academy, he performed in another musical Shenandoah at the Goodspeed Opera House, made his feature film debut in Angus, and played a small role in the indie film, I Love You, I Love You Not.

Van Der Beek attended Drew University for a short period, until Dawson’s Creek was picked up; the show’s success would establish the fledgling network and its cast. The series ran for six seasons and broadcast worldwide, earning the cast of the show the Young Hollywood Award for Best Cast Chemistry in 2001.

In 1999, he would star in the film Varsity Blues, a high school football drama. His portrayal of Mox in the film would earn multiple nominations, and an MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Male Performance. He continued to make notable appearances in films such as, Scary Movie, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.

Van Der Beek also starred as Sean Bateman in The Rules of Attraction. He has continued his television career with his role as Elijah Mundo on CSI: Cyber, and as Matt Bromley in Pose; he says of the latter, that he felt honored to be part of the show, which was one of the first to cast transgender leads in the key roles. The show highlights the ball culture of the late 80s and 90s in New York. On top of all these accomplishments, Van Der Beek also happens to be a ULC ordained minister!

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James Van Der Beek