JAMES VAN DER BEEK
Born: March 8th, 1977
James Van Der Beek stole the hearts of adolescents everywhere in the late nineties with his portrayal of angsty teen Dawson Leery from the TV series "Dawson's Creek," but he actually got his start in acting on the Broadway stage.
Born in Cheshire, Connecticut James persuaded his mom to take him to New York in hopes of becoming a professional actor at the age of 15.
He made his New York stage debut under the direction of Edward Albee in the playwright's Finding the Sun. He found roles on stage and in independent features throughout his high school years and eventually dropped out of Drew University to pursue acting fulltime.
In 1997 James auditioned for three pilots, one of them being "Dawson's Creek," the teen drama that made him famous and gave upstart network The WB its first mainstream hit.
James played Dawson for six seasons but during that time he also starred in major motion pictures such as Varsity Blues, Rules of Attraction, and Texas Rangers.
In the late 2000s James guest-starred on TV shows like "Ugly Betty" and "How I Met Your Mother" and in 2010 joined the cast of NBC's "Mercy" as a major recurring character.
Check out our YH Studio interview with James where he tells host RJ Williams what it was like growing up on screen and how he manages to tackle all the medical jargon on the set of "Mercy."
James announced through twitter in April 2010 that his girlfriend, business consultant Kimberly Brook, are expecting their first child together.