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James Marsden –


About James Marsden (1973 – )

James Paul Marsden was born on September 18th, 1973, in Stillwater, Oklahoma, the son of Kathleen (née Scholtz), a nutritionist, and James Luther Marsden, a professor of animal sciences and industry.

James has two younger sisters, Jennifer and Elizabeth, and two brothers, Jeff and Robert. He attended Hefner Middle School and Putnam City North High School, in Oklahoma City, and went on to attend Oklahoma State University and studied broadcast journalism.

Marsden got his first acting job on the series The Nanny as Eddie, Margaret Sheffield's boyfriend. From there he went on to star in the short-lived Canadian TV series Boogies Diner. He then guest-starred on such shows as Saved by the Bell: The New Class, and Party of Five. Subsequent to that he starred in the ABC series Second Noah.

James Paul Marsden rose to greater prominence with a starring role in Disturbing Behavior alongside Katie Holmes, and the movie Gossip with Kate Hudson. He also appeared in the series Ally McBeal, as one of the central cast in the first half of season 5, where he was also able to demonstrate his singing talents.

In 2004, Marsden co-starred with Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling, James Garner and Gena Rowlands in the romantic drama The Notebook as Lon Hammond, Jr., the second love interest of Allie Hamilton. His close resemblance to Garner was reportedly a key factor in his winning the part.

In 2007, Marsden played Corny Collins in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical Hairspray, based on the 1988 John Waters cult film. He sang two songs — "The Nicest Kids In Town" and "(It's) Hairspray" — and the soundtrack was critically acclaimed (as was the film) and went platinum.

Next he costarred with Amy Adams in Disney's Enchanted, portraying Prince Edward. He sang two duets in the film — one with Adams and a second with Idina Menzel which was cut. Enchanted was also a critical and commercial success.

Marsden followed that up the following year as the male lead in the romantic comedy 27 Dresses alongside star Katherine Heigl. He also starred in the controversially-titled teen comedy Sex Drive.

In 2009, Marsden took the male lead in a distinctly darker film — The Box, which was based on a short story by Richard Matheson that had earlier been filmed as a Twilight Zone episode. He starred with Cameron Diaz and a digitally-disfigured Frank Langella. In 2010, Marsden starred in the comedy Death at a Funeral with Chris Rock, Luke Wilson, Danny Glover and Columbus Short.

In 2011 Marsden made an appearance on the Modern Family series as a homeless squatter, then appeared as the male lead in Hop, an Easter-themed comedy co-starring Russell Brand. He followed that playing the lead in an unsuccessful remake of Straw Dogs.

In 2012 and 2013, Marsden's career fortunes improved considerably, with a recurring role in the sixth and seventh seasons of 30 Rock, where he played Criss Chros, the boyfriend (and later husband) of the series' lead character, Liz Lemon, and simultaneous stints in a flurry of independent films, including Robot & Frank, Small Apartments, Bachelorette and As Cool as I Am.

In 2013, he co-starred with Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg in the action film 2 Guns, which debuted at number one in its weekend release, following this up by playing JFK in the Lee Daniels historical drama The Butler.

Then it was on to Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, where he played Jack Lime, a rival reporter to Will Ferrell's Ron Burgundy. In 2014 he reprised his role as Scott Summers in X-Men: Days of Future Past with a cameo, before filling in for the late Paul Walker in the Nicholas Spark film The Best of Me (his second film for Spark).

Marsden wed actress Mary Elizabeth Linde, the daughter of country music songwriter Dennis Linde, in July 2000. They had two children: son Jack Holden and daughter Mary James. Linde filed for divorce in September of 2011. More recently Marsden had a son, William Luca Costa-Marsden, born on December 14, 2012, with a former girlfriend, Rose Costa.

James Marsden's movie credits include...

Year Movie Role
1993 Ambush in Waco: In the Line of Duty Steven Willis
1993 Princess and Two Peas Pea Number One
1994 No Dessert, Dad, till You Mow the Lawn Tyler Cochran
1996 Public Enemies Doc Barker
1996 Gone in a Heartbeat Michael Galler
1997 On the Edge of Innocence Jake Walker
1997 Campfire Tales Eddie
1997 Bella Mafia Luka
1998 Disturbing Behavior Steve Clark
2000 Gossip Derrick Webb
2000 X-Men Scott Summers/Cyclops
2001 Sugar & Spice Jack Bartlett
2001 Zoolander John Wilkes Booth
2002 Interstate 60: Episodes of the Road Neal Oliver
2003 X2: X-Men United Scott Summers/Cyclops
2004 The 24th Day Dan
2004 The Notebook Lon Hammond, Jr.
2004 Heights Jonathan Kestler
2006 The Alibi Wendell Hatch
2006 10th & Wolf Tommy
2006 X-Men: The Last Stand Scott Summers/Cyclops
2006 Superman Returns Richard White
2007 Hairspray Corny Collins
2007 Enchanted Prince Edward
2008 27 Dresses Malcolm Kevin Doyle
2008 Sex Drive Rex Lafferty
2009 The Box Arthur Lewis
2010 Death at a Funeral Oscar
2010 Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore Diggs (voice)
2011 Hop Fred O'Hare
2011 Straw Dogs David Sumner
2012 Robot & Frank Hunter Weld
2012 Small Apartments Bernard Franklin
2012 Bachelorette Trevor Graham
2013 As Cool as I Am Chuck Diamond
2013 2 Guns Harold Quince
2013 The Butler John F. Kennedy
2013 Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Jack Lime
2014 Walk of Shame Gordon
2014 X-Men: Days of Future Past Scott Summers/Cyclops
2014 The Best of Me Dawson Cole
2014 Welcome to Me Rich
2014 The Loft Chris Vanowen
2014 The Tale of the Princess Kaguya Prince Ishitsukuri (voice)
2015 The D Train Oliver Lawless
2015 Accidental Love Scott
2015 Grizzly Rowan
2015 Unfinished Business

James Marsden's television credits include...

Year Show/Series Role
1993 Saved by the Bell: The New Class Chad Westerfield
1993 The Nanny Eddie
1994–1995 Boogies Diner Jason
1995 Blossom Josh
1995 Party of Five Griffin Holbrook
1995 Touched by an Angel Jake
1996–1997 Second Noah Ricky Beckett
1998 The Outer Limits Brav
2001–2002 Ally McBeal Glenn Foy
2002 Bram & Alice Arnold Cooper
2009 Robot Chicken Jason Chambers / Lion (voices)
2011 Modern Family Barry
2012–2013 30 Rock Criss Chros
2014 Wander Over Yonder Sir Brad Starlight (voice)
2015 Westworld Teddy Flood

Memorable Quotes

“If you're an attractive guy, everyone thinks you're successful just because of the way you look. I hate that.”

“If expectations are low, you can only impress people. But if expectations are there for you to be the leading guy, and you've been paid X amount of money, you're on a tightrope and all of a sudden you're looking down. If it was up to me now, I would just stay on the up-and-coming list until I'm like 90.”

“A little job here, a little job there, and after six months in L.A., I was paying for my rent and my meals. Very slowly, the tiniest of snowballs snowballed from there. At some point, the snowball got to be a nice size, and I wanted it to stay that way. That's sort of now. I don't want it to keep rolling. Or rather, I want it to keep rolling, but I don't want it to keep getting bigger.”

“When I was younger - up until I was 19 years old and in college - I was surrounded with people in high school who felt like they knew what they wanted to do with their lives, and that was intimidating to me because I didn't. I didn't know what my calling was. I didn't know what I was here on earth to do. I didn't know what my passion was until I discovered the dramatic arts in junior high and high school and I realized, "Oh, I like this. This is something I feel like I'm good at." ”

“When I entered this business I think people looked at me and said, 'Here's a young, good-looking guy. He should play the romantic lead.' So I played the jock, I played those parts, and it was a good thing. But, over time, as I've gotten older, I realize I have a lot more fun as an actor when I'm doing other things. The more character-driven the role, the better.”

“Early in your career, you feel like there is a formula, a path you have to take. You have to do this movie because this person directed it and you have to be associated with these people. In some ways, I have thrown that out. I decided I should go after the roles I like, that I am inspired by and then if I am having a good time, chances are that people will like watching you.”

Did You Know

James Marsden is commonly thought of as being the brother of actor Jason Marsden. Although the two are not related, they're actually good friends and their respective wives have been friends since they were six.

Marsden wore lifts for most of his scenes in the X-Men movies, because his character Cyclops is supposedly 6' 3" compared to Wolverine's 5' 3". Marsden is actually under 6' tall — some 4" shorter than Hugh Jackman, who played Wolverine.

In 1991, while vacationing with his family in Hawaii, he met actor Kirk Cameron and his actress sister Candace; they invited Marsden to visit them in L.A. and thus his career was launched.


James Marsden, with Elizabeth Banks, in Walk of Shame (2014).


James Marsden in Straw Dogs (2011).