James Van Der Beek is a film and television actor best known for playing Dawson Leery on the teen drama Dawson’s Creek, as well as his work in Varsity Blues, The Rules of Attraction, and Pose. He also appeared on a soap.
Van Der Beek is also a competitor on Season 28 of Dancing With the Stars. From his early beginnings as an actor to his growing family, here are five fast facts about the actor.
Who Is James Van Der Beek?
Van Der Beek was born on March 8 in Cheshire, Connecticut. He became interested in acting when he was a teenager and asked his mom to take him to New York City when he was 15 to try to get an agent. While in high school at Cheshire Academy, Van Der Beek started performing in off-Broadway plays. He then attended Drew University, but he dropped out to fully pursue acting.
Just a few years before he got the role of Dawson Leery on Dawson’s Creek, Van Der Beek was cast on As the World Turns as Stephen Anderson — the teenage son of Kirk Anderson.
Life Imitates Art
Van Der Beek was cast on the sitcom Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23 in 2012 as a fictionalized version of himself. Coincidentally enough, the fake version of himself was actually cast on a fake version of Dancing With the Stars, but the real Van Der Beek is currently a contestant on Season 28 of the show — talk about meta!
Music Video Man
Along with working on the stage, in television, and in films, Van Der Beek has also been in music videos. In fact, he starred in Kesha’s music video for Blow in 2011, and the video has 79 million views on YouTube.
Getting Personal With James Van Der Beek
Van Der Beek married actress Heather McComb in 2003, but the couple separated in 2009. They officially divorced in spring 2010, just a few months before he married his current wife, Kimberly, on August 1, 2010.
The couple has five children together, Olivia (born September 25, 2010), Joshua (born March 13, 2012), Annabel (born January 25, 2014), Emilia (born March 23, 2016), and Gwendolyn (born June 15, 2018). They are currently expecting their sixth child.