* James Van Der Beek's father Jim is a cellular-phone company executive and former pitcher for the Dodgers. His mother Melinda is a gymnastics studio owner and former Broadway dancer.
* James enjoyed playing football at school. A football injury at age 13 stopped him from playing for 12 months. During this period James' interest in acting came to the fore.
* In no time at all James Van Der Beek was cast in the role of Danny Zuko in his school's production of "Grease."
* James Van Der Beek travelled to New York with his mother in search of further acting opportunities. At age 16, James made his professional acting debut in the off-Broadway production of "Finding the Sun".
* In 1995 James Van Der Beek made his feature film debut in the teen film "Angus".
* In 1996 James was given a small supporting role as Tony in the coming of age romance drama "I Love You, I Love You Not".
* James Van Der Beek's big break came in 1998 when he auditioned for the lead role in the teen TV series "Dawson's Creek". James of course won the role of Dawson. The TV series was a smash hit worldwide, James' popularity soared and as they say the rest is history.
* It is interesting to note that during the first season of "Dawson's Creek", James Van Der Beek and his co-star Joshua Jackson were roommates.
* James Van Der Beek was chosen by People Magazine as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world (1998).
* In 1999 James played the lead role of college footballer Jonathon Moxon in the teen sports drama "Varsity Blues". James was reportedly paid a salary of $200,000 for his role.
* James Van Der Beek won a MTV video award for his performance in "Varsity Blues" (1999) and another award for the best cameo in "Scary Movie" (2000).
* James Van Der Beek has a reputation for making uncredited cameo appearances in other people's films, most notably "Scary Movie" as his TV character Dawson Leery and in Kevin Smith's "Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back".
* By 2001 James Van Der Beek's salary had come up a few notches. He was paid $3,000,000 to star in the rip-roaring western adventure "Texas Rangers", opposite "Dude, Where's My Face" star Ashton Kutcher.
* In 2002 James Van Der Beek will star with former teen idols Eric Stoltz (Some Kind of Wonderful) & Fred Savage (TV's The Wonder Years) in the college drama "The Rules of Attraction".
* When he's not working James still enjoys watching football & also likes to play the game with friends and family. He also enjoys playing the guitar & staying with friends.