James Van Der Beek is an American actor best known for his role as Dawson Leery in the teen television drama series Dawson's Creek, appearing in 101 episodes from 1998-2003.
His role in the show made him a popular teen idol for a while, although that faded once the show ended.
He currently stars as a fictional version of himself in the television sitcom Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23, since 2012.
Van Der Beek made his screen debut in 1993 in an episode of the television series Clarissa Explains It All, before landing a role in his first feature film, Angus, in 1995.
He followed up that role with a turn on the soapie As The World Turns in 1995, a guest appearance on Aliens In The Family in 1996, and in the same year his second movie role in I Love You, I Love You Not.
He had a role in the movie Harvest in 1998, after which he debuted in Dawson's Creek.
In 1999 he had a leading role in the successful feature film Varsity Blues, as a player on a Texas high school football team. The film was successful, grossing $52-million at the box office, and Van Der Beek won an MTV award for his performance.
During the run of Dawson's Creek Van Der Beek appeared in a further three movies: Scary Movie (2000, in which he played his character from Dawson's Creek), Texas Rangers (2001) and The Rules of Attraction (2002).
In 2003 he played the lead voice role of Pazu in the English version of the Japanese animated film Tenkû No Shiro Rapyuta (Castle in the Sky).
In 2005 he had a role in a failed comedy pilot called Three, which was never made. He followed this up with a role in the film Standing Still.
He had a role in the 2006 made-for-TV movie Sex, Power, Love & Politics; and in the same year appeared as himself in the movie Danny Roane: First Time Director.
Also in 2006, Van Der Beek lent his voice to two episodes of the animated televisaion series Robot Chicken and starred in the horror movie The Plague.
In 2007 he appeared in a two-part episode of Criminal Minds, playing a psycho killer and played a rookie NFL star in ABC's pilot of Football Wives.
Van Der Beek has been married to actress Heather McComb since 5 July 2003.
He started acting because a concussion stopped him from playing football.
He was identified as dyslexic in kindergarden and learned to read in a special class. He later became an honours student.
"I love New York City. Everyone is busy with their own lives - and no one is interested in some Hollywood celebrity walking past in downtown Manhattan.Thats why it's my favorite city. You can do what you want without attracting a crowd of curious onlookers".
"I'm not about to talk about what's romantic in my life - I figure if you talk about it once - then that's an open invitation for everyone to dig into your personal life even further. So, I just keep my private life to myself. If people want to write anything about me, then can go ahead and do whatever they want. But they won't get a comment out of me, that's for sure. It's a free country and I can keep my mouth shut whenever I want!"