James van der beek
James William Van Der Beek, Jr. (born March 8, 1977) is an American actor who plays Simon, Robin's first boyfriend, in How I Met Your Mother.


James Van Der Beek was born on March 8, 1977, in Cheshire, Connecticut, as the oldest of three children to father Jim Van Der Beek, a cellular-phone company executive and mother Melinda Van Der Beek, a gymnastics studio owner and former Broadway dancer. James has a brother named Jared who was born in 1979 and a sister named Juliana who was born in 1981. James started acting at 13 after suffering a concussion playing football that prevented him from playing for a year on doctor's orders. He landed the role of Danny Zuko in his school production of Grease. After that, the acting bug sank in and the next three years he spent time doing local theater. Around 16, he and his mother went to New York City to find an agent and possible auditions. A year later, he was cast in an off-Broadway play called Finding the Sun. After doing another play called Shenandoah in 1994, James received an academic scholarship to Drew University in NJ, where he was working towards obtaining a major in English with a minor in sociology and also at that time he won the role of Rick Sanford in the movie Angus (1995). In 1996, he won a very small supporting role in I Love You, I Love You Not (1996). After that film his acting career was at a dead end and he decided to continue with his schooling and eventually made the Dean's list. In early 1997, Van Der Beek auditioned for three television pilots. One of them was for the fledgling WB Network show Dawson's Creek. Van Der Beek won the title role of "Dawson Leery," and the show's 1998 debut was a success that helped to establish the network and its cast, which included Katie Holmes, Michelle Williams, and Joshua Jackson.

After Dawson's Creek ended in 2003, Van Der Beek has made a few appearances on television, including Ugly Betty, Criminal Minds, How I Met Your Mother, One Tree Hill and Medium.

In 2012, Van Der Beek portrays a fictionalized version of himself in the show Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23.


Year Title Role Notes
1995 Angus Rick Sandford
1996 I Love You, I Love You Not Tony
1998 Harvest James Peterson
1999 Varsity Blues Jonathon "Mox" Moxon
2000 Scary Movie Dawson Leery Uncredited
2001 Texas Rangers Lincoln Rogers Dunnison
2001 Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Himself
2002 The Rules of Attraction Sean Bateman
2003 Castle in the Sky Pazu (voice) English dub
2005 Standing Still Simon
2006 The Plague Tom Russell Direct-to-video
2007 Eye of the Beast Dan Leland Television film
2007 Final Draft Paul Twist
2009 Taken in Broad Daylight Anthony Steven "Tony Zappa" Wright Television film
2009 Formosa Betrayed Jake Kelly
2009 Stolen Diploma/Roggiani
2009 Mrs. Miracle Seth Webster Television film
2010 The Big Bang Adam Nova
2011 Salem Falls Jack St. Bride Television film
2012 Backwards Geoff
2013 Labor Day Post-production
Year Title Role Notes
1993 Clarissa Explains It All Paulie Episode: "Alter Ego"
1995 As the World Turns Stephen Anderson 3 episodes
1996 Aliens in the Family Ethan Episode: "You Don't Have a Pet to Be Popular"
1998–2003 Dawson's Creek Dawson Leery Main cast
2005 Three John-O Unsold CBS pilot
2006 Sex, Power, Love & Politics Ozzie Unsold CBS pilot
2006 Robot Chicken Various voices 2 episodes
2007 Football Wives Brian Reynolds Unsold ABC pilot
2007 Criminal Minds Tobias Hankel/Raphael 2 episodes
2007 Ugly Betty Luke Carnes Episode: "Grin and Bear It"
2008, 2013 How I Met Your Mother Simon 3 episodes
2008–2009 One Tree Hill Reese Dixon 4 episodes
2009 Eva Adams Connor Strikes Unsold Fox pilot
2009 Medium Dylan Hoyt Episode: "All in the Family"
2009 The Storm Dr. Jonathan Kirk Miniseries
2009 The Forgotten Judd Shaw Episode: "Lucky John"
2010 Mercy Dr. Joe Briggs 10 episodes
2011 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Rex Tamlyn Episode: "To the Boy in the Blue Knit Cap"
2011 Franklin & Bash Nathan Episode: "Bachelor Party"
2012–2013 Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 James Van Der Beek Main cast
2012 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Sean Albert Episode: "Father Dearest"
2013 Friends with Better Lives Will Stokes Pre-production

Notes and Trivia

  • His hobbies are: playing the guitar, sleeping, staying with his friends and playing sports.
  • He was roommates with Joshua Jackson during the first season of Dawson's Creek.
  • He had two children with his wife Kimberly Van Der Beek: a girl named Olivia and a boy named Joshua.

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