James Van Der Beek is an actor who began his career in 1992. The actor is best known for playing Dawson Leery in ‘Dawson’s Creek,’ although he has appeared in multiple television series and films. His career success means that the actor is now a wealthy man, and it is estimated that James Van Der Beek’s net worth is $8 million. James Van Der Beek was born in Chesire, Connecticut, on March 8, 1977. His father was a business executive and former professional baseball pitcher, while his mother was a former dancer and gymnastics teacher. As a child, Van Der Beek showed an interest in the performing arts. By the time he was 15, the budding actor had decided that he wanted a career in the entertainment industry and asked his mother to get him an agent. His mother agreed and took him to New York City. Van Der Beek began his career alongside continuing his academic studies. He attended Cheshire Academy high school, where he performed in amateur school productions. He then attended Drew University, where he also performed in stage productions and was part of an all-male a cappella group. However, the actor dropped out of university to pursue a professional acting career.
His Stage Career
Van Der Beek made his professional debut in an off-Broadway play called ‘Finding the Sun’ when he was just 16 years old. After dropping out of university, Van Der Beek landed a role in the play ‘My Marriage to Ernest Borgnine’ at New York’s Vineyard Theater. While performing on stage, Van Der Beek attended many auditions for films and television series. Van Der Beek did not appear on stage again until 2003 when he had a small role in the off-Broadway play ‘Rain Dance.’
James Van Der Beek’s Career in Television and Film
During the early and mid-90s, James Van Der Beek has small roles in several television series. These included ‘Clarissa Explains It All,’ ‘As the World Turns,’ and ‘Aliens in the Family.’ The first time James Van Der Beek appeared in a film was in a small role in the 1995 film ‘Angus.’ A year later, he landed another small role in the independent film ‘I Love You, I Love You Not.’ The following year, Van Der Beek shot the film ‘Cash Crop,’ in which he had a supporting role, although the film was not released until 2001. Van Der Beek also got his break in television in 1997 after auditioning for three television pilots. It resulted in Van Der Beek being offered the title role in the WB Network series ‘Dawson’s Creek.’ The series aired for the first time in 1998, and it became an instant success. ‘Dawson’s Creek’ ran for six seasons until 2003, and it is for the portrayal of Dawson Leery for which James Van Der Beek is still best known.
While playing the role of Dawson Leery, Van Der Beek continued to take on roles in films. One of his best-known films from that period was the 1999 movie ‘Varsity Blues.’ For his performance in this film, Van Der Beek won multiple awards, including two MTV awards and the Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Breakout Star. His other films from the late 90s and early 2000s included ‘Harvest,’ ‘Scary Movie,’ ‘Texas Rangers,’ ‘Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back,’ ‘The Rules of Attraction,’ and a voice role in ‘Castle in the Sky.’ After the end of ‘Dawson’s Creek,’ Van Der Beek had small roles in multiple television series and also appeared in several television films. His next major television role was playing Dr. Joe Briggs in ‘Mercy’ in 2010. He then played a dramatized version of himself in 26 episodes of ‘Don’t Trust the B----- in Apartment 23’ between 2012 and 2013.
Van Der Beek was then a main cast member of ‘Friends with Better Lives’ in 2014, and he then landed the role of Elijah Mundo in ‘CSI: Cyber’ and Trent Zebrisky in ‘Carters Get Rich.’ In 2017, he co-created and wrote ‘What Would Diplo Do?’ and played the lead role of Diplo. The same year, he provided the voice of Boris Hauntley in ‘Vampirina.’ Some of the films in which Van Der Beek has appeared from 2006 onwards include ‘The Plague,’ ‘Final Draft,’ ‘Formosa Betrayed,’ ‘Stolen,’ ‘The Big Bang,’ ‘Labor Day,’ and ‘Downsizing.’ The actor also appeared as himself in the 2019 film ‘Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.’ Most recently, Van Der Beek played Grant in the 2020 film ‘Bad Hair.’ On television, his most recent role was playing Matt in ‘Pose.’ Van Der Beek was also a contestant on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ in 2019 and was paired with professional dancer Emma Slater. He did relatively well in the competition, finishing in fifth place after being eliminated in the semi-finals.
James Van Der Beek’s Net Worth
According to Wealthy Gorilla, James Van Der Beek’s net worth is $8 million. Although he has worked on stage, most of James Van Der Beek’s wealth comes from his television and film career.
The Actor's Personal Life
Van Der Beek has been married twice. His first wife was actress heather McComb, who he married in 2003. However, the couple separated in 2009 and finalized their divorce a year later. The actor then married Kimberley Brook, a business consultant, in 2010, and the couple has five children together. Olivia was born in 2010, followed by Joshua in 2012, then Annabel two years later, Emilia in 2016, and Gwendolyn in 2018. A year after having Gwendolyn, Brook and Van Der Beek announced they were having their sixth child together. Unfortunately, Brook suffered a miscarriage. The family moved from Los Angles to Texas in 2020.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee