Birth Name: James Todd Spader
Place of Birth: Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Date of Birth: February 7, 1960
Ethnicity: English (mostly), with small amounts of Scottish, French, Dutch, German, Swiss-German, Norwegian, Jersey Channel Islander, remote Welsh, Irish, and French Huguenot
James Spader is an American actor. His roles include the films Tuff Turf, The New Kids, Pretty in Pink, Baby Boom, Less than Zero, Wall Street, Jack’s Back, Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Bad Influence, White Palace, Dream Lover, Wolf, Stargate, Crash (1996), Critical Care, The Watcher (2000), Secretary, Lincoln (2012), and Avengers: Age of Ultron, and television’s The Practice, Boston Legal, The Office, and The Blacklist.
James is the son of Jean (Fraser) and Stoddard Greenwood “Todd” Spader. Most of his ancestry is English, with many of his family lines leading back to Colonial America. One of his great-great-great-grandfathers was a French immigrant. He also has more distant Scottish, Dutch, German, Swiss-German, Norwegian, and Jersey Channel Islander, roots, and remote Welsh, Irish, and French Huguenot, ancestry. James has two children with his former wife, decorator Victoria Kheel; and a son with his partner, model, actress, and artist Leslie Stefanson.
Among his famous ancestors are Laurent Clerc (1785-1869), a French-born educator of the deaf, who co-founded the American School for the Deaf; Nathaniel Bowditch (1773-1838), a mathematician, Joshua Babcock (1707-1783), an American Revolution general, and Paul Mascarene (c. 1684-1760), a Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia. James shares a common ancestor with famous business magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877), “The Commodore,” although James is not descended from Cornelius.
James’s paternal grandfather was Vanderbilt Reginald Spader (the son of Vanderbilt Spader and Fannie Augusta Stoddard). James’s grandfather Vanderbilt was born in New York. James’s great-grandfather Vanderbilt was the son of Jeremiah Vanderbilt Spader and Margaret Gilbert Moore. Fanny was the daughter of Charles Henry Stoddard and Helen Greenwood.
James’s paternal grandmother was Mary Heaton Beers (the daughter of Henry Augustin Beers and Mary Heaton). James’s grandmother Mary was born in Connecticut. Henry was the son of George Webster Beers and Elizabeth Victoria Clerc, whose father Laurent Clerc was born in La Balme, Cremieu, Isere, France. James’s great-grandmother Mary was the daughter of Thomas Heaton and Julia Brenneman, who was of Swiss-German descent.
James’s maternal grandfather was James Randall Fraser (the son of Edward Abbott Fraser and Myrtle H. Brown). James’s grandfather James was born on Mahukona, Hawaii. Edward was born in Iowa, the son of William E. Fraser and Julia M. Randall. James’s great-grandmother Myrtle was born in Pickering, Ontario, Canada, the daughter of James Brown and Mercy Playter.
James’s maternal grandmother was Elizabeth Higginson Bowditch (the daughter of Frederick/Frederic/Fred Channing Bowditch and Elizabeth Thompson Forster). James’s grandmother Elizabeth was born in Brookline, Norfolk, Massachusetts. Frederick was president of the Conveyancers’ Title Company of Boston. He was the son of William Ingersoll Bowditch, whose father was mathematician Nathaniel Bowditch, and of Sarah Rhea Higginson. James’s great-grandmother Elizabeth was the daughter of Edward Jacob Forster and Anita Damon Lyon.
James is a fourth cousin, once removed, of actress Amy Brenneman. James’s paternal great-great-grandmother, Julia Brenneman, was a sister of Amy’s paternal great-great-great-grandfather, Jacob Nessly Brenneman.