Date of Birth: April 18th 1947
James Howard Woods (born April 18, 1947) is a two-time Academy Award-nominated and three-time Emmy Award-winning American film and television actor.
Woods was born in Vernal, Utah to Gail Peyton Woods, an army intelligence officer who died in 1960 following routine surgery, and Martha A. (née Smith), who operated a pre-school after her husband's death and re-married to Thomas E. Dixon. Woods grew up in Warwick, Rhode Island, where he attended Pilgrim High School. Woods was a close childhood friend of Wall Street Journal Personal Technology columnist Walter Mossberg. The two collaborated on a column in their Warwick, RI, school newspaper. Woods, an army brat, had been accepted to attend the United States Air Force Academy with the intention of becoming a fighter pilot. Unfortunately, several weeks before he was to depart, Woods suffered an accident involving a plate glass window which injured his hand tendons severely enough to result in his acceptance being retracted.
Woods' career has been noted for the intense characters he has chosen, the earliest of which was his portrayal of a sadistic murderer in 1979's The Onion Field. He was nominated for an Academy Award twice: the first in 1987 for Best Actor in Salvador and again in 1996 for Best Supporting Actor for his acclaimed performance as Byron De La Beckwith in Ghosts of Mississippi. He has also garnered critical praise for his voice work for Hades in Disney's Hercules. His personal favorite of all of his roles, however, is as the domineering gangster Max in Sergio Leone's gangster epic Once Upon A Time In America (1984).Woods plays on the World Poker Tour in the Hollywood Home games for the American Stroke Association charity. In 2006, James finished in 24th place out of 692 at the L.A. Poker Classic for $40,000. Woods has shared an endorsement for the online poker website Hollywood Poker which is run in conjunction with Ongame Network, and "co hosted" with poker enthusiast Vince Van Patten. He can be found playing regularly at Hollywood Poker, and contributes content to the website.
His brother and fellow actor, Michael Jeffrey Woods, died of cardiac arrest on July 26, 2006. This occurred shortly after the two of them returned after James finished 24th at a World Poker Tour event.
In the same episode, Woods provided a potentially chilling addendum, stating that according to one FBI agent who interviewed him, other airplanes were discovered at Boston's Logan Airport with box cutters taped under their seats, a possible indicator that other flights were intended as part of the hijackers' plans that went unused only because they were grounded following the attacks on the World Trade Center.