Denton, who originally attended college on a basketball scholarship, wasn't bitten by the acting bug until he was 20. He landed the role of George Gibbs in a Nashville production of Our Town, got fine reviews, but thought there was a more solid career in selling advertising. He did that in Tennessee and then in North Carolina for four years, before taking off for Chicago to risk everything to become a professional actor.
He was soon accepted as one of the town's brightest and busiest actors. After earning a key casting when the Untouchables series came to town to film, Denton was drawn to Los Angeles, where his strong theatre reputation had preceded him, and he was quickly locked in with choice turns in film, on TV and on stage.
He started building his big screen profile with performances in such films as Primary Colors, Face/Off and That Old Feeling, but soon off-beat roles in adventurous TV series were claiming his time. In 1997 he landed the role of the eerily sociopathic Mr. Lyle on the hit drama The Pretender That was followed by The Pretender television films, Pretender 2001 and Pretender: The Island of the Haunted.
In 2001 Denton was cast by ABC to star opposite Kim Delaney in Steven Bochco's Philly series, which was critically acclaimed but short-lived. But his growing reputation soon led to a new series casting him as a top player in this nation's homeland security community, Special Agent Jon Kilmer on Threat Matrix.
Acting obviously is serious work for the handsome and athletic star. His Chicago training with some of that area's most excellent teachers pointed him in that direction. Denton's first role there was as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire and his last was the terrorist on the French farce, Lapin, Lapin. He was a company member of the Griffin Theatre and at the Strawdog Theatre Ensemble. He added a steady string of roles and accolades to his quickly growing list, including one of the leads in the world premiere of Flesh and Blood, performing in and composing the music for The Night Hank Williams Died and his portrayal of Kentucky preacher C.C. Showers in The Diviners, which gained him a coveted Joseph Jefferson Best Actor nomination. For these performances, Denton was listed as one of Chicago's hottest actors by Screen Magazine. In Los Angeles he appeared in the premieres of Asylum at the Court Theatre, Locked Up Down Shorty's at the Powerhouse Theatre and In Walked Monk at the Hudson Theatre.
In addition to his series-starring roles on TV, his guest appearances include JAG, Slider, Dark Skies, Two Guys and a Girl, Ally McBeal and The West Wing.
James Denton Facts
|Birthday||January 20, 1963 (54)|
|Birthplace||Nashville, Tennessee, USA|
|Desperate Housewives (2004) as Mike Delfino|
|Threat Matrix (2003) as Special Agent John Kilmer|
|The Pretender (2001) as Mr. Lyle|
|Primary Colors (1998)|
|That Old Feeling (1997)|