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James Marsden

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Biography

James Marsden
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Actor
Born:
September 18, 1973
Biography
Bearing the kind of cocksure, "all-American boy" looks that summon comparison to Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and countless Abercrombie & Fitch ads, James Marsden used both his talent and photogenic features to become one of the more talked-about young actors of the late '90s. Winning his first starring role in Disturbing Behavior (1998) -- yet another film to take advantage of the late-'90s teen horror craze -- Marsden weathered the critical and box-office indifference surrounding that project to quickly resurface in Bryan Singer's fantastically successful adaptation of the X-Men in 2000.

A native of Stillwater, Oklahoma, where he was born on September 18, 1973, Marsden grew up with a sister and two brothers. Following a short stint at Oklahoma State University, he dropped out of school to move to Los Angeles and pursue his interest in acting. Marsden's move led to work as a Versace model and to a brief role as the original Griffin on Fox's Party of Five (the part would later be taken over by Jeremy London), as well as brief stints on a variety of other TV series.

Marsden got his first big break with his lead on the short-lived ABC series Second Noah; although the show didn't last long, the young actor received enough exposure to win the hearts and hormones of a loyal group of teenage girls. Marsden's growing fan base got another boost when he was cast alongside Katie Holmes and Nick Stahl in David Nutter's Disturbing Behavior; despite the film's lackluster performance, in part abetted by an overabundance of teen horror films, Marsden was able to nab the plum role of Cyclops in Singer's X-Men. One of the most highly anticipated films of 2000, it allowed the actor to work alongside the likes of Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Anna Paquin, and Famke Janssen. Furthermore, its warm reception among critics and audiences alike made Marsden one of the hotter young stars of the year, and also made it possible to overlook his involvement with Gossip, a college thriller that was one of 2000's most unequivocal disappointments. Marsden's rising popularity was reflected in his busy schedule the following year; among his projects was Sugar and Spice, a black comedy that cast him opposite fellow up-and-comer Mena Suvari. In 2003 Marsden would once again appear as Cyclops in the big-budget X-Men sequel, X2. Marsden continued to work steadily in such films as The Notebook and Heights before returning for the third installment of the X-Men franchise. Although he appeared again as Cyclops, he in fact scored more screen time in Bryan Singer's Superman Returns playing Lois Lane's husband who must contend with the fact that his wife is in love with the man of steel. He also played opposite Amy Adams in Enchanted a romantic fable that combined live-action with animation. ~ Rebecca Flint, All Movie Guide

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