James Van Der Beek
Birthplace: Cheshire, Connecticut
Van Der Beek became instantly famous playing the sensitive Dawson Leery on the TV series Dawson's Creek (1998– ), a megahit among teens for its apt portrayal of adolescent angst. At age 17 he appeared in Edward Albee's Off-Broadway production of Finding the Sun (1994) and delivered his first screen performance in Angus (1995). His other films include I Love You…I Love You Not (1996, with Claire Danes) and Varsity Blues (1998).