James Howard Woods is an American actor, voice actor and producer. He best known roles are Videodrome, Once Upon a Time in America, Casino, Nixon, Contact, as the voice of Hades in Disney’s animated feature Hercules, and as the voice of Falcon in the movie Stuart Little 2. Take a look below for 30 more fun and interesting facts about James Woods.
1. Woods was born in Vernal, Utah, on April 18, 1947, and has a brother ten years younger.
2. His father, Gail Peyton Woods, was an army intelligence officer who died in 1960 after routine surgery.
3. His mother, Martha A., operated a pre-school after her husband’s death and later married Thomas E. Dixon.
4. Woods grew up in Warwick, Rhode Island, where he attended Pilgrim High School, from which he graduated in 1965.
5. He is of part Irish descent and was raised Catholic, briefly serving as an altar boy.
6. He ultimately chose to pursue his undergraduate studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he double majored in political science and computer science.
7. While at MIT, Woods pledged to the Theta Delta Chi fraternity.
8. He was also an active member of the student theater group “Dramashop”, where he both acted in and directed a number of plays.
9. He dropped out of MIT in 1969, one semester prior to graduating to pursue a career in acting.
10. Woods has said that he owes his acting career to Tim Affleck (father of actors Ben and Casey Affleck), who was a stage manager at the Theatre Company of Boston while Woods was a student there.
11. Woods appeared in thirty-six plays before making his Broadway debut in 1970 at the Lyceum Theatre, in the first American production of Frank McMahon’s Borstal Boy.
12. He returned to Broadway the following year to portray David Darst in Daniel Berrigan’s The Trial of the Catonsville Nine also at the Lyceum Theatre.
13. In 1971, he played Bob Rettie in the American premiere of Michael Weller’s Moonchildren at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.
14. The following year the production moved to Broadway at the Royale Theatre where Woods starred alongside Edward Herrmann, and Christopher Guest.
15. In 1972, Woods won a Theatre World Award for his performance.
16. He returned to Broadway in 1973 to portray Steven Cooper in the original production of Jean Kerr’s Finishing Touches at the Plymouth Theatre.
17. A prominent Hollywood character actor, Woods has appeared in over 130 films and television series.
18. In 1980, Woods married costume designer Kathryn Morrison-Pahoa. The couple divorced in 1983.
19. In 1989 when Woods was 42, he married 26-year-old equestrian and boutique owner Sarah Owens, but they divorced four months later.
20. He has not since remarried nor does he have children.
21. During a press interview for Kingdom Hearts II, Woods noted that he is an avid video game player.
22. He is a dealer of antiques in Rhode Island.
23. On December 14, 2015, while Woods was driving alone westbound through an ice storm on Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon, Colorado, a driver who was speeding lost control and crashed into five other cars. Woods swerved his Jeep Grand Cherokee to avoid the accident and collided with a retaining wall, but slid backwards into a guard rail 100 feet (30 m) above the Colorado River. Woods suffered a minor concussion from the accident.
24. Woods is an avid poker player, playing in cash games and many tournaments.
25. He played in the WPT’s Hollywood Home Game series in 2004 for the American Stroke Association charity.
26. As of 2018, he has over 80 tournament cashes to his credit, including a seventh place at the 2015 World Series of Poker in the $3000 No Limit Shootout event and a fifth place in the $1,500 Dealers Choice event at the 2018 WSOP.
27. In 1988, Woods sued Sean Young for $2 million, accusing her of stalking him after they appeared together in the film The Boost. Young later countered that Woods had overreacted after she had spurned his advances on set. The suit was settled out of court in August 1989 including a payment of $227,000 to Young to cover her legal costs.
28. In 2006, his younger brother Michael Jeffrey Woods died from cardiac arrest at the age of 49. Woods sued Kent Hospital in Warwick, Rhode Island, alleging negligence. The suit was settled in 2009.
29. In July 2015, Woods sued an anonymous Twitter user for $10 million over an allegedly libelous tweet that suggested Woods was a “cocaine addict.”
30. In 2018, Woods turned his Twitter feed into a bulletin board for missing California wildfire evacuees. He was credited with saving lives and helping to reunite missing loved ones and pets with their families. He also helped Alyssa Milano locate her horses during the fire via his Twitter hashtag.