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Spotlight on: James Spader

Lights off, spotlight on! Time to see in which series this actor portrayed a character.

On the 7th of February in 1960, a boy who listens to the name James Spader was born in Boston. A boy that will become a well-respected actor on both the small and big screen. Even now, he switches between movies and television, with his portrayal of Ultron - from The Avengers - as his most recent big-screen credit.

Spader has a recognizable face, something that enables his fans to easily recognize one of his characters. He has his series breakthrough with The Family Tree. At the time, he is 23 years old. He portrays a character called Jake Nichols, the teenage son of Kevin Nichols (Frank Converse, Law & Order).

The Family Tree only has six episodes and doesn't immediately result in bigger roles. For several years, Spader portrays various guest and/or supporting characters in movies and series. In the middle of the 90s, he has a guest role in Frasier and shortly after that, he is featured in one episode of Seinfeld.

Ultimately, it is the series The Practice that ensures that Spader cannot be left out of the small screen. As Alan Shore, he experiences two seasons of the successful lawyer series up close. The same character then continues in Boston Legal - a direct spin-off from The Practice. It is also the first lead role in a television series for Spader.

Boston Legal lasted for five seasons and is still considered one of the better legal series. Spader doesn´t remain idle for long. In his younger years, he had his first role in a comedy. In a recurring role, he has featured in quite a few episodes in the American version of The Office. He plays Robert California - a.k.a. Bob Kazamakis - and is the temporary CEO of Dunder Mifflin / Saber. He leaves at the end of the eighth season.

That departure is not the final chapter of this story. A few months later, the first season of The Blacklist premieres. The crime series follows FBI agent Elisabeth Keen (Megan Boone, Law & Order), who has her hands full with the mysterious Raymond Reddington - played by Spader - who lists herself as one of the most wanted criminal and funny. Reddington then only wants to collaborate and talk with Keen and has a blacklist full of criminals that he wants to channel in return. However, there is also a personal need behind every name.

Raymond Reddington is perhaps one of the most recognizable characters in a series at the moment. And although The Blacklist is occasionally a bit too American, the character that Spader portrays makes it worthwhile to keep watching. The current season has an original ending - partly animated - due to the corona crisis that has halted many recordings. Fortunately, it seems we haven't seen the last of Reddington.

Are you a fan? Look here for more (guest) roles that James Spader has played.

Do you have a favourite actor or actress? Let us know and we may focus the spotlight on her/him next time!
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