James "Jimmy" Van Patten (born October 7, 1956) is an American actor, writer, and producer.

He played Dr. Adam Heffner in Saw IV, Saw VI, and Saw 3D.

Life and Career

Born and raised in New York, James Van Patten followed in the footsteps of his father, actor Dick Van Patten, as a professional actor by the age of 12. When he was a teenager, the Van Pattens moved to Hollywood, where James was immediately cast as a reform schoolboy in the hit television series The Odd Couple, launching a successful acting career.

Since this very first role, Van Patten has been involved in the entertainment industry, encompassing film, television, and theater. He has been critically acclaimed as an actor and has received awards for his screenwriting talents. His independent production company, which he co-founded with his brother, released its first feature film to theaters in 1996.

Throughout his youth, Van Patten guest-starred on several television series, mini-series, and feature films. As an adult, he also starred in two television series of his own. He starred opposite Robert Preston in the award-winning series The Chisholms for CBS, playing the role of Bo Chisholm, and also starred in Ron Howard and Brian Grazer's Imagine Entertainment's comedy series Poison for Showtime, opposite Andrea Martin and Bud Cort.

Van Patten also has impressive film credits with roles in dozens of motion pictures, including The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again, Freaky Friday, Roller Boogie, Lifeguard, and California Dreaming. He also received critical acclaim from the LA Times for his "live fast die young" performance in the feature film Young Warriors, released in theatres worldwide. On the comedic side, Van Patten appeared in two Mel Brooks' productions - Life Stinks and Robin Hood: Men in Tights - and was directed by Keenan Ivory Wayans in Don't Be a Menace in South Central. He has also appeared in the popular Saw franchise, playing the role of Dr. Heffner in Saw VI, Saw VI, and Saw 3D. Later, he co-starred opposite Academy Award-winning actors Nicolas Cage and Faye Dunaway in the suspense thriller Inconceivable.

Van Patten's credits as a stage actor include Mr. Roberts at the San Antonio Fiesta Theater, Breakfast with Les and Bes at Burt Reynold's Jupiter Theater, and the world debut of Passengers, touring with the Frank Kenley Players. He starred in the critically acclaimed national tour of The Sunshine Boys, where he performed in over 100 cities in the role of Ben Silverman. Van Patten also appeared in Harvey at the Laguna Playhouse with Charles Durning as well as at the Cord Theater on Broadway in 2004.

In addition to his acting career, Van Patten also wrote and the script of the comedy Dirty Tennis for MCA, which won the New York and VSDA Awards for "Best Comedy Video of the Year in 1990".

As a producer, James Van Patten and his brother, Vincent, first collaborated on the feature film The Break, starring Martin Sheen, which was theatrically released by Trimark Pictures. They also wrote and produced The Flunky, directed by Vincent Van Patten and starring Jimmy Van Patten, Dean Stockwell, and Farrah Fawcett. The Flunky won two key creative awards for "Best Cinematography on a Feature Film" and "Best Director on a Feature Film" at the 2000 Port Hueneme International Film Festival.

Van Patten has also completed writing the stage adaptation of The Flunky as a musical comedy for the Broadway stage. He and Debbie Gibson, who co-wrote the music, were collaborating on this project.

Since 1989, Van Patten has been the spokesman for his father's company "Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Pet Foods," which has grown into a highly successful international company.



Year Title Role
1976 Lifeguard Surfer
Freaky Friday Cashier
1977 The Ghost of Cypress Swamp Bucky Landers
1978 Hot Lead and Cold Feet Jake
1979 California Dreaming Mike
The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again Young Soldier #1 on Train
Roller Boogie Hoppy
1981 Lunch Wagon Biff
1982 Tennessee Stallion Billy
High Powder Joe Brock
1983 Josie Luke Price
Young Warriors Kevin Carrigan
For Love and Honor Nick
1987 Dirty Dozen: The Deadly Mission David Webber
Nightforce Steve Worthington
The Under Achievers Todd
Private Road: No Trespassing Dave Roberts
1988 Poison
American Revenge Mel
1989 Hyper Space Raymond Scully
An Eight Is Enough Wedding Merle
1990 Twisted Justice Kelsey
1991 Life Stinks Wheelchair Attendant
1993 Robin Hood: Men in Tights Villager
1994 The Killing Jar Dick Kelly
1996 Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood Harvard Man
1998 Freedom Strike Tactical Action Officer
I Might Even Love You Dexter
Havasu Heat
2000 The Flunky Tyler Mann
Backyard Dogs Parker Nash
2004 Quiet Kill Detective Jackson
2007 Saw IV Dr. Adam Heffner
2009 Saw VI Dr. Adam Heffner
2010 Saw 3D Dr. Adam Heffner
2012 A Thousand Cuts Mark
2015 Breaker Breaker Dispatch
2017 Inconceivable Dr. Weisman


Year Title Role
1972 The Odd Couple Mike
The Partners Kid
Bonanza Corky Sibley
1973 Gunsmoke Tim
1975 Three for the Road
1976 Shazam! Harry
1977 Emergency! Mark
Disneyland Bucky Landers
Happy Days Sandy
1978 Eight Is Enough
1979-1980 The Chisholms Bo Chisholm
1980 Lou Grant Daniels
1983 For Love and Honor Nick
1986 Scarecrow and Mrs. King Tony Maskeli
1988 Poison Roger
1990 Dragnet Dwight Gordon
1997 Pacific Blue Gordon De Ville
2012 Who Let the Dogs Out Jimmy
2014 The Other Hef Jimmy



  • James Van Patten's brother, Vincent Van Patten, was married to Betsy Russell, the actress portraying Jill Tuck in the Saw series, from 1989 to 2001.

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