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.
|1977||The Ghost of Cypress Swamp||Bucky Landers|
|1978||Hot Lead and Cold Feet||Jake|
|The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again||Young Soldier #1 on Train|
|High Powder||Joe Brock|
|Young Warriors||Kevin Carrigan|
|For Love and Honor||Nick|
|1987||Dirty Dozen: The Deadly Mission||David Webber|
|The Under Achievers||Todd|
|Private Road: No Trespassing||Dave Roberts|
|1989||Hyper Space||Raymond Scully|
|An Eight Is Enough Wedding||Merle|
|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|
|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|
|1972||The Odd Couple||Mike|
|1975||Three for the Road|
|1978||Eight Is Enough|
|1979-1980||The Chisholms||Bo Chisholm|
|1983||For Love and Honor||Nick|
|1986||Scarecrow and Mrs. King||Tony Maskeli|
|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.
- at the