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James Denton

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Title: James Denton  
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Subject: Taco Bell All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game, 30 Rock (season 3), 30 Rock (season 2), All-Star Superman (film), That Old Feeling (film)
Collection: 1963 Births, 20Th-Century American Male Actors, 21St-Century American Male Actors, American Guitarists, American Male Film Actors, American Male Singers, American Male Television Actors, American People of British Descent, Basketball Players from Tennessee, Living People, Male Actors from Chicago, Illinois, Male Actors from Fullerton, California, Male Actors from Tennessee, People from Nashville, Tennessee, Southern Baptists, University of Tennessee Alumni
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James Denton

James Denton
Born James Thomas Denton, Jr.
(1963-01-20) January 20, 1963
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Other names Jamie Denton
Occupation Actor
Years active 1993–present
Spouse(s) Jenna Lyn Ward (1997–2000)
Erin O'Brien Denton (2002–present)
Partner(s) Deana Carter
Children Sheppard O'Brien Denton
Malin O'Brien Denton
Parents J.T. Denton (father), Mary Jean Woolslair Denton (mother)

James "Jamie" Thomas Denton, Jr. (born January 20, 1963) is an American film and television actor, best known for playing Mike Delfino in the television series Desperate Housewives.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Personal life 3
  • Filmography 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life

Denton was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and grew up in nearby Goodlettsville, the second of three children. His father, J.T. Denton (1930–1993), was a dentist who had served in the military.[1] His mother, Mary Jean Woolslair Denton, died from breast cancer in 2002.

Denton was raised Southern Baptist and became a minister of music at Westmoreland United Methodist Church in Westmoreland, Tennessee.[2]

Denton attended the University of Tennessee where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, majored in television/journalism and earned a degree in advertising. Before he became an actor, he sold advertising for two radio stations. He began acting at the age of 23, at a community theater in Nashville. He eventually moved to California to become a full-time actor. He was for a time credited as Jamie Denton, for example in the film That Old Feeling.


While living in Chicago, Denton's first role was as "Stanley" in "A Streetcar Named Desire" and his last was as the terrorist "Bebert" in the French farce "Lapin Lapin". In the years that came between the two, JD was a company member at The Griffin Theater and at Strawdog Theater Ensemble. He added a steady string of roles and accolades to his quickly growing list of achievements, including one of the leads in the world premiere of "Flesh and Blood", performing in and composing the music for "the Night Hank Williams Died", and his portrayal of Kentucky preacher "C.C. Showers" in "The Diviners" - which gained him a nomination for a Best Actor "Joseph Jefferson Award" (Chicago's only theater award).

After moving to Los Angeles, Denton continued to perform on stage, usually during hiatus from whichever TV series to which he was attached at the time, and many of the plays, as well as the independent movies in which JD has appeared, have been written by his good friend, Mike Petty. For example, "In Walked Monk", in which JD played the role of "Steven" during the summer of 1999, was written by Mike Petty, as was "Locked Up Down Shorty's", in which JD played the role of "Danny", during the summer of 2001.

Denton has appeared in several films, including That Old Feeling (1997), Face/Off (1997) and Primary Colors (1998).

He has also appeared in various television shows including Sliders, Dark Skies, Two Guys and a Girl, Ally McBeal, The West Wing, and JAG, and has had recurring roles in The Pretender, Philly, The Drew Carey Show and Reba. In 2003, he had the lead role of Special Agent John Kilmer in the short-lived crime thriller series Threat Matrix. In 2004, Denton won his most famous role as plumber Mike Delfino on the series Desperate Housewives.

Since first appearing in Desperate Housewives, Denton has continued to act in various made-for-TV and direct-to-DVD movies such as Assumption (2006), Beautiful Dreamer (2006), Undead or Alive (2007), Custody (2007), Tortured (2008) and All-Star Superman (2011). In 2009, Denton appeared in country star Phil Vassar's music video "Bobbi with an I".

Denton plays guitar in the charity band Band from TV along with Hugh Laurie and ex Desperate Housewives co-star Teri Hatcher, among others. Denton has been cast in Killer in the Family alongside Holly Marie Combs. The movie is currently in development and is scheduled to be released in 2011.[3] Denton modeled for Daniel Hechter's 2012 Spring-Summer advertising campaign.[4]

Personal life

In high school, Denton dated country music artist Deana Carter. Apparently he was the inspiration to her hit song, Strawberry Wine. He has been married twice. He was married to Jenna Lyn Ward from 1997 to 2000. On December 16, 2002 he married Erin O'Brien, a personal trainer at Life Time Fitness.[2] They have two children: a son, Sheppard (b. March 2003) and a daughter, Malin O’Brien (b. March 22, 2005). They had a house in Glendale, California.[5] After Desperate Housewives ended, the family moved to Chanhassen near Minneapolis, Minnesota.[2][6]

Denton is part of the owners group of an independent minor league baseball team in Fullerton, the Orange County Flyers (part of the Golden Baseball League), who won the GBL Championship in 2008. The Orange County Flyers play at Cal State Fullerton in Fullerton, California.


Year Title Role Notes
1993 Thieves Quartet Ray Higgs
1994 "Basic Football" (short film) The Quarterback
1995 Hunter's Moon Nick
1996 Sliders Jack Bullock 1 episode: 'The Good, the Bad and the Wealthy'
1996 Moloney Rocky Talese 1 episode: 'Friendly Fire'
1996 Dark Skies Robert Winter 1 episode: 'Hostile Convergence'
1996–2003 JAG Lieutenant Commander Bruce Carmichael / Geoffrey Roizman 2 episodes: 'Hemlock', 'Fortunate Son'
1997 That Old Feeling Keith Marks
1997 Face/Off Buzz
1997–2000 The Pretender Mr. Lyle Series regular
1998 Primary Colors Mitch
2000 Locked Up Down Shorty's Danny
2000 Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place Dr. Howard Zaunaveld 1 episode: 'The Monitor Story'
2000 Ally McBeal Jimmy Bender 1 episode: 'Do You Wanna Dance?'
2000 The West Wing Tom Jordan 1 episode: 'The midterms'
2001 The Pretender 2001 Mr. Lyle TV movie
2001 The Pretender: Island of the Haunted Mr. Lyle TV movie
2001–2002 Philly Judge Augustus Ripley Series regular
2002 The Drew Carey Show 2 episodes: 'The Man in the Iron Chair', 'Drew Tries Hot Salsa'
2003–2004 Threat Matrix Special Agent John Kilmer Series regular
2004 Jumbo Girl Jack Short film
2004–2012 Desperate Housewives Mike Delfino Main character
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2005, 2006)
Nomination -Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2007, 2008, 2009)
Teen Choice award for Best TV actor
2005–2006 Reba Dr. Morgan 2 episodes: 'Date of Mirth', 'The Trouble with Dr. Hunky'
2006 Assumption John Short film
ShockerFest Science Fiction Genre Award for Best Actor Fantasy / Science Fiction
2006 Beautiful Dreamer Dr. Kessler
2007 Ascension Day Brother John
2007 Undead or Alive: A Zombedy Elmer Winslow
2007 Masters of Science Fiction Barney Curran 1 episode: 'The Discarded'
2007 Custody John Sullivan
2008 Tortured Agent Murphy Direct-to-DVD
2010 Group Sex Luke Uncredited
2011 All-Star Superman Superman/Clark Kent (voice) Direct-to-DVD
2011 Karaoke Man Slim Post-production
2011 The Book of Matthew Pierce Kincaid Pre-production
2012 Hot in Cleveland Kerouac Cowboy 1 episode: 'Storage Wars'
2012 Karaoke Man Slim
2013 Grace Unplugged Johnny Trey Completed


  1. ^ James Denton Biography
  2. ^ a b c Garrison, Greg (September 4, 2012). "Extras line up as movie crew films concert scenes at Alabama Theatre".  
  3. ^
  4. ^ "James Denton, the Desperate Housewives star channels his inner model". First Luxe. Retrieved 4 April 2012. 
  5. ^ "It's a Girl! - Birth, Desperate Housewives, James Denton".  
  6. ^ Carlson Gustafson, Amy (January 24, 2013). Desperate Housewives' star James Denton has a new neighborhood -- Chanhassen"'".  

External links

Preceded by
Chris Harrison
Host of Miss America
Succeeded by
Mario Lopez

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