James Denton

James Denton

Active - 1997 - 2020  |   Born - Jan 20, 1963 in Nashville, Tennessee, United States  |   Genres - Drama, Romance, Comedy

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Biography by AllMovie

After bit parts in the John Woo martial arts extravaganza Face/Off (1997) and guest-starring appearances on the weekly series Ally McBeal and The Drew Carey Show, James Denton (also billed under his formal prename, Jamie Denton) achieved national recognition for his contribution to the darkly comic prime-time soap opera Desperate Housewives. In that program, Denton played Mike Delfino, the very eligible bachelor plumber, tossed like a volleyball in between sexy suburbanites Edie Britt (Nicollette Sheridan) and Susan Mayer (Teri Hatcher).

The eldest child of a Nashville, TN, dentist, Denton attended Goodlettsville High School and junior college prior to enrolling in the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. At that institution, he majored in television and journalism, and graduated with honors, a degree in advertising under his arm. Grassroots experience acting in a number of regional plays -- including a local production of Thornton Wilder's Our Town -- imparted to Denton a permanent love of acting, and thus shifted his career path; he spent four years making a living by selling advertising to radio stations, but nothing could outshine the passion and drive he felt for acting. Thus, after a short theatrical stint in North Carolina, Denton set out for Chicago to pursue drama full-time. In the Windy City, Denton landed roles in such productions as A Streetcar Named Desire and Lapin, Lapin, and signed on as a semi-permanent member of the Griffin Theater and the Strawdog Theater Ensemble.

Denton subsequently scored the key role of Mr. Lyle in the NBC fantasy-adventure series The Pretender, and worked on a number of other small-screen programs, including The Untouchables, Sliders, and Dark Skies. An even bigger TV role would come later, in the form

of his role on Housewives. Shortly after the series premiered in October 2004, it rocketed up to become one of the most popular shows on television, and Denton would stick with the series as it was renewed for season after season.

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  • Briefly dated country singer Deana Carter in high school.
  • Was awarded a basketball scholarship to a local junior college prior to his time at the University of Tennessee.
  • Sold advertising for radio stations in the Nashville area before making the jump into acting.
  • On his upper left arm, he sports a tattoo honoring his late father (it features his dad's initials, birth date, date of death and Navy Rank and serial number).
  • Changed his professional name from Jamie to James just before learning that Threat Matrix had been picked up by ABC for the 2003 fall schedule (the short-lived series was canceled on the very same day that his Mike Delfino role on Desperate Housewives was announced to the press).
  • Made People's Sexiest Man Alive issue in 2004 and was named one of TV's Sexiest Men by TV GUIDE in 2005.
  • Is a guitarist and singer in the Band From TV.
  • In 2008, he became an investor in a group that bought the Golden League Baseball team the Orange County Flyers (formerly the Fullerton Flyers).
  • Among his charitable causes: supporting animal-rescue efforts by seeking out homes for strays; supporting environmental-protection efforts; being a mentor.