Image of James Wilder

James Wilder

Neil Young wrote that it's better to burn out than fade away. But for actor/architect/designer James Wilder neither option is acceptable. Juggling artistic mediums like the three running chainsaws that earned him notoriety on the streets of New York and Los Angeles -- and later on stages throughout Europe -- Wilder is that rare breed of artist that is not drawn to the flame of fame and fortune but rather the exhilaration of a new challenge. Raised in the bohemian enclave of Sausalito (outside San Francisco) where he attended an all-boys advanced learning institute, Wilder's paradoxically liberal upbringing allowed for the kind of creative freedom from which his maverick tendencies were born. At the age of 14 Wilder was living in his mother's native Paris, regaling audiences with his one man show at such legendary venues as the Moulin Rouge and Lido and later on Broadway. While there, he performed with the Nouveau Cirque De Paris, the precursor to Cirque du Soleil, before making his way to LA where he lived for several years in his customized van. It wasn't long before Wilder nabbed a role in the Broadway hit "Sugar Babies" while studying at the famed NY Actors Studio, at which he was later inducted as a member. Upon returning to LA his impressive range and determination quickly earned him a reputation as a fearless and committed actor. TV and film roles rolled in. Some were great, highlighting his scope, others not so much. But the one thing that remained constant was the recognition of his talent. From his breakout role as the troubled addict son of Ed Asner in the ABC Circle Theater presentation "Cracked Up" to his heralded star turn in the Emmy-award winning one hour legal drama "Equal Justice" (with Sarah Jessica Parker) and evocative characterization of a drug-dealing seducer on "Melrose Place," Wilder metamorphosizes with Kafka-esque ease from sleaze to tease, charming marauder to murdering psychopath and virtually every persona in-between. Untrained as an architect or interior designer, Wilder's keen eye and distinct vision has transformed a dozen empty lots throughout California into panoramic living art. From gothic to baroque, sleekly modern to vintage chic, each of designs boasts a singularly unique aesthetic, one of which was recognized by HGTV as among LA's top three most outstanding properties alongside a Frank Lloyd Wright design. Slowly the homes he built in his exclusive Hollywood Hills neighborhood have evolved into a loosely-structured artist's retreat inspired by Elia Kazan, Wilder's favorite renegade. Annie Leibovitz, Stanley Tucci, Blake Shelton, Tom Ford, Eddie Van Halen, Jesse James, and Stevie Wonder are just a few of the marquee names who have chosen his properties for photo shoots, exclusive events and long-term inspirational living spaces. When not constructing homes, acting or designing, Wilder can often be seen searching for vintage treasures or working on one of his classic cars and Indian motorcycles.

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Aug 5, 1968 In Cleveland, OH
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Delta Pi 1984-04-01
Latest Project:
Movie Shades of Love: Midnight Magic 2022
Known For
Poster of McBride: Dogged
Poster of Face Value
Poster of Tonya & Nancy: The Inside Story
Poster of Route 66
Movie Shades of Love: Midnight Magic Anthony Palmer 2022
Movie Three Holes, Two Brads, and a Smoking Gun Bobby Blue Day 2014-10-24
Movie McBride: Dogged Michael Whyte 2007-03-16
Movie The Perfect Marriage Brent Richter 2006-05-22
Movie Face Value Tim Gates 2002-01-21
Movie Burning Down the House Arnie Green 2001-02-07
Movie Touched by a Killer Tyler Nash 2001-01-01
Movie Perfume Billy 2001-04-08
Movie Heart of Stone Steve Sterns 2001-09-26
Movie Daughters Scott Douglas 1998-01-01
Movie Ivory Tower Jarvis Cone 1998-01-01
Movie Flypaper Jerry 1998-02-01
Series The Last Don II Billy D'Angelo 1998-05-03
Movie Kisses in the Dark Stanley 1998-06-23
Movie Charades Quinn 1998-12-17
Movie Nevada Rip 1997-03-31
Movie La Vengeance à double face Alec Dalton 1996-03-11
Movie To Love, Honor and Deceive Detective Jim Sanders 1996-12-15
Movie A Face to Die For Alec Dalton 1996-03-11
Movie Confessions: Two Faces of Evil Robert Berndt 1994-01-17
Movie The Coriolis Effect Stanley 1994-03-26
Movie Tonya & Nancy: The Inside Story Jeff Gillooly 1994-04-30
Movie Tollbooth Vic 1994-11-01
Series Route 66 Nick Lewis 1993-06-08
Movie Night Owl Harry 1993-08-19
Movie Prey of the Chameleon J.D. 1992-02-07
Movie Scorchers Dolan 1991-07-07
Movie State Park Truckie 1988-06-02
Movie Murder One Carl Isaacs 1988-09-23
Movie Nightforce Mack 1987-05-01
Movie Zombie High Barry Jaffe 1987-10-02
Movie Cracked Up John Owens 1987-05-26
Movie Delta Pi Shawn 1984-04-01