John James (actor)

John James is an American actor and producer best known to television audiences for playing the character of Jeff Colby in both the prime-time soap opera Dynasty and its spin-off series The Colbys throughout the 1980s.[1]

John James
John James Anderson

OccupationActor, producer
Years active1977–present
Denise Coward
(m. 1989)


James is a veteran of daytime soaps, first appearing in Search for Tomorrow in the late 1970s. In 1981, he won the role of Jeff Colby in Dynasty, appearing in the very first episode, "Oil", and remaining on the soap opera until the final episode, Catch 22 in 1989.[2] James played the same role in The Colbys between 1985 and 1987,[2] and one last time in the 1991 TV movie, Dynasty: The Reunion.

James was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his role in Dynasty in 1985 and appeared at the 1986 ceremony. The Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film went to Edward James Olmos.[3]

James returned to the genre playing Rick Decker on As the World Turns in 2003–2004.[4] In May 2006, he was cast in the role of Dr. Jeff Martin (the first husband of Erica Kane played by series star Susan Lucci) on the ABC daytime soap opera All My Children. He began appearing the following month. On July 15, 2008, James returned to As the World Turns, reprising the role of demented Dr. Rick Decker.[5]

In film, James starred in Icebreaker (2000) with Sean Astin, Bruce Campbell, and Stacy Keach; in The Cursed aka Peril (2001) with Morgan Fairchild and Michael Pare; in Lightning: Fire from the Sky (2001) with Jesse Eisenberg, Stacy Keach and John Schneider and in Chronology (2015) with William Baldwin and Danny Trejo,[6] all of which were directed by David Giancola.

He produced and starred in Illegal Aliens (2007). In 2012, James starred in the Giancola documentary, Addicted to Fame (2012), about the making of their film Illegal Aliens.[7] In 2016, James produced and starred in another Giancola film — the sci-fi action adventure, Axcellerator which reunited him with The Colbys co-star Maxwell Caulfield while James' daughter Laura played one of the roles.[8]

James has appeared on stage intermittently, from musicals for the producer John Kenley to a 1996 national tour of Dial 'M' for Murder with Roddy McDowall,[9] to playing Captain Keller in Judson Theatre Company's The Miracle Worker in 2018.[10]

Personal lifeEdit

James was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as one of the three children of radio broadcaster Herb Oscar Anderson (1928—2017)[11] and his first wife. His brother, Herb Oscar Anderson II, is an actor.[12]

In 1989, James married Denise Ellen Coward (born 1955 in Australia), a model and 2nd Runner-up for Miss World 1978.[13] They have two children.[14] In 2012, James' daughter, Laura, won America's Next Top Model, Cycle 19.[15] His son Phillip is serving in the United States Air Force.[16]

In 2014, James considered running as a Republican for New York's 21st congressional district. [17]


Year Title Role Notes
2022 My Son Hunter Joe Biden
2020 The ObamaGate Movie James Comey Online release
Axcellerator Sy
2018 Christmas Camp Ben
2016 Chronology Tom aka The Lost Day
2012 Addicted to Fame Himself Documentary; Biography
2003–2004, 2008 As the World Turns Rick Decker 14 Episodes
2007 Illegal Aliens Big Tony Producer
2006–2007 All My Children Jeff Martin 32 Episodes
2001 Lightning: Fire from the Sky Porter Randall TV Movie
2001 The Cursed Scott aka Peril
2000 Icebreaker Will Langley
2000 Pacific Blue S.N.A.F.U. 1 Episode
1998 Love Boat: The Next Wave Ray Kennedy 1 Episode
1998 Touched by an Angel Sam Carver 1 Episode
1992 Partners 'n Love Carey Mays TV Movie
1991 Dynasty: The Reunion Jeff Colby TV Movie
1991 Perry Mason: The Case of the Ruthless Reporter Brett Huston TV Movie
1987 Haunted by Her Past Eric Beckett TV Movie
1985–1987 The Colbys Jeff Colby 49 Episodes
1984 He's Not Your Son Ted Barnes TV Movie
1984 Finder of Lost Loves Father Michael Bretton 1 Episode
1982 The Love Boat Di Nardi / Enzo Carducci 4 Episodes
1982 Fantasy Island Corky Daniels 1 Episode
1981–1989 Dynasty Jeff Colby 168 Episodes; Golden Globe Award Nomination
1977 Search for Tomorrow Tom 'Junior' Bergman 4 episodes



Year Award Work Result
1983 Bravo Otto Award for Favourite TV star: Male Dynasty Won[19]
1984 Bravo Otto Award for Favourite TV star: Male 2nd place[20]
1985 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated[21]
1986 Soap Opera Digest Award for Favourite Super Couple on a Primetime Special The Colbys Nominated
1988 Soap Opera Digest Award for Favourite Super Couple on a Primetime Special Nominated


  • This Time b/w Fooling Around (with Heidi Bruhl; 1984)[22]
  • Painted Dreams b/w Sleeping In Your Arms Again (1985) (GER # 60, 5 weeks)[23][24]


  1. ^ "Dynasty's 35th anniversary". January 12, 2016. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "The Colbys". Soap Opera Digest. October 19, 2019. Retrieved November 19, 2019 – via
  3. ^ "Golden Globes Best Supporting TV Actor: 1986". Retrieved November 12, 2016.
  4. ^ "John James Joins As the World Turns". April 22, 2003. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
  5. ^ "John James Returns to As The World Turns". June 18, 2008. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
  6. ^ "Chronology moves to Poland". September 14, 2015. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
  7. ^ "Anna Nicole Smith Addicted to Fame". Entertainment Weekly. November 29, 2012. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
  8. ^ "Noted actors to fill roles in local movie". Rutland Reader. November 2, 2016. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
  9. ^ "Dial 'm' for Murder". 22 January 1996.
  10. ^ "JOHN JAMES headlines THE MIRACLE WORKER!". 20 February 2018.
  11. ^ "Herb Oscar Anderson, Crooning D.J. for WABC-AM, Dies at 88". New York Times. February 1, 2017. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  12. ^ "Herb Oscar Anderson Profile". Music Radio 77. June 27, 2005. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
  13. ^ "Argentinan picked Miss World". Lodi News-Sentinel. November 17, 1978. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
  14. ^ "Green Acres". People Magazine. November 1, 1999. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
  15. ^ "Another upstate Laura for 'ANTM'". Times Union. May 30, 2012. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
  16. ^ "John James Linkedin profile". Retrieved November 12, 2012.
  17. ^ "Field getting crowded in 21st District". The Post-Star. Dec 29, 2013. Retrieved Feb 16, 2019.
  18. ^ "Miss USA 1982- Celebrity Judges". You Tube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-19. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
  19. ^ "Bravo Otto Award 1983". Bravo Archive. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
  20. ^ "Bravo Otto Award 1984". Bravo Archive. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
  21. ^ "Awards and Nominations: Golden Globes". Retrieved November 12, 2012.
  22. ^ "John James & Heidi Bruhl – This Time". Retrieved November 12, 2016.
  23. ^ "John James – Painted Dreams". Retrieved November 12, 2016.
  24. ^ "Painted Dreams Chart Position". Retrieved November 12, 2016.

External linksEdit