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James Denton        

Actor Known for His Role in "Desperate Housewives;" Health Activist

Actor James Denton was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and grew up in nearby Goodlettsville, the second of three children. His father was a dentist who had served in the military. His mother 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.

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, Denton was a company member at The Griffin Theater and at Strawdog Theater Ensemble. He added a steady string of roles and accolades to his list of achievements.

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 Denton has appeared, have been written by his friend, Mike Petty. 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," "Ally McBeal," 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 love interest 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. 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 Teri Hatcher, among others. Denton has been cast in "Killer in the Family," alongside Holly Marie Combs. He also modeled for Daniel Hechter's 2012 Spring-Summer advertising campaign. In 2016, he was cast as Peter on "Devious Maids."

In high school, Denton dated country music artist Deana Carter. 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. They have two children.

Speech Topics

Men as Partners in Surviving Breast Cancer

Early Detection & Awareness: Preventing Future Losses


James Denton: the not-so-desperate househusband | Star Tribune

On a recent afternoon, James Denton walked into a Twin Cities establishment and did something he hadn't done in 13 years: He paid for a haircut.

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