james spader net worth

James Spader Net Worth 2023 + Facts And Bio

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james spader net worth

In the late 70s, a new actor burst onto the scene: James Spader. While never officially part of the 80s Brat Pack, he and Robert Downey Jr. have been considered honorary members, Spader even having a role in the teen classic Pretty in Pink. Like many members of the Brat Pack, Spader continues to entertain fans to this day. So what’s his current net worth?

James Spader’s 2023 net worth is estimated at 10-20 million. Despite the elusive actor’s career spanning over four decades, he is admittedly bad with finances. Thus, his motivation for seeking and accepting roles primarily due to a need for more money to pay the bills.

James Spader is elusive, despite his long history in film and television. The multi-Emmy award winner has gone long stretches without giving an interview.

During his November 2020 appearance on The Tonight Show, he admitted it was his first time out of the house in eight months, and he doesn’t Zoom. Nonetheless, when he gives an interview, he is frank, including about his finances.

James Spader Net Worth in 2023

James Spader’s net worth is estimated between 10-20 million dollars. Not the figure one would expect from four decades of success. However, while the actor and producer has had a lengthy career in television and film, he’s not good with money, making the upper figure in his net worth highly suspect.

In a 2016 interview with The Guardian, he admitted this fact, stating, “I am not very responsible economically.” He confessed that he could blow through his entire earnings from a film before starting on the next. The revelation was not new. In a 2014 Rolling Stone interview, he admitted his motivation for taking roles was “because I’m out of money and I need to pay my bills.”

Hence his driving force to participate in the TV series, The Blacklist because “television is the best earner.” He plays the main character Raymond “Red” Redding, and is one of the executive producers. He made $160,00 per episode at the start of the series but eventually made $300,000 per episode, resulting in over six-million dollars a year.

With wise investment, such wealth could have grown far greater than his estimated 10-20 million dollars. But Spader’s meticulous attention to detail, a side effect of his obsessive-compulsive disorder, does not apply to finances.

With NBC announcing in February 2023 that The Blacklist will end after its 10th season, it will be interesting to see how Spader funds his lavish living.

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James Spader Bio

james spader net worth

James Spader has always made it known he prefers his private life to remain private. Nonetheless, no Hollywood star can remain a complete enigma.

Quick Facts On James Spader

BirthdayFebruary 7, 1960
Place of birthBoston, Massachusetts
ParentsJean and Stoddard Spader
Parents’ occupationTeachers
SiblingsTwo older sisters: Libby and Annie
SchoolsBrooks School, Phillips Academy in Andover (high school) 
How far did he go in school?Dropped out in eleventh grade
Jobs before actingBartending, unloaded trucks, yoga instructor, mucking stables
First filmTeam Mates, 1978
First TV show appearanceDiner, 1983
ChildrenThree: Sebastian, Elijah, Nathanael
Number of times marriedOnce, 1987
Number of times divorcedOnce, 2004
Ex-wifeVictoria Kheel
Current girlfriendLeslie Stefanson
Diagnosed Health IssuesObsessive-compulsive disorder

James Spader’s Early Years

James Spader was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on February 7, 1960. He was the third child of Jean and Stoddard Spader, having previously had two daughters, Libby and Annie. Despite his parents being teachers, Spader’s commitment to education was lackluster. At only 17, he dropped out of high school and went to New York.

Many assume he abandoned school to pursue acting, but that isn’t true. As he relayed to The Today Show, he left school “to leave school” and has, in other interviews, insisted he did it with his parents’ support. 

Success did not come to him instantly. To stay alive, he did various jobs, including teaching yoga, which he admits was more like sleeping through yoga. He also mucked out horse stables, bused tables, and unloaded meat trucks. He preferred the graveyard shift, which he later reflected might be why he was drawn to films that had night shoots.

James Spader’s Relationships And Children

James Spader met his first wife, Victoria Kheel Spader, who he met on the set of Sex, Lies, and Videotape. She was working as a set designer. The couple married in 1987 and had two children, Sebastian and Elijah before the couple filed for divorce in 2003.

James Spader has not married since. However, he has been with Leslie Stefanson since 2002. They met on the set of Alien Hunter. Leslie was an actor at the time, although now retired, and now focuses on sculpting. They have one son together, Nathanael. While the couple is often photographed together, they keep their relationship out of the press as much as possible.

Where Does His Richness Come From?

james spader net worth

Spader’s wealth comes from acting in films, television, and voice work. He has also earned money as a producer. Younger generations know him from his work in The Office and the long-running series The Blacklist, where he plays the main character and is an executive producer.

James Spader In Film

James Spader’s Hollywood career began in coming-of-age movies like Pretty in Pink and Less than Zero. He also did work in lighthearted comedy films such as Mannequin and Baby Boom.

His tour de force was the 1989 film Sex, Lies, and Videotape. He played Graham, who has a kink for filming women confessing their sexual fantasies and secrets. The role solidified him as the actor who plays weird and unusual characters.  However, the Cannes-winning movie was not a big money maker for the actor, as the project’s entire budget was only 1.2 million.

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But the role put him in a position to select intriguing and better-paying characters, many of which sexually charged. In 1990 he starred opposite Susan Sarandon in the erotic romantic drama White Palace. In 1996 he starred in Crash, playing a man in an open marriage who comes to discover car crashes arouse him.

In 2002 he starred opposite Maggie Gyllenhaal in the BDSM Secretary, based on a story by Mary Gaitskill.

However, James Spader doesn’t confine his roles or wealth-making opportunities to indie movies and daring projects. He also has fun playing in sci-fi films, some of which are connected to high-earning franchises.

In 1994 he took part in the sci-fi film Stargate, playing archaeologist Dr. Daniel Jackson. In 2000, he played the co-pilot Nick Vanzant in the space-action, horror box-office flop Supernova. However, it didn’t put him off the genre, as in 2003, he starred in Alien Hunter, which received mixed reviews.

But nobody can argue that Avengers: Age of Ultron didn’t make big money. The movie where Spader plays the AI Ultron crossed the 1-billion-dollar mark at the box office.

James Spader Film Biography

FilmYear
Team Mates1978
Endless Love1981
Starcrossed1985
Tuff Turf1985
The New Kids1985
Pretty in Pink1986
Mannequin1987
Baby Boom1987
Less than Zero1987
Wall Street1987
Greasy Lake1988
Jack’s Back1988
Sex, Lies, and Videotape1989
The Rachel Papers1989
Bad Influence1990
White Palace1990
True Colors1991
Storyville1992
Bob Roberts1992
The Music of Chance1993
Dream Lover1993
Wolf1994
Stargate1994
Crash1996
2 Days in the Valley1996
Keys to Tulsa1997
Driftwood1997
Critical Care1997
Curtain Call1998
Supernova2000
The Watcher2000
Slow Burn2000
Speaking of Sex2001
Secretary2002
The Stickup2002
I Witness2003
Alien Hunter2003
Shadow of Fear2004
Shorts2009
Lincoln2012
The Homesman2014
Avengers: Age of Ultron2015

James Spader In Television

James Spader has often been described as a film actor who moved to television. But the truth is more complicated. He’d been taking roles in television opportunities as early as 1983, only a handful of years after he landed his first role in a film.

Spader prefers television work since the money comes in consistent intervals. But aside from TV movies and guest appearances, he had little success finding a series during the first half of his career. His attempt in 1983 in The Family Tree was canceled after only six episodes.

He landed 22 episodes worth of work in 2003-2004 in The Practice’s eighth season, which won him his first Primetime Emmy, leading to the spinoff series The Boston Legal. However, landing the role was far from a slam dunk. Executives were incredibly cautious. As David E. Kelley, the show’s creator put it, the top dogs insisted, “James Spader is not a network face!”

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Fortunately for Spader, he landed the part of Alan Shore, an attorney with different values and politics than his mentor, Denny Crane, played by William Shatner. The role in The Boston Legal would go on to win him two more Primetime Emmy awards.

His next big TV opportunity came in 2011 for The Office. Originally, Spader was slated to only guest star for season seven’s final episode, “Search Committee.” However, the producers enjoyed his character Robert California, and they asked him to return for season eight to fill Steve Carell’s shoes for season eight in 2012.

James Spader’s iconic role as Raymond “Red” Redding came the following year, in 2013. The crime thriller series follows Redding, a criminal mastermind turned FBI informant. The complex character is known for his quick wit and quotable lines, such as:

  • I had bullets, he had words.
  • As you well know, one of the keys to my success is a clear and consistent understanding of my own limitations.
  • As a fugitive of justice, I prefer not to linger in hallways.
  • Nothing good comes from digging up secrets.
  • Dead? Pishposh. What’s death? It’s just a process, right?

James Spader Television Biography

ShowYearEpisodes
Diner1983A TV short
The Family Tree19836
Cocaine: One Man’s Seduction1983A TV movie
A Killer in the Family1983A TV movie
Family Secrets1984A TV movie
Starcrossed1985A TV movie
Frasier1994Guest star in “Slow Tango in South Seattle”
Seinfeld1997Guest star in “The Apology”
The Pentagon papers2003A TV movie
The Practice2003-200422 
Boston Legal2004-2008101
Discovery Atlas2006The narrator for “China Revealed” 
The Office2011-201225 
The Blacklist2013-2023200+

What Are His Renowned Accomplishments In Life?

james spader receive an award

James Spader is a multi-award-winning actor. He won the 1989 Cannes Best Actor Award for his role in Sex, Lies, and Videotape. His work on the series The Practice won him a Primetime Emmy Award in 2004, and he followed with two more in 2005 and 2007 for his role in Boston Legal. That show also earned him a Satellite Award for Best Actor in a Series in 2006.

He has also been nominated for numerous awards, including three Golden Globes and ten Screen Actors Guild Awards. However, despite his success in The Blacklist, he has yet to win an award for his iconic character Raymond “Red” Redding.

Lessons To Learn From James Spader’s Life

james spader

James Spader is as much a character in life as on the screen. While his interviews are infrequent, when he does consent to one, he never leaves his audience disappointed. He is full of tales, observations, and life lessons. His seemingly long tangents leave people wondering where he is going, yet they always deliver a thoughtful point at the end.

The man has demonstrated that having a career in Hollywood and maintaining some privacy is possible. When he works, he is committed to the job and takes it extremely seriously. When asked by the Rolling Stones why he cares so much about his character’s fictional lives, Spader replied, “Because I have to perform it.”

The man is full of wise and oddball quotes, teaching us about life. Thus, we’ve gathered up some of our favorites from him.

James Spader On Working

“Just have fun. It’s the most important part.”

James Spader On Fun

“It’s always fun playing the bad guy.”

James Spader On Reproduction

“I believe in a negative population growth.”

James Spader On Packing

“Everywhere I go, I bring a lot of luggage. I think that’s what one should do.”

James Spader On New Yorkers

“New Yorkers don’t let you think for a moment that you’re in charge…As a group, I adore them… they’re insufferable individually.”

James Spader On Ending An Awkward Conversation

“I’m perfectly comfortable telling people, ‘I need to leave now.'”

James Spader On Truffles

“If you’re going to drop several hundred dollars on truffles, you better be getting laid that night.” 

Wrap-Up

James Spader’s long-standing career has been one more out of narcissists than being a workaholic. The man adores nice things, such as rare white truffles, causing him to swiftly go through generous paychecks.

So while his 10 million plus net worth might be enough to allow most people a happy retirement, it is doubtful that The Blacklist’s finale will be the end of his acting career.

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