James Van Der Beek: Dawson Leery
James Van Der Beek embodied cheery, chatty, Spielberg-obsessed Dawson Leery to perfection — which was great while Dawson’s Creek was on, but not so great once the series ended and no one was looking to cast another Dawson.
After some misses, including 2006’s straight-to-DVD movie The Plague, James, 35, is finally getting his mojo back: He won Best Actor at the 2009 San Diego Film Festival for Formosa Betrayed, he played a womanizing ICU chief on Mercy in 2010, and he's playing a riotous version of himself on the ABC sitcom Don't Trust the B— in Apt 23. For all you Ke$ha fans out there (we don’t judge — she’s catchy), James appeared as the singer’s nemesis in her 2011 music video for the thumping club song “Blow.”
James’s love life has also recovered quite nicely since his April 2009 split from his wife of six years, actress Heather McComb. Just one year later, he announced on Twitter that he and his girlfriend, business consultant Kimberly Brook, were expecting a baby girl. The couple tied the knot in August 2010, and they welcomed daughter Olivia Van Der Beek on September 25, 2010. Kimberly gave birth to their second child, son Joshua, on March 13, 2012.
Dawson’s all grown up!