James LeGros is an American actor who is known to the audiences for his roles in the TV series ‘Law & Order’ and ‘Ally Mcbeal’. His roles in these TV flicks might have given him a wider reach but LeGros’s best work has been in Indie films. Working as a professional actor since the early 1980s, he became one of the leading figures in independent cinema, while at the same time making numerous appearances in commercial flicks and television. As a college student, still undecided on which way to go, he auditioned for an apprenticeship and was selected. While LeGros does not make much of his talent the Repertory was obviously impressed enough with him to call him back the following year as a member. After his training, he left for Hollywood and got a break working in TV serials. Films followed, some forgettable ones as well, but he was soon spotted by the eminent director Gus Van Sant who gave him one of his most memorable roles. Since then there was no looking back. With the Independent cinema scenario gaining momentum James LeGros found his own niche. In the last three decades, he has garnered an impressive body of work both in commercial films as well as Indie films.
It was the early 1980s and James LeGros was a college student in California, toying with the idea of becoming a photographer. It so happened that a girl that he liked was looking for apprenticeships for the ‘South Coast Repertory’ in Southern California. These were open auditions and LeGros gave it a shot. As luck would have it, out of the hundreds of other potential actors he was selected. The next year the company hired him back as a member.
When James LeGros became serious about acting, he moved to Los Angeles to work in TV and films. His first few years were typical of any struggler. He recalls spending nights at people’s couches, taking showers at the YMCA and living out of his truck. However, starting from 1984 he did get steady work with guest appearances in TV series such as ‘The Knight Rider’ and the TV movie ‘The Ratings Game’ which was one of Danny Devito’s initial films as a director.
A spate of terrible films also happened including the 1986 film ‘Solarbabies’ but LeGros doesn’t regret doing them as he went on to learn from his inexperience in acting, sharpening his skill with each film that he did. The chance to show his maturing acting skills came when director Gus Van Sant offered him a substantial role as the drug addict Rick in the 1989 film ‘Drugstore Cowboy’.
The late 1980s was when the independent movie scenario was picking up in Hollywood. James LeGros became a regular in independent films, working in more than 30 productions. He has sometimes been jokingly called as the “Brad Pitt of Independent Cinema”, which is an interesting moniker as the character he played in the riotous 1995 comedy film ‘Living in Oblivion’ was apparently based on Brad Pitt. In this movie he played the role of Chad Palomino an actor with a lot of attitude, doing the diva act while acting in B-grade movies. That same year he played Julianne Moore’s romantic interest in the film ‘Safe’ which got him attention from critics and audience alike.
Throughout the 1990s LeGros continued acting in numerous Indie movies. He paired with Julianne Moore again in ‘Myth of Fingerprints’ in 1997 playing a small-towner with a crush on Moore. Other prominent films were ’Wishful Thinking’ (1997), and ‘L.A. Without a Map’ (1998).
In 1998 James LeGros returned to work in television appearing in three episodes as Dr. Max Rocher in the famous medical drama ‘ER’. His most noteworthy television appearances were in ‘Ally McBeal’ in which he was a starring cast member from 2000 to 2001. He also did 5 episodes in the 2011 miniseries ‘Mildred Pierce’. Apart from these roles he has done guest appearances in several hit series like ‘House’, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, ‘Person of Interest’ and ‘Fear the Walking Dead’.
Along with guest appearances on television, he continues to work in Independent films and Hollywood films.
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Family & Personal Life
James LeGros was born on April 27, 1962, in Minneapolis. He grew up in Redlands, California where his mother was a teacher and father was a real estate broker. He is their only child. James LeGros has been married to actress and photographer, Kristina Loggia, since 1992. She is the daughter of the actor Robert Loggia. They have two sons.