James Denton

For the publisher and editor, see James S. Denton.
James Denton

James Denton 2014
Born James Thomas Denton, Jr.
(1963-01-20) January 20, 1963
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Other names Jamie Denton
Alma mater University of Tennessee
Occupation Actor
Years active 1993–present
Spouse(s) Jenna Lyn Ward (m. 1997–2000)
Erin O'Brien Denton (m. 2002)
Partner(s) Deana Carter
Children 2
Parent(s) J.T. Denton (father)
Mary Jean Woolslair Denton (mother)
Website www.jamesdenton.com

James Thomas Denton, Jr. (born January 20, 1963) is an American film and television actor. Denton is best known for playing Mike Delfino in the television series Desperate Housewives.

Early life

Denton was born January 20, 1963, in Nashville, Tennessee, and grew up in nearby Goodlettsville, the second of three children. His father, J.T. Denton (1930–1993), was a dentist who had served in the military.[1] His mother, Mary Jean Woolslair Denton, 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.[2]

Denton graduated from Goodlettsville High School, and attended the University of Tennessee, where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He majored in television/Journalism, and earned a degree in Advertising. Before becoming 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, 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 role was as the terrorist "Bebert" in the French farce, "Lapin Lapin". In the years that came between the two roles, 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 quickly growing list of achievements, including one of the leads in the world premiere of "Flesh and Blood", performing in and composing the music for "the Night Hank Williams Died", and his portrayal of Kentucky preacher "C.C. Showers" in "The Diviners" - which gained him a nomination for a Best Actor "Joseph Jefferson Award" (Chicago's only theater award).

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. For example, "In Walked Monk", in which Denton played the role of "Steven" during the summer of 1999 and Locked Up Down Shorty's", in which he played the role of "Danny", during the summer of 2001.

Denton has appeared in several films, including: That Old Feeling (1997), Face/Off (1997), and Primary Colors (1998).

He has appeared in various television shows, including: Sliders, Dark Skies, Two Guys and a Girl, Ally McBeal, The West Wing, 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 Mike Delfino on the series, Desperate Housewives.[3]

Since first appearing in Desperate Housewives, Denton has continued to act in various made-for-TV and direct-to-DVD movies, including: Assumption (2006), Beautiful Dreamer (2006), Undead or Alive (2007),[4] Custody (2007),[5] Tortured (2008)[6] and All-Star Superman (2011).[7] In 2009, Denton appeared in country star Phil Vassar's music video "Bobbi with an I".[8]

Denton plays guitar in the charity band Band from TV along with Hugh Laurie and ex-Desperate Housewives co-star Teri Hatcher, among others. Denton modeled for Daniel Hechter's 2012 Spring-Summer advertising campaign.[9]

Denton portrays Dr. Sam Radford, a starring role on the The Good Witch,[10] and has a recurring on Devious Maids as Peter Hudson.[11]

Personal life

In high school, Denton dated country music artist Deana Carter. He has been married twice. 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.[2] They have two children: a son born in 2003 and a daughter born in 2005. They had a house in Glendale, California.[12] After Desperate Housewives ended, the family moved to Chanhassen near Minneapolis, Minnesota.[2][13]

Denton is part of the owners group of an independent minor league baseball team in Fullerton, the Orange County Flyers (part of the Golden Baseball League), who won the GBL Championship in 2008. The Orange County Flyers play at Cal State Fullerton in Fullerton, California.


Year Title Role Notes
1993 Thieves Quartet Ray Higgs
1994 Basic Football The Quarterback Short film
1995 Hunter's Moon Nick
1996 Sliders Jack Bullock 1 episode: 'The Good, the Bad and the Wealthy'
1996 Moloney Rocky Talese 1 episode: 'Friendly Fire'
1996 Dark Skies Robert Winter 1 episode: 'Hostile Convergence'
19962003 JAG Lieutenant Commander Bruce Carmichael / Geoffrey Roizman 2 episodes: 'Hemlock', 'Fortunate Son'
1997 That Old Feeling Keith Marks
1997 Face/Off Buzz
19972000 The Pretender Mr. Lyle Series regular
1998 Primary Colors Mitch
2000 Locked Up Down Shorty's Danny
2000 Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place Dr. Howard Zaunaveld 1 episode: 'The Monitor Story'
2000 Ally McBeal Jimmy Bender 1 episode: 'Do You Wanna Dance?'
2000 The West Wing Tom Jordan 1 episode: 'The midterms'
2001 The Pretender 2001 Mr. Lyle TV movie
2001 The Pretender: Island of the Haunted Mr. Lyle TV movie
20012002 Philly Judge Augustus Ripley Series regular
2002 The Drew Carey Show 2 episodes: 'The Man in the Iron Chair', 'Drew Tries Hot Salsa'
20032004 Threat Matrix Special Agent John Kilmer Series regular
2004 Jumbo Girl Jack Short film
20042012 Desperate Housewives Mike Delfino Main character
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2005, 2006)
Nomination -Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2007, 2008, 2009)
Teen Choice award for Best TV actor
20052006 Reba Dr. Morgan 2 episodes: 'Date of Mirth', 'The Trouble with Dr. Hunky'
2006 Assumption John Short film
ShockerFest Science Fiction Genre Award for Best Actor Fantasy / Science Fiction
2006 Beautiful Dreamer Dr. Kessler
2007 Ascension Day Brother John
2007 Undead or Alive: A Zombedy Elmer Winslow
2007 Masters of Science Fiction Barney Curran 1 episode: 'The Discarded'
2007 Custody John Sullivan
2008 Tortured Agent Murphy Direct-to-DVD
2010 Group Sex Luke Uncredited
2011 All-Star Superman Superman/Clark Kent (voice) Direct-to-DVD
2012 Hot in Cleveland Kerouac Cowboy 1 episode: 'Storage Wars'
2012 Karaoke Man Slim
2013 Grace Unplugged Johnny Trey [14]
2014 Stranded in Paradise Carter
2015–present Good Witch Dr. Sam Radford TV Series Regular
2016 Devious Maids Peter Guest Star: 7 Episode [Season 4]; Protagonist
2016 For Love and Honor Colonel TV Movie


  1. James Denton Biography
  2. 1 2 3 Garrison, Greg (September 4, 2012). "Extras line up as movie crew films concert scenes at Alabama Theatre". AL.com. Advance Digital. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  3. "'Desperate Housewives' character death: Exclusive interview". ew.com. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  4. "James Denton and Chris Kattan Are Wanted: Undead or Alive". movieweb.com. 23 April 2006. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  5. "Morrow, Denton have 'Custody' of Lifetime original". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  6. "Jon Cryer and James Denton Join Fishburne for 'Tortured'". AOL Moviefone. 15 May 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  7. "ALL-STAR SUPERMAN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: One-On-One With James Denton". comicbookmovie.com. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  8. "CMT Insider: Phil Vassar, James Denton on the Video Set". cmt.com. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  9. "James Denton, the Desperate Housewives star channels his inner model". First Luxe. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
  10. Petski, Denise (2 June 2016). "'Good Witch' Renewed For Third Season By Hallmark Channel". deadline.com. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  11. Petski, Denise (12 January 2016). "'Devious Maids': Eva Longoria & James Denton Reunite In Season 4". deadline.com. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  12. "It's a Girl! - Birth, Desperate Housewives, James Denton". People. April 11, 2005. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  13. Carlson Gustafson, Amy (January 24, 2013). "'Desperate Housewives' star James Denton has a new neighborhood -- Chanhassen". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  14. "James Denton and Shawnee Talk about 'Grace Unplugged' - Peanuts and Popcorn". beliefnet.com. 3 October 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
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Preceded by
Chris Harrison
Host of Miss America
Succeeded by
Mario Lopez
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