When he was 15 years old, James, the son of a musician, began his own professional music career playing the electric bass. A native Californian, he played punk rock, Latin rock and country-western in a number of bands. But he was fascinated by the theater even more and acted in local productions. Finally, after eight years of performing as a professional musician, he decided to follow his first love, acting.
James, who grew up in Livermore, California, studied drama and a number of important techniques such as fencing, ballet and jazz dance at a nearby community college. Meanwhile, he performed regularly in community theater productions. After acting for several months with a repertory theater in Solvang, California, James acquired an agent and went to Los Angeles. Soon he appeared on ABC's "General Hospital" in the recurring role of a waiter who tried to romance Holly Scorpio (Emma Samms). Before long, James successfully auditioned for the role of Max Holden.
Other television shows in which he has appeared are "Simon and Simon," "Days of our Lives," and the made-for-television film, "Commitment to Excellence." His theater appearances in California productions include key roles in such plays as "The Fifth of July," "The Hasty Heart," "The Desk Set," "Company," "The Sound of Music," "The School for Scandal" and "All's Well That Ends Well."
James studied acting in Los Angeles with Stella Adler, among other teachers. He also counts as an important achievement his acquisition of a black belt in kung fu.
James is married to "One Life to Live" co-star Kassie DePaiva (Blair Manning), and the couple have a son James Quentin together. James is also the proud father of Dreama Marie, born July 2, 1992, from a previous marriage.