James Howard Woods is a two-time Academy Award-nominated, Emmy Award-winning and Golden Globe-winning American film, stage and television actor. He is best known for starring in films such as Once Upon a Time in America, Ghosts of Mississippi, Salvador, and Hercules.
James Woods received a score of 1580 on the SAT, which included a perfect score of 800 on the verbal section of the test. He chose to pursue his undergraduate studies at MIT, where he majored in political science (though he originally planned on a career as a surgeon). He was an active member of the student theatre group "Dramashop" where he both acted in and directed a number of plays. He dropped out of MIT in 1969 just before his graduation in order to pursue a career in acting. James Woods moved to New York City, calling his mother to tell her of his plans.
While his mother wasn't thrilled at the news, she gave him her blessing to pursue a career in acting. At the 2006 CBS UpFront James Woods stated that his mother told him that if he was going to switch careers to acting that he needed to be the best actor he could possibly be.
James Woods plays on the World Poker Tour in the Hollywood Home games for the American Stroke Association charity. In 2006, James finished in 24th place out of 692 at the L.A. Poker Classic for $40,000. Woods has shared an endorsement for the online poker website Hollywood Poker which is run in conjunction with Ongame Network, and "co hosted" with poker enthusiast Vince Van Patten. He can be found playing regularly at Hollywood Poker, and contributes content to the website.
Woods reportedly has an I.Q. of 180 or 184 (Stanford-Binet) and is a member of Mensa.
He also volunteers as a Reserve Police Officer for the LAPD.