James Naughton

James Naughton

Naughton has appeared in an impressive number of failed series, beginning as Detective Dan Dailey's son on "Faraday and Company" (NBC, 1974). From there, Naughton went on to play an astronaut on "Planet of the Apes" (CBS, 1974), a teacher on "Making the Grade" (CBS, 1982), a hospital director on "Trauma Center" (ABC, 1983) and a teen's dad on "Raising Miranda" (CBS, 1988). His only series successes have been as a recurring guest: as Judith Light's ex-husband on ABC's "Who's the Boss?" (1984-1987), and on NBC's "The Cosby Mysteries" (1994-1995). His ventures into TV-movies have been more successful, beginning with a featured role in "F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Last of the Belles" (ABC, 1974). Naughton has lent his attractive, solid presence to dramas in roles like a US soldier in "The Bunker" (CBS, 1981), a doctor in the Vanessa Redgrave vehicle "My Body, My Child" (ABC, 1982), a mobster in "Necessity" (CBS, 1988), a menaced local in "The Birds II: Land's End" (Showtime, 1994) and as Sharon Gless' new husband in two "Cagney and Lacey" reunions on CBS (1994 and 1995). His younger brother David's feature career got a jump-start with "An American Werewolf in London" (1981), Naughton's has been relegated to small roles in films like "The Paper Chase" (1972), "The Good Mother" (1988) and "First Kid" (1996), as the president. His two best roles have been as the bumptious Gentleman Caller in Paul Newman's 1987 screen version of "The Glass Menagerie" and as Stockard Channing's smarmy husband in "The First Wives' Club" (1996). But while Naughton seems to shine as reliable husbands, dads and professionals on TV and in films, the stage has given him his best roles. He first hit Broadway with a co-starring part in Cy Coleman's mate-swapping comedy "I Love My Wife" (1977). Playing opposite Joanna Gleason, Naughton displayed charm and a surprisingly strong vocal technique. After co-starring with Mary Tyler Moore in "Whose Life Is It, Anyway?" (1980), he had his next stage hit with another Coleman musical, the superior "City of Angels" (1989-1990). Playing a hard-bitten detective in the Sam Spade mode, Naughton earned critical praise and a Tony as Best Actor in a Musical. He returned to Broadway in 1996 alongside Ann Reinking and Bebe Neuwirth in the revival of Kander and Ebb's "Chicago," in which he was a shady lawyer using showbiz techniques to "razzle dazzle" the jury.


Guest Appearances