Dawson’s Creek star James Van Der Beek knew very early on that he wanted to pursue a career in Hollywood. At just 15 years old, he set out for New York City to perform in several onstage productions. Almost 30 years later, the father of six has a staggering net worth due to his hard work and dedication to show business. 

James has an estimated net worth of $8 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. He snagged his first film roles in 1995’s Angus and 1996’s I Love You, I Love You Not. It wasn’t long before James got the call to play Dawson Leery in Dawson’s Creek, a role that changed his life forever.

“I remember Googling myself after Angus, hoping somebody had realized that this movie had come out. It was my first movie,” James told Vulture in November 2013. “And then by the time ‘98 hit and my world changed, I had no interest in Googling myself.”

'Dawson's Creek' Star James Van Der Beek Continues to Act! See His Impressive Net Worth

Dawson’s Creek ran for six successful seasons from 1998 to 2003. The Connecticut native became known as a teen heartthrob on screen and off screen. In 1999, James landed the lead role in Varsity Blues. The film grossed more than $54 million worldwide. At the height of his fame, James was a teen icon and was in high demand for cameos in popular films and television shows like Scary Movie and Texas Rangers

In 2007, James made appearances in Ugly Betty and Criminal Minds. He guest-starred on both How I Met Your Mother and One Tree Hill before landing a major role in Mercy on NBC in 2009. The show only ran for one season, but it was James’ biggest television role since Dawson’s Creek. James played himself in Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 for 26 episodes from 2012 to 2013. He also landed a role on Friends with Better Lives, a show that was canceled by CBS after only five episodes.

Family has been one huge motivator for James throughout his career. Many of the roles he has taken later on in his career were to provide for his children. The Labor Day actor admitted in an April 2012 interview with Today that the paycheck from Dawson’s Creek wasn’t all that great. He “saw almost nothing from that” by the time he was 20 years old. He went on to say that there was “no residual money” when reruns of the show played on television.

“It is very easy if you have all the money in the world to just sit back and coast,” he continued. “But if you realized that you are going to have to start providing for yourself and for your family, it really forces you to buckle down.”

James joined the cast of Ryan Murphy’s Pose on FX in 2018. Though he only appeared in one season of the show, it was enough to light the spark that reinvigorated James’ entertainment career. Dawson’s Creek fans were beyond ecstatic when James was announced as a member of the cast for season 28 of Dancing With the Stars

Despite earning high scores every week, the actor was eliminated from the competition just ahead of the finale. The same night he was eliminated from the show, James found out that his wife, Kimberly, had suffered a miscarriage. The Van Der Beek’s announced in November 2021 that they welcomed their rainbow baby, Jeremiah. The proud dad shared that he was “humbled and overjoyed” about their precious arrival in an Instagram post.