Top 10 Famous People Named James

The name ‘James’ is a very common boy name that has an interesting history. It is a biblical name hence the popularity and it is actually a translation of the name ‘Jacob’ (another common name for boys). In fact, James means the same thing as Jacob does; which is substitute. It comes from the original Hebrew word for Jacob. It has Scottish roots and thus has a royal connotation. In addition, this name also became famous when King James VI became king in the 17th century. With that said, who are some of the most famous people named James? Let’s take a look

1. James Earl Jones

James Earl Jones in 2010- Author; Stuart Crawford- Wikimedia Commons

Born in 1931, James Earl has graced our television for years and years. Remember Coming to America? The king of Zamunda? He really killed that role.  James is a talented actor; this point being proved by the many awards he has won over the course of his acting career. He is known popularly for his bass voice which is quite distinctive that has even been used in the voices of different animated characters. Growing up, he embraced acting and drama from a very young age. He admitted that this is something he always wanted to do and in 1953, he found a part-time job as a stage crew at the Ramsdell Theatre in Manistee, Michigan. This was the beginning of his acting career and as seen in the kind of success he has today, it did not end badly for him. He has so many successful ventures and he continues to excel. James Earl is indeed an icon in the acting industry.

2. James Franco

James Franco at the Austin Film Festival in October 2011- Author; Vanessa Lua- Wikimedia Commons

James Franco is quite a popular household name. He is well-recognized as an American actor and filmmaker. He has been involved in so many works and projects hence his fame. For instance, for the role he played in the movie, 127 Hours in 2010, he was nominated for an academy award for best actor. It was indeed deserved as he was able to enact well this true story of a man who was trapped while hiking for 127 hours. Other popular films he starred in include the Spider-Man trilogy, Spring Breakers, Oz the Great and Powerful, and This is the End among many others. For the movie ‘The Disaster Artist’ in 2017, he won a Gloden Globe Award for best actor. Apart from his acting career, James Franco also volunteers for the Art of Elysium charity and has taught film classes at New York University, UCLA, University of Southern California, Studio 4, Palo Alto High School, and Playhouse West.

3. James Dean

James Dean for the film Rebel Without a Cause- Author; Warner Bros- Wikimedia Commons

James Dean was a very popular American actor from Indiana who graced the acting industry in the 50s. He is remembered fondly as a cultural icon of teenage issues and social estrangement as expressed typically in most of the celebrated films he starred in. To name a few of these, there is Rebel without a Cause (1955) which he starred as a troubled teenager and actually, this is the film most people recognize him from. There is also East of Eden (1955), and Giant (1956) among many others. Unfortunately, James Dean died in a car crash while still very young. Due to his impressive works and premature death, he became the first actor ever to receive a posthumous academy award nomination for best actor. He remains to be the only actor to have had two posthumous acting nominations. Moreover, in 1999, American Film Institute ranked him the 18th best male movie star of Golden Age Hollywood in their 100 stars list.

4. James McAvoy

James McAvoy- Author; Georges Biard- Wikimedia Commons

McAvoy is a Scottish actor that was born in 1979. He began his acting career as a teen in The Near Room in 1995 and mostly made television appearances until 2003. This is the year his feature film career began. Most of his notable work includes the thriller State of Play and the science fiction mini-series Frank Herbert’s Children of Dune. James McAvoy also played in the X-men films of 2011, 2014, and 2016. He also played in Deadpool 2 in 2018 and Dark Phoenix in 2019. These are just but a few of some of the notable works he has been in. Moreover, his role in the crime comedy-drama film known as ‘Filth’ won him ‘Best Actor’ at the British Independent Film Awards. In the film M. Night Shyamalan’s Split in 2017,  he portrayed quite amazingly the character of Kevin Crumb, a man with 23 different personalities. He received critical acclaim and later on in 2019 reprised his role in the sequel of the film, ‘Glass.’ James McAvoy is truly talented and this was well portrayed in these two movies especially.

5. James Corden

James Corden at the PaleyFest 2015 Panel for The Good Wife- Author; iDominick- Wikimedia Commons

Born as James Kimberly Corden in 1978, he is popularly known as James Corden and is mostly recognized for his work as a TV host of the late late show by James Corden. James Corde is also an English actor and comedian and has also had an excellent career in hosting. For instance, he hosted the Tony Awards in 2016 and 2019, and in 2017. In 2018, he also hosted the Grammy Awards. He has honestly had so many successes and he is especially loved by many celebrities who come to his shows because of how friendly and funny he is. Above everything else, his respectful way of talking to anyone whom he invites to his show is something to admire indeed.

6. James Brown

James Brown in 1996- Author; John Mathew Smith & Wikimedia Commons

James Brown was born in 1933 and passed on in 2006. He was a very popular American singer, songwriter, dancer, musician, record producer, and also a bandleader. He was a major figure in 20th-century music and dance and thus always referred to as the ‘Godfather of Soul.’ He is especially recognized for his very dramatic and entertaining way of performing. When you check out his performances, you are sure to be left laughing and entertained. In addition, James Brown also holds the record for the most singles listed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart which did not reach number one. That is however pretty sad because James Brown did a marvelous job over the span of his career.  He has managed to also receive honours from so many institutions. This is inclusive of induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame. Additionally, he is also ranked number seven on Rolling Stone’s list of its 100 greatest artists of all time. In the Billboard R&B charts of 1942-2010, Brown has been ranked number 1 in the top 500 artists.

7. James Charles

James Charles- Author; Lone Fox- Wikimedia Commons

Born as James Charles Dickinson in 1999, he is known more popularly as a makeup artist and model, especially after being the first male CoverGirl spokesperson. He first launched his youtube channel in 2015 and here he was focusing mainly on makeup. As of 2018, he had over 2 million subscribers. James Charles’ Instagram account has over 3.2 million followers and his social media visibility is basically what gave him the fame he has today. The many opportunities he has been able to venture into are thanks to this.

8. James Harden

James Harden- Author; Erik Drost- Wikimedia Commons

James Harden is an American professional basketball player for the Philadelphia team of the NBA. In the NBA profile, he is one of the association’s most prolific scorers and has managed to earn the best shooting guard in the NBA. In 2009, Harden was selected as the third overall pick in the NBA draft by Oklahoma City Thunder. Then in 2012, he was also named “NBA’s sixth man of the year” while with the Thunder team. This was because Harden had helped the team reach the finals after losing to the Miami Heat in five strong games. What a strong win, right?

9. James Gandolfini

James Gandolfini- Author; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff- Wikimedia Commons

If you have watched The Sopranos, then you might recognize this very iconic figure more as Tony Soprano. He killed this role and did a marvelous job as an Italian-American boss who made it look like a very cool job. Thanks to his role as Tony Soprano, James Gandolfini won three Emmy awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and one Golden Globe Award. His role in this Tv show was actually regarded as the greatest performance in television history. This is not to say that his role as Tony Soprano is the only role he performed and killed over the course of his career. Other notable works include his role in True Romance, Enough Said, Crimson Tide, and The Last Castle among many others.  Additionally, Gandolfini also received a posthumous award and several other accolades and awards. These include a Guild Award nomination and the Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor.

10. James Blunt

James Blunt- Author; Teca Lamboglia- Wikimedia Commons

James Blunt is a commonly known name. If especially, you are into R&B songs then the name James Blunt is surely a name you have come across. Born in 1974, Blunt is an English singer-songwriter, record producer, and former British Army Officer. He rose to fame in 2004 after releasing his debut album ‘Back to Bedlam’ after the singles ‘You’re Beautiful,’ and ‘Goodbye my Lover’ exploded. The Back to Bedlam managed to sell over 11 million copies worldwide. Thanks to this, he managed to top the UK Albums chart and peaking at number two in the US. Over the span of his career, Blunt has sold over 20 million records worldwide and also received so many awards. This is inclusive of two Brit Awards; Best British Make in 2006. Two MTV Video Music Awards and two Ivor Novello Awards. Additionally, he has also received five Grammy Award nominations. Apart from singing, he has also served as an officer in the Life Guards and served under NATO in the Kosovo War of 1999. In addition to all these awards and recognitions,  Blunt was also awarded an honorary doctorate for Music in 2016 by the Univeristy of Bristol.

James is a pretty common male name but it is also good to see so many iconic figures have the same name.