James Lafferty

Born on July 25, 1985, James Lafferty experienced a relatively sunny childhood while being raised in Hemet, CA. His parents ran a construction business and allowed their children the freedom to explore their creative sides, especially his mother, who enthusiastically allowed him to take up acting at a young age. One of his first gigs was voicing a character in the straight-to-video animated film "Annabelle's Wish" (1997). But while he was enthralled with acting, Lafferty was equally drawn to athletics. At Hemet High School, he established himself as an MVP-caliber basketball player for the Bulldogs. Meanwhile, Lafferty jump started his television career at 15 with a guest spot on "Boston Public" (Fox, 2000-04), then leaped right into a regular role as TV chef Emeril Lagasse's intern son on the short-lived "Emeril" (2001-02). Though "Emeril" failed to last beyond its first season, Lafferty had already moved on to the independent feature, "Boys on the Run," which made festival circuit rounds. Wrapping up 2001, Lafferty chose to forego single guest spots in favor of the recurring role of Tad Pincus on "Once and Again" (ABC, 1999-2002). He soon came into his own with the sports drama, "A Season on the Brink" (ESPN, 2002), a compelling look at the tumultuous 1985-86 basketball season at Indiana University under famously combative coach, Bobby Knight (Brian Dennehy). It was a strong representation of the real Lafferty, who put his athleticism to good use as Steve Alford, Indiana's former all-time leading scorer who clashed with Knight's unrelenting coaching style. Meanwhile, Lafferty segued into his first producing effort with "Yank Tanks" (2002), a documentary about American car imports in Cuba. After "A Season on the Brink," it was a short trek to the North Carolina town of "One Tree Hill" (WB, 2003-06; CW, 2006-12). He was intent on attending California State University at Long Beach when the then-WB drama was picked up for the 2003-04 season, prompting Lafferty to pack his things and move to the show's home base in Wilmington, N.C. On the series, Lafferty tapped into the drama of youth and high school athletics, slowly chipping away the tough exterior of Nathan Scott, a star basketball player pitted against his half-brother Lucas (Chad Michael Murray) for the glory and affection of their cunning father (Craig Sheffer). Peeling back the layers, Lafferty's character went from the steeliest member of the ensemble cast to a romantic, married high school student over the course of three seasons. Lafferty then scored a recurring role as Ryan on "The Haunting" (Netflix, 2018-21).