Family & Companions
Tall, blond gawky James Widdoes will forever be remembered as Hoover, the chapter president of "National Lampoon's Animal House" (1977). But, since the late 1980s, he has eschewed acting for a career as a prolific director and sometimes executive producer of sitcoms. His work in the latter milieu has yielded "Dave's World" (CBS, 1993-1997) and "Can't Hurry Love" (CBS, 1995-96). Widdoes has also directed episodes of such series as "Doctor, Doctor," "Uncle Buck," "Davis Rules," "Boston Common" and "In the House." Partnered with former agent and former ABC programming executive) Jonathan Axelrod in A/W Productions, he has an overall production deal with CBS.
An energetic, easily likable performer, Widdoes began acting professionally while still in college in a production of "The New Amen Show" at the Diners Playhouse in Lexington, KY in 1974. He made his mark on the New York stage in musicals like the 1977 Equity Library Theatre revival of "Wonderful Town" and the 1982 Off-Broadway show "Is There Life After High School?," for which he earned a Theatre World Award. Following the success of "Animal House," he reprised the character of Hoover on the short-lived ABC sitcom "Delta House" (1979). Widdoes segued into the CBS series "Park Place" (1980), as an inexperienced lawyer, and later was seen as the father of a brood of three who hires Scott Baio as their caretaker in the first and only network season of "Charles in Charge" (CBS, 1984).
After the failure of "Charles," Widdoes moved behind the camera, helming episodes of "Raising Miranda" (CBS) in 1988, and "Just the Ten of Us" (ABC) in 1989. He was given a collection of Dave Barry's columns early in the 90s and decided there could be a series in them. He wrote to Barry and using the Hoover connection from "Animal House" the two struck up a dialogue, which led to "Dave's World."
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Made stage debut at the Diners Playhouse in Lexington, KY
New York stage debut in Off-Broadway revival of the musical "Wonderful Town"
Feature film acting debut as Hoover in "National Lampoon's Animal House"
Reprised role of Hoover in the short-lived ABC sitcom spin-off "Delta House"
Was regular on CBS series "Park Place"
Starred in Off-Broadway musical "Is There Life After High School?"
Played title role in PBS production of "Charley's Aunt"
Co-starred in the syndicated miniseries "Blood Feud"
Directed episodes of CBS series "Raising Miranda"
Formed Axelrod/Widdoes Productions with former agent, Jonathan Axelrod; signed overall deal with CBS; launched "Dave's World" as weekly series
Axelrod/Widdoes signed to long-term development deal with Universal
Directed "Boston Common" pilot (NBC)
Directed pilot for "Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place" (Fox)
Served as executive producer and director of the sitcom "Movie Stars" (The WB)
Helmed the pilot for "Kristin", an NBC midseason replacement sitcom