Though best known for his work as radio station bigwig Jimmy James on the television series NewsRadio, Stephen Root is one of the busier character actors at work today, and a familiar face to television and movie audiences. Born in Sarasota, FL, on November 17, 1951, Root received a degree in acting and broadcasting from the University of Florida, and after graduating passed an audition to join the touring company of the National Shakespeare Company. After three years with the NSC, Root settled in New York City, where he began working in off-Broadway theater, making his debut in a revival of Journey's End. His first Broadway role, in So Long on Lonely Street, was a bust at the box office, but the 1987 revival of All My Sons was a big hit which generated plenty of enthusiastic press for Root.
1988 saw Root making his motion-picture debut in the George Romero horror opus Monkey Shines, and over the next several years Root worked steadily in feature films, episodic television, and made-for-TV movies, scoring recurring roles on L.A. Law, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Blossom; guest spots on Northern Exposure, Murphy Brown, and Quantum Leap; supporting parts in Ghost, Dave, and Robocop 3; and an acclaimed turn in A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story, as well as its sequel, Her Final Fury: Betty Broderick, The Last Chapter.