DAVID ST. JAMES has guest-starred and co-starred on dozens of television shows, and been a supporting actor on many major films. His face is also familiar to many from his commercials.

Growing up, St. James attended dozens of schools as his Navy family traveled. Although shy, he was a well-adjusted child except for an uncontrollable need to suck his fingers. To distract him, his painter-mother taught St. James to discern the beauty in the world around him. Something pivotal happened to him during his fifth-grade Christmas play: while eating a bowl of porridge during another actor's monologue, he gagged on the cold gruel and heard the audience laugh. As his miffed acting compatriot struggled on, St. James swallowed another spoonful and retched again. Bigger laughter. Show business was in his blood.

St. James attended The University of Georgia in Athens, acting in mainstage productions while agonizing his way through Business School. To avoid being drafted for Vietnam upon graduation, and to please his father, he entered Naval Officers' Candidate School. But by the time he'd finished school, he was in a brainwashed haze and actually volunteered for Vietnam, where he spent a blessedly lucky year in the Riverboat Navy. A year in London followed, allowing him to travel extensively. Unfortunately St. James had a problem with authority, and left the Navy to become a New York actor.

After the five year period he'd set to make it big, St. James was broke and unknown. Yet he drew strength from his favorite axiom, "Happiness is not a destination; it's a method of travel." He got on "THE $20,000 PYRAMID," and won $10,000. He began writing comedy material which he performed at clubs. It had no effect whatsoever on his career. He met a beautiful dancer and they were happily married for some of the next ten years. During that decade, he worked as a full-time data processing supervisor, feeling useful, appreciated and secure.

But after ten years, his wife left him for a man who worked at a bank shredding money. Shortly thereafter, St. James was laid off his job. For a couple weeks he just staggered around, unable to see the beauty around him, then finally returned to acting. There were more jobs for older men, which he now was. He decided to test the actor's life in L.A. After four shaky years, he began - and continues - to support himself as an actor.


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