James T. Denton (’86)

Category: Alumni Professional Achievement | Awards

2021 Alumni Professional Achievement Award Winner

Well known for his role as Mike Delfino in the ABC series Desperate Housewives, James Denton is a graduate of the College of Communication and Information.

After graduating in 1986, Denton moved back to Nashville and spent four years selling advertising. It was during this time that he began acting in community theatre productions. He enjoyed acting so much that he moved to Chicago to make it a full-time career. He consistently landed theatre roles in Chicago, including a portrayal of C.C. Showers in The Diviners, which earned him a nomination for a Best Actor Joseph Jefferson Award, Chicago’s only theatre award.

Denton then moved to Los Angeles to pursue TV and movie acting. His first notable recurring role was as Mr. Lyle on The Pretender, which led to guest roles on The West Wing, The Drew Carey Show, and more. He continued to make appearances on multiple shows before being cast on Desperate Housewives, which garnered high ratings and continued for eight seasons. He has since appeared in a number of TV shows, movies, and musical projects. More recently, he was cast by the Hallmark Channel as Sam Radford in Good Witch. He has also had recent roles in Devious Maids, For Love & Honor, NCIS: New Orleans, and Wake.

Denton has received several awards, including the 2013 Faith and Family Best Film Actor Award for his role in Grace Unplugged. Other awards include a Prism Award, a Gold Derby TV Award, and two Screen Actors Guild Acting Awards for Desperate Housewives and a Teen Choice Award.

Denton has used his notoriety to support charitable causes. These include Warriors in Pink, a charitable foundation that aids the families of women who have breast cancer; animal rescue efforts; environmental protection efforts; and mentorship programs for young actors.

Denton, his wife Erin, and their two children reside in Chanhassen, Minnesota.