James Ransone

Actor / Soundtrack

Birthdate – June 2, 1979 (45 Years Old)

Birthplace – Baltimore, Maryland, USA

An actor with a distinctively haunted look that has served him well in a range of roles, James Ransone (birthname: James Finley Ransone III) has been a busy, in-demand actor over the past two decades, jumping easily between movies and such prestige TV series and streaming series as David Simon’s masterful Baltimore crime series, The Wire (2003), Generation Kill (2008), How to Make It in America (2011), HBO’s Treme (2011-2012), Low Winter Sun (2013), the Michael Connelly LAPD series Bosch (2016), HBO’s Mosaic (2018), with Sharon Stone, Hulu’s The First (2018), with Sean Penn and Natascha McElhone, and CBS’ SEAL Team (2020). Ransone co-stars with Ethan Hawke in Scott Derrickson’s Blumhouse production, The Black Phone in 2022. 

One of James Ransone’s first movie roles was in Larry Clark’s extraordinary film about young people, Ken Park (2002, followed by a role in the ensemble in Rafal Zielinski’s indie feature, Downtown: A Street Tale (2004). He continued working with the leading edge of American independent filmmakers with the starring role in Gerardo Naranjo’s adventurous indie film, Malachance (2004), and in Tenney Fairchild’s The Good Humor Man (2005).

Ransone’s profile rose with filmmaker Spike Lee’s crime thriller, Inside Man (2006), with Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer, Willem Dafoe, and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Ransone began to consistently work with signature and genre American filmmakers like Lee (Red Hook Summer in 2012, Oldboy in 2013), Sean Baker (Starlet in 2012, Tangerine in 2015), Dito Montiel (The Son of No One in 2011, Empire State in 2013, The Clapper in 2017); and Scott Derrickson (the original Sinister in 2012, and the sequel Sinister 2 in 2015).

James Ransone has also worked with an interesting range of other distinctive American filmmakers, including writer-director Joshua Leonard’s The Lie (2011), based on T. Coraghessan Boyle’s story; Michael Almereyda’s inventive Shakespeare adaptation, Cymbeline (2014); genre maestro Ti West and his In a Valley of Violence (2016); Michelle Morgan’s It Happened in L.A. (2017); writer-director-editor Aaron Katz’s Gemini (2017); writer-director Stacy Coachrane’s Write When You Get Work (2018); writer-director Rupert Wyatt’s sci-fi drama, Captive State (2019); and John Pollono’s critically acclaimed Small Engine Repair (2021). Ransone appeared crucial and sinister in the two-part Stephen King adaptation, It Chapter Two (2019). 

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Personal Details

Baltimore-born was raised by parents James and Joyce Ransone. He attended Towson, Md.-based arts magnet school George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology, focusing initially on theater and then switching to fine arts. He also studied fine arts at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Ransone is married to Jamie McPhee; the couple has one child. His height is 5’ 9”.



Deputy (2012)

Sinister 2

Ex-Deputy So & So (2015)

The Black Phone

Max (2022)

What We Found

Sgt. Steven Mohler (2020)

Captive State

Patrick Ellison (2019)

Small Engine Repair

PJ (2021)

It Chapter Two

Eddie Kaspbrak (2019)


Stan (2018)

Some Facts About James Ransone

Metalhead: James Ransone played bass in the metal band, Early Man, based in New York City.

Hero: Ransone rescued a neighbor from a rapist’s attack, pursuing the criminal with a metal pipe.

Victim: James Ransone revealed on his Instagram account in 2021 that he had been sexually abused by his math tutor in 1992. Baltimore police declined to pursue an investigation, though an investigation by the Baltimore school district is ongoing. 

Addict: Ransone ran up a debt near $30,000 due to his heroin addiction, which he kicked by 2007.


Winner, Robert Altman Award, Independent Spirit Awards (2012).