Back in 2010, when James Badge Dale was starring in both HBO’s The Pacific and AMC’s Rubicon, it seemed like he was destined for superstardom. This should have happened! Unfortunately, Rubicon (sadly) didn’t make it past its first season. (When Rubicon was canceled, becoming AMC’s first canceled original show, it was legitimately shocking. These were the days before Low Winter Sun jokes.) Since then, James Badge Dale has appeared in a lot of movies, often looking unrecognizable to those used to Rubicon’s more introverted Will Travers. (His ability to pop up unexpectedly even extends into the past. He appears as a little kid in the 1993 Lord of the Flies adaptation.) Since Rubicon (and long after his big break on 24), Dale has appeared in movies like The Grey, Flight, Iron Man 3, World War Z, The Lone Ranger, and in the upcoming The Walk.
In The Walk, Dale plays a New Yorker who helps Philippe Petit’s group accomplish their goal of sending a tightrope between the World Trade Center Twin Towers – it’s a role that adds some much-needed levity and grounding to a movie that was getting just a little too happy with itself at that moment. But, again, James Badge Dale comes in and knocks it out of the park. Dale is in so many movies, sometimes we don’t even notice it’s him. So that’s why, here, we decided to bring you 50 facts about James Badge Dale you probably didn’t know, all of which proves why we should all be talking more about James Badge Dale.
[Ed. note: We are still vetting quite a few of these “facts.”]
1. James Badge Dale brought a warm honesty to the role of Rubicon’s Will Travers –- a series that was purposefully cold and calculating.
2. James Badge Dale’s gritty Texas Ranger in The Lone Ranger is one of the best things about that movie.
3. James Badge Dale brings much needed humor to The Walk.
4. James Badge Dale is convincing as an Extremis-infected warrior in Iron Man 3.
5. James Badge Dale can show up in any movie and make it better.
6. The Martian was based on James Badge Dale’s true-life experiences.
7. James Badge Dale was a member of SNL’s original Not Ready For Primetime Players.
8. James Badge Dale was the pilot of the X-Wing Fighter that destroyed the second Death Star.
9. James Badge Dale served as Vice President of the United States of America from 1977 to 1981.
10. James Badge Dale wrote the Men Without Hats classic, “Safety Dance.”
11. James Badge Dale was the inspiration for Dirk Benedict’s performance as Templeton “Face” Peck on The A-Team.
12. James Badge Dale painted The Starry Night.
13. James Badge Dale originated the character of “Chandler Bing” on Friends.
14. James Badge Dale invented the litter box.
15. James Badge Dale briefly served as the lead singer of Van Halen in the mid-1990s.
16. James Badge Dale coined the phrase, “Knock on wood.”
17. James Badge Dale sang backup on Amii Stewart’s 1979 hit, “Knock on Wood.”
18. James Badge Dale was the MVP of the 1991 World Series.
19. James Badge Dale is 37.
20. James Badge Dale is immortal.
21. In Olympic competition, James Badge Dale goes by the name Usain Bolt.
22. James Badge Dale hosted The Tonight Show from 1962 to 1992.
23. James Badge Dale was a regular on You Can’t Do That on Television.
24. James Badge Dale hosted the Cable ACE Awards a record 12 times.
25. James Badge Dale co-wrote Barry Manilow’s “I Write the Songs.”
26. James Badge Dale was hilarious as The Riddler in Batman Forever.
27. James Badge Dale was born in New York City.
28. James Badge Dale can fly.
29. James Badge Dale was the inspiration for Lincoln Hawk, Sylvester Stallone’s arm wrestling champion in Over the Top.
30. James Badge Dale invented the Commodore 64.
31. James Badge Dale was a founding member of the super trio Simon, Dale, and Garfunkel.
32. James Badge Dale voiced “Joshua” in WarGames.
33. James Badge Dale wore a motion capture suit to bring Mrs. Brisby to life in The Secret of NIMH.
34. James Badge Dale created the formula for Vicks VapoRub.
35. James Badge Dale played Trooper Barrigan in The Departed.
36. James Badge Dale played the “smoke monster” on Lost.
37. James Badge Dale’s 1986 autobiography, Yeager, was a best seller.
38. After a long delay, James Badge Dale finally released his much anticipated album, Chinese Democracy.
39. James Badge Dale often vacations with rock superstar Chris Gaines.
40. James Badge Dale played Chase Edmunds on 24.
41. James Badge Dale has the ability to cross dimensions.
42. In the late ’80s, James Badge Dale wrestled under the name Nikolai Volkoff.
43. James Badge Dale was the co-host of That’s Incredible!
44. James Badge Dale has the highest ever recorded score on Joust.
45. Andrew Lloyd Webber once wrote a rock opera about James Badge Dale called Jesus Christ Superstar.
46. James Badge Dale had a recurring role on Gunsmoke.
47. At parties, James Badge Dale can do a mean impersonation of Marc Singer.
48. In his spare time, James Badge Dale fights crime as his alter ego, Hawkman.
49. James Badge Dale played Robert Leckie in The Pacific.
50. James Badge Dale eradicated polio.
Mike Ryan has written for The Huffington Post, Wired, Vanity Fair and New York magazine. He is senior entertainment writer at Uproxx. You can contact him directly on Twitter.