James Read is an American film and television actor best known for his role in the 1980s miniseries "North and South. " He developed an interest in acting while studying law at the University of Oregon, and moved to New York City upon graduating from college in 1976. After appearing in several Off-Broadway productions, Read briefly moved to Denver, where he spent several years appearing in regional productions. He moved to Los Angeles in 1981, and soon landed a supporting role on the award-winning series "Cheers." The following year he was cast in a recurring role on "Remington Steele," but left after just one season. After several supporting roles in TV series like "Fantasy Island," he landed a breakout role in the epic miniseries adaptation of "North and South" in 1985. His portrayal of George Hazard, the wealthy son of a steel owner who befriends shy South Carolinian Patrick Swayze, earned critical acclaim and made the show one of the highest-rated miniseries ever. Read, who fell in love with and married co-star Wendy Kilbourne during filming, reprised his role in the 1986 sequel, "North and South II."The following year he appeared in the short-lived drama "Shell Game," and in 1988 he portrayed baseball player Claude "Lefty" Williams in "Eight Men Out" and appeared in the dramatic comedy "Beaches." Read has since been in numerous TV series and films, including "Charmed," "Star Trek: Voyager," and "Legally Blonde."