This handsome young actor and singer with leading man good looks and a hair style that demands comparisons with James Dean, James Walters (who has sometimes been billed as Jamie Walters), first caught audiences attention with the 1992 hit single "How Do You Talk to an Angel". He subsequently sang the song on the short-lived "The Heights" (Fox, 1992), in which he played a sensitive poet-songwriter working in a grocery story and dreaming of musical success. While the tune gave Walters some degree of visibility, he had more exposure in the press as the boyfriend of actress Drew Barrymore; the duo posed for numerous photo spreads together, many of which detailed Barrymore's confessionals of past substance abuse. In 1994, this degree of fame led, in part, to Walters' being cast as Ray Pruit, the boyfriend from the wrong side of the tracks of the virginal Donna (Tori Spelling) on Fox's "Beverly Hills, 90210".
After dropping out of NYU, the Boston-born actor began his career with a Levi's 501 jeans commercial in 1988. He landed a supporting role in the feature "Bed & Breakfast" which was filmed in 1989 but not released theatrically until 1992. In the meantime, audiences had seen him as an inmate at a school for wayward boys alongside John Travolta in the rock'n'roll film "Shout" (1991) and in the recurring role of Frank James--the outlaw as a young man--on the ABC Western "The Young Riders". In 1994, he played the harasser Reggie in the syndicated "Vanishing Son II" and reprised the role in the martial arts sequel "Vanishing Son IV". His rising popularity, especially among teen girls, led to a hosting gig on "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve '96" and a performance on the 1995 ABC special "Independence Day".