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James Howard Woods (born April 18, 1947) is an American film, stage and television actor. Woods is known for starring in films such as Once Upon a Time in America, Ghosts of Mississippi, Salvador and Casino and as the Disney villain Hades in Hercules. His acting awards include two Emmy Awards and two Academy Award nominations. As a native of Warwick, Rhode Island, he is the man for whom Quahog's high school, James Woods Regional High School, is named.
He becomes friends with Peter Griffin because his former best friend, Brian, started dating Shauna Parks and Peter felt left out in "Peter's Got Woods". Peter and Woods remain friends until Brian breaks up with Parks and starts hanging out with Peter again. Woods becomes jealous and becomes very crabby towards Peter and Brian. In the end, Peter and Brian successfully trap Woods in a box using Reese's Pieces as bait. His box is then sent to an unknown warehouse containing a large amount of crates to be studied by "top men," parodying the final moments of the Ark of the Covenant in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
He returns in "Back to the Woods", avenging his defeat when he steals Peter's wallet when he leaves from the Barry Manilow concert. He irresponsibly spends thousands of dollars with Peter's credit card, and commits identity theft by using his driver's license, social security number, passport and the title to the house to take Peter's home, family and title. In retaliation, Brian encourages Peter to assume Woods' identity himself and get revenge on him by ruining his reputation to the general public. After doing so as a guest on Late Show with David Letterman, James instantly goes from being a beloved actor to hated. James gets furious and confronts Peter but, exactly as before, Peter and Brian trick him into being trapped in another crate, when Peter remarks they should remember it immediately for next time. In the end, the box is sent once again in the same warehouse by "top men".
He returns again in "Brian Griffin's House of Payne" when he turns Brian's pilot for a serious drama, entitled What I Learned on Jefferson Street into a CBS sitcom called Class Holes!. While the lead role of Byron had been intended for Elijah Wood, network executives convince Griffin to cast Woods. After so many changes brought on by Woods and the executives, the show isn't even a sliver of what it was meant to be. He ends up obtaining a chimp sidekick named Mr. Nubbins, and explores the idea of starring in a buddy cop drama with him. In the end, he implies that he might face a lawsuit for having sex with his co-star whom he thinks is under 18. Brian had just quit the project when this was announced.
He played General Maximilian Veers in Something, Something, Something, Dark Side.
James Woods also appeared in "And Then There Were Fewer". He invites several Quahog residents to his mansion to apologize to them, but he is murdered by his former girlfriend Diane Simmons, along with Stephanie, Muriel Goldman, Derek Wilcox, and Woods' girlfriend Priscilla. Woods and Simmons had dated shortly before she turned 40, so she employed Priscilla to seduce him and convert him, which led to the dinner party.
In "Tom Tucker: The Man and His Dream", after scoring Tom Tucker a cameo on NCIS, Peter and Tom Tucker were celebrating in a hotel room, when Peter's 'assistant' Sandra informs him that a man would like Peter to be his agent as well. The man bursts through the door, and is revealed to be James Woods, alive and as well as ever, to both Peter and Tom Tucker's surprise. It is revealed that due to being a famous Hollywood actor, he was entitled to top-notch medical care at a Hollywood hospital, the care was essentially transfusing a life force from a 17-year-old girl to James Woods, hereby bringing him back from the dead.