James Joseph Gleason, IV was born on May 30, 1964 in New Orleans, Louisiana to Shirley Faris Gleason and James Joseph Gleason, III an attorney, magistrate judge and City Councilman in the Mandeville/Covington areas of Louisiana.
Jim grew up with a passion for acting. After performing in plays in his youth, Gleason decided as a young adult to make it his profession. Classically trained and earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre from Tulane University in 1986, Jim began to work in film and television in New Orleans for 10 years. In late 1997, Gleason moved to Los Angeles. He worked extensively on screen, mostly in episodic television. In 2002, Jim began working as an instructor at The Margie Haber Studio in Los Angeles, and has continued the passion of instructing through The Working Actors' Studio with Jim Gleason.
In 2012, Gleason moved back to his hometown to marry his wife, Lydia.