Dec. 15th, 1970
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Michael Shanks' Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles
Dr. Daniel Jackson
Balance of Judgment
Dr. Will Olsten
Michael Garrett Shanks was born in Vancouver on 15 December 1970, the younger of two brothers. He grew up in Kamloops, British Columbia.
As well as acting in the theatre group, he also directed, but at that time, an acting career didn't seem to be on the horizon. Instead, at 16, he had to decide whether or not to become a professional hockey player. He chose not to, but he continues to support the Canucks (though pragmatically admits that sometimes "They suck") and has played for the Stargate SG-1 team against teams from other Vancouver-based shows.
Having decided that pro hockey was not for him, Michael went to the University of British Columbia to study business, financing his studies by taking laboring and lumberjack work. Math proved to be his downfall as a failed calculus course meant he was a half credit short of getting a Business degree. He switched to Theatre and graduated in March, 1994 with a degree in Fine Arts.
Following a number of small roles in TV shows such as Madison, The Commish and Highlander, in 1997 Michael auditioned for the role of Dr Daniel Jackson on Stargate SG-1, the TV spin-off of the original Stargate movie. Michael went into the audition with his spot-on impersonation of James Spader (who had played Daniel Jackson in the movie) and got the job. He could also, as Brad Wright said, "do humor".
After five seasons of Stargate SG-1, Michael left the series, citing lack of use of the character of Daniel Jackson as the reason behind his decision. A fan campaign to return Michael (and Daniel Jackson) to the show started when it was announced that he was leaving (www.savedanieljackson.com). A year later it was announced that Michael would return as a full-time member of the cast for season seven.
After leaving Stargate SG-1 at the end of season 5, Michael had a number of roles in movies such as Suddenly Naked with Wendy Crewson, Suspicious River with Molly Parker and Callum Keith Rennie, Mary Higgins Clark's All Around The Town and the Emmy-award winning Door to Door with William H Macy, Helen Mirren and Kyra Sedgwick. He did a number of guest appearances on shows such as Outer Limits and Andromeda, and starred as Adam Wade in the reworking of Max Rohmer's Sumuru, filmed in South Africa. In addition, he took the opportunity to meet fans at conventions in the US, Australia and Europe.
Although not part of the main cast of Stargate SG-1 during Season 6, he did reprise the role of Daniel Jackson in three episodes, "Abyss", "The Changeling" (written by his close friend, Christopher Judge, who plays Teal'c) and "Full Circle", the season six finale and continued to voice Thor, the Asgard leader.
During the ten-year run of Stargate SG-1, Michael also directed and written for the show. His directorial debut was the complex season 4 episode "Double Jeopardy". While the result was an episode that was well received, for Michael the experience of directing was bittersweet.
"Everyone was prepared for the idea of me directing, but no one, especially me, was prepared for the situation that I ended up in," he says. "I knew I was going to be like a fish out of water, but I never imagined how much so. However I learned a lot more directing an episode like that then I would have doing a far more simpler one. It pretty much introduced me to all the ups and downs of production. I'm glad to say the experience has not discouraged me in the least from directing."
In season 7 he further stretched his creativity by writing the episode "Resurrection", having already received a story credit for the episode "Evolution, Part 1".
During the mid-season filming hiatus in 2006, Michael completed a made-for-TV film for the Lifetime Network, Under The Mistletoe, which aired in December 2006.
At the end of filming for the tenth and final season of Stargate SG-1, Michael flew to Bulgaria to film MegaSnake, a movie for the SciFi Channel. Immediately upon his return to the US, he began work on a second movie for the Lifetime Channel. Judicial Indiscretion, which co-starred Academy Award nominee Anne Archer, aired in April 2007.
He then went on to a 3-episode recurring role on Fox Channel's 24, as Mark Bishop. These aired in April and May, 2007. In mid-April he began filming the first of two Stargate SG-1 DVD movies, The Ark of Truth and Stargate: Continuum. Both movies are slated for a Fall, 2007 release.
In 2006, Michael, along with his friend and co-star, Christopher Judge, formed Slacktwaddle Productions. Their first creation was the 2007 Women of Sci Fi calendar, with a Men of Sci Fi to follow in 2008. Both actors are also slated to be executive producers - and to star in - a series written by Christopher Judge. The project is currently in the planning stages and as of writing not confirmed to proceed.
- He was born in Vancouver and grew up in Kamloops, BC, Canada.
- His _"Stargate SG-1" (1997)_ (qv) character Daniel Jackson is close to six years older than he actually is.
- Has appeared in four different productions with the late 'Don S. Davis (I)' (qv): _A Family Divided (1995) (TV)_ (qv), _"Stargate SG-1" (1997)_ (qv), _The Artist's Circle (2000)_ (qv) and _Suspicious River (2000)_ (qv).
- Appeared with 'Torri Higginson' (qv) in _"Stargate SG-1" (1997)_ (qv) and _"Stargate: Atlantis" (2004)_ (qv) who co-starred with his wife 'Lexa Doig' (qv) in _TekWar (1994) (TV)_ (qv), _"TekWar" (1994)_, _TekWar: TekLords (1994) (TV)_ (qv) and _Jungleground (1995)_ (qv).
- Played hockey (defense) and rugby (flyhalf then wing) in high school.
- Grew up as a huge Star Wars and Star Trek fan. Michael was also a fan off the cult television series, Xena: Warrior Princess.
- Bears an uncanny resemblance to his _Stargate (1994)_ (qv) feature film counterpart 'James Spader' (qv), whose character, Dr. Daniel Jackson, he portrays on _"Stargate SG-1" (1997)_ (qv).
- Lived with 'Vaitiare Bandera' (qv)