Jan. 23rd, 1950
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Richard Dean Anderson's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Richard Dean Anderson (born January 23, 1950), in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His father, Stuart Anderson, was a teacher at a local high school and his mother, Jocelyn, was an artist. He and his two younger brothers, Thomas John and James Stuart, grew up in a suburb of St. Paul called Roseville. During his childhood and teenage years, he developed a love for sports, music (especially jazz) and acting.
Anderson dreamed of becoming a professional hockey player as a teenager, a dream shared by his future Stargate SG-1 (1997) co-star 'Michael Shanks'. However, this was not to be as, at age sixteen, he broke both of his arms in separate incidents, the second of which was so bad that he had to be hospitalized for three months. Although his dream became an impossibility, he never lost his love for the sport.
After studying drama at St. Cloud State University and at Ohio University (without completing his degree), he briefly moved to New York before settling in Los Angeles, where he worked as a juggler and a street mime and in a Renaissance-style cabaret. He worked briefly in Marineland, where his jobs included holding fish in his mouth for killer whales to leap up and snatch. Subsequently, he appeared in plays and formed a rock band called "Rick Dean and the Dante" with his friend Carl Dante in which he sang and played the guitar.
His big break came in 1976, when he was cast in the popular daytime drama General Hospital (1963) as Dr. Jeff Webber. He continued to play the role for five years until he felt it was time to move on to prime-time drama. He made numerous guest appearances in series such as The Facts of Life (1979) and The Love Boat (1977) and was cast as the star in two CBS series, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1982) and Emerald Point N.A.S. (1983), but both lasted just one season.
His next big success came in 1985, when he won the role as the title character in the ABC adventure series MacGyver (1985). He was cast because the producers were impressed by the lack of pretension he showed at his audition. As he is nearsighted, it was necessary for him to wear his glasses for the reading. The series lasted seven seasons and ran for 139 episodes. It was hugely successful throughout its run and has continued to be popular all over the world. He reprised his role in two TV movies, MacGyver: Lost Treasure of Atlantis (1994) and MacGyver: Trail to Doomsday (1994), both produced by his own production company, Gekko Film Corp, which he co-founded with 'Michael Greenburg'.
After MacGyver ended he moved on to TV movies such as In the Eyes of a Stranger (1992), Through the Eyes of a Killer (1992), Beyond Betrayal (1994), Past the Bleachers (1995) and Pandora's Clock (1996). He was particularly impressive in Past the Bleachers (1995), in which he played a grieving father struggling to come to terms with his young son's death.
He returned to series television in 1995, when he was cast as Ernest Pratt/Nicodemus Legend in Legend (1995), an adventure series that aired on UPN. He also served as executive producer of the series, in which one of his co-stars was his close friend 'John de Lancie'. His character was a dime novelist (Pratt) who took on the persona of the protagonist in his novels (Legend). The series was primarily a comedy, a blend of the western and science fiction. It has also been Richard's favorite role to date.
He found major success again when cast as Colonel (later Brigadier General) Jack O'Neill in Stargate SG-1 (1997), an adventure/science fiction series based on the blockbuster Stargate (1994) starring 'Kurt Russell' and 'James Spader'. The series began filming in Vancouver on February 19, 1997, and premiered on Showtime on July 27, 1997 and on Fox friday nights. The series has remained extremely successful since then, eventually resulting in the creation of a spin-off series, Stargate: Atlantis (2004), in 2004 and the now-canceled video game Stargate SG-1: The Alliance (2005) in 2005.
He has never married but has dated many women, including actresses 'Teri Hatcher', 'Lara Flynn Boyle', 'Sela Ward' and German ice-skater 'Katarina Witt'. Since 1996, his partner has been Apryl Prose, who is the mother of his only child, Wylie Quinn Annarose Anderson, (born August 2, 1998). Like her father and grandfather (who passed away in 2003), she is fond of jazz. Because of his young daughter, he has temporarily taken a break from acting in order to spend time with her.
- Has appeared in episodes of three different series with 'Garwin Sanford' (qv): _"MacGyver" (1985)_ (qv), _"Stargate SG-1" (1997)_ (qv) and _"Stargate: Atlantis" (2004)_ (qv).
- Shares his birthday with 'Charles Correll (I)' (qv), who directed him in 19 episodes of _"MacGyver" (1985)_ (qv), _MacGyver: Trail to Doomsday (1994) (TV)_ (qv), four episodes of _"Legend" (1995)_ (qv) and two episodes of _"Stargate SG-1" (1997)_ (qv).
- Has appeared in the pilots of six different series: _"Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" (1982)_ (qv), _"Emerald Point N.A.S." (1983)_ (qv), _"MacGyver" (1985)_ (qv), _"Legend" (1995)_ (qv), _"Stargate SG-1" (1997)_ (qv) and _"Stargate: Atlantis" (2004)_ (qv). The latter is the only one on which he was not a regular.
- Played his most famous character, Angus MacGyver, a total of 142 times: in all 139 episodes of _"MacGyver" (1985)_ (qv) and in two TV-movies, _MacGyver: Lost Treasure of Atlantis (1994) (TV)_ (qv) and _MacGyver: Trail to Doomsday (1994) (TV)_ (qv). The only characters he has played more times are Dr. Jeff Webber in _"General Hospital" (1963)_ (qv) and Colonel/Brigadier General Jack O'Neill in _"Stargate SG-1" (1997)_ (qv). He briefly reprised the role in a 2006 Superbowl TV ad for Mastercard.
- Has starred in two different series in which his character's main adversary (seemingly) dies multiple times: Murdoc ('Michael Des Barres' (qv)) in _"MacGyver" (1985)_ (qv) and Apophis ('Peter Williams (IV)' (qv)) in _"Stargate SG-1" (1997)_ (qv).
- Like his two most famous characters, Angus MacGyver of _"MacGyver" (1985)_ (qv) and Colonel/Brigadier General Jack O'Neill of _"Stargate SG-1" (1997)_ (qv), he was raised in Minnesota. MacGyver was born in Minnesota, Jack in Chicago.
- Went to Alexander Ramsey High School in Roseville, Minnesota.
- Played a firefighter in two different productions: _Firehouse (1997) (TV)_ (qv) and the _"Stargate SG-1" (1997)_ (qv) episode "The Changeling".