The future "MacGyver" (1985) and "Stargate SG-1" (1997) star was born on 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 who was talented in both sculpting and painting. He and his two younger brothers, Thomas John and James Stuart, grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis called Roseville. During his childhood and teenage years, he developed a love for sports, music (especially jazz) and acting.
Richard 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. Richard was very much a restless teenager, having had many adventures hitchhiking on the open road. This sense of adventure is most evident from his 5,641-mile bicycle trip from his home in Minnesota to Alaska. Though accompanied by several friends at the beginning of this trip, he traveled the last thirty-three days alone. This experience gave him a more centered sense of direction in his life.
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) (TV) and MacGyver: Trail to Doomsday (1994) (TV), both produced by his own production company, Gekko Film Corp, which he co-founded with Michael Greenburg.
Having made a huge impression in Ordinary Heroes (1986) as a blinded Vietnam veteran struggling to rebuild his life in America, after "MacGyver" ended he moved on to TV movies such as In the Eyes of a Stranger (1992) (TV), Through the Eyes of a Killer (1992) (TV), Beyond Betrayal (1994) (TV), Past the Bleachers (1995) (TV) and Pandora's Clock (1996) (TV). He was particularly impressive in Past the Bleachers (1995) (TV), 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) (VG)_ in 2005. Both series have aired on the Sci-Fi Channel. He has also appeared, sporadically, in the latest spin-off series, "SGU Stargate Universe" (2009). Richard's role in the SG-1 series was substantially reduced in its seventh and eighth seasons, which culminated in his departure from the series 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 A. Prose, who is the mother of his only child, Wylie Quinn Annarose Anderson, who was born on 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 and help her develop. Richard has made it a point throughout his career to choose roles that demonstrate his versatility as an actor. Many of his characters, particularly MacGyver and O'Neill, are strong characters who, although tormented by personal tragedies such as the death of family members and friends, can continue on bravely and valiantly.
Best known as the improvisitional and resourceful Angus MacGyver on "MacGyver" (1985)
Is on the board of directors of "Handgun Control, Inc". In the TV show "MacGyver" (1985), his character always refused to use guns.
Had dreams of playing professional hockey until he broke both of his arms during separate games. He then turned to acting.
Performed as a mime before acting in television.
Had band called Ricky Dean and Dante during college years.
When he was 16, Richard Dean Anderson broke both of his arms in separate accidents on the ice. He broke his left arm first, and while skating 3 weeks later he broke his right arm so badly he was in the hospital for 3 months. His elbow snapped backwards and he's still got pins in there.
When he was 17, he rode his bike 5,641 miles from Minnesota to Alaska. He started out with some friends but travelled the last 33 days alone.
Is good friends with John de Lancie (who is best known for playing the character of Q in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987), "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" (1993) and "Star Trek: Voyager" (1995)). They have appeared in three different series together: "MacGyver" (1985), "Legend" (1995) and "Stargate SG-1" (1997).
Although he has never appeared on any "Star Trek" series, he has shared scenes with regulars from all five "Star Trek" series.
Has appeared in the pilots of seven different series: "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" (1982), "Emerald Point N.A.S." (1983), "MacGyver" (1985), "Legend" (1995), "Stargate SG-1" (1997), "Stargate: Atlantis" (2004) and "SGU Stargate Universe" (2009). The latter two are the only ones on which he was not a regular.
Has been a regular on six different series: "General Hospital" (1963), "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" (1982), "Emerald Point N.A.S." (1983), "MacGyver" (1985), "Legend" (1995) and "Stargate SG-1" (1997).
His favourite TV show is "The Simpsons" (1989).
Played his most famous character, Angus MacGyver, a total of 142 times: in all 139 episodes of "MacGyver" (1985) and in two TV-movies, MacGyver: Lost Treasure of Atlantis (1994) (TV) and MacGyver: Trail to Doomsday (1994) (TV). The only characters he has played more times are Dr. Jeff Webber in "General Hospital" (1963) and Colonel/Brigadier General Jack O'Neill in "Stargate SG-1" (1997). He briefly reprised the role in a 2006 Superbowl TV ad for Mastercard.
Was presented with an award and made an honorary brigadier general at the Air Force Association's 57th Annual Air Force Anniversary Dinner in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, 14 September 2004, because of his role as star and executive producer of "Stargate SG-1" (1997), a series which has portrayed the Air Force in a positive light since it first premiered. It was presented by the Air Force Chief of Staff, John P. Jumper. The last recipient of the award was James Stewart in 1987.
Went to Alexander Ramsey High School in Roseville, Minnesota.
Was considered for the role of Commander Benjamin Sisko on "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" (1993).
His "Stargate SG-1" (1997) character Colonel/Brigadier General Jack O'Neill was ranked #10 in TV Guide's list of the "25 Greatest Sci-Fi Legends" (1 August 2004 issue).
Has starred in two different series in which his character's main adversary (seemingly) dies multiple times: Murdoc (Michael Des Barres) in "MacGyver" (1985) and Apophis (Peter Williams) in "Stargate SG-1" (1997).
Like his two most famous characters, Angus MacGyver of "MacGyver" (1985) and Colonel/Brigadier General Jack O'Neill of "Stargate SG-1" (1997), he was raised in the Upper Midwest--Minnesota. MacGyver was born in Minnesota, Jack in Chicago, IL.
At the Spacey Awards 2005, he won the Favourite Male TV Character award for his portrayal of Colonel/Brigadier General Jack O'Neill on "Stargate SG-1" (1997). The other nominees were Scott Bakula (Captain Jonathan Archer of "Star Trek: Enterprise" (2001)), Michael Rosenbaum (Lex Luthor of "Smallville" (2001), Edward James Olmos (Commander William Adama of "Battlestar Galactica" (2004)) and Chris Kramer (Morgan Pym of "The Collector" (2004)).
From the time he first appeared on television in 1976 until his "retirement" in 2005, he was a regular on one series or another every year except for 1984, 1993, 1994 and 1996: "General Hospital" (1963) from 1976 to 1981, "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" (1982) in 1982, "Emerald Point N.A.S." (1983) in 1983, "MacGyver" (1985) from 1985 to 1992, "Legend" (1995) in 1995 and "Stargate SG-1" (1997) from 1997 to 2005.
Has appeared in two different productions entitled "Fallout" which featured scenes at the Cheyenne Mountain Complex in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA: Fallout: A Post-Nuclear Role-Playing Game (1997) (VG) and the "Stargate SG-1" (1997) episode "Fallout."
Shares his birthday with Charles Correll, who directed him in 19 episodes of "MacGyver" (1985), MacGyver: Trail to Doomsday (1994) (TV), four episodes of "Legend" (1995) and two episodes of "Stargate SG-1" (1997).
Has three younger brothers: Jeffrey, Thomas and James.
His father, Stuart Anderson, who died in 2003, taught English, drama and humanities at a high school in his hometown, Roseville, Minnesota, USA.
In 1985 was voted Sexiest Survivalist by People Magazine.
Reprised his role of MacGyver for a Mastercard commercial. The commercial debuted during Superbowl XL (2006), nearly 14 years after the series ended.
Reprised his role of "MacGyver" on "The Simpsons" (1989) in April 2006. He played himself, Richard Dean Anderson, who is desperately fanned by Patty and Selma (who have been obsessive MacGyver fans throughout The Simpsons series). Anderson disappoints the women by saying that he only did "MacGyver" (1985) for money and is more interested in "Stargate SG-1" (1997), after which Patty and Selma kidnap him and force him to play "MacGyver" again and to escape from traps. After a while, Anderson gets so keen about actually trying to be MacGyver that he starts to harass Patty and Selma. Finally, Patty and Selma get sick of "that nut-case" and get rid of him by boring him with their holiday slide shows.
Birthday is January 23, 1950, while his TV character "Angus MacGyver"'s birthday is January 23, 1951. MacGyver's birthday can clearly be seen on his passport in episode 1-15, "MacGyver: Every Time She Smiles (#1.16)" (1986), the first episode that introduced us to "Penny Parker", who was played by Teri Hatcher.
He was considered for the part of John McClane in Die Hard (1988).
He was considered for the part of Sonny Crockett on "Miami Vice" (1984).
Lives in Malibu, California.
[on his "MacGyver" (1985) co-star Dana Elcar, who passed away in 2005] At a time when I had very little business being called an actor, he made things so easy for me. It was a learning experience that was very warm and loving for all seven years.
Dogs are my favorite people.
(August 2004) Playing Brigadier General Jack O'Neill in the TV series "Stargate SG-1" (1997).
(January 2005) Announced he is reducing his presence on "Stargate SG-1" (1997) after playing the role of Colonel/Brigadier General Jack O'Neill for eight years. He will using the time away to work on other endeavors
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