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Biography

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Overview (4)

Date of Birth 18 March 1960Columbus, Ohio, USA
Date of Death 22 May 2004Los Angeles, California, USA  (Ascending aortic aneurysm)
Birth NameRichard T. Biggs
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Richard Biggs had a somewhat unsettled childhood as he travelled between Air Force bases where his father was stationed. Because of his itinerant lifestyle he made few friends and changed schools often. When he was seventeen, and living at a missile base in North Dakota, he decided to change his plans for a medical career after playing the lead in a local theatrical production of 'The Wiz'. After that, bitten by the acting bug and never deterred by deafness in one ear, he went on to complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts (majoring in performing arts) at USC's School of Theatre, with the distinguished actor John Houseman as one of his drama teachers. He later went on to give his own acting classes at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga Canyon.

Like so many other aspiring performers, Richard had a tough time in his quest to get started in his chosen field. His chief difficulty lay in obtaining membership in the Screen Actor's Guild without experience, yet how was one to acquire experience without a union card ? Living in his car for much of this time, he made ends meet by playing small roles on stage, and, occasionally television. He also worked for a while as a telephone operator answering complaints for an LA waste disposal company. One of his local stage performances, as Romeo at the Ensemble Theatre, impressed an agent who took him on and landed him an audition for a part on the daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives (1965). Several auditions later, he got the part, and the SAG card as well.

For most of his career on television, Richard played doctors, an irony which was probably not lost on him: Dr.Tomson in The Twilight Zone (1985), Dr. Lecksis in Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990), Dr.Milo Morton in "Strong Medicine", and, of course, Dr.Marcus Hunter, in 1295 episodes of 'Days of Our Lives', from 1985 to 1992. Richard had done his homework for the part by observing a real plastic surgeon in action. However, having played the same individual for such a lengthy period led him later to express doubts about the one-dimensional 'goody two-shoes' nature of the character, who he would have preferred a little 'rougher around the edges'.

A far edgier and more complex part was that of Dr.Stephen Franklin, the chief medical officer of J. Michael Straczynski's cult sci-fi series Babylon 5 (1994). Richard played the humanly flawed, but mercurial character from 1994 to 1998 (also in three made-for-TV movies, and, briefly, in the short-lived spin-off series Crusade (1999), as part of a first-rate ensemble cast. His performances were often extremely compelling, particularly in the 'walkabout' episodes of season three, culminating with 'Shadow Dancing'.

Post-Babylon, Richard played a detective in Any Day Now (1998), returned to soap opera as Clayton Boudreaux in Guiding Light (1952) and had a brief run as a scientist in the unsuccessful TV spin-off Tremors (2003). The character in his last series, Strong Medicine (2000), was killed off in the show because of the actor's tragic, untimely death at the age of 44. Richard Biggs was eulogised by Babylon 5's Straczysnky as a 'consummate professional' and 'quite simply, a terrific guy'.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Spouse (1)

Lori Gerber (1 August 1998 - 22 May 2004) (his death) (2 children)

Trivia (8)

Graduated University of Southern California School of Theatre. Earned a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts.
Taught acting classes during his spare time.
Hobbies included traveling, writing, and learning how to use his computer.
Raised on Air Force Bases across the United States.
Originally wanted to study medicine.
Used money he made selling his autographs at science-fiction conventions to support a school in Orange County for the hearing impaired. From the age of 13, he was totally deaf in one ear and partially deaf in the other.
He had a recurring role on the 2003-2004 season of Strong Medicine (2000), playing Dr. Milo Morton. The show killed him off at the beginning of the 2004/05 season due to his death on 22 May 2004.
At the time of Richard Biggs' death, J. Michael Straczynski was in the early stages of pre-production on a Babylon 5 theatrical film, titled The Memory of Shadows. Straczynski later announced that Biggs' character, Dr. Stephen Franklin, would not be recast when the film goes into production. The project has since been shelved.

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