“I’m not into the froufrou kind of stuff. I’ve had my fair share of partying and being out there and doing all that crazy stuff and it was fun and I had a blast and I’m over that.” Casper Van Dien
Hailed from the small town of Milton, Florida, American actor of Dutch, Swedish, French and English descent Casper Van Dien is best known for his roles in Paul Verhoeven’s tour de force Starship Troopers (1997, as Johnny Rico) and the biopic film James Dean: Race With Destiny (1997, TV). He gained initial notice in the long-running daytime soap “One Life to Live” (1993-94) and Fox’s series “Beverly Hills, 90210” (1994). His admirers must remember him for playing roles in such films as Tarzan and the Lost City (1998), the surprise hit The Omega Code (1999), Sleepy Hollow (1999, with Johnny Depp and Christopher Walken) and Big Spender (2003, TV).
Recently starring in television movies Meltdown (2006), Slayer (2006) and The Curse of King Tut’s Tomb (2006), Casper is schedule to star in the David Presley forthcoming film The Sand (2007).
The charismatic blond performer disclosed on “Larry King Live” (2006) he was sexually abused by a female babysitter when he was 8. The misuse was a secret he kept until at age 32. He is good friends to Bailey Chase, Kenny Johnson, Jim Morse, Pablo Espinosa and Garrett Warren. Romantically speaking, the 5’ 9½” tall, good-looking actor who received $500,000.00 from Tarzan and the Lost City (1998), $500,000.00 from The Omega Code (1999) and $80,000.00/episode from “Titans” (2000) is the former husband of actress Carrie Mitchum and is now married to the daughter of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia, actress Catherine Oxenberg. He is the biological father of one son and three daughters, and has one step-daughter from Catherine’s preceding marriage. Casper’s romantic life has also been linked to the Starship Troopers costar Denise Rich (dated for a short time while on the set of the 1997 film).
With his present wife, the 2000 People magazine’s “Sexiest Soap Star” has worked together on various projects, most recently the reality series “I Married a Princess” (2005). The pair also has co-founded a company with a distinctive vision to produce socially conscientious, quality family entertainment with the aim of elevating and transforming people.
Childhood and Family:
In Milton, Florida, Casper Robert Van Dien Jr. was born on December 18, 1968 to parents, Casper Robert Van Dien (retired U.S. Navy commander pilot) and Diane Van Dien (ex-nursery school teacher). Casper spent his early years in Florida and Okinawa, Japan, before his family settled in Ridgewood, New Jersey when he was 4. When they returned to Florida, Casper enrolled at the St. Petersburg branch of Admiral Farragut Military Academy in which he graduated 3rd in command. After graduating, he attended Florida State University in Tallahassee, but quit his medical studies after two years to pursue acting. Casper, whose nicknames are Van, Cap, Tarzan, Mr. Oxenberg and Robb, has two sisters, Sudi (older, medical-supply buyer) and Kristin (younger, massage therapist), and a half-sister named Debbie, who is 14 years his senior.
Casper, who was frequently referred to as “Ken doll” in high school because of his handsome looks and got many conflicts for that reason, was married to actress Carrie Mitchum, granddaughter of legendary actor Robert Mitchum, from 1993 until 1997. The couple has two children, son Cappy Van Dien/Casper Robert Mitchum Van Dien (born on September 23, 1993) and daughter Grace Van Dien (born on October 15, 1996). Two years after divorcing, on May 8, 1999, he tied the knot with the daughter of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia, actress Catherine Oxenberg (born in 1961), whom he met on the set of the television film The Collectors (1999). Casper and Catherine share two daughters, Maya Van Dien (born in Los Angeles, on September 20, 2001) and Celeste Van Dien (born on October 3, 2003). From Catherine’s previous marriage, Casper has a 15-year-old step-daughter named India.
A pre-med student of Florida State University, Casper Van Dien left his studies after two years in pursuit of a career in acting. Relocating to Los Angeles in 1988, he started to work professionally on numerous TV shows in early 1990s, such as the Saturday morning series “Saved By the Bell,” the syndicated series “Dangerous Women” (1991) and CBS’s short-lived series “Freshman Dorm”(1992, costarred opposite Matthew Fox as a surfer). His first break arrived in 1993 when he landed the role of Tyler ‘Ty’ Moody in 1968’s daytime drama “One Life To Live” that required him to live in New York for a year (1993-1994). Back to L.A, Casper received his following break with the recurring part of Griffin Stone, who dated Tori Spelling’s Donna with fruitless results, on the Fox popular series “Beverly Hills, 90210” (1994).
More assignments followed after this performance, including major roles in Tim Hunter’s thriller-made-for-TV film The Colony (1996) and NBC’s Night scream (1997, opposite Candace Cameron Bure). He also had supporting parts in many straight-to-video releases like Night Eyes 4 (1996), Beastmaster III: The Eye of Braxus (1996) and Casper: A Spirited Beginning (1997).
It was also in 1997 that Casper gained more recognition when director Mardi Rustam cast him in the lead of the biopic made-for-television film James Dean: Race with Destiny (shot in 1995), where he shared the screen with off-screen wife Carrie Mitchum and father-in-law Robert Mitchum. It was soon followed by his breakthrough role of Johnny Rico, the ignorant soldier who discovers the ability to lead the ‘Starship Troopers’ (1997). Directed by Paul Verhoeven, the science fiction action was a hit and became one of the most talked about films of the year. As for Casper, he earned a Blockbuster Entertainment nomination for Favorite Male Newcomer, and cemented his reputation as a budding star.
The notice he got as a result directly led to the role of “Lord of the Jungle” in Tarzan and the Lost City (1998), starring opposite Jane March as Jane Porter. Casper then took on a series of starring roles in television films, including as a hip vampire in Modern Vampires/Revenant (1998) and played A.K. in the action/thriller The Collectors (1999, opposite his current wife Catherine Oxenberg), before assuming the lead of Gillen Lane in the surprise hit The Omega Code (1999), an adventure film directed by Robert Marcarelli and reuniting him with wife Catherine. He rounded out the year with a supporting part in Tim Burton’s critically acclaimed feature Sleepy Hollow (1999), which is derived from the archetypal Washington Irving story of Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) and the Headless Horseman (Christopher Walken).
Returning to series TV, Casper found himself starring opposite Yasmine Bleeth, John Barrowman, Perry King and Victoria Principal in the Aaron Spelling’s short-lived NBC series “Titans” in 2000. The same year, he was seen in such television films as Sanctimony (2000), The Tracker (2000), Partners (2000), Python (2000), Cutaway (2000) and A Friday Night Date (2000). He continued to appear in a number of TV movies like Big Spender (2003, with Graham Green), the action Maiden Voyage (2004, opposite Danielle Cormack and Angela Marie Dotchin) and Hollywood Flies (2005, starred Antonio Cupo, Bianca Guaccero, Caprice Bourret, Vinnie Jones and Brad Renfro). In 2005, Casper collaborated with his wife to star and produce the reality series “I Married a Princess,” about Casper’s professional and private life with his wife whose mother is Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia.
Recently, Casper starred as a police officer who tries to save his family and new girlfriend from the heat wave and protect them from the robbers who have occupied the city in the disaster telefilm Meltdown (2006). He also starred as Danny Freemont in The Curse of King Tut’s Tomb (2006, TV) for Hallmark Entertainment, as well as worked with Lynda Carter, Ray Park and Jennifer O’Dell in horror television film Slayer (2006), portraying Hawk. He is reportedly in negotiation to star opposite Michael Rooker in writer/director David Presley’s horror movie The Sand (2007).