“I can't tell you anything about what happens after the cameras go off, mostly because I'm usually unconscious by then.” Richard Dean Anderson
First appearing on television as Dr. Jeff Webber (1976-1981) on the ABC soap opera "General Hospital," Richard Dean Anderson is popular among TV viewers as the laid-back, resourceful secret agent with an uncanny knack with gadgets in the ABC action series "MacGyver" (1985-1992) and as Jack O'Neill, a United States Air Force Colonel who was later promoted to the rank of Major General, on the Showtime/SCI FI Channel military science fiction television series "Stargate SG-1" (1997-2007) and the spin off "Stargate: Atlantis” and the direct-to-DVD movie "Stargate: Continuum" (2008).
He has also starred in such short-lived TV shows as "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" (1982-1983), "Emerald Point N.A.S." (1983-1984), and "Legend" (1995) and the made-for-television movies "Ordinary Heroes" (1986), "In the Eyes of a Stranger" (1992), "Through the Eyes of a Killer" (1992), "Beyond Betrayal" (1994), "Past the Bleachers" (1995), "Pandora's Clock" (1996), and "Firehouse" (1997).
“The type of humor I appreciate the most is, on the whole, British humor. But my favorite show on television has to be 'The Simpsons.' I love this show partly because it is so smart. Sure it's a cartoon but there are many different levels to the humor which mean kids and adults can appreciate it.” Richard Dean Anderson
This 6' 1½'' actor was voted “Sexiest Survivalist” by People Magazine in 1985. He has never married but has a daughter with his partner Apryl Prose. He reportedly once dated actresses Marlee Matlin, Dana Delany, Lara Flynn Boyle, Sela Ward, Teri Hatcher, Deidre Hall, and the famous German ice skater Katarina Witt.
“Being a father, well, I don't know if this is a change, but it makes me want to get out of here faster. Get off the clock. Just cause the baby is my reason for living, my reason for coming to work.” Richard Dean Anderson
Avid Sports Fan
Childhood and Family:
Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on January 23, 1950, Richard Dean Anderson was raised in Roseville, Minnesota. His father, Stuart Jay Anderson, was an English, drama, and humanities teacher at a high school and is an exceptional jazz bassist, while his mother, Jocelyn Rhae Carter, is a talented artist in painting and sculpture. Richard has three younger brothers, James, Jeffrey, and Thomas.
Richard, nicknamed Rick, RDA, The Human Action Man, or Our Last Hope, went to Alexander Ramsey High School in Roseville, Minnesota. He studied drama at Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio, and St Cloud State University, in St Cloud, Minnesota, but never completed his degree.
An avid sports fan, Richard loves hockey, skiing, baseball, sky diving, cycling, and auto racing. While at high school, he dreamed of becoming a professional hockey player until he broke both of his arms during a game at age 16. He also enjoys fast cars and motorcycles.
Richard, who had a band called “Rickie Dean and Dante” during his college years, continues to play the guitar and composed the original piece “Eau d'Leo,” which was used in the series “MacGyver.”
Richard has never married and has lived with his partner, Apryl Prose, since 1996. Together, they share a daughter named Wylie Quinn Annarose Anderson, who was born on August 2, 1998. He also dated actresses Marlee Matlin, Dana Delany, Lara Flynn Boyle, Sela Ward, Teri Hatcher, Deidre Hall, and the famous German ice skater Katarina Witt. He is good friends with John de Lancie, who played the character of Q in the “Star Trek” films (1987, 1993 and 1995). Richard lives in Malibu, California, with his family.
Richard, who supports several organizations, was chosen as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Waterkeeper Alliance, which is an environment organization. He is also on the board of directors of Handgun Control, Inc.
“You have to suspend disbelief a little bit to buy into your situation and to the story and to how the character will react. You have to tweak your credibility a little bit, is basically what it comes down to.” Richard Dean Anderson
Initially dreaming of becoming a professional hockey player, Richard Dean Anderson studied drama at Ohio University and St Cloud State University. Instead of completing his degree, he wandered to New York City, the San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district and Los Angeles working as a street mime and juggler. He also worked as a jester-singer at a Renaissance-style cabaret and worked for a time at Marineland, where he wrote, directed, and performed in the marine mammal shows. Meanwhile, the aspiring actor began to appear in plays and live theatre, including “Superman in the Bones” at the Pilgrimage Theatre.
In 1976, Anderson portrayed Dr Jeff Webber on the ABC soap opera "General Hospital," where he would stay until 1981. During this time, he was spotted as a guest in an episode of NBC sitcom "The Facts of Life," the cop/crime drama "Today's F.B.I.," and ABC sitcom "The Love Boat." He also had an unaccredited role as a drug dealer in director Garry Marshall's comedy film, "Young Doctors in Love" (1982), starring Sean Young and Michael McKean.
After his contract with "General Hospital" ended, Anderson landed a lead role on the CBS musical drama series loosely based on the film, "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers," which ran from September 19, 1982, to March 23, 1983. The show was canceled after one season although it received a small fan following.
Following the cancellation of "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers," Anderson was cast as Lt. Simon Adams, the son of scheming industrialist Harlan Adams (played by Robert Vaughn), on the CBS television drama "Emerald Point, N.A.S." Premiering on September 26, 1983, the show was canceled in 1984 after twenty-two weeks.
Anderson got his first real breakthrough in 1985 when he snagged the role of a resourceful secret agent in the ABC adventure series "MacGyver." It ran for seven seasons from September 29, 1985, to May 21, 1992, and produced the made-for-television movies "MacGyver: Lost Treasure of Atlantis" and "MacGyver: Trail to Doomsday," in which he also served as executive producer. His performance in the show earned him two TV Land Award nominations, one in 2007 for Greatest Gear or Admirable Apparatus (for the Swiss Army knife and duct tape) and one in 2005 for Most Uninsurable Driver.
“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.” Richard Dean Anderson (on his "MacGyver" co-star Dana Elcar, who passed away in 2005)
During his seven year "MacGyver" stint, Anderson made his feature acting debut in "Odd Jobs" (1986), a comedy film produced by TriStar Pictures and HBO Films that starred Paul Reiser and Robert Townsend. That same year, he starred as Valerie Bertinelli's wounded soldier husband on the ABC dramatic movie, "Ordinary Heroes." He also appeared in an episode of NBC’s late-night talk show "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" and starred in the made-for-television movie "In the Eyes of a Stranger" (1992), opposite Justine Bateman.
Post "MacGyver," Anderson starred in the TV movies "Through the Eyes of a Killer" (1992), a thriller based on Christopher Fowler's short story "The Master Builder,” and "Beyond Betrayal" (1994), a drama in which he portrayed Susan Dey's abusive husband. He also starred as a little league baseball team coach in the TV movie version of Christopher A. Bohjalian's novel, "Past the Bleachers" (1995).
In 1995, Anderson starred as Ernest Pratt, a gambling womanizing, in the short-lived UPN science fiction Western television show, "Legend." Afterward, he starred alongside Daphne Zuniga in the thriller TV movie based on John J. Nance's novel, "Pandora's Clock" (1996), and Michael Imperioli and Edie Falco in the dramatic made-for-television movie "Firehouse" (1997). He also provided the voice of Mayor Killian Darkwater in the computer role-playing game "Fallout: A Post-Nuclear Role-Playing Game" (1997; aka "Fallout").
Anderson began playing Jack O'Neill, a United States Air Force Colonel (was later promoted to the rank of Major General), on the Showtime/SCI FI Channel military science fiction television series "Stargate SG-1." He would continue to play the character until 2007 and his character ranked #10 in TV Guide's list of "25 Greatest Sci-Fi Legends" (August 1, 2004 issue). Anderson also portrayed his "Stargate SG-1" character in the spin-off "Stargate Atlantis," during seasons 1 and 3 (2004-2006), and the direct-to-DVD movie "Stargate: Continuum" (2008).
On filming “Stargate: Continuum,” he said, “It's good to be back. For the most part it's good to be back.”
Anderson also appeared in a TV Commercial for Minute Pass (2001) and MasterCard during the 2006 Super Bowl, reprising his role on MacGyver. Additionally, he formed Gekko Film Corp with Michael Greenburg.
Saturn: Best Genre TV Actor, "Stargate SG-1," 1999