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Richard Dean Anderson Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (34)  | Personal Quotes (17)

Overview (3)

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Nicknames Rick
RDA
The Human Action Man
Our Last Hope
Height 6' 2" (1.88 m)

Mini Bio (1)

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 three younger brothers (Jeffrey, Thomas, and James) grew up in Roseville, a suburb of Minneapolis. He developed a love for sports, music (especially jazz) and acting.

As a teenager, Anderson dreamed of becoming a professional hockey player as a teenager. But, 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, putting paid to the dream of becoming a hockey player. He went hitchhiking on the open road via a 5,641-mile bicycle trip from Minnesota to Alaska. Although 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) and MacGyver: Trail to Doomsday (1994), 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 blind Vietnam veteran struggling to rebuild his life in the United States. After "MacGyver" ended he moved on to such made-for-television movies 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 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 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.

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" in 2005. Both series aired on the Sci-Fi Channel. He appeared, sporadically, in the latest spin-off series, Stargate Universe (2009). His 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.

Never married, he had dated many women including such actresses as Teri Hatcher, Lara Flynn Boyle, and Sela Ward as well as German ice-skater Katarina Witt. Since 1996, his partner has been Apryl A. Prose, mother of his only child, Wylie Quinn Annarose Anderson (born August 2, 1998).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gus Fallon/R.M. Sieger

Trade Mark (1)

Best known as the improvisitional and resourceful Angus MacGyver on MacGyver (1985)

Trivia (34)

Is on the board of directors of "Handgun Control, Inc". In the TV show MacGyver (1985), his character always refused to use guns.
Daughter, with Apryl A. Prose, Wylie Quinn Anderson, was born. [August 1998]
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.
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 three weeks later, he broke his right arm so badly he was in the hospital for 3 months. His elbow snapped backward, 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.
Has appeared in two different productions which featured the word "Atlantis" in the title: the TV-movie MacGyver: Lost Treasure of Atlantis (1994) and the TV series Stargate: Atlantis (2004).
Along with Michael Shanks, he is one of only two actors to appear in the pilots of Stargate SG-1 (1997) and the spin-offs Stargate: Atlantis (2004) Stargate Universe (2009).
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).
Has appeared in episodes of three different series with Garwin Sanford: MacGyver (1985), Stargate SG-1 (1997) and Stargate: Atlantis (2004).
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 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).
Has appeared in episodes of three different series with Dan Shea: MacGyver (1985), Stargate SG-1 (1997) and Stargate: Atlantis (2004).
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) and MacGyver: Trail to Doomsday (1994). 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.
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).
Has appeared in episodes of two different series entitled "The Enemy Within" and "Last Stand": MacGyver (1985) and 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)).
Played a firefighter in two different productions: Firehouse (1996) and the Stargate SG-1 (1997) episode "The Changeling".
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) and the Stargate SG-1 (1997) episode "Fallout."
He has appeared in episodes of three different series set in Colorado, USA: Legend (1995), Stargate SG-1 (1997) and Stargate: Atlantis (2004).
Shares his birthday with Charles Correll, who directed him in 19 episodes of MacGyver (1985), MacGyver: Trail to Doomsday (1994), four episodes of Legend (1995) and two episodes of Stargate SG-1 (1997).
His father, Stuart Anderson, who died in 2003, taught English, drama and humanities at a high school in Columbia Heights, 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.
His TV character Angus MacGyver's birthday is January 23, 1951, the same as Anderson's except Anderson was born one year earlier. MacGyver's birthday can clearly be seen on his passport in episode 1-15, MacGyver: Every Time She Smiles (1986), the first episode that introduced us to "Penny Parker", who was played by Teri Hatcher.
He has played the same character, Colonel/General Jack O'Neill, in three different television series: Stargate SG-1 (1997), Stargate: Atlantis (2004) and Stargate Universe (2009).
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 be using the time away to work on other endeavors. [January 2005]
RDA had a one-time appearance on The Facts of Life as Tootie's uncle by marriage.

Personal Quotes (17)

[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.
So it allows me to travel, I'll be doing that and running these great rivers and doing what I've done in the past without much purpose other than for the experience.
But my answer to that question would have to be, aside from the obvious, which is the people and the relationships that you garner over a long period of time but the catering. The catering. They're the best. So it's the food.
That was fun to play. There were some nice special effects coupled with some really nice moments with child and wife. I also was able to age to about 100 years in 'Brief Candle.'
Being away from her is torturous and I'd much prefer to be with her. So I just try to get out of here as soon as I can. I make sure I do my job real well and fast.
As far as the future for the Showtime episodes that have already aired, we are sold into syndication so we'll be appearing primarily on the Fox syndicated networks and then eventually the SCI FI Channel. So, we'll be around for a while.
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.
Oh, who am I trying to kid? It's a madhouse. The minute those cameras go off, things just explode, everyone is just at each other in one way or another, in closets or cat fights here and there. It's nuts. You know, I can't be a part of it.
I've been working with them for a couple years and a couple of projects. Essentially Robert F. Kennedy Jr., is the chief litigator for this corporation, this Alliance, and their job is to prosecute corporate polluters of the great bodies of water in North America.
There's editing, and scripts to read and edit, and casting, and all the elements of production that just sort of take up the normal downtime that you would have as an actor. So there's not a lot of that for me.
Nothing. We're all friends and friendly. So when the cameras go down, depending on the mood or the nature of the material we're dealing with, there's usually a kind of a prevailing light attitude that's floating around.
I've also been working with the Challengers Club in the inner city of Los Angeles for 15 years now, I guess, and it's essentially an inner-city recreation club for boys and girls.
We're loosely calling it The River Project, but hopefully the pieces that we put together will be educational pieces that will throw some light on the situation as to what kind of jeopardy may be surrounding our great rivers.
They are a fairly aggressive conservation organization that was started to protect the great whales particularly, but in general all marine life around the world. So those are the people I'm trying to attach my name to.
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.
[When asked if he had seen MacGyver (2016)] I have, and I'm not real crazy about it, I'll be honest. They approached me early on. They'd done a testing for the show and found it wasn't as attractive as they wanted it to be, so they called and asked if I wanted anything to do with it. And I said no. It's a business, but ... I don't think they've been fair or true to the franchise, e.g. they're shooting up everybody and there's so much going on that you don't see the thought-process that we prided ourselves on. You know, MacGyver sees the problem; he sees solutions to the problem; you see him gathering the solution; and then solving the problem. In this new one, it's boom-boom-boom and it happens so fast.

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