Return to the Gate - Richard Dean Anderson
Richard Dean Anderson is probably best known as first Colonel, then General Jack O'Neill in "Stargate SG-1", and Stargate's other incarnations for over a decade, and "MacGyver", the clever and inventive nonviolent hero who solved problems in his own unique way for seven successful seasons on ABC.
Richard was born on January 23, 1950 in Minneapolis, Minnesota as the eldest of four sons. He and his brothers grew up in the Minneapolis suburb of Roseville, where Richard developed early interests in sports, the arts, music, and acting.
A "jack of all trades", not only is Richard an avid sports lover (ranging from playing hockey to racing cars). In his early years he studied drama, worked as a street mime, juggler, and a jester-singer, and worked for a time at Marineland, where he wrote, directed, and performed in the marine mammal shows. He appeared in plays and live theatre as well, and for a time sang and played guitar as part of Carl's Dante's rock band under the name "Ricky Dean and Dante".
Richard came to national attention in 1976 as Dr. Jeff Webber on the popular daytime drama "General Hospital", then went on to appear in two short-lived television series for CBS, as the eldest brother in "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" in 1982, and as a hot-shot naval pilot in "Emerald Point N.A.S." in 1983, as well as numerous guest appearances in other series.
In 1985, Richard was cast in his signature role as "MacGyver", on ABC. He has told the story of how he won the role. He had been called in for an audition, and asked to "cold read" an unfamiliar script. Being very nearsighted, he asked to wear his glasses for the reading, and that simple, unselfconscious gesture immediately convinced the show's producers that they had found the right man to become their unpretentious hero. "MacGyver" ran for seven successful years, and continues to enjoy popularity all around the world.
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), "Through the Eyes of a Killer" (1992), "Beyond Betrayal" (1994), "Past the Bleachers" (1995) and "Doomsday Virus" (1996).
In 1995, Richard starred in, as well as produced, the TV series "Legend" for UPN, filmed a pilot episode for "Firehouse", and the 1996 blockbuster NBC miniseries "Pandora's Clock".
From 1997 to 2005, Anderson starred as Jack O'Neill in "Stargate SG-1", based on the movie "Stargate", starring Kurt Russell and James Spader. John Symes, president of Metro–Goldwyn–Mayer (MGM) called Richard himself and asked him if he wanted a part in the series. Richard watched the "Stargate" film over and over again and came to the conclusion that the film had "great potential" and signed a contract with the Stargate producers. Richard agreed to become involved with the project if his character was allowed significantly more comedic leeway than Kurt Russell's character in the feature film. He also requested "Stargate SG-1" be more of an ensemble show, so that he would not be carrying the plot alone, as he did on "MacGyver". In later seasons, he switched to guest appearances, allowing his sizeable presence to be filled by veteran actors Ben Browder, Claudia Black and Emmy nominee Beau Bridges.
At the Air Force Association's 57th Annual Air Force Anniversary Dinner in Washington, D.C., on September 14, 2004, then-Air Force Chief-of-Staff General John P. Jumper presented Richard with an award because of his role as star and executive producer of "Stargate SG-1", a series which portrayed the Air Force in a positive light from its premiere. Richard was also made an honorary Air Force Brigadier General.
Richard loves to travel, and he has retained his love for music and the arts and sport. Richard actively supports many charities and organisations such as: Challengers Boys and Girls Club, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Center for the Prevention of Handgun Violence, Project Literacy US, and the Special Olympics. In recent years, Richard's focus has been particularly drawn to environmental issues. He has been named to the board of directors of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and he has partnered with members of Earth River Expeditions to produce the "River Project," a series of documentaries about the great rivers of the world.
In 1996, Richard met Apryl Prose, and together they celebrated the birth of their first child, a daughter, on August 2, 1998. Wylie Quinn Annarose Anderson entered the world at 7 lbs. 11 oz. Richard speaks with great enthusiasm about his new adventure of fatherhood, and takes great pride in his reputation as a doting dad. Richard lives both in Vancouver and near Los Angeles, as well as owning a cabin in northern Minnesota.