Return to the Gate - Michael Garrett Shanks
Michael Garrett Shanks was born in Vancouver on 15 December 1970, the younger of two brothers. He grew up in Kamloops, British Columbia. Michael describes himself as "some kind of overachiever" at school, playing defense at hockey, fly-half and later wing at rugby, being a member of the Student Council, and joining the theatre group. As well as acting in the theatre group, he also directed, but at that time, an acting career didn't seem to be on the horizon. Instead, at 16, he had to decide whether or not to become a professional hockey player. He chose not to, but he continues to support the Canucks and has played for the Stargate SG-1 team against teams from other Vancouver-based shows.
Having decided that pro hockey was not for him, Michael went to the University of British Columbia to study business, financing his studies by taking labouring and lumberjack work. Math proved to be his downfall, as a failed calculus course meant he was a half credit short of getting a Business degree. He switched to Theatre and graduated in March, 1994 with a degree in Fine Arts. Thus, what hockey and the business world lost was acting's gain. Following a number of small theatre roles, as well as roles in TV shows such as "Madison", "The Commish" and "Highlander", in 1997 Michael auditioned for the role of Dr Daniel Jackson on "Stargate SG-1", the TV spin-off of the original "Stargate" movie. Michael went into the audition with his spot-on impersonation of James Spader (who had played Daniel Jackson in the movie) and got the job.
After five seasons of "Stargate SG-1", Michael left the series. During this time, Michael had a number of roles in movies such as "Suddenly Naked", "Suspicious River", Mary Higgins Clark's "All Around The Town" and the Emmy-award winning "Door to Door" with William H Macy, Helen Mirren and Kyra Sedgwick. Michael also guest starred in the episode "Star-Crossed" in the Sci-Fi series "Andromeda", during which he met his future wife, Lexa Doig. Coincidentally, they played two androids who fell in love with each other. They now also have two children together. In 2002, Michael starred in the German/UK/South African co-production "Sumuru", a science fiction cult movie, as astronaut Adam Wade. In addition, he took the opportunity to meet fans at conventions in the US, Australia and Europe.
Although not part of the main cast of "Stargate SG-1" during Season 6, he did reprise the role of Daniel Jackson in three episodes, "Abyss", "The Changeling" and "Full Circle", the Season 6 finale, and continued to voice Thor, the Asgard leader. A fan campaign to return Michael (and Daniel Jackson) to the show had started when it was announced that he was leaving and a year later it was announced that Michael would return as a full-time member of the cast for Season 7.
During the ten-year run of "Stargate SG-1", Michael also directed and wrote for the show. His directorial debut was the complex Season 4 episode, "Double Jeopardy". On his return in Season 7, he further stretched his creativity by writing the episode, "Resurrection", having already received a story credit for the episode, "Evolution, Part 1".
During the mid-season filming hiatus in 2006, Michael completed a made-for-TV film for the Lifetime Network, "Under The Mistletoe", and at the end of filming for the tenth and final season of "Stargate SG-1", Michael flew to Bulgaria to film "MegaSnake", a creature-feature movie for the SciFi Channel. Immediately upon his return to the US, he began work on a second movie for the Lifetime Channel, "Judicial Indiscretion". He also starred in the two "Stargate SG-1" movies, "The Ark of Truth" and "Stargate: Continuum", as well as making guest appearances on the Stargate spinoffs.
In 2007, Michael joined the Fox Network series "24", guest-starring as lobbyist Mark Bishop in a three-episode arc for season 6. In 2008–2009, Michael had a recurring role on the second season of the USA Network spy series "Burn Notice", playing Victor Stecker-Epps, a fellow burned spy and maniacal counterpoint to series lead Jeffrey Donovan's character. In 2008, Michael had a guest starring role in the SciFi Channel series "Eureka", as an alchemist somewhat responsible for the near destruction of the town due to a student's mixing chemicals in his lab and thereby creating the "Alchemist curse".
Michael was featured in a lead role in the SciFi Channel's adventure film, "The Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon", as Jacob Thain, opposite "Beverly Hills, 90210" and "Charmed" alumna, Shannen Doherty. In 2010, Michael appeared in an episode of "Sanctuary", which stars fellow Stargate actor Amanda Tapping. In the same year he starred in the film "Arctic Blast", a disaster film, as physicist Jack Tate.
Michael's latest television guest roles were as archaeologist Carter Hall, DC Comics' superhero Hawkman, in the "Smallville" episode, "Absolute Justice". He later reprised the role in the final episode of the ninth season, and then in guest spots during the tenth season episodes, "Shield" and "Icarus", as well as appearing in the "Supernatural" Season 5 episode, "99 Problems". He starred in the Canadian thriller, "Faces in the Crowd", and the Fox comedy "The Good Guys", as the pompous leader of the Strike Force. In 2011, Michael guest starred in the third episode of the Showcase show "Endgame", playing an amnesiac.
In 2012, Michael returned to primetime as Dr. Charles "Charlie" Harris on "Saving Hope", reuniting with "Stargate SG-1" and "Smallville" co-star Erica Durance, a role he currently performs.