May 25, 2015

Richard Dean Anderson

Born in 1950, Richard Dean Anderson got rather a late start: he didn't start acting professionally until 1976, when he landed the role of young doctor Boomer Webber on General Hospital. But after that, he was never far from a tv camera. After his soap job ended in 1981, he starred in the short-lived Western Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1982-83) and the short-lived military soap Emerald Pointe NAS (1983-84), plus the usual round of movies and tv guest spots.

 He was a little too old to interest teen magazines, but beefcake shots frequently surfaced elsewhere, especially in TV Guide and People. 


 His biggest hit was MacGyver (1985-92), about a rather cerebral secret agent who specialized in kitchen-sink improvisations ("we can get out of this predicament with a paper clip, the bolt from the back of this desk, and a 3-day old donut).  He worked for the nonpartisan Phoenix Foundation, which usually sent him out on cases involving rescuing kidnapped scientists, reporters, politicians, archaeologists, or teenage computer whizzes, sometimes male, sometimes female, resulting in many "my hero" moments.  And though he had an occasional girlfriend or old flame during his series, MacGyver's primary emotional commitment was to his friend Pete (Dana Elcar).

 After MacGyver, Anderson got swept up into the world of Stargate, an interplanetary portal, which spawned three series: Stargate SG 1 (1997-2007), Stargate: Atlantis (2004-2006), and Stargate Universe (2009-2010).  I haven't seen any of them, but I understand that the 2009 series had a lesbian character, Camille (Ming-Na).