Richard Dean Anderson is an American actor best known for his television roles as the eponymous hero of MacGyver and as Jack O'Neill in Stargate SG-1, the longest-running American science fiction series.
Born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Anderson's first career goal was to become a professional hockey player. However, after breaking both arms in separate collisions on the ice, he decided to seek other career options.
As the son of a jazz musician father and contemporary artist mother, his interests naturally turned to the humanities.
In 1976, Anderson was cast as Dr. Jeff Webber on ABC's daytime drama General Hospital. This role, which he played for five years, helped launch his career.
He subsequently starred in the series Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Emerald Point, N.A.S. and MacGuyver.
Just prior to playing Jack O’Neill in Stargate SG-1, Anderson executive produced and starred in his favourite project to date, the critically acclaimed Legend.
Anderson made his television movie debut in 1986 in Ordinary Heroes. Other television movies include Past the Bleachers for Hallmark, In the Eyes of a Stranger, Beyond Betrayal, and Through the Eyes of a Killer.
He also appeared in the mini-series Pandora's Clock.
In his free time Anderson plays hockey, races cars and skis any one of his favourite mountain ranges.
He is the co-founder of the Celebrity All Star Hockey team which raises funds for charities in conjunction with the NHL, and is an active fundraiser and board member for the Challengers Club, a children's recreational center in South Central L.A.
He is a recipient of the 1995 Celebrity Award from the Make-A-Wish Foundation.