Morning Man Classic: Richard Dean Anderson!
Before he became a star on ABC’s General Hospital then an even bigger star as the lead in MacGyver and Stargate SG-1, Richard Dean Anderson had a fascinating series of odd jobs after dropping out of college.
He worked as a whale handler in a marine mammal show, a musician in medieval dinner theater, and as a street mime and juggler and has said this period was the happiest of his life.
The first time I laid eyes on Anderson was sometime during 1976-81 run on General Hospital on which he played Jeff Webber. He then went on to have roles in two prime-time series that didn’t make it past their first seasons: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Emerald Point N.A.S.
But his next series was a keeper: ABC’s MacGyver ran from 1985-92. Anderson was exhausted by the end of its run saying that being in virtually every frame that was shot left him with “having absolutely no life at all.” But he still returned in 1994 for a pair of MacGyver TV movies.
He agreed to return to series television in 1997 in Stargate SG-1, a sci-fi show that would be more of an ensemble than MacGyver. After eight seasons, Anderson gave up his leading role an opted to make guest appearances on the show instead.
Now 62, the actor currently has a recurring role on the USA Network series Fairly Legal.