Richard Dean Anderson (born January 23, 1950 in Minneapolis, Minnesota) is an American actor best known for two particularly geeky roles: originating the role of Gadgeteer Genius Angus MacGyver on the 1980s MacGyver series, and for playing Colonel, later General Jack O'Neill in the Stargate-verse TV series beginning with Stargate SG-1, which he also executive-produced.
Anderson entered into semi-retirement after leaving SG-1 as a regular, choosing to make sporadic appearances on that series and make the occasional guest appearance on other shows to be able to spend more time with his daughter. He quietly retired from acting around 2013, which is why the fandom rejoiced when he agreed to reprise the role of Jack O'Neill for a table read of new SG-1 scripts.
Tropes associated with his work:
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Conversed. While he was playing Jack O'Neill, General Michael E. Ryan, the real Chief of Staff of the Air Force at the time, did a cameo As Himself on the episode "Prodigy". Anderson later recalled asking Ryan if he had colonels as disruptive and irreverent as Jack, to which Ryan replied, "Son,note yes, we've got colonels like you and worse." Anderson then goes on to say that Ryan's successor John P. Jumper agreed: "You're doing the kind of thing we all want to do but really can't."
- Does Not Like Guns: MacGyver never used guns as weapons, preferring to use his wits and improvised tools, instead. If he did use a gun, it was only to utilize the gunpowder in its bullets and the weapon itself as a hammer. This reflected Anderson's own distaste for firearmsnote .
- Gadgeteer Genius: MacGyver found creative alternative uses for the limited resources he had access to on his TV series and codified jerry-rigged solutions for a couple of generations of TV viewers. So much so that "MacGyver-ing" is still a fairly common term for improvised repairs decades after the original series ended.
- '80s Hair: His iconic mullet from MacGyver certainly comes to mind.
- Ink-Suit Actor: His talking head as Killian Darkwater in Fallout is basically MacGyver without the mullet.
- Military Maverick: He played Jack O'Neill as a Deadpan Snarker who toes the line but is more than happy to break rules and regulations if he feels justified. This was in contrast to Kurt Russell's portrayal, which was much more serious.