Founding commanding officer of SG-1. Upon joining the Air Force at 18, O'Neill proved himself to be an exceptional and gifted airman and was later assigned to a Special Forces unit. He resigned from the military when his son, Charlie, died by accidentally shooting himself with O'Neill's service weapon. O'Neill was devastated by the loss, which eventually drove his wife to divorce him. He was later recalled to duty by his former commanding officer and sent through the Earth's first discovered stargate, in a mission that gave him a new desire to live. After several years of leading SG-1 through missions across the galaxy, helping to save Earth innumerable times, he was promoted to brigadier general and chief of Stargate Command. Most recently, he was appointed by President Hayes to serve as the head of the newly created federal department of Homeworld Security and promoted to the rank of major general.
Richard Dean Anderson is known internationally for his title role in the television series MacGyver, which ran for seven seasons on ABC and now airs in syndication worldwide. Anderson and his producing partner, Michael Greenburg, operating under their production company banner, Gekko Film Corp., served as executive producers on the two MacGyver telefilms that followed, Trail to Doomsday and Lost Treasure of Atlantis.
Born and raised in Minneapolis, Anderson initially set his career goal toward becoming a professional hockey player. However, after breaking both arms in separate collisions on the ice while in his teens, he decided to seek other options. As the son of a jazz-musician father and contemporary-artist mother, his interests turned to the humanities.
After completing a grueling, cross-country bicycle trip to Alaska, Anderson began studying drama at St. Cloud State College and Ohio University. Relocating to Los Angeles, he paid his dues working as a street mime, a writer-director-performer at Marineland and a jester-singer-mime-juggler at a Renaissance-style cabaret.
In 1976, Anderson was cast as Dr. Jeff Webber on ABC's daytime drama General Hospital. Following five years in this role, he subsequently starred in the series Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Emerald Point, N.A.S. Just prior to Stargate SG-1, Anderson starred in and served as executive producer of his favorite project to date, the lighthearted, SF period-adventure series Legend.
Anderson made his television-movie debut in Ordinary Heroes 1986. His other telefilm credits include Firehouse, Past the Bleachers, In the Eyes of a Stranger, Beyond Betrayal and Through the Eyes of a Killer. He also starred in the NBC miniseries Pandora's Clock.
Anderson is the co-founder of the Celebrity All-Star Hockey Team, which raises funds for charities in conjunction with the NHL. He also is an active fund-raiser and board member for the Challengers Club, a children's recreational center in South Central Los Angeles. His most recent association is with the Water Keeper Alliance, an environmental agency dedicated to the protection and preservation of the world's waterways.
In conjunction with Earth River Expeditions, Anderson also currently is a member of a documentary-film project aimed at chronicling the great rivers of the world. He recently has been elected to the board of directors for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and will be working closely with its founder, Paul Watson.
Anderson, his wife, Apryl, and their daughter, Wylie Quinn Annarose, share homes in California and British Columbia.