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Where’s the 'Stargate SG-1' cast now? Richard Dean Anderson, Amanda Tapping & more
We're checking in on the careers of the stars who brought SYFY’s long-running series to life.
Sticking in fans’ minds the way few sci-fi shows do, Stargate SG-1 ushered some of its stars through a big chunk of their acting careers, a feat that’s all but bound to happen when a series endures for 10 successful seasons.
Crossing over from theaters to television from director Roland Emmerich’s sci-fi classic 1994 feature film Stargate, series creators Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner picked up the action right on the heels of the movie’s big ending, keeping key big-screen characters while switching out the actors who played them in a casting move that earned more and more believers as the show rolled along.
Richard Dean Anderson took the baton from Kurt Russell to play the TV version of SG-1 commander Jack O’Neill (a last name that gained an extra “L” for television in the process), while James Spader’s movie role of Egyptologist Daniel Jackson went to Michael Shanks. But the SG-1 cast also brought along newcomers (like Samantha Carter actor Amanda Tapping); additions who helped expand the Stargate franchise while quickly gaining fan-favorite status all on their own.
It’s been 16 full years since Stargate SG-1 signed off from SYFY for good, and the franchise’s future is perhaps opening up once more now that Amazon has picked up ownership of the Stargate brand through its 2022 acquisition of MGM. With the enormous Stargate universe potentially on the brink of a fresh reawakening, there’s no better time for a present-day check-in on the actors who, through a decade of galactic leaps, assured the franchise a permanent place in fans’ best-cherished science fiction memories.
Ready to dive in? Then let’s open the gate!
Richard Dean Anderson
For all the fame and fan adoration he’d earned as action improvisor extraordinaire MacGyver even before his long-running stint on Stargate SG-1, it’s hard to believe that Richard Dean Anderson’s screen career went relatively quiet not long after SG-1 ended its iconic run. Now retired from acting, Anderson took on only a handful of projects after his TV time as Major General (and eventually Lieutenant) Jack O’Neill concluded, despite remaining forever a familiar face for his famous headlining spot on two of the biggest TV hits of the 1990s and early 2000s.
As the small-screen successor to the lead character first made famous by Kurt Russell in Emmerich’s landmark 1994 Stargate film, Anderson reprised his role as Jack O’Neill in SYFY’s concurrently-running Stargate: Atlantis series, as well as the followup stranded-in-space series Stargate Universe (2009-2010). His centerpiece role in 2008’s Stargate: Continuum feature film marked Anderson’s final movie appearance to date, alongside a handful of brief episodic turns in subsequent TV series Fairly Legal (2011) and Raising Hope (2011).
A big part of the fun give-and-take sparring vibe that lent SG-1 its perfect balance between serious sci-fi and lighthearted melodrama, Amanda Tapping (as physicist and soldier Dr. Samantha “Sam” Carter) brought a new dimension to Stargate on television that was absent from the original 1994 movie, including crossover reprising turns in Stargate Atlantis, Stargate Universe, and standalone movies Stargate: The Ark of Truth and Stargate: Continuum.
Since her Stargate days, Tapping’s remained firmly fixed in sci-fi fans’ minds, especially with a subsequent string of genre turns that’ve kept her plenty active on the small screen. In addition to her main role in SYFY’s Sanctuary series as Dr. Helen Magnus, Tapping went on to appear across multiple Supernatural episodes as the angel Naomi, and warped through time in the sci-fi drama Travelers (2016). She’s even gotten behind the camera to direct episodes for shows at The CW, including Supernatural, The 100, The Flash, and Batwoman — as well as helming a 2020 episode of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina for Netflix.
It’s a testament to SG-1’s emergence from the shadow of its 1994 namesake film that the show's switched-out small-screen stars — like Daniel Jackson actor Michael Shanks — created buzz among fans when they’d show up, as Shanks did, in cameos on later series Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe. Shanks remains best known for playing the TV version of the Stargate Egyptologist first portrayed in theaters by James Spader, though he’s since stepped into genre roles that sci-fi fans have likely spotted. He held down the leading role of Dr. Charles "Charlie" Harris in supernatural doctor drama Saving Hope (2012-2017), played Hawkman in a handful of Smallville episodes, and recurred as murder-mystery victim Horace Axley in Season 2 of Netflix’s Altered Carbon. Most recently, Shanks has shown up in a guest acting role for a 2022 episode of CBS’ medical drama The Good Doctor.
These days, Christopher Judge has a devoutly devoted following among video game fans as the thunderous voice of Kratos in Sony Santa Monica’s bestselling PlayStation series God of War. But Judge’s live-action talents have long been on display on screens both big and small, including his key role as Jaffa warrior Teal’c, a human-alien hybrid, on Stargate SG-1 as well as Stargate Atlantis, spinoff movies Stargate: The Ark of Truth (2008) and Stargate: Continuum (2008), and the 2013 video game Stargate SG-1: Unleashed. Judge’s list of TV credits also includes episode drop-ins on NCIS: Los Angeles (2010), The Mentalist (2012), and, more recently, in voiceover on adult animated series Final Space (2019) and The Guardians of Justice (2022) at Netflix. He’s also shown up in a fun pair of shark-y horror-comedy flicks: 2013’s Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark, and as a Secret Service agent in SYFY’s Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (2015).
Of all the Stargate SG-1 acting alumni, the versatile Beau Bridges has perhaps the most extensive filmography (from both before and after the series), as well as the most Golden Globe, Emmy, and even Grammy-winning hardware to show for it. From Season 9 onward, Bridges played Stargate Command leader Hank Landry, Jack O’Neill’s hand-picked successor, while also reprising the role in episodes of Stargate Atlantis and in feature films Stargate: The Ark of Truth and Stargate: Continuum. It’s impossible to do justice to Bridge’s full career in a nutshell — after all, as the son of the iconic Lloyd Bridges (and brother of The Big Lebowski star Jeff Bridges), his very first screen appearance came way back in 1948 as a child and his run still continues into the present day.
Bridges collected a trio of Emmys over a five-year span in the 1990s before later earning a spoken-word Grammy in 2008, with career highlights that include The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989), My Name is Earl (2005), opposite George Clooney in 2011’s The Descendants, and as a Civil Rights-era holdout in the history-based drama One Night in Miami... (2020). Most recently, Bridges has been cast alongside Brie Larson in the upcoming 1960s drama series Lessons in Chemistry, set to debut later this year at Apple TV+.
Ben Browder’s long been a SYFY fan favorite, having starred as Air Force Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell in later seasons of Stargate SG-1 (plus both Stargate: The Ark of Truth and Stargate: Continuum) — all while retaining the following he and later SG-1 costar Claudia Black carried over from their four-season stint at SYFY (then known as the Sci-fi Channel) as the stars of cult classic space series Farscape (1999-2003).
Browder’s screen career has remained consistent if less active since his Stargate days. Fans have spied him in the seventh series of Doctor Who, as well as episodes of The CW’s Arrow and, more recently, in guest appearances on Walker (2022) and Station 19 (2023). And though he’s covered in gold for the part, Browder’s also one of the weirdly shiny Sovereign meanies who pursue Peter Quill through space via virtual reality at the start of 2017’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2, and his voice is known among gamers as that of the male player character in 2015’s Call of Duty: Black Ops.