'MacGyver's Richard Dean Anderson Traded Stardom For A Simple Life Raising His Daughter Who He Had At 48

Jan 25, 2023 by apost team

Richard Dean Anderson is an American actor and producer who is best known for playing the lead role on the hit show "MacGyver." His career in television began in 1976 when he appeared as Jeff Webber on the soap opera "General Hospital." He started "MacGyver" in 1985, and the show ran until 1992. He then starred in another lead TV role in 1997 when he portrayed Jack O'Neill on the science fiction series "Stargate SG-1." 

The show "Stargate SG-1" was based on the film "Stargate," which starred Kurt Russell. Anderson replaced Russell when the film was adapted for TV. "Stargate SG-1" ran until 2007, but Anderson stepped down from playing the lead role in 2005. Jack O'Neill was a recurring character for the last two seasons of the show. However, Anderson did reprise the role in the spin-offs "Stargate: Atlantis" and "Stargate: Universe." 

In his personal life, Anderson was in a long-term relationship with Apryl A. Prose from 1996 to 2003. They share a daughter together, Wylie Quinn Annarose Anderson, who was born in 1998. The actor made it clear that he wanted to spend less time working so he could be there for his daughter while she grew up. Now, Wylie Quinn is an actress with multiple upcoming film projects. In 2011, she appeared in an episode of "Raising Hope" alongside her father. 

Anderson hasn't been in any film or TV projects since 2013 but is active with several charities and shares updates about his life on his personal website. In December 2021, he shared that his beloved dog Poppy had passed away. Read on to learn more about Anderson and to hear what else he has been up to since "MacGyver." 

Richard Dean Anderson (1991), (Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images)

In 2006, right before shooting was supposed to start for season six of "Stargate SG-1," Anderson injured himself. "I couldn't be greater," Anderson said before the start of production, "except that I twisted my knee yesterday carrying my kid to ballet class. I've been aggressively skiing since December, not an incident, then I'm carrying my baby … Anyway, I have to go have it looked at. The timing couldn't have been more perfect."

The show's producer and writer Brad Wright said of the injury: "It's actually a bit of a concern. I'm doing a little tap-dancing myself. I do suspect that he'll be OK because the man has broken more bones and knees. He's one of those athletic types. When, like me, you just type most of the time and play golf now and then, you never hurt yourself."

Anderson is certainly accident-prone. In 2016 he spoke about receiving surgery to fix an old injury he sustained while filming "MacGyver." Anderson shared

"Yes, I had a procedure on my lower back that has helped considerably. It's one of those lingering problems that's been hanging on from my childhood, my early days as 'MacGyver.' I took a couple of falls, one of which really did a number on me – it exploded some vertebrae back there and it's been a problem ever since. I've had an inner-dialogue about the wiseness of doing my own stunts ever since."

The actor also shared a story about breaking both of his arms when he was 15 years old. Anderson had to remain in traction for weeks, and he said it was like torture. Now that he is 73, the performer is much more careful.


Richard Dean Anderson (circa 1986), (Dianna Whitley/Getty Images)

After retiring from acting, Anderson has put a lot of focus on working with charities. One that he has worked very closely with is the Sea Shepherd, which protects whales and other marine life while also educating the public on what is going on with whaling and sealing around the world. Anderson explained:

"I was already interested in Sea Shepherd's work because it had something to do with the ocean and wildlife, but when Paul Watson got up and spoke about what they do, he just sunk the hook into me emotionally – I was on board from that point. I was initially on the board of directors, but I found I couldn't hold that kind of responsibility and organize my real life as well. Now, I'm on the board of advisors helping garner funds for their campaigns educating people as to what's going in with whaling and sealing."

In 2016, Anderson also spoke about attending conventions and meeting fans. He said: "I really enjoy getting to travel to different places around the world and I have good friends like Jonathan Frakes, who I have met on a couple of these things. We just love to watch the array of costuming that people are willing to don. It's just so encouraging and elating to watch the commitment. These places also offer just such a wonderful venue – they're safe and nobody is going to judge – I love that."

Now that he is retired, Anderson enjoys privacy and spending time with his dogs, Poppy and Andy. But sadly, Poppy passed away in December 2021. Anderson shared on his personal website:

"I am saddened... and truly mourn the death of our spirited one ~ dearest of the dear… Poppy. No details now, maybe later. For now...... I'm sad." 

Teri Hatcher, Richard Dean Anderson (1993), (Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images)

Even though Anderson hasn’t had any credits on his IMDb page since 2013, the entertainer is still doing what he loves. According to his personal website, he has been busy working on something related to his “Stargate SG-1” days. 

Back in January 2022, Anderson had a virtual interview with Wright – someone that Anderson grew to know quite well as the creator and executive producer of the TV series. Since then, the pair have been working together to take a trip down “lack of memory lane,” as Anderson referred to it on his website.

In March 2022, Anderson shared that he was going to partake in a “Stargate A.I.” table read. The following month, he accepted an invitation to do a second read alongside Wright, as well as Amanda Tapping and Michael Shanks

Anderson has also been sure to thank his loyal fans for always supporting him in all aspects of his life and career. He wrote:

“I give no outward signs of appreciation to you (loyal fanage, et. al.), but I beg of you to trust my intentions when I say to ALL of you (yes, you), there is NOT a day that passes in my life when I don’t stop the melee in my head to reflect on the good fortune in which I have been blessed.” 

He added, “Thank you for hanging on to any thread of memory you might still have of earlier days, when hearts were lighter & minds were not cloudy all day.”

Richard Dean Anderson and daughter (2003), (Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage)

Anderson came into parenthood later in life at the age of 48, but that doesn’t mean he was any less doting as a father than most. His daughter, Wylie Quinn Annarose, was born on Aug. 2, 1998, and Anderson’s life changed forever.

“I could just sit here staring at her all day,” Anderson told People two months after her birth. “Actually, I think I have.” He also admitted to being so overcome by emotion at his daughter’s birth that he couldn’t help but cry. “I was hit by the reality of it all” and broke down in tears, he told the publication. This was all very strange to the media at the time, as Anderson had picked up a bit of a reputation for being a ladies’ man. However unlikely it seemed at the time, Anderson quickly settled into life as a family man. “When I come home, I immediately take over the diaper changing. … I love that,” he added.

Anderson also said he “wasn't afraid to assume my responsibility as a father. Today, when I'm beside my baby, I savor every moment. Nothing bothers me: changing diapers, waking up at three o'clock in the morning when she coughs. Besides, Wylie is very pleasant, she never cries without a reason. If she demands attention, it's only to let us understand that she wants her bottle. Wylie is not temperamental, she is our happiness."

The proud papa continued to stay this way well into Wylie’s teens, sharing milestones on social media, such as when she graduated from college on May 23, 2020. It’s clear the doting dad has absolutely no regrets about jumping into parenthood!

Richard Dean Anderson (2017), (Randy Shropshire/Getty Images/Sea Shepherd Conservation Society )

Have you seen any of Richard Dean Anderson's TV shows? Which is your favorite? Let us know, and feel free to pass this along to your friends and family.

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