Previous Next 

Aug 31 2017
Richard Anderson, SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN & BIONIC WOMAN's Oscar, Dies @ 91 Comments (0)

105092188-1Another classic-TV actor has died — stoic, stern-voiced Richard Anderson passed away today at age 91.

Anderson will forever be remembered as Oscar Goldman on The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman, but he made his first film appearance in 1947 and worked on early-TV shows beginning in 1950 ...

Richard-anderson-deadAnderson with The Bionic Woman's Lindsay Wagner (Image via ABC)

Anderson's film debut was in The Pearl (1947), an adaptation of the John Steinbeck novel written by the legendary scribe himself, which he followed with an appearance in the highly regarded Twelve O'Clock High (1949). By 1950, he had begun his nearly 50-year TV career, appearing on the long-lost series Mama Rosa.

Poster - Forbidden Planet_28Second from the left in Forbidden Planet (Image via MGM)

Handsome and unflappable, but rarely cast as the leading man, he provided capable backup in a slew of films in the '50s, his most famous from that period being the sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet (1956) opposite Anne Francis; the Stanley Kubrick classic Paths of Glory (1957); The Long, Hot Summer (1958) opposite Joanne Woodward; and the Leopold-Loeb drama Compulsion (1959) opposite Orson Welles.

His '60s silver-screen highlights include Seven Days in May (1964) and the terrific Seconds (1966), which contains Rock Hudson's greatest dramatic performance.

After appearing in one-off dramas on Schlitz Playhouse (1957, 1958) and Zane Grey Theater (1957, 1958), he worked more and more on TV in the '60s.

6a00d8341c2ca253ef017d3be66536970c-400wiAnderson (L) with Carleton Carpenter & Debbie Reynolds in 2011 (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

He was a regular on the TV series Zorro (1958-1959), playing Mexican, as well as on many other series, including Bus Stop (1961-1962), The Lieutenant (1963-1964), Perry Mason (1964-1966), 12 O'Clock High (1966), Dan August (1970-1971), Cover Up (1984-1985) and Dynasty (1986-1987). Helping to make TV history, Anderson played the brother-in-law of series star David Janssen on the two-part finale of The Fugitive in 1967, one of the most highly rated events of all time.

Meeting Richard Anderson in 2011!

But Anderson's true claim to fame was his role as no-nonsense Oscar Goldman on both The Six Million Dollar Man (1974-1978), starring Lee Majors, and The Bionic Woman (1976-1978), starring Lindsay Wagner, roles he played simultaneously and reprised in later TV movies. In character as Goldman, Anderson spoke the immortal lines in the intro to former:

Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world's first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that men. Better than he was before — better, stronger, faster.

During his stint producing the later incarnations of the Bionic franchise, Anderson cast Sandra Bullock in 1989's Bionic Showdown.

Lee Majors said in a statement, via THR:

Richard became a dear and loyal friend, and I have never met a man like him. I called him Old Money. His always stylish attire, his class, calmness and knowledge never faltered in his 91 years. He loved his daughters, tennis and his work as an actor. He was still the sweet, charming man when I spoke to him a few weeks ago.

Lindsay Wagner said, also via THR:

I can't begin to say how much I have always admired and have been grateful for the elegance and loving friendship I was blessed to have with Richard Anderson.

Anderson went on become a friendly fixture at fan and autograph shows. After retiring in the late '90s, he made one more film appearance, in 2015's The Blood Trail.

Anderson is survived by his three daughters.