"THE DOCTORS PUT ME BACK TOGETHER PIECE BY PIECE!"
Richard tells why violent sports turn him on, what kind of woman he really needs, and how he feels about fathering a child
At 28, Richard Dean Anderson is growing. Last year an inch mysteriously appeared, which brings his height to 6' 2¼". Rick jokes that he might be getting fatter as well. Yes, he is kidding, but at one point he lifts up his faded black T-shirt to reveal a minimal roll.
What does heavily concern him is emotional growth. "I've never really dealt up-front with my emotions. It's all new to me. Not facing your emotions is a lot easier. Anyone who would force me into some kind of emotional confrontation is not the person I want to be with."
Rick is also highly competitive. "My father always touted that to be one of my character flaws. I was so damned competitive that it would keep me from doing things, but really the competition was a part of my fun." If Rick was second in a sport, he'd feel disappointed in himself, not the sport. "I'd do anything to win. I still like to win, but it's hard to lose as you get older, because you'll lose more often."
Skiing is one of Rick's favorite releases. He's been pursuing the sport in California, Utah and Colorado whenever he has the time off from the show. But until last year Rick hadn't been on the slopes since he was 13. "I went off a ski jump and landed on a dog. I wrecked my leg, so I wouldn't wreck him. I was out of the state hockey tournament in Minnesota."
He got hooked on skiing again last year, but hasn't opted for lessons. "All my life I've shunned lessons in everything. I always wanted to do it right away, on my own. Being the little rebel and all," Rick jokes.
Although he doesn't claim to be fearless, he admits, "I'll try almost anything." Rick began last year as a middle intermediate and ended this year's ski season as an advanced intermediate. "I can go down almost any slope now.
"When I'm skiing, I'm naturally in competition with the person racing next to me. I try to be as good or fast as I possibly can." Rick feels competition in sports is healthy. "It creates conflict and dramatic effect."
"That's why hockey is probably the most exciting game for me to watch, because it's constant conflict and competition. A lot of people find it hard to be philosophical about hockey, because it's so damned violent."
Rick planned to be a professional hockey player until he broke both his arms within three weeks when he was 16. He spent two months in the hospital in traction and still has scars on his arms to remind him of the accidents. "They put me back together piece by piece. I still have regrets about that. I sometimes still would like to be a professional hockey player."
Rick proudly relates that he recently became an uncle for the first time. "My brother, Thomas John Anderson, and his wife just welcomed Steven Mercury Anderson. I told him not to get attached to Steven, because the name is a little too bland. He's Mercury to me." This lone married Anderson brother lives in Las Vegas. "He's the one who broke the ice, the only one who got caught."
As the eldest, Rick views Thomas as the independent rebel. He arrived in between Jeffrey Scott, a 27-year-old musician in Minnesota, and James Stewart, an 18-year-old experimental high school student in San Diego.
How does Rick feel about a family of his own? "I'm curious to see what my projected self would be like, to know what it's like to have a child, but I'm not taking steps to get one. Of course, then again, I'm not having my tubes tied," he laughs.
If Rick ever left show business behind, he says, "I wouldn't totally disappear, but I'd seclude myself on a mountain, preferably with an ocean view." Or he'd travel, since he has yet to visit Europe or the Orient. "I stopped my vagabond ways when I moved to L.A. So, it's been six or seven years since I've been bopping around. I used to do it constantly."
Rick started leaving home when he was 15, which taught him self-sufficiency and how to be his own best friend. "I kept myself entertained and safe. I find that I enjoy my space more than I enjoy sharing my space with someone."
When he does share his space with a lady, he looks for "someone who respects that need in me to be alone at will, and it helps if they can scuba dive and sky dive and ski," he laughs.