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Richard Dean Anderson

RICHARD DEAN ANDERSON has the good looks of a logger and a bad case of the brand-new father giggles.

His first child, a little girl, named Wylie, was born last summer and, all of a sudden, TV doesn't seem so interesting.

He still works nine months a year - these days for Showtime on "Stargate SG-1" - a weekly TV version of the hit Kurt Russell movie.

At the age of 48, the actor who played the resourceful "MacGyver" for seven long, type-casting years has re-invented himself - using only the material at hand - as an action hero.

Anderson is the rarest of TV stars: He has never taken himself so seriously that he thought he had to be a "movie" star or die - where are you now, David Caruso? And he survived long enough to get a chance to build a second, lucrative TV franchise.

Wylie Anderson will not have to attend state colleges in a hand-me-down Buick.

QUESTION: While you were doing MacGyver you said you wanted to start a family but were working too hard. Have you found the time yet?

ANSWER: Yes. Apryl and I met in New York actually about two and a half years ago, when I was making a pilot for [Homicide producer] Tom Fontana actually - I just name-dropped, didn't I?

Anyway, during my stay here, we were set up on a blind date and, long story short, we clicked quite nicely. Out of all that came my daughter, Wylie Quinn [now three months old].

Actually, we're not married. Apryl's my girlfriend, my companion, my best friend really. But right now, Kurt and Goldie, Oprah and Steadman are our heroes.

QUESTION: So what are your thoughts about getting married?

ANSWER: Well, Mom [sarcastically].... Actually I called my mother up when we learned we were pregnant and said: "Mom, how do you feel about being a grandma?" and she said: "Fine. When are you getting married?" One of those, y'know, thanks-for-sharing-in-my-joy things.

My mother is from the old school. I laid it out for her as pragmatically and articulately as possible. I said "Mom, I don't want the church or the state to dictate the nature of my relationship. Neither of us needs to be or wants to be married at this point. We're secure in our relationship. We love each other." [Pause] First thing out of her mouth: "That's nice. So when you getting married?" There's no fighting that.

QUESTION: What's the best job you ever had?

ANSWER: Love that question. The most honest job I ever had - obviously that wouldn't be in show business - I fought forest fires in British Columbia back when I could do such a thing, in 1967. I was on this bike trip and we were staying at this camp ground when a forest ranger just came by asking for anyone who wanted to fight fires. A willing, stupid kid is what I was - no, not stupid. Just willing and adventurous.

Best job I had in my chosen profession was Legend [a series which ran for just one season on UPN in 1995]. I may eventually get tired of talking about it, but it remains sort of a sour-grapes thing for me - kind of Let-it-go-Rick-it's-time-to-move-on. But I was so enamored with the potential of that particular franchise, and UPN didn't have the guts at the time to stick it out. I still have a hard time with it.

QUESTION: Are there any similarities between you and the character [Air Force Col. Jack O'Neill] you play in Stargate?

ANSWER: We're both late 40's and about 6-foot-2. After that I don't know what to say. The character was of course, created by Kurt Russell. But I don't even try to do what he did. I just made Jack O'Neill as close to what I do as possible - and so far it's worked. We're going into syndication this season on the Fox Family Channel. [Into the microphone] Check your local listings.

"Richard Dean Anderson, Loving Apryl in New York: The Four Questions." New York Post. November 15, 1998.