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Wil Wheaton (1972)

Richard William Wheaton III

Type :  

  Summary  

Richard William "Wil" Wheaton III is an American actor and writer. As an actor, he is best known for his portrayals of Wesley Crusher on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, Gordie Lachance in the film Stand by Me and Joey Trotta in Toy Soldiers. As a writer, he is best known for his blogs Wil Wheaton Dot Net and WWdN: In Exile.

  Biography  

 early life
Wheaton was born in Burbank, California, to Debbie (née O’Connor), an actress, and Richard William Wheaton, Jr., a medical specialist. He has a brother, Jeremy, and a sister, Amy. Both appeared uncredited in the episode "When the Bough Breaks" of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

 career
 Star Trek and early career
Wheaton made his acting debut in the 1981 TV film A Long Way Home, and his first cinema role was as Martin Brisby in the 1982 animated film The Secret of NIMH, the movie adaptation of Robert C. O'Brien's Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. He had a minor role in the 1984 movie The Last Starfighter. He first gained widespread attention in 1986 as Gordie Lachance in Stand by Me, the film adaptation of Stephen King's The Body. In 1991, he played Joey Trotta in the film Toy Soldiers.

From 1987 to 1990, he appeared in the role of Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation throughout its first four seasons.

Although his Star Trek character, and by extension Wheaton himself, was disliked by a vocal group of Trekkies during TNG's first run, he commented about his critics in an interview for WebTalk Radio:

Later, I determined that the people who were really, really cruel – like the Usenet weenies – really are a statistically insignificant number of people. And I know, just over the years from people who've e-mailed me at my web site and people who I've talked to since I started going to Star Trek conventions again in the last five years, that there are so many more people who really enjoyed everything about the show, including my performance, including the character.

After leaving Star Trek, Wheaton moved to Topeka, Kansas, to work for NewTek, where he helped to develop the Video Toaster 4000, doing product testing and quality control. He later used his public profile to serve as a technology evangelist for the product. Wheaton said this was a period of growth in his life, and living out of Los Angeles helped him deal with anger issues. He came back to Los Angeles, attended acting school for five years, then re-entered the acting world.

Wheaton's popularity among Star Trek fandom is covered in a number of web comics. ArcaneTimes of March 25, 2005 offers a sympathetic position. Something Positive presents a range of opinions as part of the storyline Mike's Kid. Abstruse Goose tries to distinguish between the character and the actor.

He was a contestant on a 2001 episode of The Weakest Link featuring Star Trek actors as contestants to win money for a charity each had chosen.

 Post-Star Trek
In the late 1990s, Wheaton appeared in several independent films, including the award-winning The Good Things, in which he portrays a frustrated Kansas tollbooth worker; it was selected Best Short Film at the 2002 Deauville Film Festival. He received the Best Actor award at the 2002 Melbourne Underground Film Festival for his performance in Jane White Is Sick & Twisted.

From September 2006 to September 2007, he hosted a Revision3 syndicated video podcast called InDigital along with Jessica Corbin and veteran host Hahn Choi.

Wheaton's more recent acting work includes guest appearances on the November 23, 2007 episode of the TV series Numb3rs, and the October 22, 2008 episode of the series Criminal Minds. He has also appeared in Internet presentations, including a cameo in a comedy sketch ("Lock Out") for LoadingReadyRun , and the May 30, 2008 episode of the Internet series Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show.

He has worked as a voice actor in many original series, video games and anime, which started as young Martin Brisby in The Secret of NIMH when he was 10 years old. His most noteworthy credits include the roles of Aqualad in the cartoon Teen Titans, the voice of radio journalist Richard Burns in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Kyle in the Nickelodeon cartoon, Kyle + Rosemary, Himself and various other characters on both Family Guy and Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy, the second Blue Beetle, Ted Kord, on Batman: The Brave and the Bold in the episode "Fall of the Blue Beetle!", Yakumo in Kurokami: The Animation, Menma in Naruto, Hans in Slayers Evolution-R and Aaron Terzieff in Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn.

Wheaton has performed improvisational and sketch comedy at the ACME Comedy Theater in Hollywood. He has a traveling sketch comedy/improv troupe called "EarnestBorg9" that performs science fiction-related comedy at conventions.


He appeared as himself in a skit on nerdcore rapper MC Frontalot's album Final Boss attempting to be a rapper, whose rhymes only involved shellfish. He later collaborated with Frontalot on "Your Friend Wil", a track from the album Zero Day on the subject of Wheaton's Law. Wheaton and Frontalot have both appeared at the Penny Arcade Expo.

Wheaton appears in seasons three, four and five of the web series "The Guild" as Fawkes, the leader for a rival guild known as Axis of Anarchy.

He appeared in "The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary" , the fifth episode of the third season of the situation comedy The Big Bang Theory, playing a fictionally antagonistic version of himself, as the focus of Sheldon Cooper's ire for not having attended a Star Trek convention at which his appearance was scheduled. He later appeared on the show in episodes "The Wheaton Recurrence", which involves a bout at a bowling alley, and "The 21-Second Excitation" at a screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Wheaton returned in Season Five of The Big Bang Theory in the episode "The Russian Rocket Reaction". In it Leonard gets invited to Wheaton's house-party and Sheldon is angry because of this.

Wheaton has done the reading for the audio CD of Peter and Max: A Fables Novel by Bill Willingham, which was released on December 8, 2009.

Wil is one of the three headline acts of the w00tstock shows, appearing in nearly all of them when his filming schedule has allowed.

Starting in the July 23, 2010 episode, Wheaton has appeared in a recurring, guest-starring role on Eureka, playing Dr. Isaac Parrish, the head of the Non-Lethal Weapons Lab at Global Dynamics and a thorn in Fargo's side.

 Writing
Wheaton runs his own weblog, Wil Wheaton Dot Net.

Between 2001 and fall 2004, he operated a message board, known as "The Soapbox" or "Paracosm", as part of the blog site. Two collections of writings taken from postings to the message board have been published, titled Boxer Shorts (ISBN 1-932461-00-0) and Boxer Shorts Redux (ISBN 1-932461-03-5).

He contributes regularly to the Los Angeles-based Metroblogging site. In June 2005, he became that month's featured Tech writer for the SuicideGirls Newswire. He had a monthly column, entitled "Wil Save," in the Dungeons & Dragons-based magazine Dungeon; in May 2005, he ceased writing it. From January 2005 to October 2006, he wrote a column for The Onion AV Club about early video games, called "Games of Our Lives." On December 12, 2008, he returned to his role as Geek in Review editor, with his editorials being published every second Wednesday of the month.


In spring 2003, he founded the independent publishing company Monolith Press and released a memoir entitled Dancing Barefoot. Monolith Press was "founded on the idea that publication should not be limited by opportunity." Most of the entries are extended versions of his blog entries. Dancing Barefoot sold out three printings in four months.

In winter 2003 Wheaton signed to publisher Tim O'Reilly with a three-book contract. O'Reilly acquired Dancing Barefoot, and published his extended memoirs, Just a Geek, in summer of 2004. He has since written about his bitterness regarding how the book was marketed, believing it was pitched as a Star Trek book when he intended it as more of a personal memoir.

In February 2009, Wheaton released Sunken Treasure: Wil Wheaton's Hot Cocoa Box Sampler. As a 'chapbook', it contains several small extracts of various different projects, including two short stories from Ficlets, an ACME comedy sketch, and a Criminal Minds production diary. Instead of using traditional publishing, Wheaton decided to self-publish using Lulu Publishing, something he has continued to do with all his publications since. Since beginning to publish with Lulu, he has made all of his books to be available as both paperbacks and digital downloadable files.

Later that same year, Wheaton released Memories of the Future: Volume 1, a humorous critique of the first thirteen episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Memories features a review of each episode, as well as an account of Wheaton's own experiences with and memories of that episode.

Closing up 2009, Wheaton published "Happiest Days of Our Lives", and his adopted son, Ryan, contributed by writing the afterword.

Wheaton has also recorded several of his non-self-published books as downloadable audiobooks. These include Just a Geek, The Happiest Days of Our Lives, and his Criminal minds diary from Sunken Treasure. He also released excerpts of Memories of The Future: Vol 1 as free podcasts.

 Politics
Wheaton described himself as a liberal in 2005. In September 2006 he criticised George W. Bush's plan to permit torture of unlawful combatants: "Shame on President Bush. Shame on his Republican allies in Congress."

A column that he wrote for Salon.com in 2005, The Real War on Christmas, attacked commentators like Bill O'Reilly and detailed his arguments with his conservative parents over current political matters. Wheaton's parents were very offended by the article, and he posted a lengthy apology on his site and an interview in which his parents clarified their political views.

On August 24, 2007, he gave the keynote for the yearly Penny Arcade Expo, which was subsequently made available online. He stepped in following a public battle between the formerly-scheduled keynote debate participants, noted anti-games activist Jack Thompson and Hal Halpin, the president of the Entertainment Consumers Association . Much of Wheaton’s address focused on the debate over violence in video games. He also gave the keynote at PAX East 2010 in Boston, MA.

He supported Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential Election and opposed Proposition 8, calling it "nothing but hate and discrimination".

 Games
In 2003, Wheaton mentioned his love for the game of poker on his blog. The following year, he began writing more extensively about his poker-playing experiences, including stories about playing Texas hold 'em tournaments locally and in Las Vegas. Eventually, he worked up to regular play, including a run at the 2005 World Poker Tour Championships. On June 23, 2005, Wheaton accepted an invitation to join Team PokerStars. He went on to play in that year's World Series of Poker and was the guest speaker for the 2005 B.A.R.G.E Banquet. In June 2007, he announced he would no longer be on Team Pokerstars due to changes in the U.S. legal system that would cause poker sites to have to focus on European and Asian markets and held a farewell Pokerstars tournament on June 5, 2007, which he titled So Long and Thanks for All the Chips.

Wheaton is a Dungeons & Dragons player, and played during the PAX 2010 and PAX 2011 event using the 4th edition rules. Wil Wheaton along with Jerry Holkins, Scott Kurtz and Mike Krahulik played in front of a live audience. The game was hosted and recorded by Wizards of the Coast with Chris Perkins as the dungeon master.

 Comic book
Wil Wheaton made a guest appearance in the comic book PS 238. He appears as himself, but with the power of telekinesis. A PS 238 teacher, Alloy, is his adoring fan.

 Wheaton's Law
During his keynote speech at the 2007 PAX , Wheaton made a note about sportsmanship when playing games online. It has since become known as Wheaton's Law, which states:
"Don't Be a Dick!" This was intended to apply to life in general, not just online gaming.

Wheaton's Law Revised is an expansion by comics artist and writer Bill Willingham, which states: "Don't be a dick, but it's okay to play one on TV."

 personal life
Wheaton was roommates with Chris Hardwick for some time. They met at a showing of Arachnophobia in Burbank, California.

Wheaton married Anne Prince in 1999. He lives with his wife and stepsons, Nolan and Ryan, in Arcadia, California. When Ryan was 19, he asked Wheaton to legally adopt him, which he did.

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  Sources

Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Wil Wheaton", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.