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Tim Matheson

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Also Known As: Timothy Lewis Matthieson Died:
Born: December 31, 1947 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Glendale, California, USA Profession: actor, producer, director, magazine owner

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Tall, clean-cut leading man Tim Matheson made a career out of playing well-to-do men on every point of the moral compass in countless features like "Animal House" (1978) and "1941" (1981), and on countless televisions shows like "The West Wing" (NBC, 1999-2006) and "Burn Notice" (USA Network, 2007- ). A former child actor who voiced several memorable cartoon characters in the late 1960s, he made the jump to adult roles in the early 1970s but struggled to find a worthwhile project until the blockbuster comedy "Animal House." His role as fraternity ladies' man Otter served as the template for his career after the film's release. As he moved into middle age, he found more worthwhile projects in "The West Wing" and as a prolific director for television. However, "Animal House" remained his most popular effort, with new generations of irresponsible college students every year assuring Matheson of his screen immortality.

Tall, clean-cut leading man Tim Matheson made a career out of playing well-to-do men on every point of the moral compass in countless features like "Animal House" (1978) and "1941" (1981), and on countless televisions shows like "The West Wing" (NBC, 1999-2006) and "Burn Notice" (USA Network, 2007- ). A former child actor who voiced several memorable cartoon characters in the late 1960s, he made the jump to adult roles in the early 1970s but struggled to find a worthwhile project until the blockbuster comedy "Animal House." His role as fraternity ladies' man Otter served as the template for his career after the film's release. As he moved into middle age, he found more worthwhile projects in "The West Wing" and as a prolific director for television. However, "Animal House" remained his most popular effort, with new generations of irresponsible college students every year assuring Matheson of his screen immortality.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

3.
4.
  Hell Swarm (2000) Director
5.
  In the Company of Spies (1999) Director
6.
  Buried Alive II (1997) Director
8.
  Breach of Conduct (1994) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
3.
 Redline (2007)
4.
 Augusta, Gone (2006)
5.
 Don't Come Knocking (2005) Cast
6.
 Judas (2004) Pontius Pilate
7.
8.
 National Lampoon's Van Wilder (2002) Vance Wilder Sr
9.
 Second Honeymoon (2001) George Weston
10.
 Hell Swarm (2000) Kirk Bluhdorn
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1958:
Enrolled in an acting class at age ten
1961:
Made TV acting debut as Roddy Miller in "Window on Main Street" (CBS), a series starring Robert Young, fresh from "Father Knows Best"
:
Appeared in episodes of "Leave It to Beaver" and "My Three Sons" (both ABC), among other series; provided voice for "Sinbad Jr" segment of CBS' animated "The Alvin Show"
1964:
Was the original voice of Johnny Quest on Hanna-Barbera's animated "The Adventures of Johnny Quest" (ABC)
1967:
Feature debut, "Divorce American Style"
1968:
Appeared with Lucille Ball, Henry Fonda and Van Johnson in "Yours, Mine and Ours", an intelligently-scripted, well-made family comedy
:
Served in the Marine Corps Reserves
:
As a contract player for Universal, played Jim Horn for a season on "The Virginian" (NBC, 1969-1970) and Griff King for a year on "Bonanza" (NBC, 1972-1973)
:
Founding member of L.A.'s breakthrough comedy troupe, The Groundlings
1973:
Played Sweet, one of the rogue cops in "Magnum Force"
1976:
Starred opposite Kurt Russell in short-lived NBC Western series "The Quest", blown out of the water by the competition ABC's "Charlie's Angels"
1978:
Breakout feature performance as preppy snob Eric 'Otter' Stratton in "National Lampoon's Animal House", directed by John Landis
1979:
Reteamed with "Animal House" co-star John Belushi in Steven Spielberg's "1941"
1982:
Was a series regular on "Tucker's Witch" (CBS), starring opposite Catherine Hicks as husband-and-wife partners in a private-detective agency
1982:
Starred opposite Margot Kidder in HBO adaptation of William Inge's play "Bus Stop"
1983:
Portrayed Lieutenant Andre Sobinski in remake of "To Be or Not to Be", starring Mel Brooks, wife Anne Bancroft and Charles Durning
1984:
Acted the part of Austin in NYC stage production of Sam Shepard's "True West"
1984:
Directing debut, an episode of NBC's "St. Elsewhere"
1985:
Hired Chevy Chase to kill him in the feature "Fletch"
1985:
Set up own production company at Burbank Studios
1988:
Executive produced and starred in six-part ABC series "Just in Time"
:
Bought (with Daniel Grodnick) NATIONAL LAMPOON magazine, becoming executive officer and chairman; after 18 months at the helm, Matheson and Grodnik engineered a merger with a video company, J-2 Communications
1989:
Produced (with Grodnick) the feature "Blind Fury", directed by Phillip Noyce; did not act in the film
1990:
Starred in the USA Network thriller "Buried Alive"
1991:
Played title role in short-lived (a mere seven episodes) Fox series "Charlie Hoover"
1991:
Starred as a high school teacher in "Stephen King's 'Sometimes They Come Back'" (CBS)
1993:
Portrayed Howard Hughes in Johnathan Kaplan's "Since I Don't Have You" segment of Sowtime's "Fallen Angels" film noir anthology
1994:
Executive produced and directed USA Network movie "Breach of Conduct"
1995:
Helmed "Tails You Live, Heads You're Dead" (USA Network); also portrayed Detective McKinley
1996:
Posed as Carol Brady's (Shelley Long) long-lost first husband in the even-better-than-the-original "A Very Brady Sequel"; previously, Long and Matheson had starred onstage in a long-running Los Angeles production of A.R. Gurney's "Love Letters"
1997:
Directed and reprised role in the sequel "Buried Alive II" (USA Network)
1998:
Starred opposite Daryl Hannah in "We Are Circus" part of Showtime's "Resuers: Stories of Courage-Two Families" as a non-Jewish married couple running a traveling circus in Germany during World War II who hide Jews at great personal risk to themselves
1999:
Acted the part of Marty in Rob Reiner's "The Story of Us", yet another project for Universal Studios
1999:
Directed Showtime's "In the Company of Spies", with Tom Berenger and Ron Silver
1999:
Had recurring role as the US Vice President in the NBC drama "The West Wing"; earned an Emmy (2003) nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor
2001:
Co-starred in the TNT series "Breaking News"
2006:
Cast in Wim Wenders' neo-Western "Don't Come Knocking" starring Sam Shepard
2006:
Cast as the father of an assassin in the USA comedy "To Love and Die in L.A."
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

California State University: Los Angeles , California -

Notes

"It's interesting that so many of the elements in my career--'Animal House', this movie ('Buried Alive II'), 'Breach of Conduct'--were all done here at Universal. And my first adult series ('The Virginian') and all my training came while I was here at Universal under contract for four years. I have a lot of fondness for this (studio) lot." --Tim Matheson quoted in NEW YORK POST, February 4, 1997

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Jennifer Leak. Together from 1969 to 1971; divorced.
wife:
Megan Matheson. Ballet dancer. Married c. 1985; mother of his three children.

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Molly Lewis Matheson. Born on August 4, 1986; mother, Megan Matheson.
daughters:
Emma Katherine Matheson. Born on February 21, 1988; mother, Megan Matheson.
son:
Cooper Timothy Matheson. Born on August 12, 1993; mother, Megan Matheson.

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