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|Also Known As:||Wil Wheaton Jr.,Richard William Wheaton Iii||Died:|
|Born:||July 29, 1972||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Burbank, California, USA||Profession:||Cast ... actor comedy writer|
Wil Wheaton was an American actor who gained fame and notoriety from a young age, and used his geek credentials to reinvent himself as a jack-of-all trades: host, blogger, voice talent, writer, and overall authority on all things nerdy. Born on July 29, 1972 in Burbank, CA, to an actress mother and medical specialist father, Wheaton began acting when he was eight years old, making his screen debut in the TV movie "A Long Way Home" (1981), before voicing Martin Brisby in the animated film "The Secret of NIMH" (1982). He was cut out of the sci-fi adventure film "The Last Starfighter" (1984), but made up for it when he was cast as young Gordie Lachance in "Stand by Me" (1982). Directed by Rob Reiner and based on Stephen King's 1982 novella "The Body," the tale of four boys on an adventure to find an alleged dead body over Labor Day weekend in 1959 was a hit with both critics and audiences, provided breakout roles for Wheaton and his cohorts River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, and Jerry O'Connell, and became considered to be a classic coming of age story. From there, Wheaton enlisted with Star Fleet and joined the crew of the Starship Enterprise when he was cast as precocious young cadet Wesley Crusher, son of chief medical officer Beverly Crusher, on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (CBS/syndication, 1987-1994). Wheaton would play Wesley for the next four seasons, but his character was controversial amongst Trekkies, many of whom found the character, and by extension Wheaton himself, to be an obnoxious, whiny brat. Eventually all of the hate on Usenet fan groups proved to be too much, and Wheaton not only left the show in 1991, but left acting altogether. Following a role in the action film "Toy Soldiers" (1991), Wheaton moved to Topeka, KA and took a job with the software company NewTek, where he did product testing and quality control on the Video Toaster 4000, an early digital film editing program. In the late 90s, Wheaton decided to return to Los Angeles, where he studied acting at UCLA (his roommate during this period was standup comedian and fellow future geek figurehead Chris Hardwick). He marked his return to acting with appearances in a few short films, including "The Good Things" (2001) and "Jane White Is Sick & Twisted" (2002). Wheaton also branched out into writing: in 2003 he released a memoir called "Dancing Barefoot," then followed that up the next year with another memoir, "Just a Geek." Wheaton also broke into voice acting, lending his vocal talents to "Teen Titans" (Cartoon Network, 2003-06) and "Teen Titans Go!" (Cartoon Network, 2013-), on which he played Aqualad, as well as the video game "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas," the Nickelodeon cartoon "Kyle + Rosemary" (Nickelodeon, 2008-2009), "Family Guy" (FOX, 1999-2002, 2005-), and the podcast "Welcome to Night Vale." But perhaps Wheaton's best known role in the new millennium was himself: in addition to his various hosting and podcasting gigs all across geek culture, he regularly appeared on "The Big Bang Theory" (CBS, 2007-), in which he played a fictionalized version of himself as a petty and manipulative villain and the nemesis of Jim Parsons' character, Dr. Sheldon Cooper.
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