Family & Companions
Science fiction TV series often develop rabid cult followings and such was the case with "Farscape" (Sci-Fi Channel, 1999- ) which catapulted its star Ben Browder into the limelight. The handsome, dark-haired Southerner (he was born in Tennessee and raised in North Carolina) was a journeyman actor for about a decade with a resume that included a failed detective series, a Broadway run in Shakespeare supporting Dustin Hoffman and a handful of feature films before finally breaking through as John Crichton, a 20th Century astronaut who finds himself hurled through space and into a series of adventures.
While his family owned and operated NASCAR race cars, Browder had dreamed of a career with NASA, but got sidetracked into an acting career. After college, he moved to London to study at the Central School of Speech and Drama and while in England, landed his first major work. After filming a small role as a rookie captain in the WWII-set drama "Memphis Belle" (1990), Browder was cast as Leonardo in the 1989 Peter Hall-directed London production of "The Merchant of Venice" starring Dustin Hoffman. He was invited along with the rest of the company to recreate the role on Broadway. While his career was off to an auspicious start, a career-making role eluded him.
Browder was briefly seen in the 1991 remake of "A Kiss Before Dying" and portrayed an inept deputy in the quickly-canceled series "The Boys of Twilight" (CBS, 1992). He continued to eke out a living making guest appearances (e.g., playing an old boyfriend of Courtney Thorne-Smith's Alison in "Melrose Place" in 1994) and landing parts in TV-movies (i.e., the third, much younger husband of country singer Dottie West in the 1995 CBS biopic "Big Dreams & Broken Hearts: The Dottie West Story") until he landed the recurring role of Sam Brody on Fox's "Party of Five" during the 1996-97 season. Browder cut a sexy presence as a roofer who begins a flirtation with Julia Salenger(Neve Campbell). For the same network, he called upon his family background to play NASCAR driver in the TV-movie "Steel Chariots" in 1997. After filming an unsold pilot for a UPN sci-fi series, Browder landed the star-making part of Crichton in "Farscape." While the biggest drawback for the actor was the show's Australian shooting location, he clearly reveled in playing the pilot lost in space and given refuge on the bio-mechanoid (part machine, part organic) spaceship with a motley crew.
Cast (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Broadway debut in the company of "The Merchant of Venice", starring Dustin Hoffman
Feature film debut, "Memphis Belle"
Had supporting role in "A Kiss Before Dying"
Debut as series regular on "The Boys of Twilight" (CBS), playing an inept deputy
Made guest appearance on "Melrose Place" (Fox) as an old boyfriend of Allison (Courtney Thorne-Smith)
Was featured in the CBS biopic "Big Dreams & Broken Hearts: The Dottie West Story"
Had co-starring role in the Fox TV-movie about NASCAR racing "Steel Chariots"
Returned to features in "Nevada"
Made unsold UPN pilot "Martian Law"
Starred as Crichton, an American astronaut who gets caught in a wormhole in space that sends him into another galaxy in the Sci-Fi Channel series "Farscape"
Appeared in the ABC thriller "The Sky's on Fire" (filmed 1998)
Made screenwriting debut, penning the "Green-Eyed Monster" episode of "Farscape"