Richard Anderson, ‘Six Million Dollar Man’ and ‘Bionic Woman’ Actor, Dies at 91
Richard Anderson, who simultaneously played Oscar Goldman, leader of secret government agent the OSI, on both “The Six Million Dollar Man” and “The Bionic Woman” after a long career as a supporting actor in film and TV, died on Thursday in his Beverly Hills home. He was 91.
Anderson famously intoned the words heard in voiceover in the opening credits of “The Six Million Dollar Man”: “Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world’s first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better … stronger … faster.”
Anderson was one of a handful of actors who’ve played the same character simultaneously on more than one series on an ongoing basis; some actors in the “Law & Order” franchise made occasional or special appearances on another “Law & Order” series, but were not seen regularly on more than one series.
In the case of “The Six Million Dollar Man” and “The Bionic Woman,” Martin E. Brooks also appeared concurrently on both, as bionics expert Dr. Rudy Wells.
Anderson first portrayed Goldman, who would ultimately be the boss of both Lee Majors’ Steve Austin and Lindsay Wagner’s Jaime Sommers, in the 1973 TV movies “The Six Million Dollar Man: Wine, Women and War” and “The Six Million Dollar Man: The Solid Gold Kidnapping” before the series began in 1974. “The Bionic Woman” premiered two years later, and the two shows ran concurrently for two years, with Anderson appearing on both. Later he appeared in the reunion movies “The Return of the Six-Million-Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman” (1987), “Bionic Showdown: The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman” (1989), and “Bionic Ever After?” (1994).
According to IMDb, the hard-working Anderson racked up 188 credits during his career.
He had a key role in the 1956 sci-fi classic “Forbidden Planet,” in which he played chief engineer Quinn.
“That was the last of two dozen movies I did for MGM,”Anderson told Gannett’s the Spectrum in 2015. “Sci-fi feature films were rather new in 1956, and it changed the genre forever. The whole movie was shot on one stage and, as filming progressed, the studio gave us more money and the best production staff. We turned out a first-class movie that’s still impressive today.”
The actor also had substantial supporting roles in Stanley Kubrick’s 1957 anti-war masterpiece “Paths of Glory,” in which he played Maj. Saint-Auban — a member of the military court that convicts the hopelessly innocent men — and 1958’s “The Long Hot Summer,” starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, in which he played Alan Stewart, whom Woodward’s character has her eyes on. Also in 1958, Anderson was first billed in the horror film “Curse of the Faceless Man,” playing an archaeologist who disentombs the title monster. The actor…