Richard Norman Anderson (August 8, 1926 – August 31, 2017) was an American film and television actor. Among his best-known roles was his portrayal of Oscar Goldman, the boss of Steve Austin (Lee Majors) and Jaime Sommers (Lindsay Wagner) in both The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman television series between 1974 and 1978 and their subsequent television 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).
Anderson was born in Long Branch, New Jersey, the son of Olga (née Lurie) and Harry Anderson. He appeared in high school plays after moving to Los Angeles.
Anderson served a seventeen month tour of duty during World War II in the United States Army.
Before Anderson began his career in 1950 as a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract player, he studied at the Actors' Laboratory Theatre, which led to work in radio and stock theater. His many films at MGM included The Magnificent Yankee (1950) as Reynolds, The Student Prince (1954) as Lucas, and Forbidden Planet (1956), as Chief Engineer Quinn. Among his later films were the World War I drama Paths of Glory (1957) directed by Stanley Kubrick, in which Anderson played the prosecuting attorney.
Anderson played Ricardo Del Amo in the second season of Zorro (1957 TV series), a friend and rival of Diego de la Vega (Guy Williams). He was the object of the unrequited love of Clara Varner (Joanne Woodward) in The Long, Hot Summer (1958) and a suspicious military officer in Seven Days in May (1964).
In the 1960s, Anderson made appearances in 23 episodes of Perry Mason during the series' final season as Police Lieutenant Steve Drumm, replacing the character of Lt. Tragg, played by Ray Collins, who died in 1965. Before he became a Perry Mason regular, he made guest appearances in two episodes: as defendant Edward Lewis in "The Case of the Accosted Accountant," and Jason Foster in "The Case of the Paper Bullets" (both 1964).
He also appeared on The Untouchables, Stagecoach West, The Rifleman, Daniel Boone, Thriller, The Eleventh Hour, Redigo, Combat!, Twelve O'Clock High, I Spy, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Fugitive (as varied characters in several episodes; in the series' 1967 finale he played the brother-in-law to the protagonist Dr. Richard Kimble), The Wild, Wild West, Bonanza, The Green Hornet, The Invaders, and The Big Valley. In 1961–62, Anderson co-starred with Marilyn Maxwell in an ABC production of Bus Stop. He guest-starred in the last episode of season 1 of Mission: Impossible (1966) as Judge Wilson Chase.
In 1965, he played Judge Lander, who clashes over courtroom fairness and frontier justice with a young woman, Kate Melville (Gloria Talbott), the daughter of a sheriff, Will Melville (Dick Foran), in the episode "Kate Melville and the Law" of the syndicated series, Death Valley Days. In 1970-71, Anderson starred as Chief George Untermeyer in the Burt Reynolds series Dan August.
Anderson first appeared as Oscar Goldman in the second episode of The Six Million Dollar Man ("Wine, Women, and War," 1974). He would portray the character through the series' end in 1978 as well as on the spinoff series The Bionic Woman for its entire run from 1976 to 1978. In addition, Anderson guest-starred on other TV series in the 1970s, including Hawaii Five-O, Gunsmoke, Ironside, Columbo and The Love Boat.
He appeared in the television movie, The Night Strangler as the villain, Dr. Richard Malcolm. Anderson was just as busy in the 1980s on Charlie's Angels, Matt Houston, Knight Rider, Remington Steele, Cover Up, The A-Team, The Fall Guy, Simon and Simon, and Murder, She Wrote. He played murderer Ken Braddock in the first two-hour episode of the revived Perry Mason, starring Raymond Burr, titled "Perry Mason Returns" (1985), Anderson had a recurring role as Senator Buck Fallmont on Dynasty from 1986-87. He portrayed President Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1987 miniseries, Hoover vs. The Kennedys.
In the 1990s, he served as narrator and a recurring guest star for Kung Fu: The Legend Continues. He served also as a commercial spokesperson for the Shell Oil Company in the United States, known as The Shell Answer Man. "The Shell Answer Man" appeared in commercials from 1976-82.
Anderson was married to Carole Lee Ladd and Katharine Thalberg (daughter of movie producer Irving Thalberg and actress Norma Shearer), with both marriages ending in divorce. He had three daughters with Thalberg.
In 2007, Anderson was honored with a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars.
Richard Anderson died on August 31, 2017 from natural causes in Beverly Hills, California, twenty-three days after his 91st birthday. He was survived by his three daughters Ashley Anderson, Brooke Anderson, and Deva Anderson.
Richard Anderson is buried at Westwood Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California.
The Pearl (1947)
The Vanishing Westerner (1950) as Deputy Sheriff Jeff Jackson
A Life of Her Own (1950) as Hosiery Man (uncredited)
The Magnificent Yankee (1950) as Reynolds, Secretary
Grounds for Marriage (1951) as Tommy
Storm Warning (1951) as Interne (uncredited)
Payment on Demand (1951) as Jim Boland
Cause for Alarm! (1951) as Lonesome Sailor
Go for Broke! (1951) as Lieutenant (uncredited)
No Questions Asked (1951) as Detective Walter O'Bannion
Rich, Young and Pretty (1951) as Bob Lennart
The People Against O'Hara (1951) as Jeff Chapman
Across the Wide Missouri (1951) as Dick Richardson
The Unknown Man (1951) as Bob Masen
Just This Once (1952) as Tom Winters
Scaramouche (1952) as Philippe de Valmorin
Holiday for Sinners (1952) as Father Victor Carducci
Fearless Fagan (1952) as Capt. Daniels - Company J
The Story of Three Loves (1953) as Marcel (segment "Equilibrium")
I Love Melvin (1953) as Harry Flack
Dream Wife (1953) as Henry Malvine
Give a Girl a Break (1953) as Burton Bradshaw
Escape from Fort Bravo (1953) as Lieutenant Beecher
The Student Prince (1954) as Lucas
Betrayed (1954) as John (uncredited)
Hit the Deck (1955) as Lt. Jackson
It's a Dog's Life (1955) as George Oakley
Forbidden Planet (1956) as Engineering Officer Quinn
A Cry in the Night (1956) as Owen Clark
The Search for Bridey Murphy (1956) as Dr. Deering
Three Brave Men (1956) as Naval Lt. Bill Horton
The Buster Keaton Story (1957) as Tom McAffee
Paths of Glory (1957) as Major Saint-Auban
Merry Andrew (1958) as Ugo (uncredited)
The Long, Hot Summer (1958) as Alan Stewart
Curse of the Faceless Man (1958) as Dr. Paul Mallon
Compulsion (1959) as Max Steiner
The Rifleman (1959) as Tom Birch
The Gunfight at Dodge City (1959) as Dave Rudabaugh
The Wackiest Ship in the Army (1960) as Lt. Dennis M. Foster
A Gathering of Eagles (1963) as Colonel Ralph Josten
Johnny Cool (1963) as Correspondent
Seven Days in May (1964) as Colonel Ben Murdock
Kitten with a Whip (1964) as Grant
Big Valley (1965) as Dr. Travers (Episode: Last Train to the Fair)
Seconds (1966) as Dr. Innes
The Ride to Hangman's Tree (1967) as Steven Carlson
The Hardy Boys: The Mystery of the Chinese Junk (1967) as Fenton Hardy
Macho Callahan (1970) as Officer
Gunsmoke (1970) as Gregorio (Episode: "The War Priest")
Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) as Navy Captain John B. Earle
Doctors' Wives (1971) as D.A. Douglas
The Astronaut (1972) as Dr. Wylie
The Honkers (1972) as Royce Owens
Play It as It Lays (1972) as Les Goodwin
The Longest Night (1972) as Harry Eaton
The Night Strangler (1973) as Dr Richard Malcolm
Black Eye (1974) as Dole
Never Give Up (1978) as US Green Beret Officer
The Immigrants (1978) as Thomas Seldon
Murder by Natural Causes (1979) as George Brubaker
The French Atlantic Affair (1979) as Terrence Crown
Condominium (1980) as Henry Churchbridge
Kane and Abel (1985) as Alan Lloyd
The Stepford Children (1987) as Lawrence Denton
Hoover vs. The Kennedys (1987) as Lyndon B. Johnson
The Player (1992) as Himself
Gettysburg (1993) as General George G. Meade
The Glass Shield (1995) as Watch Commander Clarence Massey
The Blood Trail (2015)
Krebs, Albin (September 5, 1976). "The Faces Are Familiar". The New York Times. "...boss of 'The $6-million Man', who hails from Long Branch..."
Profile, filmreference.com; accessed November 26, 2014
Rogers, John (September 2, 2017). "Popular actor won fame on 'Six Million Dollar Man'". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Hawaii, Honolulu. Associated Press. p. B7. Retrieved March 9, 2018 – via Newspapers.com. open access
"Richard Anderson". Findagrave.com. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
King, Byron. "The Shell Answer Man", Post Carbon Institute, February 27, 2007,
"Katherine Thalberg". Variety. January 9, 2006. Retrieved February 24, 2019.
Palm Springs Walk of Stars official website Archived October 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine; accessed November 26, 2014.
Slotnik, Daniel E. (August 31, 2017). "Richard Anderson, of 'Six Million Dollar Man' and 'Bionic Woman', Dies at 91". The New York Times.
"Richard Anderson, from Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman, dead at 91". CBC News.