Casper Van Dien
Real name: Casper Robert Van Dien
Birthdate: December 18, 1968
Partner: Catherine Oxenberg
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Casper Robert Van Dien, Jr. (born December 18, 1968, in or Ridgefield, New Jersey) is an American actor, best known for his role as Johnny Rico in Starship Troopers and most recently as bodyguard Andre in My Network TV's Watch Over Me.
Casper grew up in Ridgewood, New Jersey. His mother is a retired nursery school teacher, and his father a retired U.S. Navy pilot. There is a long military tradition in Van Dien's family. Besides his father, his grandfather was a marine during World War II. Van Dien is a descendant of an old Dutch family long settled in the New York area; his other heritage includes Swedish, French, English and Native American. When he was older, his family returned to Florida, where he enrolled at the St. Petersburg branch of the Admiral Farragut Military Academy, graduating 3rd in command.
Next, he went to Florida State University in Tallahassee, enrolling in pre-med. Looking for college electives, he began taking theater classes. Soon acting began to overshadow medicine, and he dropped out of FSU to pursue a career in the field.
Moving to L.A., he landed a number of small parts in various television series and movies. Two early breaks were recurring roles on One Life To Live and Beverly Hills 90210. This was followed by parts in several straight-to-video releases, including Night Eyes 4, Beastmaster III: The Eye of Braxus, Night Scream and, ironically, Casper: A Spirited Beginning.Casper Van Dien as Johnny Rico in Starship Troopers.
He achieved more notice as the lead in the biopic James Dean Race with Destiny. Soon after, he got the breakthrough role of Johnny Rico in Paul Verhoeven's science fiction action film Starship Troopers. This directly led to his being cast as the "Lord of the Jungle" in Tarzan and the Lost City Soon following was the role of Brom von Brunt in Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, a reworking of the classic Washington Irving tale.
Returning to his television roots, in 2000 he appeared in the Aaron Spelling's short-lived NBC series Titans with Yasmine Bleeth, John Barrowman, Perry King and Victoria Principal.
In 2005, he produced and appeared in the reality series I Married a Princess, about his professional and personal life with Catherine Oxenberg, whose mother is Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia.
In 2006 through 2007, Van Dien was cast in the My Network TV telenovela Watch Over Me as Andre, bodyguard to bio-terrorist Michael Krieger (played by Marc Menard). His wife Oxenberg also co-starred in the series as Leandra Thames.
He was married to Carrie Mitchum (the granddaughter of Robert Mitchum) from 1993 to 1997. They had two children: Cappy (Casper Robert Mitchum Van Dien) and Gracie (Caroline Dorothy Grace Van Dien). The only time the couple worked together was near the end of their marriage, in James Dean: Race with Destiny, which also starred Robert Mitchum.
During the filming of The Collectors, he met Catherine Oxenberg. They worked together again in the Christian thriller The Omega Code. The two married in May of 1999. Oxenberg had a daughter, India, from a previous marriage. Van Dien and Oxenberg now have two daughters of their own, Maya and Celeste.
In 2006, Van Dien was a guest on Larry King Live, where he admitted that he was sexually abused by a female babysitter at the age of eight. The abuse was a secret he kept until he was 32.