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Showbiz has lost some greats in the last couple of years, and beloved performers from the big screen, the small screen, and even stage have passed away. Now, another celebrity has passed. Richard Anderson of The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman has died at the age of 91. We can be sure that he'll be missed by all who knew and loved him.
Richard Anderson passed away on August 31 at his home in Beverly Hills, California. The sad news was confirmed by publicist Jonathan Taylor. Anderson is survived by his daughters Ashley, Brooke, and Deva. He's undoubtedly best known for his role as Oscar Goldman, first on The Six Million Dollar Man and then on spinoff The Bionic Woman, both in the 1970s.
As Oscar Goldman, Richard Anderson was the head of the fictional Office of Scientific Intelligence that was responsible for rebuilding astronaut Steve Austin after a terrible accident that should have killed him. Instead, the OSI invested a great deal of money and technology into fixing him back up into a bionic secret agent. In fact, Richard Anderson's voice is the one saying the famous line of "We can rebuild him" in the The Six Million Dollar Man opening credits.
The Six Million Dollar Man was enough of a hit on ABC that a spinoff was commissioned. The Bionic Woman would follow a woman by the name of Jaime Sommers, who also suffered a terrible accident and had to be rebuilt with bionic technology. Interestingly, The Bionic Woman moved from ABC to NBC for its third and final season, making Richard Anderson the first actor who portrayed one character on two TV shows running at the same time on two different networks.
Both The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman came to their ends in 1978, but THR reports that Richard Anderson helped to convince Universal TV to produce a few TV movies in subsequent years. Three TV movies aired between 1978 and 1994. He was even reportedly instrumental in the casting of Sandra Bullock in the 1989 TV movie Bionic Showdown. Bullock was pretty much unknown at the time, and it was a big job for her. She may not have become the movie star she is today without the support of Richard Anderson as executive producer on Bionic Showdown.
Richard Anderson had some important roles on the big screen as well, especially the World War I drama Paths of Glory in 1957 and 1958's The Long, Hot Summer with the likes of Paul Newman and Orson Welles. He had a long career, with jobs ranging from comedies to dramas over the years. The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman might not have become the iconic series they are today if he hadn't been on board as Oscar Goldman. Our thoughts here at CinemaBlend are with the friends and family of Richard Anderson.