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Richard William "Wil" Wheaton III (born July 29, 1972) is an American actor and writer. As the former, he is best known for his portrayals of Wesley Crusher on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, Gordie LaChance in the film Stand by Me, prep-school rebel Joseph 'Joey' Trotta in Toy Soldiers, and for his role in The Guild.

BiographyEdit

Personal lifeEdit

Wheaton was born in Burbank, California, to Debbie (née O’Connor), an actress, and Richard William Wheaton, Jr., a medical specialist.[1][2] He has a brother, Jeremy, and a sister, Amy, who both appeared, uncredited, in the "When the Bough Breaks" episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.[3]

He states he is "not a religious person" who is "not quite an atheist, but I'm certainly not a theist, either. Friends describe me as an agnostic Taoist, whatever that means."[4] He attended parochial school and endeavors to "work diligently to live my life according to those principles" (of tolerance, charity, and compassion).[5]

Wheaton married Anne Prince in 1999. He lives with his wife and two stepsons in Arcadia, California.[6]

Star Trek and early careerEdit

Wheaton made his acting debut in the 1981 TV film A Long Way Home, and his first cinema role was as Martin Brisby in the 1982 animated film The Secret of NIMH, the movie adaptation of Robert C. O'Brien's Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. He first gained widespread attention in 1986 as Gordie LaChance in Stand by Me, the film adaptation of Stephen King's The Body. In 1991, he played Joey Trotta in the film Toy Soldiers.

From 1987 to 1990, he appeared in the role of Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation throughout its first four seasons. Like many actors made popular by their work in the Star Trek franchise, much of his career has been limited to Trek-oriented appearances. During his youth, he was a prominently featured guest at Star Trek conventions and very popular in teen magazines.

Although his Star Trek character, and by extension Wheaton himself, was fervently hated by a vocal group of Trekkies during TNG's first run (see Usenet groups alt.ensign.wesley.die.die.die or alt.wesley.crusher.die.die.die), he has explained that he was required to speak the lines written by others and that he too dislikes his Star Trek character. He did, however, enjoy working on the show and praises the other actors, especially Patrick Stewart.[7] He commented about his critics in an interview for WebTalk Radio:

Later, I determined that the people who were really, really cruel – like the Usenet weenies – really are a statistically insignificant number of people. And I know, just over the years from people who've e-mailed me at my web site and people who I've talked to since I started going to Star Trek conventions again in last five years, that there are so many more people who really enjoyed everything about the show, including my performance, including the character.[8]

After leaving Star Trek, Wheaton moved to Topeka, Kansas, to work for NewTek, where he helped to develop the Video Toaster 4000, doing product testing and quality control.[9][10] He later used his public profile to serve as a technology evangelist for the product.[11]

Wheaton's popularity among Star Trek fandom is covered in a number of web comics. ArcaneTimes of March 25, 2005 offers a sympathetic position.[12] Something Positive presents a range of opinions as part of the storyline Mike's Kid.[13] Abstruse Goose tries to humorously distinguish between the character and the actor.[14]

He was a contestant on a 2001 episode of The Weakest Link featuring Star Trek actors as contestants to win money for a charity each had chosen.

PerformingEdit

In the late 1990s, Wheaton appeared in several independent films, including the award-winning The Good Things, in which he portrays a frustrated Kansas tollbooth worker;[15] it was selected Best Short Film at the 2002 Deauville Film Festival. He received the Best Actor award at the 2002 Melbourne Underground Film Festival for his performance in Jane White is Sick and Twisted.

From September 2006 to September 2007, he hosted a Revision3 syndicated video podcast called InDigital along with Jessica Corbin and veteran host Hahn Choi.

Wheaton's more recent acting work includes guest appearances on the November 23, 2007 episode of the TV series Numb3rs, and the October 22, 2008 episode of the series Criminal Minds. He has also appeared in Internet presentations, including a cameo in a comedy sketch ("Lock Out") for LoadingReadyRun [16] (and a reprise of the same the following year in CommodoreHustle 4), and the May 30, 2008 episode of the Internet series Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show.

He has worked as a voice actor, including the role of Aqualad in the cartoon Teen Titans, the voice of radio newsman Richard Burns in the popular Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas video game[17], Yakumo from the anime Kurokami, and Taruho in Naruto: Shippuden the Movie. In 2006, he signed on to voice the role of Kyle in the Nickelodeon cartoon, Kyle + Rosemary. He recorded a voice appearance for the episode of Family Guy titled "Not All Dogs Go to Heaven", which aired on March 29, 2009 and was also the voice for the second Blue Beetle, Ted Kord, on Batman: The Brave and the Bold in the episode "Fall of the Blue Beetle!"

Wheaton performs improvisational and sketch comedy at the ACME Comedy Theater in Hollywood. He has a traveling sketch comedy/improv troupe called "EarnestBorg9" that performs science fiction-related comedy at conventions.

He appeared as himself in a skit on nerdcore rapper MC Frontalot's album Final Boss attempting to be a rapper, whose rhymes only involved shellfish. Wheaton and Frontalot have both appeared at the Penny Arcade Expo.

Wheaton appears on the webcast "The Guild" as a villainous character confronting Codex (portrayed by Felicia Day) and her fellow guild members. Though he has never played World of Warcraft, which is the type of game that The Guild centers on, he was still ecstatic. His role is that of a leader for a new rival guild, known as Axis of Anarchy[18]

He appeared in the fifth episode of the third season of The Big Bang Theory playing himself, as the focus of Sheldon Cooper's ire for not having appeared at a Star Trek convention at which his appearance was scheduled.

Wheaton has done the reading for the audio CD of Peter and Max: A Fables Novel by Bill Willingham, which was released on December 8, 2009. [19]

WritingEdit

Wheaton has emerged as a vocal member of the "geek"/"nerd" community and runs his own weblog, Wil Wheaton Dot Net. Much of his present popularity comes from Wil Wheaton Dot Net, the books it has spawned, and from fans who admire his earlier work.

Between 2001 and fall 2004, he operated a message board, known as "The Soapbox" or "Paracosm", as part of the blog site. Rather than just a fan forum, it was a place where people could gather to talk about various subjects including movies, music, books, religion, politics, gaming, geocaching, and miscellaneous topics; the original emphasis was on topics of interest to Wheaton and not the man himself.[citation needed]

 Two collections of writings taken from postings to the message board have been published, titled Boxer Shorts (ISBN 1-932461-00-0) and 'Boxer Shorts Redux (ISBN 1-932461-03-5).

He contributes regularly to the Los Angeles-based Metroblogging site. In June 2005, he became that month's featured Tech writer for the SuicideGirls Newswire.[20] He had a monthly column, entitled "Wil Save," in the Dungeons & Dragons-based magazine Dungeon; in May 2005, he ceased writing it. From January 2005 to October 2006, he wrote a column for The Onion AV Club about early video games, called "Games of Our Lives." On December 12, 2008, he returned to his role as Geek in Review editor,Template:Clarify with his editorials being published every second Wednesday of the month.

File:Wil Wheaton Meets Tim O'Reilly.jpg

In spring 2003, he founded the independent publishing company Monolith Press and released a memoir entitled Dancing Barefoot. Monolith Press was "founded on the idea that publication should not be limited by opportunity."[21] Most of the entries are extended versions of his blog entries. Dancing Barefoot sold out three printings in four months.

In winter 2003, the book's success caught the eye of publisher Tim O'Reilly, who signed Wheaton to a three-book contract. O'Reilly acquired Dancing Barefoot, and published his extended memoirs, Just a Geek, in summer of 2004. He has since written about his bitterness regarding how the book was marketed, believing it was pitched as a Star Trek book when he intended it as more of a personal memoir.[22]

PoliticsEdit

Wheaton describes himself as a libertarian.[23] In September 2006 he very stringently clarified his anti-Bush beliefs in a blog posting regarding congressional debate over whether to permit torture of unlawful combatants: "Shame on President Bush. Shame on his Republican allies in congress."[24]

A column that he wrote for Salon.com in 2005, The Real War on Christmas, attacked commentators like Bill O'Reilly and detailed his arguments with his conservative parents over current political matters.[25] Wheaton's parents were very offended by the article, and he posted a lengthy apology on his site and an interview in which his parents gave their version of events.[26]

On August 24, 2007, he gave the keynote for the yearly Penny Arcade Expo, which was subsequently made available online. He stepped in following a public battle between the formerly-scheduled keynote debate participants, noted anti-games activist Jack Thompson and Hal Halpin, the president of the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA). Much of Wheaton’s address focused on the debate over violence in video games.

He supported Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential Election[27] and opposed Proposition 8, calling it "nothing but hate and discrimination".[28]

GamesEdit

In 2003, Wheaton began noting his love for the game of poker on his blog. The following year, he began writing more extensively about his poker-playing experiences, including stories about playing Texas hold 'em tournaments locally and in Las Vegas. Eventually, he worked up to regular play, including a notable run at the 2005 World Poker Tour Championships. On June 23, 2005, Wheaton accepted an invitation to join Team PokerStars.[29] He went on to play in that year's World Series of Poker and was the guest speaker for the 2005 B.A.R.G.E Banquet. In June 2007 he announced he would no longer be on Team Pokerstars due to changes in the U.S. legal system that would cause poker sites to have to focus on European and Asian markets[30] and held a farewell Pokerstars tournament on June 5, 2007, which he titled So Long and Thanks for All the Chips.[31]

Wheaton is a longtime Dungeons & Dragons player (from 12-13 years old) and says he was "deeply, deeply sucked into role playing games" and has "always loved RPGs". He was particularly excited to have had the opportunity to play the Dungeons & Dragons Fourth Edition in Seattle for a day with Chris Perkins from Wizards of the Coast, the creators of Penny Arcade, and Scott Kurtz of PvP.[32]

Wheaton's Law, RevisedEdit

During his keynote speech at the 2007 PAX (Penny Arcade Expo), Wheaton made a note about sportsmanship when playing games online. It has since become known as Wheaton's Law, which states: "Don't Be a Dick!".[33] This was intended to apply to life in general, not just online gaming. [34]

Wheaton's Law Revised is an expansion made by Bill Willingham, which states: "Don't be a dick, but it's okay to play one on TV."[35]

FilmographyEdit

MoviesEdit

TelevisionEdit

Internet videoEdit

Incorrectly attributed to Wil WheatonEdit

Wheaton is sometimes confused with Will Wheaton Jr., a jazz musician who contributed to the film Mystery Men, among other works.

Video gamesEdit

BibliographyEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Genealogy
  2. Wil Wheaton Biography (1972-)
  3. When the Bough Breaks (1988) cast list Internet Movie Database Inc.
  4. Wheaton, Wil: Just A Geek, page 85. O'Reilly Media, Inc. August 28, 2009.
  5. Wil Wheaton. "Seriously. What would Jesus do?" WilWheatonDotNet in Exile, November 29, 2006. Retrieved October 22, 2009.
  6. Wil Wheaton. "Seeking Sanctuary" WilWheatonDotNet in Exile, May 15, 2006. Retrieved September 23, 2007.
  7. Wil Wheaton blog at TV Squad
  8. WebTalk Radio
  9. Tasha Robinson. AV Club: Inventory: 13 Memorably Unpopular Characters From Popular TV, AVClub.com, June 7, 2006.
  10. Conversations with GoD: Wil Wheaton, Geeks of Doom, Retrieved May 2, 2009.
  11. Flying Toasters, Wired.
  12. http://www.arcanetimes.com/comic/index.php?strip_id=60
  13. http://www.somethingpositive.net/sp09282006.shtml September 28, 2006 - http://www.somethingpositive.net/sp09302006.shtml September 30, 2006
  14. http://abstrusegoose.com/21
  15. The Good Things (2001) Internet Movie Database Inc.
  16. http://loadingreadyrun.com/videos/view/240/Lock+Out Loadingreadyrun.com
  17. Full cast and crew for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004) (VG) Internet Movie Database Inc.
  18. http://www.bing.com/videos/browse/source/xbox-channel-the-guild?q=browse:source/xbox-channel-the-guild#The Guild videos
  19. Peter and Max: A Fables Novel Brilliance Audiobooks
  20. http://suicidegirls.com/news/culture/9036/ SuicideGirls.com, June 3, 2005. Retrieved October 23, 2009.
  21. About Monolith Press
  22. Wil Wheaton. "Punch a hole in the sky," WilWheatonDotNet in Exile, February 3, 2006. Retrieved March 3, 2009.
  23. James W. Harris. "'Star Trek' star is now a libertarian freedom-fighter,", Liberator Online, Volume 7, Number 1, January 8, 2002; cites Salon.com, December 12, 2001. Retrieved July 29, 2007.
  24. Wil Wheaton. "A statement of conscience," WilWheatonDotNet in Exile, September 28, 2006. Retrieved July 29, 2007.
  25. Wil Wheaton. "The real war on Christmas," Salon, December 22, 2005. Retrieved July 29, 2007.
  26. Wil Wheaton. "Nothing is more important than family," WilWheatonDotNet in Exile, December 29, 2005. Retrieved July 29, 2007.
  27. Wil Wheaton "One last time,"
  28. Wil Wheaton. "Californians: Vote NO on Prop 8,"
  29. Wil Wheaton Joins Team Pokerstars, PokerStarsBlog.com, June 2005.
  30. Wil Wheaton. "So long, and thanks for all the chips," WilWheatonDotNet in Exile, June 1, 2007. Retrieved July 29, 2007.
  31. Wil Wheaton. "Reminder: Final WWdN poker tourney is tonight," WilWheatonDotNet in Exile, June 5, 2007. Retrieved July 29, 2007.
  32. Pascale, Anthony (January 21, 2009). "Wil Wheaton Talks Geeking Out At Phoenix Comic Con w/TNG Co-stars + more". TrekMovie.com. http://trekmovie.com/2009/01/21/exclusive-interview-wil-wheaton-talks-geeking-out-at-phoenix-comic-con-w-tng-co-stars-more/. Retrieved 11-25-2009. 
  33. "2007 PAX FTW"
  34. "Twitter Explanation"
  35. http://twitter.com/BillWillingham/status/5966635766 "Original Twitter Update by Bill Willingham"
  36. Wil Wheaton "in which a fairly major secret is made secret no more"

External linksEdit

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