Richard William "Wil" Wheaton III (born July 29, 1972) is an American actor and writer. As an actor, he is best known for his portrayals of Wesley Crusher on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and Gordie LaChance in the film Stand by Me. As a writer, he is best known as a voice for the geek community and for his weblog, Wil Wheaton Dot Net.
Wheaton was born in Burbank, California, to Debbie (née O’Connor), an actress, and Richard William Wheaton, Jr., a medical specialist. He has a brother, Jeremy, and a sister, Amy. Both appeared uncredited in the episode "When the Bough Breaks" of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Star Trek and early career
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 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 the last five years, that there are so many more people who really enjoyed everything about the show, including my performance, including the character.
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. He later used his public profile to serve as a technology evangelist for the product.
Wheaton's popularity among Star Trek fandom is covered in a number of web comics. ArcaneTimes of March 25, 2005 offers a sympathetic position. Something Positive presents a range of opinions as part of the storyline Mike's Kid. Abstruse Goose tries to distinguish between the character and the actor.
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.
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; 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.
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 (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 extensively 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, Yakumo from the anime Kurokami, and Menma in Naruto. 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 has performed 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. He collaborated with Frontalot on the track "Your Friend Wil", from his newest album, Zero Day. Wheaton and Frontalot have both appeared at the Penny Arcade Expo.
He appeared in The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary (2009), the fifth episode of the third season of the situation comedy The Big Bang Theory, playing a fictional version of himself, as the focus of Sheldon Cooper's (Jim Parsons) ire for not having attended a Star Trek convention at which his appearance was scheduled. He appeared on the show, again playing himself, in the episode "The Wheaton Recurrence", which involves a bout at a bowling alley.
Wil was a featured performer at the three w00tstock v1.x shows in 2009, and at five w00tstock v2.x shows in 2010.
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. 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. 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,Script error with his editorials being published every second Wednesday of the month.
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." 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.
In February 2009, Wheaton released Sunken Treasure: Wil Wheaton's Hot Cocoa Box Sampler. As a 'chap book', it contains several small extracts of various different projects, including two short stories from Ficlets, an ACME comedy sketch, and a Criminal Minds production diary. Instead of using traditional publishing, Wheaton decided to self-publish using Lulu Publishing (allowing books to be available as both paperbacks, and digital downloadable files), something he has continued to do with all his publications since.
Later that same year, Wheaton released Memories of the Future: Volume 1. A humorous critique of the first thirteen episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, this book features a review of each episode, as well as an account Wheaton's own experience and memories.
Wheaton has also recorded several of his published books as downloadable audiobooks. These include Just a Geek, The Happiest Days of Our Lives, and his Criminal minds diary from Sunken Treasure. He also released excerpts of Memories of The Future: Vol 1 as free podcasts.
Wheaton described himself as a liberal in 2005. In September 2006 he 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."
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. 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 clarified their political views.
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 also gave the keynote at PAX East 2010 in Boston, MA.
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. 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 and held a farewell Pokerstars tournament on June 5, 2007, which he titled So Long and Thanks for All the Chips.
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!". This was intended to apply to life in general, not just online gaming.
- Meat Puppet (1980)
- A Long Way Home (1981)
- The Shooting (1982)
- Highway to Heaven (1985)
- St. Elsewhere (1986)
- The Defiant Ones (1986)
- Long Time Gone (1986)
- Family Ties (1987)
- Young Harry Houdini (1987) (ABC)
- The Man Who Fell to Earth (1987)
- Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987)
- My Dad Can't Be Crazy... Can He? (1989)
- Family Double Dare (1990)
- Monsters (1990)
- The Arsenio Hall Show (1991)
- The Last Prostitute (1991)
- Star Trek 25th Anniversary Special (1991)
- Tales from the Crypt (1993)
- It Was Him or Us (1995)
- Mr. Stitch (1995)
- The Outer Limits: "The Light Brigade" (1996)
- The Love Boat: The Next Wave (1998)
- Diagnosis: Murder (1998)
- The Day Lincoln Was Shot (1998)
- The Flintstones: On the Rocks (2001)
- The Invisible Man: Perchance to Dream (2001)
- Twice in a Lifetime Episode 22 "The Choice" (2001)
- Weakest Link (2001) (Star Trek-themed edition)
- Beat the Geeks (2002)
- A&E Biography: "Eclipsed by Death - The Life of River Phoenix" (2002 - narrator)
- Walking the Tracks: The Summer of "Stand by Me" (2002) (Stand by Me documentary)
- Arena (2002) (also as writer)
- Favorite Stars: Then & Now (2003)
- Book of Days (2003)
- The Screen Savers (2003, 2002)
- Call for Help (2004)
- Teen Titans (2004–2005) (voice of Aqualad)
- Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! (2005) (voice)
- CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2005)
- I Love the '80s 3-D (2005)
- I Love Toys (2006)
- Legion of Super Heroes (2006) (voice of Cosmic Boy)
- Ben 10 (2007) (voice)
- Ben 10: Alien Force (voice of Mike Morningstar/Darkstar)
- Numb3rs: "Graphic" (2007) (as Miles Sklar, 1 episode)
- What I Learned From the Movies (2007)
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2008) (as Blue Beetle/Ted Kord)
- I Love the New Millennium (2008)
- Criminal Minds (2008) (Episode "Paradise" as Floyd Hansen/Wayne Dryden)
- Kyle + Rosemary (2008) (voice)
- Family Guy (2009) (voice)
- Naruto (2009) (voice of Menma)
- Kurokami: The Animation (2009) (voice of Yakumo)
- Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy (2009) (voice)
- Slayers Evolution-R (2010) (voice of Hans)
- Naruto Shippuden: The Movie (2010) (voice of Taruho and Shizuku)
- Leverage (2009) (Episode "The Two Live Crew Job" as hacker Chaos)
- The Big Bang Theory (2009 & 2010) (Season 3: "The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary" and "The Wheaton Recurrence" as himself)
- Eureka (2010) (Season 4) (as Dr. Parrish)
- The Secret of NIMH (1982) (voice)
- Hambone and Hillie (1983)
- The Last Starfighter (1984) (scenes deleted from film but included as DVD extra)
- The Buddy System (1984)
- Stand by Me (1986)
- The Curse (1987)
- She's Having a Baby (1988) (uncredited cameo)
- Toy Soldiers (1991)
- December (1991)
- The Liars' Club (1993)
- Pie in the Sky (1996)
- Boys' Night Out (1996)
- Mr Stitch (1996)
- Trekkies (1997)
- Flubber (1997)
- Tales of Glamour and Excess (1997)
- Fag Hag (1998)
- Foreign Correspondents (1999)
- The Girls' Room (2000)
- Deep Core (2000)
- Python (2000)
- Speechless... (2001)
- The Good Things (2001)
- Jane White is Sick and Twisted (2002)
- Fish Don't Blink (2002)
- Star Trek Nemesis (2002) (briefly; extended scene deleted but appears as DVD extra in some regions)
- Book of Days (2003)
- Four Fingers of the Dragon (2003)
- Neverland (2003)
- Americanizing Shelley (2007)
- Star Trek (2009) (voices various Romulans)
- The Guild (2009) (Season 3: Fawkes, Axis of Anarchy leader)
- The Guild (2010) (Season 4: Fawkes, Axis of Anarchy leader)
- Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge (2003) (voice)
- EverQuest II (2004) (voice)
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004) (voice)
- Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2 (2004) (voice)
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Lockdown (2005) (voice)
- Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter (2005) (voice)
- Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 (2006) (voice)
- Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (2005) (voice)
- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (2006) (voice)
- Grand Theft Auto IV (2008) (voice)
- Red Dead Redemption (2010) (voice)
- Dancing Barefoot (ISBN 0-596-00674-8) (2003)
- Just a Geek (ISBN 0-596-00768-X) (2004)
- Stories of Strength (ISBN 1-4116-5503-6) (2005; contributor)
- The Happiest Days of Our Lives (ISBN 0-9741160-2-5) (2007)
- Sunken Treasure (2009)
- Memories of the Future Vol. 1 (2009)
- ↑ Genealogy
- ↑ Wil Wheaton Biography (1972-)
- ↑ When the Bough Breaks (1988) cast list Internet Movie Database Inc.
- ↑ Wil Wheaton. "Seeking Sanctuary" WilWheatonDotNet in Exile, May 15, 2006. Retrieved September 23, 2007.
- ↑ WebTalk Radio
- ↑ Nathan Rabin. Wil Wheaton interview, The A.V. Club, November 20, 2002.
- ↑ Conversations with GoD: Wil Wheaton, Geeks of Doom, Retrieved May 2, 2009.
- ↑ Flying Toasters, Wired.
- ↑ ARCAME TIMES
- ↑ http://www.somethingpositive.net/sp09282006.shtml September 28, 2006 - http://www.somethingpositive.net/sp09302006.shtml September 30, 2006
- ↑ http://abstrusegoose.com/21
- ↑ The Good Things (2001) Internet Movie Database Inc.
- ↑ http://loadingreadyrun.com/videos/view/240/Lock+Out Loadingreadyrun.com
- ↑ Full cast and crew for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004) (VG) Internet Movie Database Inc.
- ↑ http://www.bing.com/videos/browse/source/xbox-channel-the-guild?q=browse:source/xbox-channel-the-guild#The Guild videos
- ↑ Wil Wheaton Returns to The Big Bang Theory
- ↑ Wil Wheaton Returns to The Big Bang Theory Wil Wheaton Will Return to 'Big Bang Theory'
- ↑ Peter and Max: A Fables Novel Brilliance Audiobooks
- ↑ "Wil Wheaton to Guest-Star on Eureka". TVGuide.com. Text "http://www.tvguide.com/News/Wil-Wheaton-Guest-1016950.aspx" ignored (help);
- ↑ http://suicidegirls.com/news/culture/9036/ SuicideGirls.com, June 3, 2005. Retrieved October 23, 2009.
- ↑ About Monolith Press
- ↑ Wil Wheaton. "Punch a hole in the sky," WilWheatonDotNet in Exile, February 3, 2006. Retrieved March 3, 2009.
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 Wil Wheaton. "The real war on Christmas," Salon, December 22, 2005. Retrieved July 29, 2007.
- ↑ Wil Wheaton. "A statement of conscience," WilWheatonDotNet in Exile, September 28, 2006. Retrieved July 29, 2007.
- ↑ Wil Wheaton. "Nothing is more important than family," WilWheatonDotNet in Exile, December 29, 2005. Retrieved July 29, 2007.
- ↑ http://www.pennyarcadeexpo.com/PAX07_Keynote.mp3
- ↑ Wil Wheaton "One last time,"
- ↑ Wil Wheaton. "Californians: Vote NO on Prop 8,"
- ↑ Wil Wheaton Joins Team Pokerstars, PokerStarsBlog.com, June 2005.
- ↑ Wil Wheaton. "So long, and thanks for all the chips," WilWheatonDotNet in Exile, June 1, 2007. Retrieved July 29, 2007.
- ↑ Wil Wheaton. "Reminder: Final WWdN poker tourney is tonight," WilWheatonDotNet in Exile, June 5, 2007. Retrieved July 29, 2007.
- ↑ Pascale, Anthony (January 21, 2009). "Wil Wheaton Talks Geeking Out At Phoenix Comic Con w/TNG Co-stars + more". TrekMovie.com. Retrieved 2009-11-25.
- ↑ "2007 PAX FTW".
- ↑ "Twitter Explanation".
- ↑ "Original Twitter Update by Bill Willingham".
- ↑ Wil Wheaton "in which a fairly major secret is made secret no more"
|40x40px||Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wil Wheaton.|
- Wil's Typepad weblog - aka WWdN: In Exile
- Wil's Twitter weblog - One-line posts about his everyday life
- Wil's Reddit weblog - Posts about various topics he chooses to join discussions in.
- Wil's website - Wil Wheaton Dot Net - currently under reconstruction.
- Wil Wheaton's Boardgame Geek Profile - Complete with lists of games owned, play stats and game session reports.
- Wil Wheaton at the Internet Movie Database
- REDIRECT Template:AllRovi person