Tim Matheson

Tim Matheson

American actor Tim Matheson used his natural charm to help craft an acting career that spanned decades. Born in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale, he began his professional acting career in his early teens. He was soon making regular appearances on television, including on the hit sitcoms "Leave It to Beaver" (CBS/ABC, 1957-63) and "My Three Sons" (ABC/CBS, 1960-72). He also worked as a voice actor, providing the original voice of the namesake character in "Johnny Quest" (ABC, 1964-65). He began finding traction as well on the big screen with supporting roles in "Divorce, American Style" (1967) and "Yours, Mine and Ours" (1968). Back on television, he had recurring roles on the Westerns "The Virginian" (NBC, 1962-71) and "Bonanza" (NBC, 1959-73). He worked steadily throughout the 1970s, including starring in the short-lived series "The Quest" (1976) with fellow former child star Kurt Russell. What would become his signature role, though, would officially graduate the actor to adult roles. Director John Landis cast Matheson alongside John Belushi, Tom Hulce, and Karen Allen in the raunchy college comedy "National Lampoon's Animal House" (1978). His smooth-talking fraternity president, Eric "Otter" Stratton, would prove to be an indelible image that would follow the actor for the rest of his career. He teamed again with Belushi for the Steven Spielberg comedy "1941" (1979). He also starred with Tim Conway and Don Knotts in the Disney movie "The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again" (1979). Throughout the 1980s, Matheson would work at a steady clip. He starred in "A Little Sex" (1982) with Kate Capshaw and with Chevy Chase in "Fletch" (1985). He also began appearing regularly in television movies, a career move that would provide a steady stream of acting work for decades. Matheson would star in dozens of TV films over his career, including "Buried Alive" (1990) and "Sleeping with the Devil" (1997). He joined Aaron Sorkin's "The West Wing" (NBC, 1999-2006) in the recurring role of Vice President John Hoynes. The actor attempted to find lasting series success repeatedly, starring in a series of short-lived projects like "Charlie Hoover" (Fox, 1991) and "Breaking News" (Bravo, 2002). He would find some level of stability with a supporting role in "Harts of Dixie" (The CW, 2011-15) with Rachel Bilson. The actor worked periodically in features with roles in "A Very Brady Sequel" (1997), "The Story of Us" (1999), and "No Strings Attached" (2011). He also played upon his earlier "Animal House" success by playing the father of Ryan Reynolds's party animal in "National Lampoon's Van Wilder" (2002). He remained a regular presence on television, making guest appearances on numerous shows such as "Madam Secretary" (CBS, 2014-), "The Good Fight" (CBS All Access, 2017-), and "This is Us" (NBC, 2016-). On the big screen, the actor starred in the updating of the horror classic "Child's Play" (2019). Matheson starred with Alexandra Breckenridge and Annette O'Toole in "Virgin River" (Netflix, 2019-), based on the romance novels by Robyn Carr.