Bruce Boxleitner, May 2008
|Born||Bruce William Boxleitner
May 12, 1950
Elgin, Illinois, USA
|Spouse(s)||Kathryn Holcomb (1977—1987)
Melissa Gilbert (1995—present)
Bruce William Boxleitner (born May 12, 1950) is an American actor, and science fiction and suspense writer. He is best known for his leading roles in the television series How the West Was Won, Bring 'Em Back Alive, Scarecrow and Mrs. King (with Kate Jackson), and Babylon 5 (as John Sheridan in seasons 2–5, 1994–1998). He is also known for his role as the titular character of the innovative Walt Disney Pictures film Tron, a role which he will reprise in the anticipated 2010 sequel, Tron: Legacy.
Boxleitner was born in Elgin, Illinois, the son of a certified public accountant. He attended Prospect High School in Mount Prospect, Illinois, and the Goodman Theater School of Drama of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois.
Boxleitner is best known for his leading roles in the television series How the West Was Won, Bring 'Em Back Alive, Scarecrow and Mrs. King (with Kate Jackson), and Babylon 5 (as John Sheridan in seasons 2–5, 1994–1998). He also starred in The Gambler TV movie series (as Billy Montana, alongside Kenny Rogers: 1980, 1983 and 1987). In 2005 he co-starred as Captain Martin Duvall in Young Blades. He has also starred in several films within the Babylon 5 universe, including Babylon 5: In the Beginning (TV, 1998), Babylon 5: Thirdspace (TV, 1998), Babylon 5: A Call to Arms (TV, 1999) and the direct-to-DVD Babylon 5: The Lost Tales (2007).
He has made appearances in many other TV shows, such as The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Gunsmoke, Judith Krantz's Till We Meet Again, Tales from the Crypt, Heroes, Touched by an Angel, The Outer Limits and She Spies, and in 1982 he played Chase Marshall in the TV movie, Bare Essence, with Genie Francis. He has also recently joined the cast of Heroes for seasons three and four, playing New York Governor Robert Malden in three episodes. He also appeared on the television series Chuck as the father of Captain Awesome.
He has also appeared in several films, for instance in Tron (in which he played the title role) and The Baltimore Bullet (1980) with James Coburn. He will reprise his role in the Tron sequel Tron Legacy, as he did for a sequel video game named Tron 2.0, and Disney/Square Enix crossover video game Kingdom Hearts II. He also starred as Confederate General James Longstreet in the 2003 film Gods and Generals. He provides the voice of Colin Barrow in the animated sci-fi horror movie Dead Space: Downfall, based on the video game Dead Space. Other films he has been in include Kuffs, The Babe, Brilliant, Snakehead Terror, Legion of the Dead, King of the Lost World, Shadows in Paradise and Transmorphers: Fall of Man. He has also been in the made-for-television films The Secret, Falling in Love with the Girl Next Door, Pandemic, Sharpshooter and Aces 'n Eights.
From 1986-1989, Boxleitner appeared in advertisements for Estee Lauder's "Lauder For Men."
Boxleitner played a major role in the audio dramatization of The Great Secret, part of the Golden Age of Fiction series by L Ron Hubbard.
Boxleitner's first marriage (1977-1987) was to American actress Kathryn Holcomb. They had two sons together, Sam and Lee. Holcomb went on to marry English actor Ian Ogilvy, best known to American audiences as "Lawrence" on Upstairs, Downstairs. In a twist, Ogilvy also guest-starred on Boxleitner's series Babylon 5.
Holcomb, a few years later, set her ex-husband up with actress Melissa Gilbert, who had a very long on-and-off relationship with Rob Lowe and then a failed marriage to Bo Brinkman. Gilbert, who is 14 years younger than Bruce, had actually met him as a teen on Battle of the Network Stars. In December 1982, Gilbert had been on the NBC team and Boxleitner on the CBS team. She had approached him, supposedly having a pin-up of him in her locker, and he'd promptly brushed Gilbert off as she was a teenager and he was already in his 30s.
Many years later, when they were set up on a date, Boxleitner was stunned how she had grown up. The two then had an on-and-off relationship including two broken engagements. He was terrified of another divorce and didn't want any more children. They finally reconciled and he married Gilbert on January 1, 1995 at their home. Their son, Michael Boxleitner (named in honor of Melissa's television father, Michael Landon), was born prematurely in the autumn of 1995. The baby eventually put on weight and his lungs developed and he was able to finally go home with his parents.
Melissa Gilbert also guest-starred as Boxleitner's on-screen wife, Anna Sheridan, on Babylon 5.