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Casper Van Dien

Van Dien at the 2007 Scream Awards
Born Casper Robert Van Dien, Jr.
December 18, 1968 (1968-12-18) (age 41)
Ridgefield, New Jersey, U.S.
Years active 1990–present
Spouse(s) Catherine Oxenberg (1999-present) 2 children
Carrie Mitchum (1993-1997) (divorced) 2 children
Official website

Casper Robert Van Dien, Jr. (born December 18, 1968) is an American actor, best known for his role as Johnny Rico in Starship Troopers.



Early life

Van Dien grew up in Ridgewood, New Jersey, the son of Diane (née Morrow), a retired nursery school teacher, and Casper Robert Van Dien, Sr., a retired U.S. Navy Commander and fighter pilot.[1] The name Casper is a family tradition, given to the eldest son of his family for more than 11 generations.[citation needed] There is a long military tradition in Van Dien's family. Aside from his father, his grandfather was a Marine during World War II. Van Dien is a descendant of an old Dutch family long settled in the New York area; his other heritage includes Swedish, French, English and Native American.[2]

The street on which Van Dien grew up in New Jersey, Van Dien Avenue, was named after his great great grandfather. In high school, Van Dien was often referred to as "Ken doll" due to his good looks, and got into many fights for that reason.[3] Coincidentally, he was later described as a "perfect life-sized Ken doll."[4] When Van Dien was older, his family moved to Florida, where he enrolled at the St. Petersburg campus of the Admiral Farragut Academy,[3] graduating 3rd in command. Next, he went to Florida State University in Tallahassee but never graduated.


Moving to Los Angeles, Van Dien landed a number of small parts in various television series and movies. Two early breaks were recurring roles on the daytime soap opera One Life to Live and the prime time drama Beverly Hills, 90210.

Van Dien as Johnny Rico in Starship Troopers

Van Dien starred in the 1997 James Dean biopic James Dean: Race with Destiny. Soon after, he got the breakthrough role of Johnny Rico in Paul Verhoeven's 1997 science fiction action film Starship Troopers. This directly led to his being cast as Tarzan in Tarzan and the Lost City (1998).[5] Van Dien next played Brom von Brunt in Tim Burton's 1999 film Sleepy Hollow, a reworking of the classic Washington Irving tale.

In 2000 Van Dien appeared in Cutaway as well as Aaron Spelling's short-lived NBC prime time soap Titans with Yasmine Bleeth, John Barrowman, Perry King and Victoria Principal. He filmed several scenes as Patrick Bateman in 2002's The Rules of Attraction, the character that Christian Bale had played in 2000's American Psycho. However, the scenes wound up on the cutting room floor.

Van Dien reprised the role of Johnny Rico in Starship Troopers 3: Marauder in 2008.

Personal life

Van Dien was married to Carrie Mitchum (the granddaughter of Robert Mitchum) from 1993 to 1997. They have two children, Casper "Cappy" Robert Mitchum Van Dien and Caroline Dorothy Grace "Gracie" Van Dien, of whom Van Dien holds full custody. Van Dien had co-starred with Robert Mitchum in James Dean: Race with Destiny.

Van Dien met actress Catherine Oxenberg during the filming of the 1999 TV movie The Collectors, and they soon worked together again in the 1999 thriller The Omega Code. On May 8, 1999 they married in Las Vegas, Nevada. In 2005 the couple appeared in their own reality series, I Married a Princess, which aired on the Lifetime Television channel in the United States, LIVINGtv in the United Kingdom and Lifestyle You in Australia; Oxenberg's mother is Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia. During the 2006-2007 TV season, Van Dien and Oxenberg co-starred in the American drama series Watch Over Me on MyNetworkTV.

Van Dien and Oxenberg have two children, Maya (born September 20, 2001) and Celeste Alma (born October 3, 2003). Oxenberg and Van Dien are celebrity ambassadors for the non-profit organization Childhelp.[6]


  • Menu for Murder (1990) ... Life Guard
  • The Webbers (1993) ... Guy Miranda brings home
  • Kill Shot (1995) ... Randy
  • Lethal Orbit (1996) ... Tom Corbett
  • Love Notes (1996) ... Adam
  • Night Eyes 4 (1996) ... Roy
  • Beastmaster III: The Eye of Braxus (1996) ... King Tal
  • The Colony (1996) ... unknown role
  • Night Scream (1997) ... Teddie/Ray Ordwell Jr.
  • Casper: A Spirited Beginning (1997) ... Bystander
  • James Dean: Race with Destiny (1997) ... James Dean
  • Starship Troopers (1997) ... Johnny Rico
  • Tarzan and the Lost City (1998) ... Tarzan/John Clayton
  • Casper Meets Wendy (1998) ... Crewcut Man
  • Modern Vampires (1998) ... Dallas
  • On the Border (1998) ... Jake Barnes
  • Shark Attack (1999) ... Steven McKray
  • The Collectors (1999) ... A.K.
  • The Omega Code (1999) ... Gillen Lane
  • Thrill Seekers (1999) ... Tom Merrick
  • Sleepy Hollow (1999) ... Brom Van Brunt
  • Sanctimony (2000) ... Tom Merrick
  • The Tracker (2000) ... Connor Spears
  • Partners (2000) ... Drifter
  • Python (2000) ... Bart Parker
  • Cutaway (2000) ... Delmira
  • A Friday Night Date aka Road Rage (2000) ... Jim Travis
  • Windfall (2001) ... Ace Logan
  • Chasing Destiny (2001) ... Bobby Moritz
  • Under Heavy Fire (2001) ... Capt. Ramsey
  • Danger Beneath the Sea (2001) ... Commander Miles Sheffield
  • The Vector File (2002) ... Gerry
  • Big Spender (2003) ... Eddie Burton
  • Premonition aka The Psychic (USA title) (2004) ... Jack Barnes
  • Maiden Voyage (2004) ... Kyle Considine
  • Skeleton Man (2004) ... Staff Sgt. Oberron
  • What the #$*! Do We (K)now!? (2004) (uncredited) ... Romantic Moritz
  • Dracula 3000 (2004) ... Capt. Abraham Van Helsing
  • The Fallen Ones (2005) ... Matt Fletcher
  • Personal Effects (2005) ... Chris Locke
  • Officer Down (2005) ... Officer Philip Gammon
  • The Curse of King Tut's Tomb (2006) ... Danny Freemont
  • Meltdown: Days of Destruction (2006) ... Officer Tom Brackett
  • Slayer (2006) ... Hawk
  • Aces 'N' Eights (2008) ... Luke Rivers
  • Starship Troopers 3: Marauder (2008) ... Johnny Rico
  • Mask of the Ninja (2008) ... Jack Barrett
  • One Hot Summer (2009) ... Luther Simmonds

TV work


External links

Honorary titles
Preceded by
Wolf Larson
Actors to portray Tarzan
Succeeded by
Alex D. Linz / Tony Goldwyn

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