American actor Ben Browder rose to fame playing John Crichton on the Sci Fi Channel series “Farscape” (1999-2003), where he won a Saturn Award for his performance. He gained his second Saturn Award for the TV miniseries sequel “Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars” (2004) and enjoyed further attention for his portrayal of Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Cameron Mitchell in the Showtime/Sci Fi series “Stargate SG-1” (2005-2007). A former star player on the Furman football team, Browder got his start in commercials as a child and made his Broadway debut about two decades later in a 1989 production of “The Merchant of Venice,” opposite Dustin Hoffman. He continued to have small roles in films, movies and TV series before eventually landing his star making role on “Farscape.” The good looking actor also had the memorable recurring role of Sam Brody in ten episodes of “Party of Five” (1996-1997).
Dark haired Browder is married to British actress Francesca Buller. He is the father of two. Browder is a fan of science fiction and enjoys surfing. He cites “The West Wing” as his favorite TV show and “Jeremiah Johnson” (1972) as his favorite movie.
Childhood and Family:
Robert Benedic Browder, who would later be popular as Ben Browder, was born on December 11, 1962, in Memphis, Tennessee, but grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina. His parents owned and operated a NASCAR Busch series race car. He has an older brother named Mark.
Ben originally wanted to pursue a career with NASA before eventually turning to acting. He graduated from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, with a degree in psychology and was an excellent linebacker for the Furman University football team. After college, he relocated to London to train at the Central School of Speech and Drama, where he met Francesca Buller (born on January 20, 1964). The couple married in 1989.
Ben and his actress wife, Francesca Buller, have two children together. His son appeared as the generated preview of Crichton's son in a 2000 episode of “Farscape” called “Look at the Princess: Part 1: A Kiss Is But A Kiss.” His daughter appeared in the 2000 episode “Look at the Princess: Part 3: The Maltese Crichton,” as the preview of Crichton's soon-to-be daughter.
Ben Browder had his first taste of performing at age 7 when he appeared in a Wheaties commercial. He made his screen debut nine years later when he played Gates in the 1978 independent drama “Duncan's World,” which was directed and co-scripted by John Clayton and based on a book by Helen Masson Copeland. After studying in London, he got his first major work on a London production of “The Merchant of Venice” (1989), which starred Dustin Hoffman and was directed by Peter Hall. The actor went on to reprise the role on Broadway. His wife, Francesca Buller, also appeared in the production. Also in 1989, he was cast with Irish comedian Graham Norton in “Sexual Perversity in Chicago,” a play written by David Mamet.
Browder made his feature film debut in “Memphis Belle” (1990), a British movie helmed by Michael Caton-Jones and starring Matthew Modine, Eric Stoltz, Tate Donovan, D. B. Sweeney, Billy Zane and Sean Astin. He had a small role as a rookie captain in the film. In 1991, he made his TV movie debut in the NBC drama “Daughters of Privilege,” opposite Dick Van Dyke, Daphne Ashbrook, Kate Vernon and Angela Alvarado. Later that same tear, he portrayed the supporting role of Tommy Roussell in the movie “A Kiss Before Dying,” the second big screen adaptation of Ira Levin's 1954 Edgar Award winning novel of the same name. The film received mixed reviews from critics and did poorly at the box office. It was directed and scripted by James Dearden and starred Matt Dillon, Sean Young and Diane Ladd.
Back to the small screen, Browder was cast as a regular in the CBS short lived drama “The Boys of Twilight” (1992), where he portrayed a clumsy deputy named Tyler Clare. He was then cast as William 'Bill' Warwick in the Peter H. Hunt directed television film “Secrets” (1992), based on the 1985 novel of the same name by Danielle Steel. The drama starred Christopher Plummer as Mel Wexler and Stephanie Beacham as Sabina Quarles. A string of guest appearances followed during 1993 to 1995, including “Grace Under Fire” (as Eric), “Melrose Place” (as an old boyfriend of Allison) and “Murder, She Wrote” (as Ollie Rudman), before he had a small role in the CBS biopic “Big Dreams & Broken Hearts: The Dottie West Story” (1995), which was nominated for Emmys for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Cinematography for a Miniseries or a Special and Outstanding Individual Achievement in Hairstyling for a Miniseries or a Special.
Following a guest spot in “Strangers” and the supporting role of Gary Eastburn in the Gilbert Cates directed television movie “Innocent Victims,” opposite John Corbett (both 1996), Browder gained attention as Sam Brody, a carpenter involved with Julia Salinger, in several episodes of Fox's critically acclaimed teen drama “Party of Five” (1996-1997). He then teamed up with Amy Brenneman, Kirstie Alley, Gabrielle Anwar, Saffron Burrows, Angus Macfadyen, Kathy Najimy, Dee Wallace, James Wilder and Bridgette Wilson in the 1997 drama “Nevada.” Browder next returned to TV films with work in Fox's “Steel Chariots” (1997), where he costarred as a NASCAR driver named D.J. Tucker, ABC's “Bad to the Bone” (1997), opposite Kristy Swanson, Jeremy London and David Chokachi, and the based on novel “The Sky's on Fire” (1998), which reunited him John Corbett. In 1998, he was featured in the thriller “Boogie Boy,” which was written and directed by Craig Hamann and starred Mark Dacascos, Emily Lloyd, Jaimz Woolvett, Frederic Forrest and Joan Jett.
After filming an unsold pilot for UPN, Browder enjoyed a big breakthrough when he landed the starring role of John Crichton, an astronaut from Earth, in the science fiction series “Farscape,” which aired on the Sci Fi Channel. The show ran for 88 episodes from March 19, 1999, to March 21, 2003, and received three consecutive Saturn Awards from 2001 to 2003 for Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series. It was also nominated for a 2002 Emmy for Outstanding Costumes for a Series. For his good acting job, Browder was handed a 2002 Saturn for Best Actor in a Television Series. He also wrote the episodes “Green Eyed Monster” (2001) and “John Quixote” (2002). Other cast members included Claudia Black, Virginia Hey, Anthony Simcoe, Gigi Edgley, Paul Goddard, Lani Tupu, Wayne Pygram and Jonathan Hardy. Talking about “Farscape,” Browder said, “The show faced the very real threat of cancellation halfway through its first season when its production location, Fox Studios Australia, forced them out to make way for another production, 'Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones.' The logistical problems of moving the large and expensive sets to a stateside location would have been too cost-prohibitive. Fortunately, another studio was found nearby that was able to house the production and the series was renewed for a second season.”
Following the cancellation of the show, Browder made a guest appearance in the CBS series “CSI: Miami” (2003), portrayed Lee Majors in the NBC television movie “Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of 'Charlie's Angels'” (2004), opposite Christina Chambers as Jaclyn Smith, Dan Castellaneta as Aaron Spelling, Dan Lauria as Fred Silverman and Tricia Helfer as Farrah Fawcett-Majors, and worked with C. Thomas Howell, Sean Young, Dedee Pfeiffer and Giancarlo Esposito in the thriller movie “A Killer Within” (2004), which was directed by Brad Keller. Browder then reprised his role of John Crichton on the TV miniseries sequel “Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars,” which was broadcasted on the Sci Fi Channel in October 2004. He picked up a 2005 Saturn for Best Actor on Television for his performance.
After doing voiceover work in an episode of the animated TV series “Justice League” called “The Once and Future Thing: Weird Western Tales: Part 1” (2005), Browder returned to television as a regular during the last two seasons of the science fiction series “Stargate SG-1” (2005-2007), where he portrayed Lieutenant Colonel Cameron Mitchell. Browder received a 2006 Saturn nomination for Best Actor on Television for the role and recreated the role in the direct-to-video spin-offs “Stargate: The Ark of Truth” and “Stargate: Continuum” (both 2008).
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films: Saturn Award, Best Actor on Television, “Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars,” 2005
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films: Saturn Award, Best Actor in a Television Series, “Farscape,” 2002