Where are they now?
Catch-up with sci-fi stars from ''Aliens,'' ''V,'' and ''Weird Science''
RICHARD ANDERSON The Six Million Dollar Man
It’s been two decades since the networks pulled the plug on the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman. But their boss/father figure, hard-nosed Oscar Goldman — a.k.a. actor Richard Anderson — has done his best to keep Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers up and running. After a season on Dynasty and assorted telepics, Anderson helped rebuild the bionic franchise and appeared in three TV movies: 1987’s Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman, 1989’s Bionic Showdown, and 1994’s Bionic Ever After. Today, the 72-year-old Anderson is helping to develop a better, stronger, faster (and more expensive) bionic feature, The Six Billion Dollar Man, currently in development at Universal. ”By organizing all these things, I guess I’m still playing Oscar Goldman,” says the actor, who boasts his own website, http://www.bionik.com. While Anderson has more than 40 film roles to his credit (including the 1956 sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet), fans know him first and foremost as the bigwig of bionics. ”Gary Cooper said it’s okay to be typecast if you’re typecast in the right role,” says Anderson. ”I’ve found this character to be quite an interesting one. He’s been very good to me.”
JANE BADLER V
She’s probably the only woman ever to eat a guinea pig on television. As Diana, the sultry, evil leader of the lizard aliens in the 1983 TV miniseries phenomenon V, Jane Badler found herself catapulted to sci-fi sexpot status overnight. ”I was young, and it was crazy to experience that kind of fame,” says the fortysomething Badler, who wore fishnets and high heels to vamp it up during her audition. ”I was on talk shows and the covers of magazines. It was a buzz knowing 200 people would be waiting for you when you got out of an elevator.” After a stint on the short-lived weekly series version of V, Badler took off for Queensland, Australia, to shoot the ’88 revival of the Mission: Impossible series. Following that, the actress moved down under permanently, and now lives in Melbourne. She’s since done one feature film, 1995’s Under the Gun, but for the most part keeps focused on her sons, Sam, 5, and Harry, 7, and her husband, businessman Steven Haines. Still, Diana the Lizard Queen occasionally rears her scaly head. ”The other day my son said to me, ‘How come people are still into Diana?’ I said, ‘People are still into science fiction, I guess.’ He said, ‘No, Mum. Diana from London — not you.”’
CARY GUFFEY Close Encounters of the Third Kind
It’s an indelible image: A child stands in a doorway, framed by the otherworldly light of a spaceship. Indelible, that is, to everyone but the star. ”I only remember flashes,” says Cary Guffey, who was 3 when he played Barry Guiler, the cherubic alien abductee in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. ”I remember Spielberg was fun to work with. I was like his buddy.” Cast in CE3K after being spotted at a casting director’s niece’s preschool, Guffey followed his close encounter with fame with a modest career as a child actor (the 1985 NBC miniseries North and South), before retiring at 14. Now 26, Guffey and journalist wife Michelle live in Gadsden, Ala., where he works for a customized-check company. Guffey says he rarely thinks about his time in the alien limelight — except on special occasions: ”They flew me to California for the 20th anniversary [last year]. Spielberg was sitting at a table, and I walked up and said, ‘I’m Cary Guffey. How ya doin’?’ He just about fell out of his chair.”