Michael Shanks grew up playing hockey in British Columbia and dreamed of turning pro. But he gave up his icy ambition to concentrate on his education. In college, he initially studied business but switched to theater and later apprenticed at the prestigious Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, where Shanks cut his acting chops on the classics before segueing to TV guest spots in the early 1990s. His big break came in 1997 when he landed the role of Dr. Daniel Jackson on Stargate SG-1. Although Shanks' 10-year stint on the series kept him busy, he still found time to pursue outside projects, including numerous TV-movies (Door to Door, Under the Mistletoe) and guest appearances, notably on another sci-fi series, Andromeda, where he met his future wife, Lexa Doig. Shanks left Stargate SG-1 after its fifth season to pursue other interests, but the fan outcry was so overwhelming he returned as a series regular in Season 7. In 2007, he guest starred on 24 and later notched extended appearances on Burn Notice and Smallville.

Fast Facts

  • Dreamed of playing professional hockey as a teen.
  • Studied business in college but switched to theater after failing a calculus course.
  • Was inspired to pursue an acting career after seeing future Stargate SG-1 costar Richard Dean Anderson shoot a scene from MacGyver on a Vancouver beach.
  • Performed at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival for two seasons.
  • Met his wife, Lexa Doig, while guest-starring in an episode of her sci-fi series, Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda.
  • Played hockey on the Stargate SG-1 team that competed against other productions, such as Smallville, that also shot in British Columbia.


  • Lexa Doig — Wife
  • Mia Tabitha Shanks — Daughter
  • Samuel David Shanks — Son
  • Vaitiare Bandera — Ex-significant Other
  • Tatiana — Daughter


  • University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (BA in Fine Arts, 1994)

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  • Birth Name: Michael Garrett Shanks
  • Birth Place: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Profession: Actor, Writer, Director

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