Updated: July 30, 2014
WIL WHEATON PHOTO GALLERY #04
Richard William "Wil" Wheaton III (born July 29, 1972) is an American actor and writer. As an actor, he is best known for his portrayals of Wesley Crusher on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, Gordie Lachance in the film Stand by Me and Joey Trotta in Toy Soldiers. As a writer, he is best known for his blog, Wil Wheaton Dot Net.
Wheaton was born in Burbank, California, to Debbie (née O'Connor), an actress, and Richard William Wheaton, Jr., a medical specialist. He has a brother, Jeremy, and a sister, Amy. Both appeared uncredited in the episode "When the Bough Breaks" of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Star Trek and early career:
Wheaton made his acting debut in the 1981 TV film A Long Way Home, and his first cinema role was as Martin Brisby in the 1982 animated film The Secret of NIMH, the movie adaptation of Robert C. O'Brien's Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. He had a minor role in the 1984 movie The Last Starfighter. He first gained widespread attention in 1986 as Gordie Lachance in Stand by Me, the film adaptation of Stephen King's The Body. In 1991, he played Joey Trotta in the film Toy Soldiers.
From 1987 to 1990, he appeared in the role of Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation throughout its first four seasons.
Although his Star Trek character, and by extension Wheaton himself, was disliked by a vocal group of Trekkies during TNG's first run, he commented about his critics in an interview for WebTalk Radio:
Later, I determined that the people who were really, really cruel – like the Usenet weenies – really are a statistically insignificant number of people. And I know, just over the years from people who've e-mailed me at my web site and people who I've talked to since I started going to Star Trek conventions again in the last five years, that there are so many more people who really enjoyed everything about the show, including my performance, including the character.
After leaving Star Trek, Wheaton moved to Topeka, Kansas, to work for NewTek, where he helped to develop the Video Toaster 4000, doing product testing and quality control. He later used his public profile to serve as a technology evangelist for the product. Wheaton said this was a period of growth in his life, and living out of Los Angeles helped him deal with anger issues. He came back to Los Angeles, attended acting school for five years, then re-entered the acting world.
Wheaton's popularity among Star Trek fandom is covered in a number of web comics. ArcaneTimes of March 25, 2005 offers a sympathetic position. Something Positive presents a range of opinions as part of the storyline Mike's Kid. Abstruse Goose tries to distinguish between the character and the actor.