An action specialist whose impossibly chiseled jaw makes him the ideal candidate to portray heroes who favor plenty of action over useless small talk, Casper Van Dien first made an impression on viewers with a recurring role on the teen soap Beverly Hills 90210 before taking a turn as James Dean (James Dean: Race with Destiny) and battling giant killer bugs on faraway planets (Starship Troopers).
Raised in Ridgewood, NJ, on a street that was named after his great-great-grandfather, Van Dien enrolled in Admiral Farragut Academy when his family relocated to Florida, eventually graduating third in command. After finishing his education at Florida State University, it was off to Los Angeles to purse success on screens both big and small. While success doesn't always come fast in L.A., Van Dien's photogenic visage gave him something of an edge at auditions, and it wasn't long before the occasional television role blossomed into a full-on feature career. After taking the lead as the heroic Johnny Rico in Starship Troopers and as the Lord of the Jungle himself in Tarzan and the Lost City, Van Dien expanded his resumé to include the role of producer with the release of Richard Elfman's Modern Vampires in 1998. While subsequent years found Van Dien largely relegated to made-for-television features and straight-to-video B-movie fare, occasional roles in such wide releases as Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow showed that there was indeed a sense of humor behind the stone-faced veneer.
Following Van Dien's wedding to second wife Catherine Oxenberg in 1999, the pair worked together on numerous projects in addition to co-founding a production company dedicated entirely to socially responsible, family-friendly entertainment. In 2005, Van Dien and Oxenberg made the production of the PC shooter Starship Troopers something of a family affair by enlisting aid of three of their five children in recording voice-overs for the video game. Subsequent roles in Slayer, The Curse of King Tut's Tomb, and Starship Troopers: Marauder proved without question that Van Dien wasn't looking to hang up his guns anytime in the near future.