How We Were First Introduced: He saw dead people (or went in search of them, anyway) long before Haley Joel Osment came on the scene. Indeed, Wil was a working successfully as a child actor for several years prior to his big break, but it was his role as Gordie in Rob Reiner’s 1986 film Stand By Me which captured the attention and hearts of film-goers everywhere.
Best Known For: Playing Wesley Crusher on Star Trek – The Next Generation
Favorite Episode: As Wil details on his website, his favorite ST:NG episode to work on was “The First Duty,” on account of the “hella hella hella” fun he had working with co-stars his own age.
Personal Life: Married, with children.
On the Perils of Becoming a Sci Fi Icon During One’s Formative Teenage Years: In an interview at TheForce.net, Wheaton addressed his early fears about peaking as a sci fi icon at age 14. “There are people who have been a part of Star Trek and have gone on to do great work and have been able to have Trek as a line on their resume and not the entirety of it,” Wheaton says. “It never occurred to me that it could be that way for me. When a character is really typecast and really pigeonholed because of Star Trek, it’s a reflection on their choices as an actor, not a reflection on Star Trek. It’s really easy, when you’re a part of a cultural phenomenon, to just sit back and be lazy and not work anymore, to just be ‘that guy’ forever and ever. I didn’t want that to happen.”
On the Perils of Becoming a WIDELY DISLIKED Sci Fi Icon During One’s Teenage Years: “Imagine being a teenager, trying to handle all the things a teenager has to deal with. Now multiply that times being on a HUGE TV show, and all these people hate you. It was tough.”
What He’s Doing Now: On the one end of the ‘former child actor’ spectrum, there are those who turn in their headshots for mugshots. This guy’s hanging out on the opposite end of that spectrum, takin’ care of business. Wheaton is a successful author, prolific and talented blogger and is arguably one of Twitter’s most entertaining presences. His body of on-camera work remains impressive as well – in addition to guest appearances and roles in various shows and movies, he’s amassed a big honkin’ pile of voicework credits in various anime and video game projects (like Grand Theft Auto). Did we mention he’s ridiculously handy with computers, too?