(written from a Production point of view)
Christopher McDonald (born 15 February 1955; age 61) is the actor who played Lieutenant Richard Castillo in the Star Trek: The Next Generation third season episode "Yesterday's Enterprise". McDonald had previously auditioned for the role of William T. Riker during the casting of The Next Generation. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion 2nd ed., p. 117)
Born in New York City, McDonald was raised in Romulus, New York and graduated from Hobart College in Geneva, New York. He has also studied at at the Stella Adler Acting Conservatory in New York as well as the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in London. He has been married to Lupe Gidley since 1992; they are the parents of four children.
McDonald is perhaps best recognized for his role as arrogant golf pro Shooter McGavin in the 1996 comedy Happy Gilmore. He is also known for his mostly-improvised role as television pitchman Tippy Tibbons in Darren Aronofsky's acclaimed drama Requiem for a Dream. The latter also featured an appearance by McDonald's fellow TNG guest actor, Mark Margolis.
McDonald's early film credits include the 1982 musical Grease 2, the cult 1984 breakdancing drama Breakin', and the 1985 adventure/drama The Boys Next Door. In 1988, he starred in the comedy Paramedics, in which he worked with Robert DoQui, Sally Kellerman, and Ray Walston. He later starred in the 1990 direct-to-video horror film Playroom, which was directed by Manny Coto and which co-starred Aron Eisenberg and Vincent Schiavelli. In 1991, he played the snobbish, abrasive Reed Standish in the comedy film Dutch.
In the hit, Academy Award-winning road movie Thelma & Louise, McDonald portrayed Thelma's controlling husband, Darryl. This film also featured performances by Timothy Carhart and Shelly Desai. McDonald then played the main protagonist in the 1993 action drama Conflict of Interest, co-starring Dey Young. That same year, McDonald played Mike in the popular comedy Grumpy Old Men, which also featured John Carroll Lynch.
In 1994, McDonald was seen in such films as The Road Killers (co-starring Michelle Forbes and John Pyper-Ferguson), Terminal Velocity (with Tim Kelleher), and the acclaimed, Academy Award-nominated drama Quiz Show. The following year, McDonald co-starred in the action thriller Fair Game, along with Steven Berkoff and Jenette Goldstein. In 1996, he starred in the Adam Sandler comedy Happy Gilmore as villainous golf pro Shooter McGavin.
McDonald appeared with his "Yesterday's Enterprise" co-star Wil Wheaton, as well as Clancy Brown, in the 1997 family comedy Flubber. In 1998, he appeared with another of his TNG co-stars, Denise Crosby, in a small drama called Divorce: A Contemporary Western. McDonald also played Beaver's father from the 1997 family comedy film, Leave it to Beaver. That same year, McDonald had supporting roles in the drama SLC Punk, which co-starred Star Trek: Voyager's Jennifer Lien, and the science fiction thriller The Faculty, with fellow TNG guest stars Famke Janssen and Bebe Neuwirth. McDonald also did the voice of Kent Mansley, a federal government agent and the main antagonist from the 1999 animated film, The Iron Giant.
McDonald portrayed meteorologist Todd Gross in the blockbuster 2000 film The Perfect Storm. It was his character in the latter film who coined the term after which the title is based. Fellow TNG guest actor Bob Gunton also had a role in The Perfect Storm. McDonald's other film credits in 2000 included the romantic comedy Isn't She Great and the 2000 thriller The Skulls.
His subsequent film credits included Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams (with Ricardo Montalban), Grind (with Jennifer Morrison and Stephen Root), Rumor Has It... (with Googy Gress and Clyde Kusatsu), and Kickin' It Old Skool (2007, co-starring Alan Ruck and produced by Phillip Glasser). He also played Mr. Stifler in the American Pie DVD releases The Naked Mile and Beta House.
In 2008, McDonald worked with his TNG co-star Brent Spiner on Superhero Movie, a film which spoofs comic book movies. He also co-starred with Kelsey Grammer in the comedies An American Carol and Middle Men. In addition, he appeared in the comedy Fanboys, which featured a cameo appearance by William Shatner. His other recent film credits include Mad Money (with Roger R. Cross and the aforementioned Stephen Root), The House Bunny, and Splinterheads. His upcoming films include Barry Munday (with Malcolm McDowell and Matt Winston) and The Best and the Brightest, in which he portrays "The Player" opposite Kate Mulgrew as "The Player's Wife."
Besides TNG, other television shows on which McDonald has appeared include Cheers (with Anne Haney), Knight Rider (co-starring with James Cromwell), and two episodes of Matlock (one with Nicholas Cascone, another with Casey Biggs). He was more recently seen on episodes of Without a Trace (with Enrique Murciano and Anton Yelchin), Las Vegas (starring Nikki Cox), and The Sopranos (starring Steven R. Schirripa).
He has also appeared in several episodes of Veronica's Closet, starring Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan actress Kirstie Alley, as the ex-husband of Alley's character. In addition, he had a role in the acclaimed 2001 made-for-television movie 61*, as did Charles Esten, Bruce McGill, Bob Gunton, Seymour Cassel, Robert Costanzo, J.D. Cullum, Robert Joy, Michael Nouri, Dell Yount, and Star Trek: Enterprise star Connor Trinneer. He was also a regular on the legal drama Family Law along with Julie Warner, Salli Elise Richardson, Michelle Horn and Gregg Henry.
McDonald was the voice of Superman's father Jor-El in Superman: The Animated Series (appearing alongside Tony Jay and Clancy Brown) and Justice League Unlimited. He also did the voice of an older Superman in Batman Beyond (which also had voice work done by Corey Burton, Kevin Michael Richardson, Clyde Kusatsu, Paul Winfield, Marc Worden, Frank Welker, Sherman Howard and George Takei).
McDonald had a leading role in the NBC series Harry's Law. He was a recurring character in season 1 (2011) and a regular character in season 2 (2012).
Other Trek connections
- Where the Boys Are '84 (1984) with Wendy Schaal and Louise Sorel
- Chattanooga Choo Choo (1984) with Parley Baer, James Horan, and Davis Roberts
- Outrageous Fortune (1987) with John Schuck
- Cover Story (1993) with Leland Orser
- Benefit of the Doubt (1993) with Theodore Bikel and Patricia Tallman
- Best of the Best 3: No Turning Back (1995) with Mark Rolston and Michael Bailey Smith
- Unforgettable (1996) with Kim Cattrall
- Celtic Pride (1996) with Scott Lawrence
- House Arrest (1996) with Daniel Roebuck, Wallace Shawn, and Ray Walston
- A Smile Like Yours (1997) with France Nuyen
- Lawn Dogs (1997) with Bruce McGill
- Speakeasy (2002) with Hal Landon, Jr.
- The L.A. Riot Spectacular (2005) with Ian Abercrombie, Erick Avari, Jude Ciccolella, and Ronny Cox
- Reunion (2009) with Brett Cullen, Zoe McLellan, and Josh Pais