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Tim Matheson (born Timothy Lewis Matthieson; December 31, 1947) is an Americanmarker actor. He is perhaps best known for his portrayal of the smooth talking Eric 'Otter' Stratton in the 1978 comedy Animal House, but has had a variety of other well-known roles both before and since.

Biography

Career

At the age of 13, Matheson appeared as Roddy Miller in Robert Young's CBS nostalgia comedy series Window on Main Street during the 1961-1962 television season. In 1964, he provided the voice of the lead character in the cartoon program Jonny Quest. His was also the voice of Jace in the original animated series of Space Ghost. In addition, he played the role of the oldest son, Mike Beardsley, in the film Yours, Mine and Ours, which also starred Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda.

In 1969, he joined the cast of NBC's The Virginian western series in the eighth season, as Jim Horn. He had a guest role in the 14th episode of the second season of Night Gallery, in the story "Logoda’s Heads". In the final season of the television western Bonanza in 1972-1973, Matheson played Griff King, a parolee who tries to reform his life as a worker at the Ponderosa Ranch under Ben Cartwright's watch. He portrayed a young motorcycle cop, Phil Sweet, in the 1973 film Magnum Force. Matheson also appeared earlier in the ABC television comedy series My Three Sons and Leave It to Beaver.

In the fall of 1976, Matheson appeared with Kurt Russell in the 15-episode NBC series The Quest, the story of two young men in the American West seeking the whereabouts of their sister, a captive of the Cheyenne. In 1978 he co-starred in Animal House opposite John Belushi; the following year, he appeared opposite Belushi again in Spielberg's 1941. Matheson starred in the 1984 comedy movie Up the Creek and the comedy Fletch.

Matheson also appeared in the 1983 To Be or Not to Be starring Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft.

Matheson and Catherine Hicks played Rick and Amanda Tucker, who operate a detective agency in Laurel Canyonmarker in CBS' Tucker's Witch, which aired during the 1982-1983 season.

Matheson, along with business partner Dan Grodnik, bought National Lampoon in 1989 when the magazine was facing financial decline. They were unable to reverse the magazine fortunes, however, and sold it in 1991. He went on to act in over 100 film and television projects. Matheson had a recurring role as Vice President John Hoynes on The West Wing. His work on The West Wing earned Matheson two Primetime Emmy award nominations for Best Guest Star in a Drama Series. In addition to playing Sheriff Matthew Donner in the shortlived Wolf Lake, he has directed episodes of Third Watch, Ed, The Twilight Zone, Cold Case, Without a Trace, The West Wing, Burn Notice, Psych, and Shark.

In 1996 Matheson took on the role of Carol Brady's thought dead husband in A Very Brady Sequel. Matheson appeared in the movie Van Wilder in 2002, playing the father of the title character, who was inspired by his own character in Animal House; Matheson's character even makes a veiled reference to the fun times he had had at Dartmouthmarker, where the fraternity upon which Animal House is based is rumored to have "had a strong tradition of existence." He appeared in the auto-racing film Redline. He also appeared in a Volkswagen commercial in 2008.

Personal life

Matheson was born in Glendalemarker, Californiamarker, a suburb of Los Angelesmarker. He is married to Megan Murphy Matheson, with whom he has three children. He was previously married to actress Jennifer Leak.

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