|Date of Birth
||30 July 1958
|Place of Birth
||Montclair, New Jersey, USA
ICHARD was born on July 30, 1958 in Montclair, New Jersey. He is married to Lori Kahn, and they have two sons, Jack and Samuel.
For Richard, a strong interest in music and theater is in his blood. His parents and three siblings were interested in the performing arts and the Burgi home was a fertile environment.
Richard recalls, "...my brother and I had a detective agency when we were kids. We were really enamored with these kids' novels, the Brains Benton series. They're rather obscure. They were, I guess, a thinking boys' alternative to the Hardy Boys. Not that the Hardy Boys were idiots. But, I mean, these were really wildly constructed stories that these two junior detectives went through. So he and I had fashioned ourselves after Brains Benton and his partner, and had a laboratory and all these Erlenmeyer flasks - beakers and condensers. And we'd make this and boil that. And we had gunpowder, and we'd light fires in the basement. And it was total insanity. But the final straw, as far as my parents were concerned, was when... well, the house caught on fire one day. It got messy. So we had to retire early."
After finishing school, Richard traveled throughout the U.S. and Europe. Though a career in acting was always one of Richard's goals, it took a while for the goal to become a reality.
He finally ended up in New York City and began studying acting and gaining acting experience with commercials and cameos, which led to regular roles on several daytime dramas.
When Richard left Days of Our Lives, the co-executive producer said "Richard has such great timing, whether dramatic or comedic."
A move to Los Angeles allowed him to read for different types of roles. A recurring role as Lane Cassidy in Viper led to a lead role in One West Waikiki with Cheryl Ladd.
His character, Mack Wolfe, was a man fighting demons, struggling to become a hero. "I think it was organic in that way to take him in that direction, because I think to watch people struggle through their dark elements is appealing. Going through it and out and up into a joyful, winning, positive, light area is appealing... and the possibility of sliding back."
As Jim Ellison in The Sentinel, Richard played "a champion of the light, of the good, that's where he is, that's where I am in some way."
Richard has been keeping busy since The Sentinel ceased production in 1998, beginning with a guest spot on the popular CBS drama Touched By An Angel as well as appearing on E! Entertainment TV's Celebrity Homes feature. His character in the pilot of the short-lived 1999 FOX comedy, Action -- action movie star Cole Riccardi -- came back for a second appearance in the show's controversial fourth episode, "Blowhard." Richard guested on a 1999-2000 season episode of NBC's comedy Veronica's Closet as Veronica's new beau Mark, as well as an episode of the popular NBC drama Providence as Dr. J.D. Scanlon. He also filmed a Fall 2000 episode of NBC's Just Shoot Me, appearing as action hero Robert "The Nomad" Gallatin, and joined the recurring cast of the hit CBS drama, The District, in the role of Captain Vincent Hunter. He also appeared as the ill-fated Paul Donovan in the March 18th, 2001 ABC/Wonderful World of Disney feature "Bailey's Mistake," opposite Linda Hamilton .
Fall 2001 found Richard in the new FOX drama, 24, playing the part of Alan York/Kevin Carroll in the Golden Globe-winning drama's first season. In addition to filming his eleven-episode story arc on 24, Richard completed filming the new "indie" feature film, "Wheelmen," playing former hotshot ambulance driver, Nick Torino. "Wheelmen" is currently awaiting a distributor. Richard joined the recurring cast of the CBS drama Judging Amy in Spring 2002, playing the part of Judge Amy (Amy Brenneman) Gray's ex-husband, Michael Cassidy. He spent most of May and June with the Matrix Theatre Company's production of the Neil Landau-written "Johnny On The Spot," playing dual roles, Fred and Sy. After appearing at the 42nd Monte Carlo Television Festival (July 1-6) in Monaco, Richard rejoined his "Johnny On The Spot" castmates for the July 20th Los Angeles finale.
Richard brought in Fall 2002 with an appearance in the season premiere of Judging Amy, once again in the role of Amy's ex-husband, Michael. Head writer Barbara Hall revealed that the custody dispute between Michael and Amy would be a continuing theme throughout the season, which proved to be the case with three of his four episodes: "Lost in the System," "People of the Lie," and "The Best Interests of the Child" all dealt with and finally resolved the custody issue, while the most recent -- "Marry, Marry Quite Contrary" -- showed Michael and Amy as friends who still care for each other. In addition to his continuing association with Judging Amy, Richard returned to CBS's The District in two episodes, appearing once more as Captain Hunter in "The Second Man" and "Good-bye, Jenny." He has also filmed an episode of the "most watched" CBS show, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, playing paragliding instructor Rick Weston in "High and Low," which aired December 12th. Richard closed out 2002 playing Lieutenant Womack in "The Message," one of the final episodes of the FOX network's Firefly, a sci-fi series from Joss Whedon, producer of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Though FOX decided to cancel Firefly before airing all of the contracted episodes, the show was quickly snatched up by the syndication market; "The Message" aired on the UK Sci Fi Channel in July 2003.
Richard ushered in 2003 with his most recent episodes of Judging Amy and The District, and worked with producer Chris Thompson (Action) on a new pilot for the WB Network. The new show, a comedy titled Trash, was described as "Romeo and Juliet set in a trailer park," with Richard playing Bud Blue, father of teenager Luna -- the show's Juliet. Unfortunately, Trash was not picked up by the WB for the Fall season.
In addition to his television work, Richard spent part of March and April in Ottawa, Canada, where he joined the cast of the Matt Hastings-directed "Decoys" as Detective Francis Kirk. Hastings described the movie as "'American Pie' meets 'Species'" -- a tongue-in-cheek sci-fi thriller set on a college campus. Next up was the long-awaited sequel to "Starship Troopers," titled "Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation," from producer Jon Davison, director Phil Tippett, and writer Ed Neumeier. Richard leads the cast as the "hero" mentioned in the title -- a tough trooper named Captain V.J. Dax. Principal photography ran from May 14th through June 20th. The film premiered on the Encore Action Channel, part of the Starz! group of Cable channels, on April 24th, 2004, with DVD release starting in May.
Richard enjoyed a brief flirtation with summer vacation, but was at work on "Jack's Back," the Fall 2003 season premiere episode of The District by mid-July, after which he headed to Sofia, Bulgaria to shoot "Darklight," a sci-fi thriller produced by UFO Films for the Sci Fi Channel's 2004-05 roster of original features. The "Darklight" shoot ran from July 28th through August 20th. The last quarter of 2003 proved to be just as busy, with additional episodes of The District as well as a role in "Cellular," a thriller from New Line Cinema starring Kim Basinger, William. H. Macy, Chris Evans and Jason Statham. Richard played Craig Martin, husband of Basinger's character Jessica. Cellular premiered in theaters on September 10th '04.
February 2004 found Richard once again at work on a major feature film -- "In Her Shoes" from Fox 2000 and 20th Century Fox. The dramatic comedy stars Cameron Diaz (Maggie), Toni Collette (Rose), and Shirley MacLaine (Ella), with Richard playing the part of Rose's love 'em and leave 'em cad of a boyfriend, Jim Danvers. The film is expected to premiere in 2005.
While waiting to film his remaining scenes for "In Her Shoes," Richard worked on Point Pleasant, the pilot for a new "supernatural" dramatic series. From producer Marti Noxon of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame, and 20th Century Fox Television, Point Pleasant has been described as "a kinder, gentler 'Rosemary's Baby,'" and "a cross between Peyton Place and 'The Omen.'" Richard plays Dr. Ben Kramer, a fortysomething husband and father whose family takes in the show's lead character, a mysterious young girl who washes up on the beach one day.
Point Pleasant was given a 12-episode order (13 including the pilot, portions of which have been re-shot) in late August '04 and went into production in San Diego in November. FOX launched the show on January 19th and 20th at 9:00pm as a two-part premiere, with 9:00pm Thursday becoming its official timeslot following The O.C.
May 2004 found Richard in New Orleans working on a film for Lifetime Television titled "Torn Apart." The thriller stars Tia Carrere as Vicki Westin, Dale Midkiff as Jerry Bender, and Richard Burgi as Billy Westin, and premiered in late September '04. Tia Carrere plays a doctor whose husband (Burgi) and daughter are kidnapped by a man (Midkiff) whose wife and daughter Dr. Vicki Westin couldn't save. Instead of a ransom, Jerry Bender demands that Vicki choose whether her husband or daughter will die.
Richard brought in Fall 2004 with a guest role on the new ABC series Desperate Housewives, where he played Karl Mayer, the philandering ex-husband of series star Teri Hatcher's Susan Mayer. Next came a five-week shoot on the new Jim Carrey comedy, "Fun with Dick and Jane." The film, a remake of the 1977 original starring Jane Fonda and George Segal, stars Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni as Dick and Jane Harper. The Harpers are a young couple who turn to a life of crime to pay the bills after Dick loses his job. Richard plays a new character, Joe Kleman (we're uncertain of the exact surname spelling). The movie is slated for a June 2005 release in the USA.
The last quarter of 2004 saw Richard working on a second episode of ABC's breakout hit, Desperate Housewives, before starting production on his new FOX series, Point Pleasant. The episode of Desperate Housewives, "Move On," premiered just over a week before Point Pleasant launched on FOX. Richard also filmed an episode of ABC's midseason drama Eyes sometime in late 2004, roughly concurrent with his work on Desperate Housewives. The Eyes role was intended as a recurring character, but Richard's commitment to Point Pleasant prevented his continued involvement with the show.
The first quarter of 2005 found Richard still hard at work on Point Pleasant. Though FOX decided to cancel the show in late March with five episodes unaired, 20th Century Fox kept the show in production and finished all thirteen episodes. With the complete season available for broadcast, Point Pleasant aired in a variety of international markets. FOX later released a Complete Series DVD boxed set, as was done with Firefly. Late March found Richard being featured in launch promos for ABC's Eyes, which premiered on March 30th. (Sadly, ABC pulled the show before Richard's episode could be aired).
The second quarter of 2005 saw Richard finishing the last episodes of Point Pleasant in mid April and, roughly a week later, returning to Wisteria Lane and Desperate Housewives, where he took part in the season finale episode, "One Wonderful Day." As it turned out, the finale appearance also served to reintroduce the character to viewers -- by July, Richard would be confirmed as a series regular for Fall 2005. Richard started a six week feature film shoot in Shanghai, China in mid-June, where he worked on "Shanghai Red," a joint venture between MAR de ORO Films and Shanghai Film Studios. Richard costars with Vivian Wu, whose husband Oscar L. Costo is the writer, director, and producer of the film. Richard plays an expatriate American named Michael Johnson. As described for us by Oscar Costo, "'Shanghai Red' is a dramatic film about the journey of a young, modern Shanghai mother Meili Zhu (Vivian Wu) who suffers the loss of her husband and how she comes to terms with her state of depression. In her murderous journey of revenge, Meili meets Michael Johnson (Richard Burgi), an expatriate American from Chicago escaping his own dark past. Even though Michael's motives for being with Meili are originally laced with deception, he ultimately finds hope, love and honor through her."
Late July 2005 found Richard home from China and once again at work on Desperate Housewives, this time as a series regular. As suspected, Karl spent the Fall 2005 season stirring up trouble on Wisteria Lane by becoming romantically involved with neighborhood vamp, Edie Britt (Nicollette Sheridan) while still pining after ex-wife Susan (Teri Hatcher). By the end of the season, Karl had secretly remarried Susan to provide her with medical insurance coverage while still stringing Edie along with a sham engagement. He had also been hired by Bree (Marcia Cross) to serve as her lawyer in her son Andrew's emancipation case. Richard's work as Karl was often mentioned in the press as a highlight of the season. Sadly, a reorganization of the Desperate Housewives production and writing staff led to a reprioritizing of storylines for the Fall 2006 season, which led to Karl being sidelined and essentially excised from the ongoing saga.
While waiting for news of his fate on Desperate Housewives, Richard spent the summer of 2006 working on movies and making public appearances. "Firestorm: Last Stand at Yellowstone," a telemovie for A&E, was filmed in May in British Columbia, Canada. After a quick June trip to Rhode Island and the Newport International Film Festival, Richard was once again in Canada -- Ontario, this time -- to work on "In God's Country" for CTV and Lifetime TV. August found Richard at the All*Star Cup charity golf tournament in Newport, Wales, and by October, he was hard at work in Prague, Czech Republic, on "Hostel: Part II," the sequel to Eli Roth's horror blockbuster "Hostel." In addition to "Hostel: Part II," Richard filmed a short scene for a Sweeps episode of Desperate Housewives, "Children and Art," which has been his last appearance on the show to date.
2007 found Richard working on a mix of television guest spots and movies, beginning with three back-to-back episodes of NBC's Las Vegas, which were filmed in January and aired in late February and March. A fourth Las Vegas episode -- the conclusion of the previous season's cliff-hanger finale -- was filmed in May, after which Richard was once more Canada-bound for another movie role. "Thomas Kinkade's Home for Christmas," scheduled for a Christmas 2008 release, found Richard playing Bill Kinkade, father of famous American painter Thomas Kinkade. Richard filmed an episode of the CBS legal drama Shark in July, playing an unscrupulous plastic surgeon. The episode, "Eye of the Beholder," aired October 7th.
Richard's last role before the WGA (Writers Guild of America) strike effectively shut down television production for the rest of the year was in ABC's Big Shots, playing billionaire adrenaline junkie Gavin Carter. The episode, "The Way We Weren't," aired November 29th.
Thus far, 2008 has gotten off to a slow start for Richard, due largely to the strike-related industry shutdown. He filmed a commercial for the 2008 Cadillac DTS DeVille Touring Sedan in mid-January which, as of mid-February, has yet to premiere. Now that the WGA strike has been resolved and television production resumed, Richard and his peers should soon be back at work.
Right now, Richard cherishes his time with his family. Marriage and fatherhood agree with him; in fact, they "changed my life around," he says. "I'm more in love than I've ever been. I can't imagine anything that surpasses this."
Time with family dovetails beautifully with Richard's other loves -- music, surfing, nature and bird-watching. Richard is the proud owner of a vintage Buddy Miles drum-set and enjoys playing it whenever possible; during a Spring 1999 appearance on Access Hollywood, he revealed that get-togethers in the Burgi household often turn into impromptu concerts, with adults grabbing instruments and children singing along.
An enthusiastic surfer and nature lover, Richard spends as much time outdoors as possible, either at the beach or hiking through the hills with his family. Introducing his sons to the natural world is an added pleasure. He feels a strong connection to nature and is an advocate of environmental protection and preservation.
Richard was involved for a time with the Yellowstone Ecological Survey,an organization devoted to educating the public on the delicate Yellowstone ecosystem. The Bozeman, Montana-based organization is best known for its part in the reintroduction of wolves to the Yellowstone ecosystem. Richard now supports the work of the Surfrider Foundation, a San Clemente, CA - based organization which works to protect and preserve shoreline and coastal environments. "Life comes and goes, and I think we need to save our planet and not hurt it," he explains. "I like to be proactive, but at the same time I like to work in a grass roots way and impact my environment as best I can."
Richard is also an avid bird-watcher, an interest he discovered as a ten-year-old. Sharp-eyed viewers of The Sentinel may have noticed a variety of bird-watching books and framed bird prints scattered throughout Ellison's Loft; many, if not all, belong to Richard or were selected by him. Perhaps the most noticeable is a National Audubon Society print on the wall of Jim's bedroom.
Richard's interest in and commitment to preserving the environment for future generations, his preference for "grass roots" work, and his passion for and devotion to the sea and the marine mammals common to the waters of his California home led him to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, a Laguna Beach, CA - based, volunteer-run and funded organization which tends to the needs of sick or injured seals, sea lions, and other marine mammals. The RBFC is delighted to join Richard in his support of and interest in the Pacific Marine Mammal Center.