Michael Shanks as Dr.Daniel Jackson on Stargate SG-1 {image via Gekko Film Corp.}

Canadian actor Michael G. Shanks celebrates his 53rd birthday on Saturday, December 15, 2023. He was born December 15, 1970 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Shanks is best known for playing anthropologist and linguist Dr. Daniel Jackson on Stargate SG-1 and its sequels (and voiced the alien Thor).

James Spader created the role of Daniel Jackson in the original Stargate movie (1994), but Shanks took over the role for the television adaptions and made it his own.

Other Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror Roles

Michael Shanks as Dr. Daniel Jackson and Christopher Judge as Teal’c on Stargate SG-1 {image via Gekko Film Corp.}
  • Jesse on Highlander
  • Melburn Ross / Dr. Will Olsten on Outer Limits (he appeared in two episodes)
  • Bill Malone in Escape from Mars (1999)
  • Gabriel on Andromeda
  • Adam Wade in Sumuru (2003)
  • Kent Horvath in Swarmed (2005)
  • Les Daniels in Mega Snake (2007)
  • Christopher Dactylos on Eureka
  • Jimmy in Sanctuary (which starred his SG-1 co-star, Amanda Tapping)
  • Dr. Literature in Tower Prep
  • Hawkman /aka Dr. Carter Hall in Smallville
  • Rob in Supernatural
  • Dr. Charlie Harris in Saving Hope
  • Adrien Lazar in Red Riding Hood (2011)
  • Horace Axley in Altered Carbon
  • Air vice-marshal Christopher Thomas in Project Blue Book
  • CCB agent in Elysium (2013)
  • Hook in Never Forget (still in production)
Shanks as Dr. Harris in Saving Hope {image via Ilana C. Frank Films}

Producer, Director, Scriptwriter

Like many actors, Shanks has expanded his CV from acting to producing, scriptwriting, and directing. He wrote two episodes of Stargate: SG-1, “Evolution, Part 1” and “Resurrection,” and directed another, “Double Jeopardy”. He also directed three episodes of Saving Hope. He is not only starring in but producing the upcoming fantasy short Never Forget, which is being directed by his eldest daughter Tatiana Shanks. He was co-producer for eight episodes of Saving Hope.

Personal Life

Michael Shanks shares a birthday with Garrett Wang (Star Trek Voyager‘s Ensign Harry Kim). He is married to Lexa Doig, (Romi on Andromeda, Dr. Carolyn Lam on Stargate: SG-1. He has three children, writer/director Tatiana Shanks with actress Vaitiare Bandera, who played Sha’re, Daniel’s wife on SG-1, and two with his current wife, Lexa Doig. The two met on the set of Andromeda and have appeared together in several TV shows. He is an avid hockey player, a skill which was put to good use in Under the Mistletoe (2006), where he played a school hockey coach and Mr. Hockey: the Gordie Howe Story (2013), where he starred as hockey legend Gordie Howe.

Awards and Honors

Michael Shanks has been nominated for three Saturn Awards, all for best supporting actor for playing Dr. Daniel Jackson. He’s won three Leo Awards and been nominated for two others. The Leo is a Canadian award, roughly equivalent to the American Emmy.

Thank you for being a part of our modern mythology, Mr. Shanks, and happy birthday.


Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.