Flanigan was born Joseph Dunnigan III in Los Angeles, California. Joe has said that his Dad left his mom "Like the day after I was born" and so his name was changed to Joseph Flanigan after he was adopted by his stepfather, John Flanigan. He has three brothers and four sisters. When he was six years old, his family moved to a small ranch near Reno, Nevada, although his stepfather objected to his ranch being called a "small" farm. Joe responds, "The trouble is, it is a small farm."
From the age of 14 Flanigan attended a boarding school in Ojai, California where he appeared in the school's production of A Streetcar Named Desire. He later earned a history degree at the University of Colorado where he was a world-class skier and appeared in Coriolanus. On the advice of a friend, he took acting to overcome his shyness but never planned on an acting career. He spent a year studying at the Sorbonne in Paris as part of the Junior Year Abroad program and is fluent enough to joke around with French reporters in French
After graduation, he pursued a writing career. He worked on Capitol Hill and then briefly for several New York City publications, including Town & Country and Interview magazine. On the advice of some of his friends, he studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse, was coached by Gerald Gordon, and then moved back to Los Angeles in 1994 to pursue an acting career.
Flanigan had guest roles in numerous television series including Profiler, First Monday, and Sisters, until he got his breakthrough with his current role on Stargate Atlantis as Lt. Colonel John Sheppard, the military leader of the Atlantis Expedition. He lives in Vancouver, Canada, where the series is filmed during the week, and flies to Los Angeles, California during the weekends where his wife and children reside. He continues to write, and created the stories for the second season episode Epiphany and the fourth season Outcast.
In September 2007 scifi.com's SciFi Wire service reported that, "Talent agency UTA filed suit on Sept. 24 against Stargate Atlantis star Joe Flanigan in Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming that the actor owes $99,225 in commissions, according to The Hollywood Reporter; Flanigan's manager, John Carrabino, told the trade paper about the lawsuit: 'I had no idea they did this. This is the first time I'm hearing about this.'" UTA filed a similar lawsuit against actor Wesley Snipes who was equally surprised. This suit was settled in December 2008.
Joe appears in Brooks Institute photographer John Russo's upcoming book About Face. Part of the proceeds are to be donated to Smile Train.
Flanigan has been married to Katherine Kousi, an actress/painter, since 1996. They have three sons: Aidan, Truman, and Fergus. They reside near a great surfing spot in Malibu.
An avid outdoorsman, Joe Flanigan enjoys downhill skiing, skate-boarding, surfing, rock climbing, tennis, motorbikes and mountain climbing. He took two prizes in the Waterkeepers' Alliance downhill ski competition at Lake Louise in January 2006, an event fellow Stargate lead Richard Dean Anderson has attended as well. However, Joe explains that he decided to stop mountain climbing after he froze his cornea on Mount Rainier. He said at a convention that he realized as a father, "it was irresponsible of me to take those kinds of risks."
He is best friends with Stargate Atlantis co-star Jason Momoa which Jason has said in many interviews and they often live together while shooting the show in Vancouver, as they both live in Malibu separately during hiatus, and they enjoy surfing together. He is also good friends with co-star David Hewlett.
He shares his birthday with Stargate Atlantis co-star Paul McGillion.
Joe Flanigan - filmography
Joe Flanigan facts
5 most recent filmsSix Bullets - 3.5 stars
Six Bullets - Blu-ray - 3.5 stars
Stargate Atlantis - Season 5 - Vol.2 - 4.0 stars
Stargate Atlantis - Season 5 - Vol.5 - 4.0 stars
Stargate Atlantis - Season 5 - Vol.1 - 4.0 stars
5 highest-rated filmsStargate Atlantis - Season 3 - Vol. 5 - 4.5 stars
Stargate Atlantis - Season 3 - Vol. 2 - 4.5 stars
Stargate Atlantis - Season 3 - Vol. 3 - 4.5 stars
Stargate Atlantis - Season 3 - Vol. 1 - 4.5 stars
Stargate Atlantis - Season 4 - Vol.5 - 4.0 stars
5 lowest-rated filmsThought Crimes - 3.0 stars
Six Bullets - Blu-ray - 3.5 stars
Six Bullets - 3.5 stars
Stargate Atlantis - Season 1 - Vol. 1 - 4.0 stars
Stargate Atlantis - Season 3 - Vol. 4 - 4.0 stars
Most frequent co-starsRachel Luttrell - 224 times - show films
David Hewlett - 218 times - show films
Torri Higginson - 215 times - show films
Jason Momoa - 215 times - show films
Rainbow Sun Francks - 203 times - show films
Most frequent directorsMartin Wood - 85 times - show films
Andy Mikita - 58 times - show films
William Waring - 36 times - show films
Peter DeLuise - 17 times - show films
Brad Turner - 15 times - show films