Dean Butler (actor)

Dean Butler (born May 20, 1956) is a Canadian-American actor[1] and producer of entertainment, sports and documentary programming.

Dean Butler
Dean Butler Preparing for An Interview on Fox 5 with the Little House on the Prairie Cast.jpg
Butler preparing for an interview on New York's Fox 5 on April 30, 2014.
Dean Butler

(1956-05-20) May 20, 1956 (age 64)
  • Actor
  • producer
  • screenwriter
Years active1976–2008 (actor); 2005–present (producer)
(m. 2001)


Early lifeEdit

Born in Prince George, British Columbia, and raised in Piedmont, California, Butler studied communication arts at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.[2][3]


Butler's career as an actor started with a small part on the TV series The Streets of San Francisco.[4] His first major role was in the 1978 TV movie Forever, based on Judy Blume's novel of the same title.[5]

Butler is best known for his portrayal of Almanzo Wilder on the NBC family drama Little House on the Prairie, which was based on the classic Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. He appeared in the final four seasons of the show, the spin-off show Little House: A New Beginning, and the three post-series TV movies.[6] After Little House ended, he played Jeff "Moondoggie" Griffin in the TV series The New Gidget and Buffy’s dad, Hank Summers, on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.[7][8]

During the 1980s and 1990s, Butler was a guest star on various television series, including Murder, She Wrote, Who's the Boss?, The Love Boat, and JAG.[9][10] He co-starred with the late Gary Coleman in The Kid with the 200 I.Q..[11] He appeared in the movies Desert Hearts and The Final Goal.[12][13]

Onstage, Butler has performed in the shows of Stephen Sondheim. He appeared on Broadway in the original company of Into the Woods as Rapunzel's Prince, internationally as Tony in West Side Story and regionally in Company.[14][15][16]

Directing and producingEdit

Butler now works largely behind the camera producing entertainment, sports, and documentary programming.[17] Butler produces Feherty for Golf Channel, starring David Feherty.[18] In addition, he is a West Coast correspondent for Broadway World, a provider of web content about the performing arts.[19]

Butler has directed, produced, written, and narrated bonus features for Little House on the Prairie DVD collections. He narrated a six-part documentary, The Little House Phenomenon.[20]

Butler has produced two documentaries, Little House on the Prairie: The Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Almanzo Wilder: Life Before Laura, which drew their inspiration from the Little House books of Laura Ingalls Wilder.[citation needed] Additionally, in 2012, Butler co-executive produced Pa's Fiddle: The Music of America for PBS.[21]

Personal lifeEdit

Butler is married to actress Katherine Cannon, who played Felice Martin on the television series Beverly Hills 90210. They met when Cannon auditioned for the female lead in the Michael Landon series Father Murphy.[22] They live in Los Angeles, California.


Year Film Role Notes
1978 Forever Michael Wagner TV film
1979–1983 Little House on the Prairie Almanzo Wilder Main cast (65 episodes)
1981 Here's Boomer Gary Episode: "Good Looking"
1982 The Love Boat Stan Barber Episode: "Familiar Faces"
1983 The Kid with the 200 I.Q. Steve Bensfield TV film
1983 Fantasy Island Carl Peters Episode: "The Devil Stick/Touch and Go"
1983 The Love Boat Scott Pryor Episode: "Kisses and Makeup"
1983 Little House: Look Back to Yesterday Almanzo Wilder TV film
1984 Little House: The Last Farewell Almanzo Wilder TV film
1984 Fantasy Island Harley Batten Episode: "Sing Melancholy Baby/The Last Dogfight"
1984 Who's the Boss? Jason Episode: "Mona Gets Pinned"
1984 Little House: Bless All the Dear Children Almanzo Wilder TV film
1985 Hotel Michael Korsak Episode: "Anniversary"
1985 Gidget's Summer Reunion Jeff "Moondoggie" Griffin TV film
1985 Desert Hearts Darrell Feature film
1986 The Love Boat Brent Harper Episode: "Couples/Made for Each Other"
1986–1988 The New Gidget Jeff "Moondoggie" Griffin Main cast (44 episodes)
1987 Hotel Gary Marsh Episode: "All the King's Horses"
1989 ABC Afterschool Specials Matthew Green Episode: "Private Affairs"
1990 Murder, She Wrote Howard Griffin Episode: "The Fixer-Upper"
1991 Shades of L.A. Dr. Ted Kolfax Episode: "Till Death Do Us Part"
1991 Without a Pass Officer #1 (1965) Feature film
1992 Tequila and Bonetti Frank Avalon Episode: "Brooklyn and the Beast"
1994 Juana la Cubana Feature film
1994 Diagnosis: Murder Sly Episode: "Georgia on My Mind"
1995 The Final Goal Valentine Feature film
1996 Renegade Cop Episode: "Baby Makes Three"
1997–2002 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Hank Summers Recurring role (5 episodes)
1997 Fame L.A. Producer Episode: "Seize the Day"
2000 Cover Me: Based on the True Life of an FBI Family FBI Agent Episode: "The Line"
2000 Ricky 6 Vic Portelance Feature film
2003 JAG Navy Appellate Court Judge #2 Episode: "Lawyers, Guns and Money"
2008 Chemical Wedding Ceremony Man Feature film (aka Crowley)


  1. ^ Buck, Jerry (July 12, 1982). "Dean Butler hits it big in new shot at 'Little House'". The Miami News. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
  2. ^ "Dean Butler profile". Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  3. ^ Buck, Jerry (June 30, 1982). "'Little House' star joined cast after graduation". The Desert Sun.
  4. ^ Nicholls, Liz (June 4, 1998). "From vampire-slaying to bigamy". The Edmonton Journal.
  5. ^ "Forever". IMDB. January 6, 1978. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  6. ^ Diefenbach, Mallory. "Actor Dean Butler dishes on 'Little House' prior to his WNY appearance". The Daily News. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  7. ^ "Dean Butler". Comet Over Hollywood. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  8. ^ Bloechi, Alyssa. "'Little House' actor visits Manitowoc Saturday". HTR Media. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  9. ^ "Murder, She Wrote". Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  10. ^ "Good Neighbors/Captain's Portrait/Familiar Faces". IMDB. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  11. ^ "THE KID WITH THE 200 I.Q." BBFC. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  12. ^ Cohn, Paulette. "Dean Butler Reminisces on 'Little House' Days and Michael Landon (INTERVIEW)". Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  13. ^ "The Final Goal". IMDB. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  14. ^ "Dean Butler – Broadway Cast & Staff". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  15. ^ Hancock, Melanie (June 22, 2017). "Discover Laura". Discover Laura. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  16. ^ Jacobs, Tom. "Company". Variety. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  17. ^ Bloechi, Alyssa. "Almanzo shares love of 'Little House'". HTR Media. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  18. ^ "Dean Butler · Legacy Documentaries". Legacy Documentaries. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  19. ^ "Dean Butler Theatre Credits". Broadway World. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  20. ^ Soltes, John. "INTERVIEW: Dean Butler remembers 'Little House' as sixth season hits Blu-ray – Hollywood SOAPBOX". Hollywood Soap Box. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  21. ^ "PBS Now Airing "Pa's Fiddle: The Music of America"". Cybergrass. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  22. ^ Dalporto, Deva (September 11, 2014). "'Little House on the Prairie': Where Are They Now?". Retrieved December 8, 2017.

External linksEdit