Rider Strong

Rider King Strong (born December 11, 1979) is an American actor, producer, director and screenwriter best known for his role as Shawn Hunter on the 1990s sitcom Boy Meets World and its 2010s sequel Girl Meets World. He is also known for his role in the 2002 horror film Cabin Fever and as the voice of Tom Lucitor in Star vs. the Forces of Evil and Brick Flagg in Kim Possible.

Rider Strong
Rider Strong by David Shankbone.jpg
Strong at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008
Born (1979-12-11) December 11, 1979 (age 41)
Alma materColumbia University (BA)
Bennington College (MFA)
  • Actor
  • producer
  • director
  • screenwriter
Years active1990–present
(m. 2013)
RelativesShiloh Strong (brother)

Early life and educationEdit

Rider King Strong was born in San Francisco, California, the second of two boys born to Lin (née Warner), a teacher and nutritionist and King Arthur Strong, a firefighter.[1] He has English and Irish ancestry. He graduated from Nonesuch School in Sebastopol, California in 1998. His elder brother is Shiloh Strong, an actor and photographer.[2]

Strong attended morning classes at Occidental College while still filming for Boy Meets World, accumulating a year's worth of credit before the series ended.[3] In 2004, Strong graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University as an English major.[3] He completed his Master of Fine Arts in fiction and literature in June 2009 at Bennington College.[3]


Strong began his acting career at the age of nine, when he starred as Gavroche in the San Francisco production of Les Misérables, alongside Larisa Oleynik as Young Cosette.[3] After the stage production, he appeared in small screen roles on television. In 1992, he received his first regular television series role as Julie Andrews's son on Julie. When the series was canceled, Strong made his debut on film as Amy Irving's son in Benefit of the Doubt.

It was not until he was chosen for the role of Shawn Hunter in the ABC series Boy Meets World that he received widespread recognition. During the seven-year run, he was nominated twice for the Young Artist Award and nominated for once for The Hollywood Reporter YoungStar Award.[4][5] He found it difficult coping with his newfound fame, citing at least one breakdown at 15 when he was on a "Sail With the Stars" charity cruise.[3] However, in a later interview, Strong also stated that he was inconsiderate with his power, having previously set up weekly six hour roundtrip commutes back to Sonoma with his mother and brother.[3]

Strong permanently moved to Los Angeles at 16 and later attended morning classes at Occidental College.[3] After Boy Meets World ended in 2000, he moved to New York to attend Columbia University. At that time, actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Julia Stiles, and Anna Paquin were all registered students at the university.[3] Strong took one semester off to star as Paul in the indie horror film Cabin Fever (2002), directed by Eli Roth. He took another semester off to star in a Broadway production of The Graduate, opposite Jerry Hall as Mrs. Robinson.[3]

In 2006, he returned to television for a regular series role in Pepper Dennis on The WB. The show was short-lived and was not chosen as one of the transferring shows to The CW. That same year, Strong recorded a reading for the audio version of the Anthony Kiedis biography, Scar Tissue. He had a brief cameo appearance in 2009's Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever, the sequel to Cabin Fever.

Along with his brother, Shiloh Strong, he wrote and directed the short film, Irish Twins, which premiered at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival. It went on to win both the Jury Award and Audience Award at the Woods Hole Film Festival, a Special Jury Prize in the Action/Cut Short Film Competition and Best First-Time Director at DC Shorts. Speaking to Pure Movies in 2010 he expressed that he wanted to expand his writing and directing career: "Acting is always there and I enjoy it but it's kind of got a little unfulfilling lately. You know, I'm in the low budget horror world. ... I have a whole lot of other stuff I want to do."[6]

In 2010, Strong starred in the science fiction-thriller film Darkening Sky alongside Ezra Buzzington, Charley Rossman, Sally Berman, Daniel Kirschner and LaShan Anderson under the direction of Victor Bornia.[7]

In late 2012, Strong declined an offer to reprise his role as Shawn Hunter in the spinoff, Girl Meets World. However, during production of the pilot in March 2013, Strong along with other cast members, who were also unconfirmed to return, appeared on the set sparking rumors of a cameo or return to the new series. Creator Michael Jacobs stated "I think there's more than a chance, I think there's a strong chance" when commenting on Strong and other original series cast members returning. Other current cast members commented on Strong's return indicating that his return might be a secret not ready to be revealed. In June 2013, a Boy Meets World reunion was held with Strong attending along with many of his former cast members.[8] On March 19, 2014, it was confirmed that Strong would reprise his role as Shawn Hunter, the first being a holiday-themed episode along with former cast members Betsy Randle and William Russ.[9] He has managed to leverage his reprisal of Shawn on the condition that he and his brother would get to direct a few episodes.[3]

In March 2012, Strong, Julia Pistell, and Tod Goldberg, started Literary Disco, a podcast about books and writing.[10][11]

In September 2019, Strong debuted Never Ever Land, his play inspired by the 1993 child sexual abuse accusations against Michael Jackson, in Los Angeles.[12][13]

Personal lifeEdit

Strong began dating actress Alexandra Barreto after they met while filming the 2006 television series Pepper Dennis.[14] They became engaged in December 2012,[14] and married on October 20, 2013 in Oregon.[15] The couple have one son, Indigo "Indy" Barreto Strong, born in December 2014.[16]

In April 2008, Strong, along with his brother Shiloh and his then-girlfriend Alexandra Barreto, co-created a 30-second television ad in support of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama titled, "It Could Happen to You". The ad, submitted to MoveOn, became one of 15 finalists from a pool of over 1,100 submitted ads, and was chosen as the funniest ad in May 2008. In August, MoveOn raised $200,000 to air the ad on MTV and Comedy Central; it was the first political commercial to ever appear on Comedy Central. In early 2009, Strong narrated the audiobook of The Obama Revolution by Alan Kennedy-Shaffer.[17] In 2018 and 2019, he was seen attending the Women's March, March for Public Education in Los Angeles, and March for Our Lives.[3]

Strong is an atheist.[3]


Year Title Role Notes
1993 Benefit of the Doubt Pete Braswell
1994 Summertime Switch Frederick Egan III
1998 My Giant Justin Allen
2001 Buck Naked Arson Willy Barnes
2001 The Secret Pact Lenny B. Dalton
2002 Cabin Fever Paul
2004 Death Valley Daniel
2005 Paradise, Texas Charlie
2007 Cosmic Radio Justin
2007 Borderland Phil
2007 Tooth and Nail Ford
2008 Spy School Mr. Randall
2008 Irish Twins Michael Sullivan Short film
2008 Pulse 3 Adam Video
2009 H2O Extreme Greg
2009 Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever Paul
2010 Darkening Sky Eric Rainer
2010 Ruff Love George Short film
2010 The Penthouse Kieran
2010 Your Lucky Day Young Man Short film
Shown at the 2010 Seattle International Film Festival[18]
2011 Lone Jason Sumner Short film
2011 Walter Don't Dance Thad Short film
2013 Too Late Matthew
Year Title Role Notes
1991 Long Road Home Benjy Robertson TV film
1991 Going Places David Episode: "The Camping Show"
1992 Bobby's World George (voice) 7 episodes
1992 Empty Nest Philip Logan Episode: "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?"
1992 Evening Shade Jimmy Episode: "The Diary of Molly Newton"
1992 Home Improvement Danny Episode: "Haunting of Taylor House"
1993 Nurses Max Kaplan Episode: "The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea"
1993 Time Trax William Peterman Episode: "The Prodigy"
1993 The Last Hit Jimmy Dunne TV film
1993–2000 Boy Meets World Shawn Hunter Main role (158 episodes)
1994 Summertime Switch Frederick Egan III TV film
1996 Maybe This Time Shawn Hunter Episode: "Acting Out"
1996 Party of Five Byron 2 episodes
1997 Oddville, MTV 1 episode
1998 Hercules Pollux (voice) Episode: "Hercules and the Trojan War"
1998 Invasion America Jim Bailey (voice) 13 episodes
1999 The Practice Gary Armbrust 2 episodes
1999 Batman Beyond Bobby Vance (voice) Episode: "Lost Soul"
1999–2000 Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles Pvt. Carl Jenkins 12 episodes
2002 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Ethan Edwards Episode: "The Pilgrim"
2002–04 Kim Possible Brick Flagg (voice) Recurring role (5 episodes)
2005 Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama Brick Flagg (voice) TV film
2006 Crumbs Dennis Episode: "Six Feet Blunder"
2006 Pepper Dennis Chick Dirka Main role (13 episodes)
2006 Veronica Mars Rafe Episode: "My Big Fat Greek Rush Week"
2007 Bones Gregg Liscombe Episode: "Mummy in the Maze"
2009 Castle Rocco Jones Episode: "The Fifth Bullet"
2010 100 Questions Alan Episode: "Wayne?"
2012 Paulilu Mixtape Sam Paxton Episode: "Hooker Lawyer"
2014 Chosen Ross Episode: "Redemption"
2014–17 Girl Meets World Shawn Hunter Recurring Role
Directed 18 episodes
2015–19 Star vs. the Forces of Evil Tom Lucitor (voice) Recurring Role
2017–18 Mighty Magiswords Familiar 6 episodes


Year Award Category Production Result
1994 Young Artist Award Best Youth Comedian Boy Meets World Nominated
1997 Best Performance in a TV Comedy – Supporting Young Actor Nominated
2000 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Television Friends Boy Meets World (shared with Ben Savage) Won
2008 Washington DC Shorts Film Festival Best First Time Filmmaker Irish Twins (shared with Shiloh Strong) Nominated


  1. ^ kevinpollakschatshow (January 10, 2017), KPCS: Rider Strong #288, retrieved January 17, 2017
  2. ^ Rider Strong Biography – Yahoo! Movies
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Spencer, Ashley (August 21, 2019). "What Happened to Rider Strong?". Vice. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  4. ^ "Boy Meets World: Then & Now". Us Weekly. December 7, 2012. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  5. ^ "YoungStar Awards to honor young actors". UPI. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  6. ^ "Rider Strong: Pure Movies". puremovies.co.uk.
  7. ^ "Trailer: The Darkening Sky". Dread Central.
  8. ^ Sarah Anne Lloyd. "Shawn Hunter: Will He Be on Girl Meets World? 5 Reasons We Think Rider Strong Is Returning". Wetpaint.
  9. ^ "Girl Meets World: Rider Strong, Betsy Randle, William Russ Reunite - Us Weekly". usmagazine.com. March 19, 2014.
  10. ^ Christie, Josh (August 16, 2013). "The Rumpus Interview with Literary Disco". The Rumpus. Retrieved December 7, 2014.
  11. ^ "Episode 0: Introduction (March 11, 2012)". Literary Disco: Where Books Come to Dance. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  12. ^ "A famous singer, a child alleging abuse and the elusive truth in 'Never Ever Land'". Los Angeles Times. October 4, 2019. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  13. ^ jmbeatle5 (September 9, 2019). "Never Ever Land". Better Lemons. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  14. ^ a b Ravitz, Justin (December 27, 2012). "Rider Strong, Boy Meets World Star, Engaged: How He Proposed!". Usmagazine.com. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  15. ^ Webber, Stephanie (October 20, 2013). "Rider Strong Marries Alexandra Barreto, Boy Meets World Star's Wedding – All the Details!". Us Weekly. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
  16. ^ "Rider Strong Is a Dad! Boy Meets World Star Welcomes Son With Alexandra Barreto". Us Weekly. January 22, 2015. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  17. ^ "The Obama Revolution". www.amazon.com. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  18. ^ "Your Lucky Day | 2010". Seattle International Film Festival. Archived from the original on June 21, 2010.

External linksEdit