Erich Anderson, working actor and writer known for 'Felicity' and more, dies at 67

Eva Hartman, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Erich Anderson, a veteran working actor who found his breakout role in “Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter” and was a recurring character in shows including “Felicity,” “Bosch” and “Thirtysomething,” has died. He was 67.

Anderson’s wife, actor Saxton Trainor, confirmed the news via Instagram but declined to post a statement because she was “too bereft now to write anything.” Instead, she shared a statement from Anderson’s brother-in-law, Michael O’Malley, that said the actor died Friday after a “brutal struggle with cancer.”

“Erich was such an amazing person,” Anderson’s manager, Chris Carbaugh, told The Times. “He was a great actor, author, cook, husband, friend and human being. ... Erich was an avid sports fan and he loved cheering on his beloved San Diego Padres baseball team. He was always the smartest and funniest person in the room and had such a big heart. ... Erich will be missed dearly.”

O’Malley, meanwhile, wrote that his brother-in-law “was a smart and funny guy, a fantastic cook; he wrote three great novels. ... I’ll miss him but his ordeal is over.”

Anderson first found success when — as O’Malley characterized it — “he was killed in a basement” in the “Friday the 13th” sequel. He went on to appear in “Thirtysomething” as Billy Sidel, blind date-turned-husband to Ellyn Warren (Polly Draper), and in “Felicity” as Dr. Edward Porter, father of Keri Russell’s title character.

He appeared in single episodes of shows including “Murder, She Wrote,” “CSI,” “CSI: Miami,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “House,” “Bones” and “NCIS.” All told, per his website, he appeared in more than 300 television episodes, 50 theater productions and 20 feature films.

The actor, who was born in 1957 in Sagamihara, Japan, later graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology.


He was a prolific writer of episodic television scripts and, according to his website, had a “filing cabinet full of unproduced screenplays.” Anderson published three novels: “Hallowed Be Thy Name,” “Thy Kingdom Come” and “Rabbit: A Golf Fable.”

Eve Gordon, who played Anderson’s onscreen wife, Barbara Porter, in “Felicity,” posted a touching tribute to her co-star on Instagram, calling the actor “a magnificent part of the world.”

“I loved him,” she wrote. “I wish you’d known him, there was no one like him. So funny, so open to whatever the day brought him, so wickedly cynical and joyous at once.”

Gordon described how even after their characters divorced on “Felicity” and they no longer saw each other on set, they would run into each other around Los Angeles and talk for hours.

“Ah, look at this Erich, I’m using the past tense,” she wrote. “My friend, I hope I see you again in dreams and other dimensions. Fly high, my friend.”


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