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VanDien is the 11th Casper in his family (his son would be the 12th). His father was a Navy commander/pilot; both his grandfathers served in WWI, one as a Marine infantryman, the other as a naval doctor. He attended Florida's Admiral Farragut Academy, graduating third in command of his class. Though he went to Florida State from 1986 to 1988 in pre-med, he became interested in acting and moved to Los Angeles. He landed TV series parts, Griffin Stone in "Beverley Hill 90210" (1990) and Ty Moody in "One Life to Live" (1993). He met Carrie Mitchum, Robert Mitchum's granddaughter, in 1992 and married her the following year. Their son Casper Robert Mitchum Van Dien, was born in September of that year; their daughter Grace Van Dien in 1996. In 1997 Casper and Carrie were separated. His movie credits have included the title role in James Dean: Race With Destiny (1997), the lead (Johnny Rico) in Paul Verhoeven's hit science-fiction adventure, Starship Troopers (1997). He became the 18th screen Tarzan when he played the part in the critically panned Tarzan and the Lost City (1998).

(Mini-biography by Ed Stephan)

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