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. He took acting to overcome his shyness and 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.
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.
Joe appears in Brooks Institute photographer John Russo's upcoming book About Face. Part of the proceeds are to be donated to Smile Train.
An avid outdoorsman, Joe Flanigan enjoys downhill skiing, skate-boarding, surfing, rock climbing, 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."
|1994||Surgical Strike||Reed||FMV game|
|1994||Danielle Steel's Family Album||Lionel Thayer|
|1995||Deadline for Murder: From the Files of Edna Buchanan||Scott Cameron|
|1995||A Reason to Believe||Eric Sayles|
|1997||The First to Go||Peter Cole|
|1997||Tell Me No Secrets||Adam Stiles|
|1997||Murphy Brown||Scott Hamon||Episode 10.8 "From Here to Jerusalem"|
|1998||Man Made||Tom Trey Palmer|
|1998||Dawson's Creek||Vince||Episodes 2.4 "Tamara's Return" and 2.5 "Full Moon Rising"|
|1998||Cupid||Alex DeMouy||Episodes 1.6 to 1.9|
|1999||The Other Sister||Jeff Reed|
|1999||Providence||Dr. David Marcus||Episodes 1.8 to 1.11|
|2000||Sherman's March||Pete Sherman|
|2000||Profiler||Dr. Tom Arquette||Episodes 4.12 to 4.15|
|2002||First Monday||Julian Lodge|
|2002||Farewell to Harry||Nick Sennet|
|2002||Birds of Prey||Detective Claude Morton||Episode 1.3 "Prey for the Hunter"|
|2002||Judging Amy||Tobin Hayes||Episode 4.7 "Damage Control"|
|2003||111 Gramercy Park||Jack Philips|
|2003||Tru Calling||Andrew Webb||Episode 1.3 "Brother's Keeper"|
|2003||Thoughtcrimes||NSA Agent Brendan Dean|
|2004||CSI: Miami||Mike Sheridan||Episode 2.14 "Slow Burn"|
|2004||Stargate Atlantis||Major/Lt. Col. John Sheppard||(2004-present)|
|2006||Stargate SG-1||Lt. Col. John Sheppard||Episode 10.3 "The Pegasus Project''"|
|2007||Women's Murder Club||FBI Agent John Ash|
|2004||"Stargate: Atlantis"||TV Series episode 2.12 "Epiphany" (story)|
|2008||"Stargate: Atlantis"||TV Series episode 4.15 "Outcast" (story)|