December 9, 1961
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Alison La Placa, Jane Seymour, Kristen Barlow
With his long locks and accessible sexuality, Joe Lando gained TV stardom playing the mysterious mountain man Byron Sully on the CBS series "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" (1993-98.) In the process, he also won the heart of the good doctor, portrayed by Jane Seymour.It was a long haul from the suburbs of Chicago, though, and was filled with almost a decade of working as a "chef" while studying acting and making rounds. Lando first became interested in acting when his high school girlfriend (future TV star Alison LaPlaca) suggested he audition for the school musical, "Li'l Abner." To his surprise, he was cast, but he broke his foot just before opening night and never did perform for an audience. Nevertheless, Lando had decided to pursue acting and after graduating high school in 1980 moved to L.A. It was tough going, though, and it took nearly five tears (during which he studied acting) before he landed his first big screen role, a bit as a shore patrolman in "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" (1986). That same year, he got his first part, albeit a small one as a hood, in the busted ABC pilot "Pros and Cons." Steady work did not come until 1989 when he was cast as mysterious, hunky Jake Harrison on the ABC soap opera "One Life to Live." During that period, his background as a cook helped him land a role in Lawrence Kasdan's big screen black comedy "I Love You to Death" (1990). He also served as a technical advisor, teaching stars Tracey Ullman, Kevin Kline and River Phoenix how to fling pizza dough. After he left his soap role, he made a guest appearance in the 1992 pilot of "Homicide: Life on the Streets" (NBC).Returning to L.A., Lando found himself in the enviable position of having three pilots offered to him by CBS. He opted for "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman," because (as he would later say), "I got to play a cowboy." The chemistry between the two leads in the series was essential to the show's success and the sparks between Lando and Seymour seemed to fly from the outset. (The pair reportedly dated briefly.) The network cashed in on the series success by having Lando make a limited run summer appearance on the daytime drama "Guiding Light" in 1994. His small screen profile increased as well with his casting as one of two brothers lusting after Nicolette Sheridan in the TV movie "Shadow of Desire" (CBS, 1994). Subsequently, he had roles in "Alien Nation: The Enemy Within" (Fox, 1996) and "Any Place But Home" (USA Network, 1997). Also in 1996, Lando began narrating "Jeep Presents Ultimate Adventures," a series of light documentaries focusing on the outdoors and active lifestyles that aired on The Family Channel.