Nathan Fillion, AKA ‘Captain Tightpants,’ Is 45 Today!

Nathan Fillion, who plays Richard Castle in ABCs Castle, is the birthday boy in every nerd’s calendar today. The longtime science fiction and mystery fixture is enjoying his 45th birthday, and while he admitted celebrating last night, Fillion expressed his gratitude for the well wishes he’d received via Twitter.

According to Buddy TV, one of Fillion’s first film appearances was in the TV movie Ordeal in the Attic, where he played Canadian Master Warrant Officer Tom Jardine. That was some 23 years ago, and Fillion has likely not looked back. After landing a role on One Life to Live, Fillion garnered a great deal of notice, and eventually made it onto Joss Whedon’s Firefly, where he landed the role of Captain Malcolm Reynolds, also known as Captain “Tightpants,” according to his fanbase.

Here he is in One Life to Live, courtesy of Wetpaint.

Wetpaint notes that this is one of Fillion’s earlier roles, and Fillion himself acknowledged that there are many pictures circulating from his earlier days, but told fans to refrain from posting them. Of course, Wil Wheaton, well known for his sense of humor on Twitter, completely ignored Fillion’s request.

Firefly only lasted one season, but according to IMDB, Fillion’s feelings about series creator Joss Whedon have only grown over the years.

“No one has ever shown the kind of faith in me that Joss Whedon has shown, in both giving me a lead on his sci-fi show Firefly (2002) and in letting me play a villain for the very first time,” Fillion said. “No one’s ever let me play a villain before. So, I would say that I think he’s done great things for my career and certainly my confidence in general.”

Now, Fillion is well into his eighth season as writer-turned-investigator Richard Castle, where he co-stars with Stana Katic, who plays Castle’s wife Kate Beckett. While Castle and Fillion continue to enjoy a lot of popularity, it is because of his role as Captain Mal Reynolds on Firefly and on Serenity that Fillion continues to enjoy a lot of renown.

In fact, his relationship with Firefly and Serenity co-star Alan Tudyk has led to a web series, Con Man. According to Entertainment Weekly, Con Man was at least in part inspired by the duo’s time on the convention circuit talking about Firefly. Tudyk said that incidents similar to those he and Fillion might have experienced at San Diego Comic Con might make it into the series.

Fillion is now dating Krista Allen, who was once well known for dating George Clooney, and according to reports, the two are quite happy. In spite of the somewhat larger-than-life way in which his alter ego, Richard Castle, lives on Castle, Fillion has been ultra-successful in keeping his private life exactly that. However, Fillion’s Instagram account has been filled with pictures of Allen, and Allen’s has had a number of shots of Fillion on her Instagram account.

Fillion has previously been linked with Christine Ochoa and while that relationship did not seem to work out, his relationship with Allen appears to be going incredibly well, as reports indicate he has met her 18-year-old son and the two get along well. Fans, however, are already wondering whether or not Fillion will be returning with his co-star Stana Katic for a ninth season of Castle.

Numbers are quite a bit lower for Castle than they have been for previous seasons, and Katic has not been in every episode this season as she has in previous seasons. Fillion has also been quite busy with Con Man and with a range of other acting opportunities, including voice acting. While the fate of Castle is still unknown, what remains clear is that Fillion’s 45 years on the planet have kept him incredibly busy. Happy birthday, Captain Tightpants!

[Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for PCA]