Amanda Tapping: Why The Stargate Star Stopped Acting

Amanda Tapping was a star on Stargate, but she's largely left acting to focus on directing.

By Rick Gonzales | Published

Amanda Tapping

Actress Amanda Tapping has had a busy career as part of the Stargate franchise (a revival is on the way) and other projects as well. While she has close to 60 acting credits to her name, she also has been behind the camera as a director for almost half as many. She has even worn the producer’s hat in the past.

It had been years since we saw Amanda Tapping in front of the camera, though that finally changed recently. What was the deal with the break and is there more to come from this actress?


Amanda Tapping, famed for her role as Samantha Carter in Stargate SG-1, revealed her struggles with mental health during the Covid-19 lockdowns, exacerbated by her mother’s passing from cancer in 2021.

The pandemic-induced isolation deeply affected both Tapping and her mother. “My mom was sick during Covid and died during Covid,” she said.

While she resumed acting, directing, and producing, with projects like Dead Boy Detectives, the trauma of the period hindered her healing process.

However, connecting with the Stargate fan community and contributing to mental health initiatives helped Tapping recognize the importance of acknowledging and addressing mental health challenges.


Now 57 years old, Amanda Tapping lives in Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband Alan Kovacs and their daughter Olivia. The couple was married in 1994 and they’re still going strong.

And every now and then, Amanda still gets together with her old friends from Stargate Command…

This much she shares every so often on her Instagram page, which has close to 37K followers. On the social media platform, she shares work updates as well as life and family look-ins.

In general, as we will get into, Amanda Tapping has taken a break from acting to work behind the camera. It’s been an interesting career arc, seeing as how she began as a sci-fi fan favorite.


Amanda Tapping on The X-Files

Amanda Tapping began her career in 1991 and since that time has spent the bulk of it on the small screen. She’s been in 11 TV movies and over 20 TV series. She can also toss in a number of TV mini-series on her resume.

Amanda Tapping’s early career was a mixture of both TV series and movies. She had bit parts in the series Street Legal, E.N.G, and Forever Knight while also starring in the movies Degree of Guilt, Rent-a-Kid, and Net Worth. Nothing illustrious or earth-shattering but she was beginning to carve out a very successful career.

Amanda Tapping booty call
Amanda Tapping in Booty Call

As her career progressed, Amanda Tapping found herself landing more roles on TV series such as Goosebumps, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, The X-Files, and The Newsroom.

During this early part of her career, Tapping also dipped her toe into the feature film world by taking small roles in The Donor and Booty Call.



Amanda Tapping’s big break arrived when Stargate SG-1 came calling. She portrayed Samantha Carter on the show and was in all 213 episodes over 10 seasons. Her role was large, to begin with, but it continued to grow as the seasons moved on.

Amanda Tapping as Carter

Amanda Tapping came aboard as a Captain and saw her character promoted to Major, Lieutenant Colonel, and finally Colonel. The series’ main focus was on Jack O’Neill, played by Richard Dean Anderson (McGuyver) but as he began to be phased out during the final two seasons, Tapping’s Carter took center stage.

Amanda Tapping on Stargate

During her time on SG-1, a spin-off to the series was created. Stargate: Atlantis was born and Amanda Tapping crossed over between both series until SG-1’s run ended. She then moved over to Atlantis for the series’ final two seasons.

Though she never took complete center stage as Carter, the actress became a fan-favorite on the series.



Amanda Tapping’s career did not end once the Stargate franchise came to a close. In fact, even before her last appearance on Stargate, Tapping was already moving forward with another TV series called Sanctuary.

Sanctuary followed Amanda’s Dr. Helen Magnus character as she fought against modern monsters, those born of gene therapy, stem cells, transplants, and cloning. The show ran for four seasons and cemented Tapping’s status as a series star.

In part, Amanda Tapping’s move to Sanctuary did reduce her role some on Stargate, seeing as how pulling double duties wasn’t completely in the cards.

Amanda Tapping

After the four-year run on Sanctuary, Amanda Tapping again moved on to another popular series, Supernatural, where she played a recurring part for seven seasons. But the last thing she was seen on was the Netflix series Travelers, which ended in 2018.

With all the success in front of the camera and frankly such a busy career with all the roles she has taken on, you would think that would be all Amanda Tapping had time for. But she made time to add new skills to her talent stack.

Tapping’s desire to work behind the camera became evident early on in her career, as she began directing episodes of many TV shows, starting with one episode of Stargate SG-1.

Since that time, she has lent her director’s eye to such shows as Primeval: New World, Van Helsing, Travelers, and Supernatural.

Since the last time Tapping was seen in front of the camera in 2018, she has directed episodes of Siren, The 100, Anne with an E, The Flash, and even an episode of Batwoman. So, while we may not be seeing much of Amanda Tapping in front of the camera, she continues to work at what appears to be her new passion: directing.

More recently, she has directed multiple episodes of Motherland: Fort Salem. The series aired for three seasons on Freeform and just wrapped up its run in 2022. The series followed witches who end up enlisting in the army and use their magical powers to help in the present day.


The word was out that Amanda Tapping was in negotiations to bring Sanctuary back after an eight-year hiatus. Originally, there was no word as to what streaming service or channel would carry the reboot, but the original was a SYFY Channel gig.

So, if you were a fan of the original, keep an eye open for its return. While there hasn’t been any word about this recently, with shows like this there would appear to always be hope.