https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fictional_actuaries

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Fictional actuaries and the appearance of actuaries in works of fiction have been the subject of a number of articles in actuarial journals.

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Tron - the character Ram (played by Dan Shor) is an actuarial program 3
Double Indemnity (1944) - a Billy Wilder film, with Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck; possibly the first to feature 2
Law & Order: Criminal Intent - episode "Probability" features Mark Linn-Baker as Wally Stevens, an insurance 1
The Billion Dollar Bubble (1976) - the Equity Funding scandal retold in the form of a movie, starring James Woods 1
Kim Possible: A Sitch in Time - Ron's father's job is not an obstacle to the family moving to Norway (and, later, the m 0
Hot in Cleveland - in the Season 2 episode "How I Met My Mother", Joy meets her biological son, Owen, who exp 0
Gilmore Girls (2000) - in the episode "Star-Crossed Lovers and Other Strangers," Lorelai's mom sets her up on 0
Ghost Whisperer - in the Season 4 episode "Thrilled to Death", an actuary who is terminally ill dies and his 0
Elementary - in the Season 1 episode "A Landmark Story", F. Murray Abraham portrays The Actuary, a hitman who 0
The Collector (2004) - in the episode titled "The Actuary", an actuary uses the Devil's powers to predict the 0
Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service - features a malevolent actuary who uses statistics to determine scenarios that will m 0
Homunculus - by Hideo Yamamoto; features Susumu Nakoshi as the story's protagonist, who was an actuary before he told p 0
The Year of the Jackpot - short story by Robert A. Heinlein; the male protagonist is a former actuary whose analysis of 0
Wordplay - documentary which explores the world of crossword makers and aficionados; makes reference to actuaries as o 0
Numb3rs (2005) - in the episode titled "Sacrifice," Professor Charlie Eppes refers to actuarial science 0
Society of Actuaries - holds a speculative actuarial fiction contest [9] 0
I Love You Because (2006) - musical; major character Diana Bingley is an actuary; she suggests some formula-based 0
The Wild Wild West (1968) - had an episode titled "The Night of the Avaricious Actuary"[8] 0
Super Fun Night - one of Kimmie's best friends (Helen-Alice) plays an actuary 0
The Shield (2002) - in its third episode, "The Spread", the police interrogate a rapist who claims to be an a 0
The Robinsons - sitcom about a reinsurance actuary, Ed Robinson (played by Martin Freeman), who realises that reinsura 0
Profiler (1996–1999) - episode "Perfect Helen" in Volume 2 of Season 3 is about a disturbed actuary 0
Person of Interest - in the Season 2 episode "Bury the Lede", John Reese pretends to be an actuary 0
NYPD Blue - recurring character Dr. Jennifer Devlin (character John Clark's love interest) states that her father is an 0
Preferred Risk - by Frederik Pohl and Lester del Rey (under the pseudonym Edson McCann); describes a dystopian future d 0
Mrs. Warren's Profession - "I shall set up in chambers in the City and work at actuarial calculations and conveyan 0
Sweet Charity (1969) - documents the romantic life of an actuary, played by John McMartin with Shirley MacLaine as his 0
Stranger than Fiction (2006) - Harold Crick (played by Will Ferrell), a socially isolated IRS auditor, mentions that he 0
Saw VI (2009) - William Easton is a health insurance executive who describes actuarial mathematics in a conversation wi 0
Fight Club (1999) - Edward Norton plays the protagonist, who briefly describes that his job entails the assessment of r 0
Escape Clause (1996) - Andrew McCarthy plays Richard Ramsay in an actuarial thriller; to quote TVguide.com, "The m 0
Class Action (1991) - featured Gene Hackman and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as father and daughter lawyers on opposite 0
Boyhood (2014) - Mason Evans, Sr. (played by Ethan Hawke) mentions at a baseball game that he recently passed his secon 0
Are You With It? (1948) - a musical comedy featuring Donald O'Connor as an actuary who is forced to join a carnival aft 0
Along Came Polly (2004) - Reuben Feffer (played by Ben Stiller) is a risk assessment expert, and though not explicitly 0
Thirteen Conversations About One Thing (2001) - starring Matthew McConaughey; the lives of a lawyer, an actuary, a hous 0
The Areas of My Expertise - by John Hodgman; portrays actuaries as prophets who predict the future, and are organized i 0
The Infinite Shoeblack - by Norman MacOwan; the hero (played by Leslie Banks) is a poverty stricken student of the Facu 0
Industrial Magic - by Kelley Armstrong; character Reuben Aldrich is the head of the actuarial department at a supernatu 0
"Hunted Down" - short story by Charles Dickens with an actuary, Mr. Meltham of the Inestimable Life Assurance 0
The Good Soldier Švejk - Lieutenant Pelikán is "a mathematician in an insurance firm" 0
The Foundation Trilogy - by Isaac Asimov; often considered one of the greatest science fiction works of all time[citati 0
The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic re part of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld fantasy series and feature Twoflower 0
Un Certain Monsieur Blot - by Pierre Daninos; Mr. Blot is an actuary, who wins a competition as the most average man in 0
Bet Me - by Jennifer Crusie; the main character, Minerva Dobbs, is a thirty-something actuary looking for love 0
Batman - comic series which featured a villain named the Actuary (Detective Comics #683-4 (March–April 1995)), a mathem 0
About Schmidt (2002) - Warren Schmidt is portrayed by Jack Nicholson; the movie mostly covers Schmidt's retirement from 0


meh 😐 (wins), Saturday, 24 September 2016 16:24 (four years ago) link

Film[edit]
About Schmidt (2002) - Warren Schmidt is portrayed by Jack Nicholson; the movie mostly covers Schmidt's retirement from an insurance company, and his adventures after retirement
Along Came Polly (2004) - Reuben Feffer (played by Ben Stiller) is a risk assessment expert, and though not explicitly stated, performs the job of an underwriter
Are You With It? (1948) - a musical comedy featuring Donald O'Connor as an actuary who is forced to join a carnival after misplacing a decimal point on a statistical table
The Billion Dollar Bubble (1976) - the Equity Funding scandal retold in the form of a movie, starring James Woods
Boyhood (2014) - Mason Evans, Sr. (played by Ethan Hawke) mentions at a baseball game that he recently passed his second actuarial exam, and later discusses his job at an insurance firm
Class Action (1991) - featured Gene Hackman and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as father and daughter lawyers on opposite sides of a massive class action lawsuit; actuarial analysis plays a key role in the outcome
Double Indemnity (1944) - a Billy Wilder film, with Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck; possibly the first to feature an actuary; plot revolves around a murder that seeks to gain advantage from a particular aspect of an insurance policy; an insurance investigator (played by Edward G. Robinson) knows the actuarial statistics and becomes suspicious
Escape Clause (1996) - Andrew McCarthy plays Richard Ramsay in an actuarial thriller; to quote TVguide.com, "The makers of this direct-to-video release thought the world was ready for a thriller about an insurance actuary. They thought wrong."[1]
Fight Club (1999) - Edward Norton plays the protagonist, who briefly describes that his job entails the assessment of risk associated with car accidents for an insurance company; though not explicitly stated, he performs the job of an underwriter who uses actuarially derived premiums to benchmark quotes
Saw VI (2009) - William Easton is a health insurance executive who describes actuarial mathematics in a conversation with John Kramer
Stranger than Fiction (2006) - Harold Crick (played by Will Ferrell), a socially isolated IRS auditor, mentions that he was once engaged to an auditor who left him for an actuary
Sweet Charity (1969) - documents the romantic life of an actuary, played by John McMartin with Shirley MacLaine as his love interest
Thirteen Conversations About One Thing (2001) - starring Matthew McConaughey; the lives of a lawyer, an actuary, a housecleaner, a professor, and the people around them intersect as they ponder order and happiness in the face of life's cold unpredictability
Tron - the character Ram (played by Dan Shor) is an actuarial program
Literature[edit]
The Areas of My Expertise - by John Hodgman; portrays actuaries as prophets who predict the future, and are organized into various guilds; they have various ethics, such as not predicting the date of one's own death
Batman - comic series which featured a villain named the Actuary (Detective Comics #683-4 (March–April 1995)), a mathematical genius who applies formulae to aid the Penguin in committing crimes.
Bet Me - by Jennifer Crusie; the main character, Minerva Dobbs, is a thirty-something actuary looking for love
Un Certain Monsieur Blot - by Pierre Daninos; Mr. Blot is an actuary, who wins a competition as the most average man in France; the book includes the acerbic observation that “there were two kinds of actuaries – those who were still doing actuarial work and those who had found something better to do”
The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic re part of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld fantasy series and feature Twoflower, the "actuary and world’s first tourist"
The Foundation Trilogy - by Isaac Asimov; often considered one of the greatest science fiction works of all time[citation needed] and features "psycho-historians," a sort of hidden priesthood that manipulates politics and economics on a galactic scale to accomplish the goals of peace and prosperity. Part of the theory is that on a planetary scale, people are not predictable but on a galactic scale, the law of large numbers (i.e., the Central Limit Theorem) is valid and therefore, the reactions of the galactic civilization, as a whole, are predictable. Given the characteristics of psycho-historians, they are very much like actuaries.
The Good Soldier Švejk - Lieutenant Pelikán is "a mathematician in an insurance firm"
"Hunted Down" - short story by Charles Dickens with an actuary, Mr. Meltham of the Inestimable Life Assurance Company, as its hero[2]
Industrial Magic - by Kelley Armstrong; character Reuben Aldrich is the head of the actuarial department at a supernatural organisation; he may also be a necromancer
The Infinite Shoeblack - by Norman MacOwan; the hero (played by Leslie Banks) is a poverty stricken student of the Faculty of Actuaries innocently residing in an Edinburgh brothel [3]
Mrs. Warren's Profession - "I shall set up in chambers in the City and work at actuarial calculations and conveyancing," says Vivie, the daughter of the eponymous heroine of George Bernard Shaw’s play[4]
Preferred Risk - by Frederik Pohl and Lester del Rey (under the pseudonym Edson McCann); describes a dystopian future dominated by the insurance industry; in Pohl's own words, "the one novel I wrote with Lester del Rey, which was called Preferred Risk, took a year out of my life. It's a terrible book. If you come across it, don't read it." [5]
The Year of the Jackpot - short story by Robert A. Heinlein; the male protagonist is a former actuary whose analysis of current events leads him to a disturbing conclusion about the fate of the world.
Manga[edit]
Homunculus - by Hideo Yamamoto; features Susumu Nakoshi as the story's protagonist, who was an actuary before he told people he was going on an extended vacation; instead, he lives in an old car; he resigns later in the story, and his reason for throwing his job away is still unknown
Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service - features a malevolent actuary who uses statistics to determine scenarios that will most likely result in the death of particular people
Television[edit]
The Collector (2004) - in the episode titled "The Actuary", an actuary uses the Devil's powers to predict the exact lifespan, whereabouts and circumstances of others to help mobsters rub out the competition [6]
Elementary - in the Season 1 episode "A Landmark Story", F. Murray Abraham portrays The Actuary, a hitman whose M.O. is to kill individuals in ways that make the death look like an accident or even a peaceful passing
Ghost Whisperer - in the Season 4 episode "Thrilled to Death", an actuary who is terminally ill dies and his ghost haunts his neighbour
Gilmore Girls (2000) - in the episode "Star-Crossed Lovers and Other Strangers," Lorelai's mom sets her up on a date with actuary Chase Bradford, played by Paul Cassell
Hot in Cleveland - in the Season 2 episode "How I Met My Mother", Joy meets her biological son, Owen, who explains his role as an actuary by way of "it's an insurance thing"; he returns in the Season 4 opener and Joy admits that she stills has no idea what an actuary is
Kim Possible: A Sitch in Time - Ron's father's job is not an obstacle to the family moving to Norway (and, later, the moon); "I'm an actuary. I can work anywhere people attach a dollar value to human life."
Law & Order: Criminal Intent - episode "Probability" features Mark Linn-Baker as Wally Stevens, an insurance investigator whose work is often described in the context of performing actuarial calculations
Numb3rs (2005) - in the episode titled "Sacrifice," Professor Charlie Eppes refers to actuarial science
NYPD Blue - recurring character Dr. Jennifer Devlin (character John Clark's love interest) states that her father is an actuary
Person of Interest - in the Season 2 episode "Bury the Lede", John Reese pretends to be an actuary
Profiler (1996–1999) - episode "Perfect Helen" in Volume 2 of Season 3 is about a disturbed actuary
The Robinsons - sitcom about a reinsurance actuary, Ed Robinson (played by Martin Freeman), who realises that reinsurance is not his passion and decides to rethink his life [7]
The Shield (2002) - in its third episode, "The Spread", the police interrogate a rapist who claims to be an actuary
Super Fun Night - one of Kimmie's best friends (Helen-Alice) plays an actuary
The Wild Wild West (1968) - had an episode titled "The Night of the Avaricious Actuary"[8]
Theater[edit]
I Love You Because (2006) - musical; major character Diana Bingley is an actuary; she suggests some formula-based "dating rules" to her friend Marcy in the key number "The Actuary Song"
Other[edit]
Society of Actuaries - holds a speculative actuarial fiction contest [9]
Wordplay - documentary which explores the world of crossword makers and aficionados; makes reference to actuaries as one of three occupations which are particularly adept at crossword solving

meh 😐 (wins), Saturday, 24 September 2016 16:24 (four years ago) link

Describe yourself with three fictional actuaries

savvinesslessness (map), Saturday, 24 September 2016 17:02 (four years ago) link

My aunt was an actuary

sarahell, Saturday, 24 September 2016 19:28 (four years ago) link

My great great grandfather was an actuary when he lived in England before coming to the US. Always seemed like a weird job to me. That's about all I have to say on this profession. Thanks.

larry appleton, Saturday, 24 September 2016 19:52 (four years ago) link

thank you larry!

sarahell, Saturday, 24 September 2016 19:55 (four years ago) link

No problem, good to see we share a proud history of family actuaries.

larry appleton, Saturday, 24 September 2016 20:14 (four years ago) link

Family of actuaries celebrate longevity

05 JUNE 2014 | KATIE LOW
My Grandad, John Galloway Wallace, OBE, is due to turn 100 next month. Born on the eve of the First World War and qualified as a Fellow of the Faculty early in the Second World War, he is a shining example of why pension schemes have found themselves with such deficits – when he was born, average life expectancy was about 50 and he is double that!
But while others bemoan the high costs of providing pensions to the older generations, I say we should remember to celebrate how wonderful it is that his four children, 10 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren have enjoyed and are still enjoying his intelligence, subtle wit and wry smile, not to mention his stories.
As he has been telling me since I first started studying to be an actuary, Grandad qualified in the last set of exams before they were suspended for the Second World War. He then went on to see Europe through the eyes of the army, having omitted to mention his qualification on his forms to join up, as actuaries were a protected profession.
In his heart, he remained an actuary and took the chance to look up actuaries across Europe, making great links in Belgium and Italy. In Belgium he found that many actuarial textbooks had been destroyed in the war, and arranged for the Faculty to send some over.
However, building links was not so successful on one occasion in Italy when, wearing full British Army uniform, he knocked on the door of a prominent actuary and professor. Next thing a car was heard speeding away and he was told the gentleman was not at home. Turns out the professor thought he was about to be arrested! Back at home after the war, he became heavily involved with the Faculty, becoming president in 1973. He continued with his international focus and made a big effort to build links internationally, particularly in South Africa.
Over the years, his life has contained much to be proud of – chief executive of Scottish Life, president of the Faculty of Actuaries, president of the Chartered Institute of Insurers, an OBE for services to the Sick Kids Hospital and the health service in Edinburgh, not to mention climbing all the Munros and Corbetts.
The whole family is immensely proud of his long life, contributing so much to family life, the actuarial world and society in general. Happy 100th, Grandad – here’s to longevity!

Mädchester Amick (wins), Saturday, 24 September 2016 20:58 (four years ago) link

Martin Freeman as a disgruntled actuary! i bet that's hilarious.

door unlawful carnal knowledge (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 24 September 2016 23:58 (four years ago) link

This thread got me reading https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actuarial_credentialing_and_exams and well, wow, if I didn't feel like a lame poseur before whenever I called myself and my colleagues professionals, I definitely do now

Anacostia Aerodrome (El Tomboto), Sunday, 25 September 2016 00:54 (four years ago) link

sounds like a fun saturday night.

savvinesslessness (map), Sunday, 25 September 2016 03:17 (four years ago) link

three years pass...

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Saturday, 1 February 2020 00:01 (nine months ago) link

The documentary Wordplay is on the list of fictional actuaries because actuaries are mentioned in it? Wtf is going on over at Wikipedia, tighten up, jfc

warn me about a lurking rake (One Eye Open), Saturday, 1 February 2020 03:35 (nine months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Sunday, 2 February 2020 00:01 (nine months ago) link

correct result

El Tomboto, Sunday, 2 February 2020 00:02 (nine months ago) link


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