Schroder debuted in the 1979 remake of the movie The Champ. In the following year, he made a Walt Disney film called The Last Flight Of Noah's Ark with Elliott Gould in which he gave what is generally recognised as a good performance. However, the film bombed at the box office. He became well-known as the star of the television series Silver Spoons, but as he grew older, he struggled to become known as a serious actor, changing his name from Ricky to Rick and preferring to take roles which helped him to stretch as an actor.
His co-starring role in the Western mini-series Lonesome Dove and its sequel, Return to Lonesome Dove, helped Schroder's attempt at maturity. Still, it came as a surprise to much of the public when it was announced that he had been chosen to act in the series NYPD Blue, notorious for its partial nude scenes.
Schroder only acted in NYPD Blue for three years, preferring to leave Hollywood with his family to live full-time on the family's ranch in Colorado, which he put on the market for $29,000,000, and has apparently sold. He commutes to the set of Strong Medicine, whose cast he joined for a two-year contract starting in 2005, and has appeared in films even as he built a log cabin on his ranch. He has since moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, where he resides with his wife, Andrea, and their four children, but is planning to purchase yet more real estate in a secluded area north of Los Angeles, according to news reports.
Rick Schroder made an appearance on stage at the 2000 Republican National Convention, endorsing Presidential candidate George W. Bush. He is a member of the National Rifle Association, and a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (members of which are also known as Mormons).
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