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Since it debuted in 1996, Star Trek has attracted a large number of loyal and dedicated fans. Star Trek’ influence is so vast even non-fans, who’ve never seen an episode, tend to know a few Star Trek facts. Here we are going to unearth all of your favorite characters and what these actors are up to now.
It would be impossible to imagine the Star Trek universe without Spock. From the pilot episode back in 1964 to his final appearance in 2013, Leonard Nimoy created one of the most loved characters in the franchise’s history. His role as Spock is deeply rooted in the hearts of fans even though he enjoyed other roles outside of Star Trek. Nimoy was also an accomplished director, author, and musician. It was desperately sad news when it was announced that he had passed away due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in 2015.
Neither Captain James T.Kirk nor the actor who played him, William Shatner, require any introduction in a Star Trek article. In his decades of television appearances, William Shatner became a cultural icon for his brilliant portrayal of Captain James T.Kirk. Since leaving the show, he has acted in films and TV shows like Boston Legal and The Practice. He is also a successful director, producer, and author.
Scott Bakula played Captain Jonathan Archer in the Star Trek: Enterprise series. Since the show came to an end, Scott Bakula has enjoyed roles in a wide variety of TV shows and Hollywood films. Before Star Trek, his role as Sam Beckett from Quantum Lea won him a Golden Globe award and four Emmy nominations.
B'Elanna Torres is one of the central characters in Star Trek: Voyager and was played by Roxann Dawson. She is portrayed as a half-human half-Klingon and had a troubled childhood. She retained her aggressive behavior but eventually learned to control it. The actress Roxann Dawson is a multi-talented woman and directed some famous episodes on shows like Charmed, The Mentalist, The O.C., Cold Case, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, and has served as a producer on Scandal, Crossing Jordan and Cold Case.
Gates McFadden is best known for her portrayal of Dr.Beverly Crusher in the Star Trek series and four of its films. Gates was reluctant to accept the role of Dr.Crusher at first. When her time in the franchise was up, she turned her career to teaching and has taught at several universities, including Harvard, Purdue, and the University of Pittsburgh, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and Hamburg’s Stella Academy. She is one talented lady!
Michael Dorn was known for his role as Klingon Worf in the Star Trek franchise. He has appeared more times as a regular cast member than any other Star Trek actor in the franchise’s history. Following the end of his Star Trek career, Dorn had supporting roles in many independent feature films including Shadow Hours and Lessons for an Assassin. He is also a highly skilled pilot and owns his Lockheed T-33 trainer jet, named starship.
Denise Crosby played more than one role during her time with Star Trek. The role you are most familiar with is that of Lt. Tasha Yar in Star Trek: The Next Generation, season one. After saying goodbye to Star Trek, she enjoyed a prolific career in film and television with countless appearances. She popped up in everything from The Drew Carey Show to Mad Men and even produced and starred in the 1997 documentary, Trekkies.
Kim Cattrall is best known for her role as Samantha Jones on HBO’s Sex and the City. She will remain a Vulcan in the hearts of all true Star Trek fans though. Cattrall’s character, Valerie, was under the mentorship of Captain Spock and excelled with his expert tutelage. She designed her character’s headband and was also involved in the hair styling and even the development of the name.
Wesley Crusher, one of the more controversial characters on Star Trek, was played by Wil Wheaton. Wesley Crusher looks innocent enough, but that was the problem. His innocence made fans doubt that he was able to save the day and his storylines always felt too contrived and hard to get into it. Since leaving the show, Wheaton has fared just fine, and he has appeared in various TV shows, including Criminal Minds and The Big Bang Theory.
While most people know Kirstie as the blonde bombshell who went through some pretty public struggles with her weight, the actress once played Lt.Saavik on Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. With her dark hair and costume, she’s worlds away from the image we’ve grown accustomed to. After her time in Star Trek came to an end, she went on to enjoy a long run on the popular sitcom, Cheers, and was catapulted to fame in Hollywood movies like For Richer or Poorer, Look Who’s Talking, Accidental Love, and It Takes Two.
Robert Beltran was twice nominated for his role Commander Chakotay in the show for an ALMA award and was successful in taking the award for “Outstanding Actor in a Television Series” from Golden Eagle. Since Star Trek, he’s enjoyed roles in film, television, and theater.
The actor, Robert Picardo, well known for his portrayal of Emergency Medical Hologram, was set to become a real-life doctor. He entered Yale and was ready to take on life as a pre-med student. But he changed his major and eventually graduated from Yale with a drama degree. Since his time on Star Trek: Voyager came to an end, he’s enjoyed a fruitful acting career with roles in film and television, and on Broadway.
Whoopi features in the franchise with her trademark big smile and iconic set of dreads. She played Guinan on Star Trek, from the El-Aurian race, who spend their time listening to the universe. After a long time in the Star Trek universe, Whoopi’s career took off and she became the household name we know today. She is the proud owner of Oscar, Grammy, Emmy and Tony awards, and became the second black woman in history to win an Academy Award for acting.
LeVar Burton was the host and executive producer of Reading Rainbow, a brilliant children’s show, and was known by fans. He later landed one of our favorite roles in the Star Trek franchise: Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge. He was set to be blind but was able to “see” through the use of his boss looking VISOR. Since his time on Star Trek, he has both acted in and directed numerous episodes in a variety of television series. Burton is also an active member on the AIDS Research Alliance board of directors.
More than one poll has placed Ensign Ro Laren as the second strongest female character in the eyes of fans. When her time with Star Trek was up, Michelle Forbes went on to star in some televisions’ most popular series, including the excellent 24, and True Blood. She also scored a role in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2.
Sir Patrick Stewart is best known around the world for his portrayal of Captain Jean Luc Picard. He has been appearing on stage, in films, and on television for nearly six decades now. As an English actor, he made his name in the 80s working in the American film and television industry. Queen Elizabeth II knighted Patrick Stewart in 2010 for his massive contribution to the dramatic arts.
Ashley Judd was in Star Trek, which you might not even realize as she wasn’t a household name when she made her debut on the show back in 1991. She played Starfleet officer, Ensign Robin Lefler, and appeared in just two episodes. Now she is a well-known Hollywood actress and political activist.
Takei was cast in the second Star Trek pilot and, with its success, went on to star in the resultant Star Trek series. However, his time was being taken up by another role he had in the Green Berets as Captain Nim. His hilarious social media posts have made him even more of an icon than his Star Trek days did. Takei is a proponent of LGBT rights and is active in state and local politics. He has won several awards and accolades for his work on human rights and US-Japan relations.
Ensign Clancy only appeared in two episodes of Star Trek but it was enough to help launch a successful career for Anne Ramsay. She’s one of the actresses who you immediately recall when you look at her. After leaving the show, Anne Ramsay went on to take on roles in popular television shows like Mad About You, Dexter, Castle and many more. She’s also appeared in some Hollywood films, including A League of Their Own, Planet of the Apes and Human Contact.
Korean-American actress, Linda Park, had just graduated from Boston University when she got her first big break: the role of Hoshi Sato in Star Trek, who was a communications officer and can understand and translate all the alien languages the crew encountered. When her time with Star Trek came to an end, Park was able to use it as a platform from which to land plenty of television work, like Crash. What’s more, She co-founded Underground Asylum, an LA-based theater company, though it has since gone defunct.
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