Here’s What Happened to Your Favorite Star Trek Cast Members

Since its inception in 1966, Star Trek has been serious business. Even after the classic cast retired, it continued to have an influence on popular culture. At present, it has amassed a sizable cult following across the globe. No one will deny it, even if they prefer the Lucasfilms universe! 
Some say the franchise was a hit because of its story and setting. Space is scintillating stuff! But there’s no denying the fact that the actors and actresses helped make the series what it was. To celebrate these amazing performers, digital documentation is needed. Real Trekkies are about to enjoy some amazing behind-the-scenes pictures and stories, here. Read long, and prosper!

Grace Lee Whitney As Janice Rand

Grace Lee Whitney was well-known for portraying Captain Kirk’s yeoman, Janice Rand, in the original series. She also made appearances in feature films. Aside from that, Grace has been known to make appearances at fan conventions, even after she stopped playing as Rand. Indeed, it was the conventions that really made her famous.

Grace became unemployed after she was originally terminated from the show for reasons unknown, but fellow cast member DeForest Kelly helped her return to the series and reprise her role. She enjoyed a long and fruitful life until her death in 2015. The fifth episode of Star Trek Continues was dedicated to her memory.

Terry Farrell As Jadzia Dax

Before she was an actress, Terry Farrell started out as a model for Mademoiselle at age 16. She began to study acting on the side 18 months later. She was neck-and-neck with Martha Hackett when she auditioned for the role of Jadzia Dax in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. 

Farrell eventually left the show after the end of the sixth season, and this caused her character to be replaced by Ezri Dax. She eventually retired from acting in 2002 to focus on raising her children, though her Star Trek legacy lives on in the form of an asteroid that has been named after her.

Marina Sirtis As Deanna Troi

London-born actress Marina Sirtis was well-known for her role as Human-Betazoid Deanna Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Not only that, but she also reprised the USS Enterprise-D counselor role in the four films that followed. Sirtis took other roles in Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Enterprise, and Star Trek continues.

Aside from her role in Star Trek, Sirtis also worked on other films and series such as Syfy’s Finders Keepers in 2014 and NCIS. In 2019, she made her theatrical debut on the London West End stage in Dark Sublime, where she portrays a formerly popular British Sci-Fi actress.

Jolene Blalock As Commander T’Pol

When Jolene Blalock was just 17 years old, she left her home in California to model in Europe and Asia. Though she was featured in men’s magazines like Maxim, Pollock was struggling and decided to switch to acting. She started out in small roles in shows like Veronica’s Closet and Love Boat: The Next Wave.

It was in 2001 that she managed to land the role of Commander T’Pol in Star Trek: Enterprise. According to Blalock, her role in the show still manages to “delight her” up until this day. Blalock eventually married and had three children, but she’s pursuing her acting career. To date, she’s yet to land a role as prominent as her stint as T’Pol.

Jonathan Frakes As William T. Riker

Though Jonathan Frakes will be remembered for his role as Commander William Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation, he auditioned seven times over six weeks just to win over the producers. Not only was Frakes an actor, but he also served as a director for fourteen episodes. He also made appearances in other Star Trek media.

After his stint as Riker, Frakes went into voice acting for various TV shows such as Futurama, Adventure Time, and The Super Hero Squad Show. He also hosted 45 episodes of Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction? Outside of acting and directing, Frakes owned a home furnishings store alongside his wife, which closed due to both of them being too busy with their careers.

Michelle Forbes As Ensign Ro Laren

Michelle Forbes, born Michelle Renee Forbes Guajardo, was well-known for her role as Ensign Ro Laren in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Although she had her parts in other hit TV shows such as 24 and Prison Break, none of them are as cherished by fans as her role in the 1987 Star Trek series.

Originally, Forbes wanted to become a ballet dancer but a vacation in New York City as a teen changed her mind and she redirected her energy into an acting career with the help of the William Morris Agency. From then on, Forbes has been somewhat typecast by her television and film roles as a flawed, yet determined woman.

Linda Park As Hoshi Sato

First appearing in Star Trek: Enterprise in 2001, Hoshi Sato served as a communications officer and was portrayed by Korean-American actress Linda Park. As she is able to speak English, Korean, and a bit of French, Park meshed well with her character’s natural gift for translating various alien languages.

Aside from portraying the character in the perennial sci-fi classic, Park’s other known appearances include the 2001 film Jurassic Park III, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, as well as NCIS. In real life, she married in 2014 and had her first child in 2018. Park is also passionate about dancing, saying it “has always been my second love.”

George Takei As Hikaru Sulu

In the original Star Trek series, USS Enterprise helmsman Hikaru Sulu was portrayed by none other than George Takei. Because he was a big fan of the sci-fi genre, Takei also made an appearance in Star Trek: Voyager and all six feature films as the same character. 

Outside of Star Trek, George Takei has appeared in various TV shows such as The Big Bang Theory, Chowder, and The Twilight Zone. In real life, he is an author, activist, and director who is currently enjoying his eighties [as of this writing].

Scott Bakula As Jonathan Archer

Known for his role as Captain Jonathan Archer in Star Trek: Enterprise, Scott Bakula has managed to make a name for himself in the acting scene. In fact, his performance as the sci-fi character netted him a Golden Globe Award. Aside from that, Bakula was also known for portraying Sam Beckett in Quantum Leap.

After his Star Trek days came to an end, Scott Bakula managed to land himself a starring role in NCIS: New Orleans. Besides being an actor, Scott Bakula was also known to be quite the family man. Indeed, his Star Trek: Enterprise contract required that his scenes be completed by 6 PM so he could have dinner with his family every night. How sweet!

William Shatner As Captain James T. Kirk

Although Captain James Kirk is currently being portrayed by Chris Pine, William Shatner was the face of the USS Enterprise’s captain in the original series. Although he was famous for that role, the sci-fi series only served as Shatner’s stepping stone into an illustrious and varied acting career.

William Shatner appeared in many shows and was even awarded Emmys for his roles in The Practice and Boston Legal. Even at his old age, he continues to be active in the public scene on top of his catalog of philanthropy and media appearances. Interestingly, despite all that, Shatner is known to dislike watching himself perform.

Kim Cattrall As Lieutenant Valeris

While actress Kim Cattrall is famous for her role as Samantha Jones in HBO’s Sex and the City, she’s better known to Trekkies as the Vulcan Lieutenant Valeris from the film Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. In fact, she was actually the one who came up with the character’s name and hairstyle.

Besides those two roles, Cattrall has a pretty big portfolio of films she’s appeared in, including her debut in Rosebud in 1975. She’s also had a lot of Broadway gigs such as Wild Honey and Miss Julie. Right now, she’s still at it with her career and just became an American citizen not too long ago.

DeForest Kelley As Dr. Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy

Known for his role as Dr. Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy in the original Star Trek series, actor DeForest Kelley was so into his role that he found it difficult to see himself playing other characters once his stint ended. Still, he did manage to make some appearances in other movies and television shows (most notably, the film Night of the Lepus).

Kelley made so much bank from his appearances at Trekkie conventions that he ended up retiring from acting altogether. Sadly, he met his untimely end in 1999 due to stomach cancer, but not before he was given a Golden Boot Award. Fittingly, Newsweek magazine’s obituary for him was “We’re not even going to try to resist: He’s dead, Jim.” Kelley had joked about this being what people would likely say when he died.

Brent Spiner As Lieutenant Commander Data

Before Brent Spiner began his decade-and-a-half long stint as Lt. Commander Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation, he started off as a stage actor on Broadway before moving on to some small television pilots and movie roles. His career took off once he got the role in the sci-fi TV series.

After his Trekkie days, Spinner began appearing in more well-known television shows such as The Big Bang Theory, Deadly Games, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. He also appeared in Independence Day and its sequel as Dr. Brackish Okun. Despite being in his 70s, Spinner continues to be active in television with his recent role in Penny Dreadful: City of Angels.

Wil Wheaton As Wesley Crusher

At one point, actor Wil Wheaton actually played a fictional version of himself in the television series The Big Bang Theory. However, he was also known for his portrayal of Wesley Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Unfortunately, Wheaton’s stint ended in controversy when his character was abruptly written out of the show.

After his Trekkie days, Wil Wheaton appeared in a few more films like Toy Soldiers and then went into doing voice work for animated shows such as Teen Titans and video games like Fallout: New Vegas. Other shows included in his acting portfolio include The Wil Wheaton Project, Family Guy, Criminal Minds, Numb3rs, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Denise Crosby As Tasha Yar / Commander Sela

Outside the original series veterans, Denise Crosby has made quite the footprint in the Trekkie scene. Not only did she portray Tasha Yar in Star Trek: The Next Generation for 31 episodes, she also played the security chief’s daughter, Commander Sela, later on in the series. Crosby even starred in and served as co-executive producer for the 1997 documentary Trekkies.

Outside of her Trekkie career, Denise Crosby played Mary for a few episodes in The Walking Dead and Janet Holland in Scandal. To this day, she continues to make brief appearances in shows such as NCIS: Los Angeles, The Watcher, Suits, The Magician, and Castle.

Gates McFadden As Dr. Beverly Crusher

Actress Gates McFadden was known for her role as Dr. Beverly Crusher, mother of the somewhat-infamous Wesley Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation (except for the second season). She also appeared in the four movies that followed on from the popular show. The reason for her departure was that then-showrunner Maurice Hurley didn’t like her acting.

Besides acting, McFadden was also known to work as a director-choreographer during the 80s, all under the pseudonym of Cheryl McFadden. She also starred in a number of commercials for Microsoft. Just recently, McFadden has begun her own podcast, which will also feature some of her fellow Star Trek cast members. 

Whoopi Goldberg As Guinan

While Whoopi Goldberg is well-known for her appearance in Sister Act and voice work in The Lion King, she had a recurring role in Star Trek: The Next Generation. In that series, she portrays Guinan, the USS Enterprise-D’s bartender hostess. Goldberg also reprised the role for two of the show’s feature films.

Outside of Sister Act and Star Trek, Whoopi Goldberg’s acting career has grown continuously since she began in 1982. Roles in films like Toy Story 3 and television shows such as 30 Rock are just a couple of her impressive accomplishments. Even as she moves into her senior years, Goldberg remains active in her career and has just recently reprised her role for the theatrical adaptation of Sister Act.

Michael Dorn As Worf

Actor Michael Dorn was known in the franchise to portray the series’ first main Klingon character, Worf, starting with Star Trek: The Next Generation. He can also boast about appearing in more Star Trek episodes and films than any other actor in the cast list – 270 episodes and five films to be exact.

Outside of Sister Act and Star Trek, Whoopi Goldberg’s acting career has grown continuously since she began in 1982. Roles in films like Toy Story 3 and television shows such as 30 Rock are just a couple of her impressive accomplishments. Even as she moves into her senior years, Goldberg remains active in her career and has just recently reprised her role for the theatrical adaptation of Sister Act.

Roxann Dawson As B’Elanna Torres

Before her debut as the half-Human, half-Klingon engineer B’Elanna Torres, Roxann Dawson (nee Caballero) started out as a small-time actress during the 80s and early 90s. It was in 1994 that she finally took a role in Star Trek: Voyager. During her time on the show, Dawson also began to work as a director starting with two episodes of the sci-fi series.

Recently, Dawson’s acting career has begun to slow down, but she still works as a director for various TV shows from time to time. Some notable shows she’s directed include Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, House of Cards, and Under the Dome. Fun fact: Roxann was originally an atheist before converting to Catholicism after her second marriage.

Scarlett Pomers As Naomi Wildman

Before her debut as Naomi Wildman on Star Trek: Voyager, Scarlett Pomers actually first appeared in the hit 1992 music video “Heal the World” by Michael Jackson. Although she was young compared to the other cast members, Pomers managed to win a Young Artist Award for her performance in the sci-fi television series, and this was what propelled her to fame.

After her stint as a Trekkie, Pomers went on to star in Reba as Kyra Hart. However, she was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa during the fifth season, causing her to take a break for treatment. Pomers hasn’t done much acting since 2010, though she still works as a singer from time to time.

LeVar Burton As Geordi La Forge

Although LeVar Burton is a well-known actor and a well-respected director, he is mostly remembered for portraying Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Compared to other members of the “regular” cast who branched into directing and/or producing, he directed more Star Trek episodes than anyone else.

There are other roles that Burton is known for, such as Kwame from Captain Planet and the Planeteers, Paul Haley from Perception, and cameos as himself in many other TV shows. He remains active in his acting and directing career to this day, alongside fundraising for the AIDS Research Alliance as a member of its board of directors.

Colm Meaney As Miles O’Brien

Irish actor Colm Meaney has a pretty rich acting portfolio, especially when it comes to television. In Star Trek: The Next Generation, he portrays Miles O’Brien. Just like his real-life counterpart’s nationality, O’Brien is a 100% Irish-born member of Starfleet. Meaney also reprised his role for the follow-up series, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Star Trek isn’t the only thing Colm Meaney is known for. He has also made many appearances in films alongside other well-known actors. Some of his most notable roles were with Gerard Butler in Law Abiding Citizen and Russell Brand in Get Him to the Greek. Meaney was also recently ranked 24th on The Irish Times list of Ireland’s greatest film actors.

Robert Beltran As Chakotay

In Star Trek: Voyager, actor Robert Beltran portrays Commander Chakotay for the whole series. As a Native American, Beltran was brought into the show to add another touch of character diversity. The franchise is famous for being well ahead of the curve on this. His inclusion wasn’t simply for the sake of it, however, as he managed to win a Nosotros Golden Eagle Award for his performance in the show.

Aside from being known for his Trekkie stint, Robert Beltran has a number of television roles under his belt, including CSI: Miami, Murder, She Wrote, Eating Raoul, and Big Love. He has also done a lot of theatrical performances, some of which were adaptations of William Shakespeare’s famous works.

Robert Picardo As Emergency Medical Hologram

Robert Picardo is an actor known to portray the Emergency Medical Hologram in Star Trek: Voyager. Also known as The Doctor, Picardo’s character is unique in that he was the first major character to be entirely digital in nature. Although he was given that role, Picardo originally auditioned for the role of Neelix.

Star Trek isn’t Rober Picardo’s only sci-fi stint. He also appeared in Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis as Richard Woosley. Some of his other television appearances include Body of Proof, Supernatural, Chuck, and CSI: NY. Additionally, Picardo has also done a lot of voice work for the Call of Duty video game series.

Garrett Wang As Harry Kim

As a fan of science fiction, it must have been a dream come true for actor Garrett Wang to land a role in Star Trek: Voyager. Having watched all the feature films helped him hit the ground running as Ensign Harry Kim. However, according to Wang, Star Trek: The Next Generation was something he wasn’t a huge fan of.

Before his acting career, Wang was undecided in his career. The talented young man constantly switched majors during his college days, with Political Science and Biology among his many interests. These days, he has been regularly going to fan conventions to interview high-profile celebrities like Marvel legend Stan Lee. At one point, Wang briefly hosted a podcast series on the streaming website Twitch.

Sir Patrick Stewart As Captain Jean-Luc Picard

While many know him for portraying Professor Charlies Xavier in the X-Men film series, Sir Patrick Stewart was also known for playing the role of Captain Picard starting in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Even before those stints, he already had a stellar career, with TV Guide naming him “Best Dramatic TV Actor of the 1980s.” 

For his “services to drama,” Patrick Stewart was officially knighted by the Queen of England in 2010, and that was only one of his many accolades. Although Stewart is now in his 80s, he continues to be active in his career, even reprising his role for Star Trek: Picard and serving as the show’s executive producer.

James Doohan As Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott

James Doohan wasn’t just known for his role as Scotty in the original series – he was responsible for the development of the Klingon and Vulcan languages, which came to be the staples of the entire Star Trek franchise. His character’s Chief Engineer status also inspired many children to take up technical fields such as engineering and physics.

Despite having difficulty portraying other roles due to typecasting, Doohan enjoyed meeting up with his fans and remained a good influence overall, even inspiring a struggling student to finish school and become an electronics engineer. He eventually passed away in 2005 due to pulmonary fibrosis, but his legacy remains strong with an honorary engineering degree and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Ethan Philips As Neelix

Before television, New York native Ethan Philips began his career performing on-stage in the late 70s before making his debut on TV at the start of the 1980s. Although he made his first Trekkie appearance in Star Trek: First Contact, it was his role as Neelix in Star Trek: Voyager that defined his sci-fi stint.

After his Star Trek days, Philips focused once more on the theater, even founding a playwright development lab called First Stage, which is based in Los Angeles. He hasn’t abandoned TV and film entirely, though, as he continues to make appearances from time to time.

Rosalind Chao As Keiko O’Brien

Rosalind Chao is known for her recurring role as Keiko O’Brien in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. As that character, she was a botanist, wife to Miles O’Brien, and a mother to their daughter, Molly O’Brien. Prior to landing this role, Chao was once considered for the role of Tasha Yar in an earlier series.

During her career, Rosalind Chao has also worked at California Disneyland as an international tour guide, where she met British actor Simon Templeman. The two eventually married and have had two children since then. Chao remains active in her career, making appearances in films like Mulan and the upcoming Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

Jeffrey Combs As Shran

Jeffrey Combs portrayed a number of alien characters across many television series, beginning with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. However, his biggest role to date as a Trekkie is the recurring character of Shran in Star Trek: Enterprise. According to the show’s producer, Combs would’ve been promoted to the main cast had the show been renewed for a fifth season.

Aside from that, Combs was also known for his roles in many horror films such as Re-Animator, The Frighteners, and FeardotCom. After his Star Trek stint, Jeffrey Combs went on to appear in other TV shows such as The 4400 and Transformers: Prime, which are his biggest roles in recent times.

Majel Barrett As Christine Chapel / Lwaxana Troi

Producer and actress Majel Barrett is a true Star Trek veteran, having participated in every incarnation of the franchise during her lifetime. Besides being the voice of most onboard computer interfaces, she portrayed Christine Chapel in the original series and Lwaxana Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Early on in her stint, Barrett married the creator himself, Gene Rodenberry, and the two remained together until his death in 1991. For her involvement in the franchise, she had been nicknamed the “First Lady” of Star Trek. Barrett died in December of 2008 due to leukemia, and many veteran actors and Trekkies attended her public funeral the following month.

Robert O’Reilly As Gowron

American actor Robert O’Reilly spent more than ten years playing the Klingon Chancellor Gowron in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Before his appearance as the Klingon leader, however, O’Reilly actually first appeared in Manhunt, an episode of the former series as a character nicknamed “Scarface” and “Tough Guy.”

Outside of Star Trek, O’Reilly has appearances in over a hundred different movies and TV episodes and has also starred in some Broadway shows. In real life, he is a father to triplets born in 1997, and he continues to attend Trekkie conventions well after his retirement, sometimes role-playing as his famous Klingon character.

Leonard Nimoy As Spock

Before Zachary Quinto took over as the iconic character in the 2009 soft reboot, Leonard Nimoy was the face of the famous Vulcan-Human commanding officer of the Enterprise in the original series. The character’s intelligence and coolness, coupled with Nimoy’s performance, propelled Spock to the status of a global pop culture icon.

Leonard Nimoy made appearances in many other TV shows alongside the follow-up Star Trek series and eight feature films. He also branched out into other art forms, including music and writing. Nimoy passed away in 2015, but his legacy lives on in many ways. Most notably, he has an asteroid named after him. Both the actor and the character truly did live long and prosper.

Zoe Saldana As Nyota Uhura (2009 film)

Usually, the first thing to come to mind when hearing about actress Zoe Saldana is her portrayal of Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy. However, she also portrayed Nota Uhura in the 2009 Star Trek film under the guidance of her 60s counterpart, Nichelle Nichols. Saldana was initially anxious about the role, but she was inspired and supported by her Trekkie mother.

Aside from the aforementioned roles, Zoe Saldana also starred as Neytiri in James Cameron’s 2009 film, Avatar. Some of her other films include The Book of Life, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, and My Little Pony: The Movie. In real life, the talented actress is married and raising three kids.

Eric Bana As Captain Nero

For a comedian, Australian actor Eric Bana did a splendid job of portraying the rather serious character of Nero, who was the main antagonist of the 2009 Star Trek film. Though he was never much of a Star Trek fan, reading the script for the 2009 film made Bana very excited, which is why he jumped on board.

Outside of his Star Trek role, Eric Bana appeared in a number of TV shows and films, with notable ones including The Traveller’s Wife, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, and Something in the Air. In real life, his hobbies include motor racing and Australian football. Bana is happily married and raising two children.

Dominic Keating as Lieutenant Malcolm Reed

Although he began his television acting career in 1989 in minor roles, Dominic Keating landed his first major one in Star Trek: Enterprise. In the series, he plays Lieutenant Malcolm Reed, a tactical and armory officer who isn’t known to speak up a lot. Since then, he has starred in other shows such as Heroes, CSI: NY, and Prison Break.

Before his television career, Keating was a fairly successful actor on stage, with Amongst Barbarians featuring one of his most famous performances. He has also done voice work for various video games such as World of Warcraft, Destiny, and Diablo III. Lately, he has become more active in Hollywood, with The Host being his most recent film.

Nichelle Nichols As Nyota Uhura (Original Series)

Before Zoe Saldana succeeded her as Lieutenant Uhura, Nichelle Nichols portrayed the character in the original series. Although her career began in 1959, it was her role in Star Trek that defined the rest of her career. She continued playing this character until Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and eventually retired from acting altogether in late 2020.

Nichols was also known to be the first African-American woman to play a non-servant, non-slave role in television. She even garnered the attention of Martin Luther King Jr. for her contribution to the Civil Rights Movement during that time. Leveraging her Trekkie stint, Nichols also worked with NASA to recruit minorities and females to the agency. 

John De Lancie As Q

John De Lancie is another actor who has a sizable Star Trek filmography with The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager among them. In those three series, he portrays Q, a near-omnipotent, god-like entity who happens to have a sense of humor. Despite only having appeared a couple of times, De Lancie’s character became very popular within the fan community.

Aside from his brief Trekkie stint, John De Lancie was also known to be an outspoken supporter of the male fanbase of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. In that show, he served as the voice of Discord, a draconic being who has a similar personality to Star Trek’s Q.

Walter Koenig As Pavel Chekov

In the original series, Walter Koenig portrays Ensign Pavel Chekov starting from the second season. Gene Rodenberry, the show’s creator, cast him in hopes of making the show more appealing to a younger audience. Koenig has continued to portray his character in subsequent Star Trek movies, shows, and video games.

Outside his acting career, Walter Koenig was also known to be a screenwriter, with 2007’s InAlienable and some Star Trek films among his works. Fun fact: Koenig’s relationship with fellow actor George Takei was quite shaky early in their Trekkie days, but they have since become close friends. Indeed, Koenig was even the best man at Takei’s wedding in 2008.

Robert Duncan McNeill As Tom Paris

Robert Duncan McNeill is well-known for portraying Tom Paris in Star Trek: Voyager. Before that, though, he actually appeared in one episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation as Cadet First Class Nicholas Locarno. Interestingly, both of McNeill’s characters share a similar backstory. He also directed four episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise.

McNeill also made appearances in several 90s TV shows such as Quantum Leap, Murder, She Wrote, and All My Children. These days, he works mostly as a director for TV shows like The Orville, White Collar, and 666 Park Avenue. His biggest directing work, however, was Chuck, for which he also served as a producer.