George Takei is a social justice activist, social media superstar, Grammy-nominated recording artist, New York Times bestselling author, and pioneering actor whose career has spanned six decades. He has appeared in more than 40 feature films and hundreds of television roles, most famously as Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek: The Original Series. He has used his success as a platform to fight for social justice, LGBTQ+ rights, and marriage equality. His advocacy is personal: during World War II, Takei spent his childhood in United States internment camps along with 120,000 other Japanese Americans. He now serves as Chairman Emeritus of the Japanese American National Museum’s Board of Trustees, and a member of the US-Japan Bridging Foundation Board of Directors. Takei served on the board of the Japan-United States Friendship Commission under President Bill Clinton, and, in 2004, was conferred with the Gold Rays with Rosette of the Order of the Rising Sun by the Emperor of Japan for his contribution to US-Japan relations.
Actor, director, screenwriter, novelist, acting professor and comic book creator, Walter Koenig entered the Star Trek universe as Ensign Pavel Chekov in Season 2 of The Original Series. Koenig recreated the character of the Russian navigator for the first seven Star Trek films. His first book, “Chekov’s Enterprise,” which recounts the making of the first Star Trek movie, was published in 1979, and he also wrote one of the episodes of the Star Trek animated series, “The Infinite Vulcan.” Walter has dozens of stage and screen credits outside of Star Trek as well, including the recurring role of the quintessential scoundrel Bester on the television series Babylon 5 and the spin-off series Crusade. Koenig’s autobiography, “Warped Factors – A Neurotic’s Guide to the Universe” was released in 1998.
Actor, author and accomplished director, Jonathan Frakes is a man of many hats. Perhaps best known to Star Trek fans as Commander William T. Riker for seven seasons and three motion pictures in the Star Trek: The Next Generation franchise, Frakes has carved out a distinctive niche for himself as a versatile talent in Hollywood.
Unbeknownst to most, Jonathan Frakes’ career in entertainment began in costume, dressed as Marvel’s Captain America and making appearances at some of the earliest comic book conventions in the 1970s. From there, Frakes moved onto New York to be a part of the Impossible Ragtime Theater company, making his first Broadway appearance in the play Shenandoah.
Moving onto television shortly thereafter, Frakes landed a role in the NBC soap opera The Doctors. Following his appearance on the daytime television series, Frakes guest starred on some of the most popular series of the 1970s and 1980s, such as The Waltons, Eight is Enough, The Dukes of Hazzard, Matlock and Hill Street Blues.
Following these guest appearances, Frakes landed the role of Commander Riker on the long running television series, Star Trek: The Next Generation. As second in command to Patrick Stewart’s Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Frakes’ portrayal of William Riker lead the Starship Enterprise through seven seasons and three films. His characterization endeared Riker to fans young and old, making him one of the most beloved characters in the Trek pantheon.
In addition to live action, Jonathan Frakes has also lent his voice to animated projects, including the cult favorite Disney animated series Gargoyles as the character David Xanatos and Adventure Time. Frakes’ also landed appearances in Matt Groening’s Futurama and Seth McFarlane’s Family Guy, playing versions of himself on each series.
Jonathan Frakes holds a unique distinction among Star Trek actors being one of only two regulars to appear on five different television series, from Star Trek: The Next Generation to Star Trek: Picard. Beyond acting, Frakes is also a veteran director, having helmed several episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and the feature films Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Insurrection.
Known to Star Trek fans as Counselor Deanna Troi, English-born Marina Sirtis set her sights on international stardom and moved to the US in 1986. Marina originally auditioned for the role of Lt. Macha Hernandez (later called Tasha Yar and eventually played by Denise Crosby). Gene Roddenberry thought Sirtis was a better fit as the half human, half Betazoid who can read the emotions of others. Her role as Deanna Troi endeared her to fans through 7 TV seasons and 4 feature films, and is making a return on Star Trek: Picard.
Gates McFadden portrayed Dr. Beverly Crusher in The Next Generation and in 4 Star Trek films. She also directed the TNG episode “Genesis” and choreographed the dance in “Data’s Day.” Gates left the series at the end of Season 1, but returned to the TNG cast for the third and subsequent seasons thanks to a letter-writing campaign and support from Patrick Stewart. Gates has been quoted as saying her son grew up on the bridge of the USS Enterprise-D, and he was upset when the sets were torn down following Star Trek Generations.
Denise Crosby was cast as Tasha Yar in 1987 for The Next Generation, after first being picked to play Deanna Troi. Tasha Yar was initially among the top-billed characters and was featured prominently in “The Naked Now” and “Code of Honor.” Crosby left the show after 22 episodes when her character was killed by the alien creature Armus. In the documentary Trekkies, Crosby said her Tasha Yar character had to die in order to get “the best episodes.” She reprised her role as Tasha Yar in Season 3’s “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” in which an alternate timeline was created.
An acclaimed stage and screen actor as well as an accomplished voice-over artist, John de Lancie is best known as the mysterious and godlike Q, appearing in The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager. While only appearing 9 times in 10 years, the cult popularity of Q is so widespread that John’s likeness has appeared in countless merchandising and promotional products. He’s been named “Best Villain,” “Best Recurring,” and “Best Loved” character. He’s also made appearances on such hit dramas as Breaking Bad, The West Wing, Law & Order, The Mentalist, and CSI.
Best known for her role as the warm and lighthearted Jadzia Dax in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine from 1993-1998, Terry Farrell was destined for greatness since childhood. Her career started at 16 years old as a model, which led to commercials for Maybelline, AT&T and Oil of Olay. Her big acting break came at 19 when she read for the ABC TV series Paper Dolls and the roles continued with Beverly Hills Madam, Back To School, Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth, and Becker (Farrell’s gig after departing the space station after the sixth season of DS9). She credits acting coach Ivana Chubbuck, who she met on the first season of DS9.
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Chase Masterson is best known for her 5-year breakout role on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, reprising her roles of Leeta and Mirror Leeta in Star Trek Online. She has the title role in the Doctor Who Big Finish spinoff VIENNA, now in Season 4.
Among a myriad of other roles, Chase has Guest-Starred on The Flash, hosted Sci-Fi Entertainment and starred opposite Bruce Campbell in Terminal Invasion for SyFy, played opposite Jerry O’Connell in Sliders, and co-hosted NBC Sunday Night at the Movies with Ryan Seacrest. Guest-Star credits include an episode of the Emmy-winning ER and Presidio Med, and a Recurring role on General Hospital. Chase played opposite Richard Lewis in a cameo role Mel Brooks wrote for her in Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Feature film leads include a mysterious jazz singer in eOne’s acclaimed sci-fi noir, Yesterday Was a Lie and a lead in the recently released Unbelievable!!!!!. She has lead roles in the upcoming features Manipulated, Skipping Stones, and Je Suis Auto, all due out in 2021.
Chase was named in AOL’s 10 Sexiest Aliens in Television History, Screen Rant’s 15 Most Stunning Aliens in Star Trek, Femme Fatales’ 50 Sexiest Women, Film Fetish’s Hot Leading Ladies of Film, and TV Guide Online readers’ poll’s Favorite Sci-Fi Actress on TV during the run of DS9. She is a singer who has headlined at Las Vegas’ Voodoo Lounge, Universal City Walk, and the Sofiensaal in Vienna, Austria. She was an Artist-In-Residence at the Vienna MuseumsQuartier in November, 2019.
Chase has mentored kids coming out of gangs since 2008 at Homeboy Industries. She is the Founder/CEO of www.PopCultureHero.org, the 1st 501c3 teaching mental health skills and working to end bullying, racism, misogyny, LGBTQI-bullying and cyberbullying by using relatable pop culture stories in schools. The Coalition also works in comic-cons and children’s hospitals. Chase has spoken at the United Nations, Google, UNESCO, TEDxVienna, the International Bullying Prevention Association, the World Anti-Bullying Forum, YMCA USA forums, on CBS News, and at the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science. See more info at @ChaseMasterson and @SuperheroIRL.
Nana Visitor appeared in Broadway plays, had regular roles on TV and starred in the title role of Working Girl before joining Deep Space Nine as Bajoran Major Kira Nerys. The role piqued her curiosity because Kira Nerys wasn’t “a mother, or a wife, or a prostitute, or a killer. [Kira] is fully realized.” She also voiced the character in the games Harbinger and The Fallen. Following Deep Space Nine, she starred on Broadway in the Tony Award-wining musical Chicago and later appeared in the series Dark Angel and Wildfire.
Max Grodénchik is best known for his portrayal of Rom on Deep Space Nine over the course of 37 episodes. Before getting the role of Rom, he auditioned for the role of Rom’s brother, Quark, and played two other Ferengi characters on The Next Generation: Sovak in “Captain’s Holiday” and Par Lenor in “The Perfect Mate.” He wrote and performed Rom’s Song and performed the song “The Lady is a Tramp” in the Deep Space Nine episode “The Siege of AR-558.” He also played a NASA flight dynamics officer in Apollo 13.
Robert Picardo enrolled at Yale as a pre-med student, not knowing that he would someday portray doctors in three separate productions: Dr. Dick Richard on China Beach, then as Dr. McCaskill “In The Waiting Room,” and, most famously, as the Holographic Doctor for all 7 seasons of Voyager. One of the two Voyager episodes Bob also directed, “One Small Step,” was a moving tribute to the pioneers of space exploration. Combining his 40-plus-year acting career with a lifelong interest in science, Bob served for over 15 years on the advisory board of The Planetary Society.
In addition to 7 years as Neelix on Voyager, Ethan Phillips also played two different Ferengi characters, one on The Next Generation and another on Enterprise. His family owned the legendary Frankie and Johnnie’s Steakhouse in NYC, but Phillips eschewed the family business and devoted his life to the arts. He worked on and off Broadway and has garnered numerous TV credits, including 5 seasons on Benson and guest starring roles on Law and Order, NYPD Blue, Criminal Minds, and Bones. Phillips co-authored The Star Trek Cookbook—a collection of recipes based on delicacies mentioned on Star Trek.
Born in California, Garrett Wang spent his formative years on the move, living in Indiana, Bermuda and Tennessee before moving back to California to attend UCLA to major in East Asian Studies and minor in theater. Garrett signed with his first talent agent in 1993 and within a year he landed his first speaking role, guest starring on All American Girl. Three months later, Wang was cast in the role of Harry Kim on Voyager. Garrett was named one of People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People as well as one of E! Channel’s “20 Coolest Bachelors.”
Known for his role as Doctor Phlox on Star Trek: Enterprise for four years, John Billingsley has carved out a distinct niche for himself with unique character roles in more than 150 film and television appearances. “Dear Doctor” was the first Phlox-heavy Enterprise episode, and in a 2013 interview with StarTrek.com, Billingsley explained that he appreciated the fact that a Phlox hour followed the Trek tradition of tackling an issue with a lot of gray area. In 2001, Billingsley also played himself in an episode of Roswell that used the Enterprise set. In 2002, he was a guest star in an episode of Stargate SG-1, playing a scientist who is also a Trekkie. One of Billingsley’s earliest roles was in the TV comedy-drama Northern Exposure, then in the cult phenomenon The X-Files.
Thrilled to be rejoining Star Trek: The Cruise in 2021, Connor Trinneer is most known for playing Charles “Trip” Tucker III on Star Trek: Enterprise and Michael Kenmore on Stargate Atlantis. Originally from Washington state, Connor discovered acting in college, went to drama school and found himself in New York upon graduation. Regional theater work quickly followed and his career went on to span film and television as well. His big break came with Enterprise, which led to dozens of extraordinary roles and his epic appearances on Star Trek: The Cruise! Besides Enterprise and Atlantis, Connor has appeared in American Made, The Resident, NCIS, The Mentalist, Suits, Pretty Little Liars and was in all of season 2 of The Purge.
Anthony Montgomery landed the series-regular role of Ensign Travis Mayweather on Star Trek: Enterprise in 2001. For the next four years, Anthony piloted Enterprise’s NXO1 into many adventures and into the hearts of loyal Star Trek fans around the world. Star Trek: Enterprise ended in 2005 and Anthony was with the series until the very end. Early in his career, Anthony guest starred on such shows as J.A.G., Charmed, Frasier and Resurrection Blvd. His big break came with a recurring role as George Auston on the WB television series, Popular. In October 2008, Anthony pursued a different artistic interest and released his debut Hip Hop music album, A.T. The album made Anthony the first actor in the Star Trek franchise to release music in the Hip Hop genre. In 2013, Anthony added producer to his list of credits and launched his own sci-fi franchise called Miles Away, beginning with a graphic novel that toured the world and is slated to be developed into an animated series.
As Lt. Paul Stamets on Star Trek: Discovery, Anthony Rapp has been front and center in Star Trek action sequences and science conversations as well as loving and heartbreaking moments. An original cast member in the Tony Award-winning rock opera Rent, Anthony later reprised the role in the film version and the Broadway Tour. Additional Broadway credits include You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown; Six Degrees of Separation; and most recently, If/Then. He is also the author of the memoir “Without You,” which he adapted into a one-man show that toured the United States and London. His film and television credits include Adventures in Babysitting, School Ties, Dazed and Confused, A Beautiful Mind, The Knick, The Good Fight, 13 Reasons Why, and Star Trek: Discovery.
Dr. Mohamed Noor is a biology professor and the Dean of Natural Sciences at Duke University. He earned a PhD from the University of Chicago, he conducts research and teaches in the broad areas of genetics and evolution, and he focuses on finding genetic changes that cause new species to form (mostly using fruit flies). He is also committed to biology education and a lifelong Trekkie, demonstrated by his successful Genetics and Evolution course on Coursera and his recent book “Live Long and Evolve: What Star Trek Can Teach Us About Evolution, Genetics, and Life on Other Worlds.”
Dr. Stephen Granade is a physicist and writer who lives in Huntsville, Alabama, the city with its own Saturn V rocket. He specializes in robotics and machine learning. He’s built equipment that’s on the Hubble Space Telescope and helped develop a fingerprint reader that works from ten feet away. He’s only set himself on fire with a laser once.