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Star Trek Actors: Where Are They Now?

Star Trek Actors: Where Are They Now?
VOICE OVER: Tom Aglio WRITTEN BY: Matt Klem
There have been many great actors in "Star Trek," and they've led some interesting careers since leaving the franchise. For this list, we'll be looking at actors across the “Star Trek” universe and discussing what they've been doing outside of Trek. We'll only be including actors who are still alive. Our countdown includes Wil Wheaton, Jeri Ryan, Colm Meaney, Whoopi Goldberg, and more!

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Star Trek Actors - Where Are They Now? For this list, we’ll be looking at actors across the “Star Trek” universe and discussing what they’ve been doing outside of Trek. We’ll only be including actors who are still alive, so the likes of Leonard Nimoy and others will be excluded. Who’s your favorite “Star Trek” character? Let us know in the comments.

#20: Michael Dorn

Worf

As Worf, son of Mogh, Dorn appeared in 277 episodes of “The Next Generation” and “Deep Space Nine”, as well as five films - a franchise record. He’s also kept very busy outside of “Star Trek”. As a voice actor, he’s contributed his talents to shows like “Adventure Time”, the “Ben 10” franchise and “Family Guy”. He’s also an avid aviator, who’s flown with the demonstration squadrons Blue Angels and Thunderbirds. You’ll also catch him reprising his role as Worf on “Star Trek: Picard” season three.

#19: Jennifer Lien

Kes

After exiting “Star Trek: Voyager” at the start of season four due to personal issues, Lien reprised her role as Kes for one episode in season six. She retired from acting completely in 2002 when her son was born. That didn’t keep her out of the hearts and minds of fans however, and she’s attended several fan conventions. In the late 2010s, her name popped up several times in news reports due to run-ins with the law. In 2017, she was arrested after allegedly driving erratically under the influence and spitting on a police officer. With no social media presence, we can only assume she’s retreated from public life.

#18: Colm Meaney

Miles O'Brien

This Irish actor’s humble beginnings on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” led to a full time gig on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”, playing Miles O’Brien. In the years since, it’s clear that he’s found plenty of other work to keep himself busy. He’s appeared in numerous films, such as “Layer Cake” and “The Journey”, and has had several memorable TV roles. These include a starring role on AMC’s “Hell on Wheels”, a recurring role as Chief Cowen on “Stargate Atlantis”, and as Shelley Kelly on “It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia”.

#17: Tim Russ

Tuvok

When an actor becomes synonymous with a particular role, it’s easy to forget, and sometimes ignore, their other work. Tim Russ had already had roles in both TNG and DS9 before his time playing Tuvok on “Star Trek: Voyager”. When Voyager ended, his acting work kept on rolling. In fact, younger, non-Trek fans might only know him best as Principal Ted Franklin on the show “iCarly”. Russ continues to be active as an actor, especially in TV and as a voice actor in video games. During his time off, you might catch him at a convention or playing a gig with his band Tim Russ Crew.

#16: John de Lancie

Q

John de Lancie’s role as the omnipotent Q has survived numerous iterations of Trek, from “TNG” to “Picard”. Since he played such a memorable character, fans may always see him as Q, but his filmography is extensive. He’s had roles on TV shows like “Stargate SG-1”, “Breaking Bad”, and “Torchwood”; and he’s voiced numerous animated characters, such as Discord in “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic”. You may also recognize his voice in video game franchises like “Assassin’s Creed” and “Call of Duty”. When he’s not acting, you’ll find him advocating for secularism, performing as narrator for various orchestras, and even writing symphonic plays.

#15: Cirroc Lofton

Jake Sisko

As a young teenager, Cirroc Lofton portrayed Jake Sisko on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”. When the show ended, Lofton had bit parts here and there, with roles in “The Hoop Life” and “Soul Food”, but ultimately decided to retire from acting in 2008. In 2010, he opened a restaurant in Culver City, California, called Café Cirroc, which has since closed down. Lofton returned to acting in 2017 with “Star Trek” fan projects, and has since had a handful of roles, such as on “Days of Our Lives” and “The Baby Pact”. He can also be watched on his podcast “The 7th Rule - A Star Trek Podcast”, where he reviews both old and new episodes of “Star Trek” with actor and producer Ryan T. Husk.

#14: Armin Shimerman

Quark

Like many of the actors on this list, Armin Shimerman’s credits go well beyond his time as the Ferengi bar owner Quark on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”. He’s continued to work steadily, finding roles in both television and film, and joined several “Star Trek” alumni on “Boston Legal”, including his DS9 co-star René Auberjonois. He’s also found the time to publish five books, and appear on stage in “The Play That Goes Wrong”. If however you’re looking for a Quark fix, you can catch him reprising his famous role along with his DS9 co-star Nana Visitor on a season three episode of “Star Trek: Lower Decks”.

#13: Wil Wheaton

Wesley Crusher

These days, many modern viewers might be more familiar with Wil Wheaton on “The Big Bang Theory” than as Wesley Crusher on “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. But annoying Sheldon Cooper isn’t the only thing he’s been doing since his TNG days. An avid card and board game player, Wheaton spent several years playing various poker tournaments, along with launching the web show “Tabletop”. He’s also a prolific voice actor and narrator, having lent his voice to audiobooks, video games, and animated shows. He continues to write and narrate, along with hosting the “Star Trek” related web show “The Ready Room”, where he interviews cast members from various parts of the “Star Trek” universe.

#12: Gates McFadden

Beverly Crusher

Fun fact: McFadden uses her middle name Gates when credited as an actress, and her first name Cheryl for her work as a choreographer. “Star Trek” fans know her as Beverly Crusher from “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. Although she’s had a handful of roles since her earlier “Star Trek” work, most of Gates' time has been spent in other areas. A lover of the theater, McFadden brought her talents to the Ensemble Studio Theater as Artistic Director. She also started appearing at conventions from 2014 on. She’ll be returning with the rest of her TNG castmates in season three of “Star Trek: Picard”, and plans to launch a “Star Trek” themed podcast.

#11: Whoopi Goldberg

Guinan

Do we even need to tell you what Whoopi Goldberg has been doing these days? She was already a high profile actress when she started appearing on “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. Since then, she’s amassed a considerable filmography, and become known as co-host on “The View”. She’s also hosted the Academy Awards four times, and has published seven children’s books. In 2020, Patrick Stewart appeared on her show and asked her to reprise her role of Guinan in season two of “Star Trek: Picard”. She appeared in two episodes. Beyond her screen work, Goldberg has also launched lines of medical cannabis products.

#10: Dwight Schultz

Reg Barclay

Thanks to his portrayal of H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock, fans of “The A-Team” were already familiar with Dwight Schultz when he was introduced as engineer Reginald Endicott Barclay III in “The Next Generation”. These roles arguably remain his best known. For fans of animation and video games, however, Schultz continues to be a familiar voice. He’s a prolific voice actor, be it on Marvel, DC, Lego, or other projects. His work includes a notable role as Dr. Animo in the “Ben 10” series. He can be seen at the occasional fan conventions alongside some of his previous costars.

#9: Jonathan Frakes

William Riker

“The Next Generation” fans know him as William Riker. But among his peers, he’s become even more renowned for his time behind the camera. Sure, he’s continued to work as an actor since his time with the nextgen crew. And yes, he even reprised his role on “Picard” and “Lower Decks”. However, he’s also become quite a prolific director, especially for TV. His credits include episodes for “Burn Notice”, “The Librarians”, “The Orville”, “Star Trek: Discovery”, “Picard”, and many more. One thing’s for sure, this trombone-playing fan favorite has kept very busy!

#8: Brent Spiner

Data

Starting with “The Next Generation”, Brent Spiner has appeared in a slew of “Star Trek” shows and films, playing Data, Data’s brothers, his creator, and even his creator’s son and ancestors! With as much range as the actor has, it’s no surprise he’s continued to appear in countless films and TV roles. Shows like “Outcast”, “Warehouse 13”, and more recently “Penny Dreadful: City of Angels” have shown his talents go far beyond the androids and Soongs of “Star Trek”. He even popped up on “The Big Bang Theory” alongside Wil Wheaton. He’s also quite a singer, having released a radio show/musical titled “Dreamland” with Maude Maggart. Between writing, acting, singing, and conventions, there’s no keeping this talent down.

#7: Robert Picardo

The Doctor

Robert Picardo's time on "Star Trek: Voyager" is just one chapter in his impressive career. From the “Stargate” franchise to “The Mentalist” and beyond, Picardo's versatility extends beyond his role as the ship's doctor. With over 50 credits in TV and voiceover work since “Voyager”, Picardo hasn’t limited himself to the genre that made him famous. He’s appeared in everything from “CSI” to “Smallville” and “The Orville”. Whether through drama, comedy, or animation, he continues to showcase his considerable talents. He’s also on the Board of Directors of the non-profit organization The Planetary Society!

#6: Scott Bakula

Jonathan Archer

Long before he captained the Enterprise, sci-fi fans knew Scott Bakula as Sam Beckett on the original “Quantum Leap”. Since his time on these shows, he’s continued working steadily in film and television. A dedicated family man, he’s striven to balance work and quality time with his wife and children, while also racking up an incredible list of credits. They include roles on TV shows such as “Chuck”, “Men of a Certain Age”, “Desperate Housewives”, “Looking”, and "NCIS: New Orleans", on which he also produced.

#5: Jeri Ryan

Seven of Nine

Brought in to replace the aforementioned Jennifer Lien, Jeri Ryan’s portrayal of Seven of Nine helped the show boost its ratings, and bring fresh ideas into the storytelling. When the show ended, Ryan continued her work in television. “Boston Public”, “Shark”, “Leverage”, and “Body of Proof” showed how versatile she is as an actress. A huge lover of cooking, Ryan also worked part time in the kitchen of a restaurant called The House. Her passion for food led her to her now husband, French chef Christophe Émé. She’s also reprised her iconic role on “Picard”.

#4: Avery Brooks

Benjamin Sisko

Sci-fi fans know Avery Brooks from his time as Captain Benjamin Sisko on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”. But his career had already been kicked into high gear with his role as Hawk on the 1980s crime drama “Spenser: For Hire” and later the spin-off “A Man Called Hawk”. Since those days, he seems to have left TV acting behind him. He has however appeared in several plays and narrated quite a few documentaries. A music lover, in 2009, he also released an album of jazz and blue cover tunes.

#3: George Takei

Hikaru Sulu

George Takei is widely recognized for both his role as Hikaru Sulu in the original "Star Trek" series and films, as well as his activism for the LGBT community. While still active on screen, having appeared in series like “Heroes” and several reality shows, Takei's recent years have been focused on causes and politics. That’s included raising awareness for National Coming Out Day and supporting the rights of immigrants. In the 2010s, he starred in a musical, “Allegiance”, inspired by his experiences in US-run internment camps during World War II, and published an autobiography, “They Called Us Enemy”, on the same topic. He’s also known for his humorous presence on Facebook, where he frequently posts memes.

#2: Patrick Stewart

Jean-Luc Picard

Before he became Picard, Stewart was a Shakespearean stage actor. His role as the Captain of the Enterprise on “The Next Generation” made him a star, and launched a long and storied career on screen. Since then, his roles have run the gamut from Captain Ahab in “Moby Dick” to CIA Deputy Director Avery Bullock on “American Dad!” He’s also well-known for his portrayal of Professor Charles Xavier in the “X-Men” films. Yet acting isn’t his only passion. A car enthusiast ,Stewart can be seen observing the British Grand Prix from time to time. You can catch him reprising his most famous role in the Paramount+ series “Star Trek: Picard”.

#1: William Shatner

James T Kirk

While fans will always see William Shatner as Captain Kirk, he’s had a varied career beyond “Star Trek”. His most notable shows outside of “The Original Series” include “T. J. Hooker”, “Rescue 911”, and “Boston Legal”. He’s also had a long career as a recording artist, releasing almost a dozen albums, performing dramatic recitations of lyrics from popular bands. An avid lover of horses, Shatner has an estate in rural Kentucky where he breeds and shows American Saddlebreds and Quarter Horses. Oh yeah, and he’s actually flown to space now, thanks to Blue Origin. To the delight of “Star Trek” fans, he also continues to make convention appearances around the world.
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