For over 50 years and several different series, Star Trek fans have boldly gone where no man has gone before. But what happened to your favorite Star Trek actor once the show was over?
Many actors from the various Star Trek series have gone on to other acting roles or drastically different lives since their time on a star ship. What’s your favorite Trek actor up to now?
Kate Mulgrew – Capt. Kathryn Janeway, Star Trek: Voyager
The first woman captain lead on Star Trek, Kathryn Janeway is considered one of the best characters in Star Trek lore given her ability to overcome challenges and manage a crew mostly of non-Star Fleet personnel. Most of her popularity is due to the great performance of Kate Mulgrew. So what’s she up to now?
Well, after her time on The Voyager, Mulgrew continued life as a working actor, including doing voice work for various cartoons such as Bravest Warriors and Stretch Armstrong & the Flex Fighters. However, you probably recognize her now as Red in the hit Netflix show Orange is the New Black.
John Billingsley – Dr. Phlox, Star Trek: Enterprise
The Denobulan alien doctor Phlox was a curious physician with a heart for other cultures, for learning, and for egg drop soup. The actor behind Phlox, John Billingsley had an established acting career since the late 1980s, so when Star Trek: Enterprise left the airwaves, he continued on with his career.
Since Enterprise, Billingsley has been a go-to character actor for several television shows, including recurring roles on hit shows such as Prison Break, 24, and True Blood. Billingsley also recently had a guest role on the Star Trek-homage series The Orville. If you look closely on your favorite show, there’s a good chance you’ll spot him!
Rene Auberjonois – Odo, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
The role of the shapeshifting Odo couldn’t have been more perfect for actor Rene Auberjonois. After all, he had been shapeshifting and impersonating different characters since 1964! While Auberjonois had established a great career prior to Deep Space Nine, what was he up to after the show ended?
Auberjonois has been regularly working as an actor ever since. Among decades of work as a voice actor on cartoons such as Avatar: The Last Airbender and Archer, he picked up several recurring roles on TV shows such as Boston Legal. His most recent role was in 2019’s Windows on the World.
Wil Wheaton – Wesley Crusher, Star Trek: The Next Generation
Young Wil Wheaton had the dream of every young sci-fi nerd: a role on Star Trek. While many early Trekkers didn’t care for his character of Wesley Crusher, Wheaton was able to fashion a great life for himself both on- and off-camera once he wrapped his time on The Next Generation.
Since Star Trek, Wheaton developed a cult-like online following through writing various blogs and online publications such as the A.V. Club. While he did continue acting on shows such as The Big Bang Theory and voice work on cartoons like Teen Titans, Wheaton nowadays provides content for his Tabletop online board game channel among other side projects.
Denise Crosby – Lt. Tasha Yar, Star Trek: The Next Generation
While she is primarily featured in the first season of The Next Generation, Denise Crosby’s character, Tasha Yar, was felt throughout the entire run of the show. Yar, the chief security officer, didn’t have a lot of screen time, but Crosby did return as the character for a number of cameos.
It wasn’t like Crosby didn’t get a lot of work after her time on Star Trek either. She’s been regularly acting on TV, with prominent roles on shows like The Walking Dead, Ray Donovan, and Suits. Crosby also showed off her love of Star Trek by producing the documentaries Trekkies and Trekkies 2.
Colm Meaney – Chief Miles O’Brien, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine
When Colm Meaney was cast as Chief O’Brien for Star Trek: The Next Generation, he was first just an unnamed extra. Meaney himself couldn’t have expected that he would be acting as O’Brien in The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine for 225 episodes! After both shows, it’s amazing that he wasn’t typecast.
Meaney continues to appear in various roles on TV and film to this day. While he has acted on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, The Simpsons, and Hell on Wheels among several other shows, he was most recently seen in 2019’s Tolkien and the Gangs of London TV series.
Patrick Stewart – Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation
Many Star Trek fans ask,“Who is the greatest Star Trek captain?” and nearly the top of everyone’s list is Patrick Stewart’s Jean-Luc Picard. Stewart’s portrayal of the cerebral and tea-drinking Captain of the Enterprise is one of the most celebrated roles of his career.
After The Next Generation concluded, Stewart would cement himself further in the sci-fi entertainment realm by portraying Professor X in the X-Men series of films. Stewart has also entered the voice acting game, frequently doing roles on American Dad and Family Guy. Currently, Stewart is reprising his role as Jean-Luc in Star Trek: Picard on CBS All Access.
Robert Picardo – The Doctor, Star Trek: Voyager
It couldn’t have been easy for actor Robert Picardo to take the role of The Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager. After all, it’s difficult to personify a character that’s a hologram right? Nevertheless, Picardo was able to portray and grow into a memorable Star Trek character. What’s he up to now?
After Voyager ended, Picardo continued his acting career, getting starring roles in other sci-fi shows such as Stargate SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis. When he’s not getting live-action roles or voice-over roles in cartoons and video games, Picardo serves on the board of directors for The Planetary Society, a non-profit group that supports astronomy and space exploration.
Brent Spiner – Lt. Commander Data, Star Trek: The Next Generation
Many of the episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation featuring the android Lt. Commander Data figuring out what it means to be human. This characterization was brilliantly portrayed by Brent Spiner and he would carry Data with him throughout the rest of his career.
While he would appear on several television shows, including Patrick Stewart’s Blunt Talk, and voice a variety of different cartoon characters, Spiner would reunite with his most recognizable role several more times for films and video games. In fact, he is recently depicting Data once again for CBS’s Star Trek: Picard.
Jonathan Frakes – Commander William Riker, Star Trek: The Next Generation
The only way William Riker could ever “make it so” was if Jonathan Frakes could do it. Frakes’ Riker grew into one of the most popular characters on The Next Generation and he would pop up on other Star Trek shows long after TNG ended. But what about his non-Star Trek work?
While Frakes would continue to act in small roles on TV shows and host shows such as Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction, he would work mostly as a TV director for shows like NCIS: Los Angeles and Burn Notice. Frakes currently directs episodes of Star Trek: Picard while reprising his role as Riker.
Avery Brooks – Capt. Benjamin Sisko, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
The first black captain in the Star Trek franchise was as cerebral and driven as the man who portrayed him, Avery Brooks. After 173 episodes as Captain Sisko, Brooks didn’t really accept many other television roles post-Deep Space Nine. He prominently transitioned from the bridge of a space station back to the live stage.
Aside from acting in short films, Brooks primarily returned to live theater, acting in theatrical companies and in university productions throughout the country. Occasionally, Brooks was tapped to narrate a number of different documentaries such as The Better Hour and For the Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots.
Gates McFadden – Dr. Beverly Crusher, Star Trek: The Next Generation
Gates McFadden thought she lost another acting gig when her character Dr. Beverly Crusher was written off The Next Generation after its first season, but she stuck around for the rest of the series when she brought back for season three. After a 154 episodes of Star Trek under her belt, McFadden decided to give back.
While McFadden continues to act professionally to this day and performed on several TV shows such as Mad About You, she decided to give her knowledge to the next generation. McFadden has taught acting and drama at various universities, including Purdue, Temple University, and Harvard.
Robert Duncan McNeill – Tom Paris, Star Trek: Voyager
As helmsman Tom Paris, Robert Duncan McNeill had to pilot and steer the Voyager ship throughout the series. After the show had concluded, McNeill decided that he could helm a camera crew as well as any starship, transitioning his career from acting to directing.
After garnering some experience by directing a few episodes of Voyager, McNeill went on to direct several single episodes of shows like Dawson’s Creek, The O.C., and even Star Trek: Enterprise. While he has since gone on to direct many current shows, his highest achievement would executive-producing NBC’s Chuck and directing the first episode of television to be broadcast entirely in 3D.
Marina Sirtis – Counselor Deanna Troi, Star Trek: The Next Generation
The empath and counselor Deanna Troi was the heart within the hive mind of the Enterprise, portrayed by veteran actress Marina Sirtis. Once The Next Generation ended, Sirtis continued to act in various roles in live-action and animated television programs.
After TNG, Sirtis made her mark in animation, getting a recurring voice role on Disney’s Gargoyles as Demona and as Queen Bee on the Young Justice superhero program. Sirtis also provides her voice for video games like Mass Effect. She also had a small role on The Orville and is reprising her role as Counselor Troi on Star Trek: Picard.
Garrett Wang – Harry Kim, Star Trek: Voyager
If Garrett Wang put on a believable performance as the naive yet gifted Ensign Harry Kim on Star Trek: Voyager, it’s with good reason. Wang had only been acting for a little over a year before he got the role! While the Kim character grew on the show, Wang grew out of acting after the show ended.
Wang decided to no longer take auditions in 2005, but still remains a huge part of Star Trek fandom. Wang directed his focus on the convention circuit, acting as a moderator for science fiction and comic book panels at events such as Dragon-Con and TNG Exposed.
Jeri Ryan – Seven of Nine, Star Trek: Voyager
From 1997 to 2001, Jeri Ryan went from being a former Miss Illinois to a former assimilated Borg. Seven of Nine played a perfect foil to Captain Janeway upon the Voyager due to Ryan’s performance. So what’s going with Ryan and Seven of Nine for that matter?
After the Star Trek: Voyager series ended, Ryan continued getting starring roles on shows like The O.C. and Boston Public. She most recently stars in the Amazon Prime series Bosch as Veronica Allen. Ryan is also returning as Seven of Nine for the Star Trek: Picard series on CBS All Access.
Michael Dorn – Lt. Worf, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine
The ever battle-ready Klingon and security officer Worf was played by veteran actor Michael Dorn. Between his time on the Enterprise and on Deep Space Nine, Worf appeared on 277 episodes of Star Trek television! What could have Dorn done after such an impressive run?
Well, since his time on Star Trek, Dorn got several guest star roles on TV shows before landing a recurring role on Castle. Dorn also kept working by using his deep voice for animated roles on cartoons like Duck Dodgers and The Lion Guard. When he’s not working, he’s flying fighter jets for fun in his spare time, occasionally alongside the Blue Angels.
Roxann Dawson – B’Elanna Torres, Star Trek: Voyager
For seven years, Roxann Dawson played the half-human, half-Klingon engineer B’Elanna Torres. During the time B’Elanna struggled with the balance of both her human and Klingon heritage, Dawson to struggle shooting scenes while being pregnant with her first child. Her time on Voyager led to a notable career change for Dawson.
Along with acting, Dawson directed two episodes of Voyager. This led to several more directing opportunities, including directing several episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise, Crossing Jordan, and Cold Case. Dawson hasn’t acted since 2011, but still directs television shows, including the hits This Is Us and The Americans.
Tim Russ – Tuvok, Star Trek: Voyager
Tim Russ was no stranger to Star Trek prior to his role as the Vulcan Tuvok on Voyager. After all, he was cast in Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and had a role in the movie Star Trek Generations before he set foot on Voyager’s set! After all that Star Trek experience, what is Russ doing now?
Post-Voyager, Russ has become a jack of many trades. While he garnered more television success as an actor with recurring roles on Samantha Who? and iCarly, Russ has directed several episodes of TV and directed the feature film Junkie. Russ also writes, acts, and sometimes directs various other Star Trek projects.
Jolene Blalock – Sub-Commander T’Pol, Star Trek: Enterprise
For 98 episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise, Jolene Blalock portrayed T’Pol, the first Vulcan to serve a prolonged mission in Star Fleet as a science officer. Blalock was able to draw her experiences working on military shows like JAG and other sci-fi shows like Stargate SG-1 to get into the role. So what is she up to now?
While Blalock continues to act in guest star roles on television shows, she does so on a sporadic basis. During her time on Star Trek: Enterprise, she met and fell in love with Michael Rapino, the CEO of Live Nation. The two married and raise three children together.
Cirroc Lofton – Jake Sisko, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Cirroc Lofton’s portrayal of the son of Captain Sisko was a breakout role for the young actor. While he started acting at age nine, Lofton didn’t get a regularly recurring role under he was cast in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Ever since the show ended, he has been lying low for the most part.
While Lofton picks up on guest-starring roles on television shows like CSI: Miami and All American, he’s mostly relaxing in Los Angeles and doing Star Trek convention appearances. In 2010, he opened his own coffee, gelato, and sandwich shop Café Cirroc which has since closed.
LeVar Burton – Lt. Geordi La Forge, Star Trek: The Next Generation
Before being cast as the blind lieutenant Geordi La Forge, LeVar Burton had mainstream success and value from his role in the hit miniseries Roots and as the host of PBS’s Reading Rainbow. While Burton wasn’t in the spotlight as he once was, he has kept himself busy after his time on the Enterprise.
Aside from numerous guest appearances on shows like Community, Burton became a prominent voice actor for cartoons such as Captain Planet and Transformers: Rescue Bots. Burton also directs television programs, serving on the board of the Directors Guild of America. Burton also serves on the board of directors for the non-profit AIDS Research Alliance.
Whoopi Goldberg – Guinan, Star Trek: The Next Generation
When Whoopi Goldberg played the wise bartender Guinan on Star Trek: The Next Generation, she was already a bonafide Hollywood star. Between appearances on the show, Goldberg won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in Ghost. Needless to say, little has changed regarding her stature.
Since her time on the Enterprise, Goldberg acted in several TV shows and movies, way too many to list. She’s also loaned her voice for several animation shows and films, such as Captain Planet and The Lion King. Since 2005, Goldberg has been seen regularly on TV as one of the co-host of the hit daytime talk show The View.
Ethan Phillips – Neelix, Star Trek: Voyager
Voyager’s Talaxian cook Neelix was someone anyone on the crew could count on, and Ethan Phillips was the same way on set. Phillips had been a veteran actor since 1978 prior to getting the Neelix role. After the series concluded, Phillips just kept on acting just as he did before.
While he did reprise his role as Neelix on video games such as Star Trek Online, Phillips is frequently seen without heavy alien makeup on shows such as Girls and Better Call Saul among other roles. Phillips also scored some parts in movies, including a prominent role in Inside Llewyn Davis.
Terry Farrell – Lt. Jadiza Dax, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
As the Trill Jadiza Dax, Terry Farrell got to play a character that experience several lifetimes, which had to be a treat as an actor. However, Farrell left Deep Space Nine at the end of the sixth season, deciding to attempt other projects.
Shortly after leaving, Farrell scored a regular role on the CBS sitcom Becker. After the show ended, Farrell briefly retired to raise a family with her then-husband in Pennsylvania. She came out of retirement in 2017 to act in a different Star Trek franchise called Star Trek: Renegades.
Robert Beltran – Chakotay, Star Trek: Voyager
Commander Chatokay broke through as the first Native American character depicted on Star Trek, but was a difficult role to pull off. Unfortunately for Robert Beltran, he grew weary of Voyager’s repetitive format and the long hours of shooting. Once the show had ended, Beltran returned to his first love: the stage.
While Beltran has continued an on-screen acting career to pay the bills, he primarily works as a stage actor and director as often as he can. Since 2003, Beltran has performed throughout California, acting in unknown works and Shakespeare alike. If you live in Los Angeles, you might see him in a play performing near you.
Scott Bakula – Capt. Johnathan Archer, Star Trek: Enterprise
While several science fiction fans know Scott Bakula from Quantum Leap, several Trekkers recognized him as the actor behind the first captain of the Starship Enterprise, Johnathan Archer. After Enterprise ended, it is like Bakula never left your television.
Bakula has been steadily working as a TV actor, with several roles on big name shows like Chuck and Desperate Housewives. Aside from Quantum Leap and Star Trek, Bakula cannot get away from his recurring role as Dwayne Pride on NCIS and NCIS: New Orleans. Flip on your TV and there’s a good chance you’ll see the face of Capt. Archer somewhere.
Linda Park – Ensign Hoshi Sato, Star Trek: Enterprise
2001 was a big year for LindaPark. She not only got a film role in Jurassic Park III, but also got the role of Ensign Sato on Star Trek: Enterprise. Park played the communications officer for 98 episodes, and would continue to thrive as an actor.
Since Enterprise ended, Park had several guest spots on TV shows until getting another regular role on Crash. She continued to work on various shows, and one-season-and-done starring roles. Then she got a regular role on the Amazon Prime hit Bosch, which is still going strong on the streaming platform.
Armin Shimerman – Quark, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Throughout Deep Space Nine, Armin Shimerman played the profit-hungry Ferengi known as Quark. While many Star Trek actors have had trouble getting themselves other roles due to their faces being closely associated with the show, Shimerman didn’t seem to have that issue due to the heavily prosthetics and make-up that created his character.
After Deep Space Nine, Shimerman got a recurring roles on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Boston Legal, without the alien makeup. Shimerman also got behind a microphone to voice cartoons such as The Regular Show and Justice League Action. Shimerman also does voice work for video games in the Star Craft, Bioshock, and Rachet & Crank franchises.
Tarik Ergin – Lt. Ayala, Star Trek: Voyager
The engineering-turned-security officer Ayala was in virtually every episode of Voyager, growing from a recurring background character to a named regular throughout the series. It must have been a thrill for Tarik Ergin to see his character evolve and develop. However, Ergin didn’t act much after his voyage ended.
After Star Trek, Ergin returned to his love of lacrosse. In 2010, Ergin served both as a professional player and coach for the Hollywood Lacrosse Club. He continues to play regularly while also serving as a high school lacrosse coach, most recently with Oak Park High School in Ventura County.
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