Image Credit: Disruptor Beam
Star Trek debuted in 1966, and since The Original Series hit airwaves, culture has never been the same. Spanning seven seasons (including 2017’s Discovery), a slew of films, and tie-in comics, books, and games, Star Trek boldly went where no other show had gone before. With shows spanning five decades, there’s a massive roster guest stars. Here are 20 actors you totally forgot were on Star Trek:
Professional basketball player and UNC Chapel Hill great James Worthy starred in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Gambit: Part II.” The Hall of Famer and three-time NBA champion was a number one pick in the 1982 NBA draft. He’s led a successful television career as an analyst and commentator, but also delved into guest roles, such as portraying Klingon smuggler Koral on TNG.
Renowned scientist Stephen Hawking plays himself in the The Next Generation episode “Descent Part 1.” In a clever scene, Hawking enjoys a poker game with Data (Brent Spiner), Sir Isaac Newton (John Neville), and Albert EInstein (Jim Norton). Hawking remains the only person to play himself on Star Trek, a feat crazy enough to tear a hole in the space time continuum.
Christian Slater has headlined in such films and shows as Heathers, Pump Up the Volume, and Mr. Robot. In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country Slater has a welcome cameo as a communications officer. While his character does receive the command to wake up Captain Sulu (George Takei), Slater’s character goes unnamed. Slater’s mother, Mary Jo Slater, was casting director for Undiscovered Country, and she likely knew all about her son’s passion for all things Trek.
Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane appeared in not one but two Star Trek: Enterprise episodes. MacFarlane plays Engineer in “The Forgotten,” and Ensign Rivers in “Affliction.” Family Guy frequently references Star Trek among a slew of other pop culture icons. Notably the episode “Not All Dogs Go to Heaven” centers on a Star Trek convention, featuring guest stars from The Next Generation including Patrick Stewart, LeVar Burton, Brent Spiner, Denise Crosby, Gates McFadden, Michael Dorn, Jonathan Frakes, Wil Wheaton, and Marina Sirtis.
Fleetwood Mac may not appear to have much in common with sci-fi, but Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood isn’t just a massive Trekkie. Mick guest starred on The Next Generation as the Antedian Dignitary in “Manhunt.” Ironically, Fleetwood was a man of another world in this episode…
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Possibly no other celebrity has achieved the acclaim of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. University of Miami football star turned professional wrestler turned actor, the multi-talented Johnson assumed the role of The Champion on Voyager episode “Tsunkatse.” Later, The Rock’s prolific film career would come to include such titles as Doom, The Scorpion King, and Be Cool.
Comedian writer, and producer Sarah Silverman has dabbled in the stand-up comedy world extensively. Her film appearances include School of Rock and Wreck-it Ralph along with guest starring roles on such TV shows as Monk and Star Trek: Voyager. In the two-part episode “Future’s End,” Silverman portrays Rain Robinson.
In 1992, Famke Janssen played Kamala on The Next Generation episode “The Perfect Mate.” Interestingly, Janssen would proceed to assume the part of Jean Grey/Phoenix in the X-Men film series, reuniting to star alongside Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard on TNG and Professor X in X-Men).
Oh, Christopher Lloyd. The number of iconic movies in which Lloyd animates zany characters is mind boggling. Back to the Future, The Pagemaster, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Angels in the Outfield...the list goes on. In the feature film Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Lloyd steps into the role of Klingon Commander Kruge. Great Scott! It’s Christopher Lloyd!
Abdullah II, King of Jordan
At the time, he was only a prince, but now-King Abdullah II of Jordan held a non-speaking role as Science Division Officer on Voyager. Now that he’s a king, we bet Abdullah would get at least a few lines. It’s neat to see actual royalty on a show.
James Cromwell may as well be known as “that guy from that thing.” His prolific career boasts such films and shows as L.A. Confidential, The Green Mile, I, Robot, and The Sum of All Fears. Fittingly, Cromwell assumed an assortment of characters in various Star Trek films and shows, from Star Trek: First Contact to Enterprise, Deep Space Nine, and The Next Generation.
Remember that time Frasier appeared on The Next Generation? Yep, Kelsey Grammer, Cheers and Frasier star appeared as Captain of the USS Bozeman in “Cause and Effect.” Hilariously, Bebe Neuwirth, who portrayed Frasier’s wife Dr. Lilith Sternin played Lanel on TNG in 1991, one years earlier. Frasier-TNG crossover series anyone?
Yes, X-Men director Bryan Singer has a very brief cameo in Star Trek: Nemesis. Singer collaborated with Patrick Stewart on the X-Men film franchise, and thus landed this quick role in Nemesis which features the cast of The Next Generation.
Musician and activist Tom Morello isn’t just the guitarist behind Rage Against the Machine and hip hop/rock supergroup Prophets of Rage. Morello popped up in the Star Trek universe twice, first in the 1998 film Insurrection followed by an appearance in Voyager episode “Good Shepherd.”
Among Dean Stockwell’s more famous roles is that of Rear Admiral ALbert Calavicci on Quantum Leap alongside Scott Bakula. In 2002, Stockwell once again joined forces with Bakula on Enterprise episode “Extinction.” It’s fun to see the two back onscreen together, as Stockwell and Bakula have stellar chemistry.
“Hey! It’s Samantha from Sex and the City!” Before assuming her most notable role, Kim Cattrall was rocking the Vulcan pointy ears as Lt. Valeris in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. It’s decidedly different fare, and one wonders how many Sex and the City fans have discovered this fun fact.
Before there was Cheers or Drop Dead Gorgeous, Kirstie Alley co-starred as Saavik in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Impressively, The Wrath of Khan marked Alley’s first film role, and she was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Veteran actress and activist Ashley Judd starred in such hits as Kiss the Girls and Double Jeopardy. Judd appeared as Ensign Robin Lefler in TNG episodes “The Game” and “Darmok” (you probably now have “The Picard Song” stuck in your head. You’re welcome for the earworm). Lefler enjoyed a fling with Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton), and did not ask him to shut up.
John Neville is no stranger to sci-fi. Starring in The Fifth Element and arguably the most recognizable as the Well-Manicured Man in The X-Files franchise, John Neville brought Sir Isaac Newton to life in The Next Generation. Neville’s powerful presence captivates in his brief moments onscreen.
Before Teri Hatcher became a Wisteria Lane resident on Desperate Housewives, she appeared in The Next Generation. Hatcher’s transporter chief Lt. B.G. Robinson may not be crucial to the plot of episode “The Outrageous Okona” but hey, she’s there. Beam me up Susan Mayer! ...er, Lt. B.G. Robinson.
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