Submitted by: Kyle Nin
Star Trek is over for the forseeable future. However, the lives of the actors who have starred in the 40-year history of the franchise go on. Some to other film and TV greatness and others, well, not so fortunate.
Today, many of the stars of STAR TREK have been able to move on to other meaningful projects and have been able to make a fairly good living at it. Of course we all know that Bill Shatner, the original, and for many, the only true Starfleet Captain has had a very successful career as writer, singer, actor and philanthrope. Leonard Nimoy, the consummate Vulcan has gone on to be one of Hollywood’s biggest directors and producers and a prodigious photographer in his own right. Of course, we must not forget Patrick Stewart who, over the last several years has left the Captain’s chair and replaced it with a wheel-chair in the highly popular X-Men movie franchise playing Professor Charles Xavier; while Brent Spiner (Data) continues to appear in motion pictures and TV shows.
Other Star Trek actors have been successful at moving behind the camera such as Roxann Dawson of STAR TREK: Voyager, LeVar Burton from STAR TREK: The Next Generation and fellow cast-mate Jonathan Frakes. Many others have continued with their acting talents in the “legitimate” theater, Kate Mulgrew of STAR TREK: Voyager being a prime example.
Some actors have moved on into other areas of interest. Wil Wheaton has been able to successfully take his abilities into areas outside the normal Hollywood experience and write acclaimed books about his life’s journey as an actor, husband, and step-father, as well as his quest for uber-geekdom.
One of the most beloved characters in the STAR TREK legacy has turned out to be Phlox, the alien doctor from STAR TREK: Enterprise. Deftly played by actor John Billingsley. John has done several acting gigs since the cancellation of The Enterprise series and is currently starring in a new ABC pilot called “Nine Lives.” The story is about nine strangers who bond during a bank robbery.
Another new project underway will feature a whole bevy of ex-Trekkers from behind and in-front of the camera. Director Topher Straus’ “The Attackmen” will be cast with Dominic Keating and Jeffrey Combs (both from STAR TREK: Enterprise) with a writing staff that includes Shari Goodhartz of STAR TREK: The Next Generation. The Attackmen is about a Jewish boy who struggles to retain his Jewish heritage while being educated in an all-Catholic private school.
Finally, Jolene Blalock, the not-so-emotionless Vulcan from STAR TREK: Enterprise will be showcased in two motion pictures due out later this year. The first is a Direct-to-DVD vehicle co-starring Ray Liotta and LL Cool J called “Slow Burn” and the other is a mysterious thriller titled “The Shadow Puppets.” The latter is currently in post-production.
STAR TREK may be away for a season (or two – or three), but you can still catch the work of many of your favorite celebs in other projects until they get the call-back to “boldly go where no one has gone before.”