We all know that William Shatner IS Captain Kirk and that Patrick Stewart will be forever known as Jean Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation. We know that Leonard Nimoy will forever Live Long and Prosper in his iconic role as Spock, but you may not know that Kate Mulgrew, "Red" from Orange is the New Black, was the infamous Starfleet Captain for seven years on Star Trek Voyager?
There's no arguing it: Star Trek is a huge part of not only science fiction but pop culture, and you'd never guess how many famous actors have appeared on Star Trek over 28 seasons and 12 motion pictures!
Lloyd is another actor who fans are very familiar with. He played Doctor Brown in Back to the Future 1-3. He also played Klingon Commander Kruge in Star Trek III: Search For Spock. Kruge is best known for being the Trek villain that finally did what so many had tried: he destroyed the Enterprise. Unfortunately for him, his crew was on it at the time. He didn't realize that Kirk had beamed his crew to the planet surface where Kruge was -- and he and Kirk fought it out and was thrown to his death down a volcano.
In 1993, 7-year-old Kirsten Dunst played an alien child in a single episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Her character assisted in the main plot point of the episode, and helped evolve one of the richest family relationships that the show had established: that between Deanna and her mother.
Janssen is probably best known for her portrayal of the X-Men's Jean Grey in five films of the franchise. According to IMDB, her second acting job was on Star Trek: The Next Generation back in 1992, but currently you can see her on one of my favorite shows: How To Get Away With Murder!
The seductive character Janssen played on Trek was an empath slave who could sense what men around her wanted and become that (Jean Grey??). She was meant to be given as a peace offering between warring worlds, however she had fallen for Captain Picard -- the man who would one day teach Jean Grey how to control her powers...
You should recognize this young doctor as the Chief from Scrubs! Yes, he too appeared in Star Trek back in 1989. He even played a mad scientist character! Could Dr. Stubbs be Dr. Kelso's descendant?
Back in 1993, Hawking played a holographic version of himself that was created by Data, along with versions of Einstein and Isaac Newton. The four played a hand of poker because the android was curious and wanted to play the game with some of the best minds from earth's history.
Hawking is the only person to have played themselves in all of Trek history, which is a pretty awesome distinction!
Seth is best known for his creation of the Family Guy universe with cartoon comedies Family Guy, American Dad, and The Cleveland Show. You've likely caught some of the several Star Trek references he has thrown out there as he is a big fan of the franchise. He cameoed on two episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise where he worked on the engineering team and even took some heat from one of the main cast for not working fast enough!
Shawn is probably best known for his portrayal of of Vizzini in The Princess Bride. He also played the Grand Nagus, the leader of the Ferengi, in seven episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine!
Alexander has been eternally immortalized as George Costanza on Seinfield, but being the huge "Trekkie" that he is, he always wanted to be on Star Trek. He got a turn in 1999 in a singular episode on Star Trek: Voyager. His character was part of a "Think Tank" of minds that went around space, solving problems for others at a price. They offered Voyager help in a problem, but it turned out to be a con the entire time -- Alexander's character, Kurros, had been playing them!
Back in 2000, The Rock was just a WWF star who was trying to break into acting. One of his first acting jobs was on Star Trek: Voyager where he played an alien version of... well, himself!
Seven of Nine was kidnapped and forced to fight in a WWF type arena where the champion was The Rock's character. It's a pretty fun episode actually, and the Rock is great!
Grammer is a very popular actor, most commonly associated with his television shows Cheers and spinoff Frasier. He's also played the Beast in two X-Men films, but in 1992 Grammer appeared on-screen just for a couple minutes as Captain Morgan Bateson of the USS Bozeman that had been lost in a "time loop" for decades. This is a fun cameo, but I always wondered what happened to him and his crew... were they able to acclimate?
Alley appeared in Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan as an emotionless Vulcan, but turned down the sequel Star Trek III: Search for Spock and took a gamble that paid off on well known sitcom Cheers, so she was replaced by Robin Curtis.
Silverman is one of the biggest names in comedy, and one day I hope to meet her and say "You're that girl from those two episodes of Star Trek Voyager!".
After her awkward exit from SNL (she was fired....but it's cool cuz she's been back to host) she was looking for acting jobs and found a guest spot on Voyager in 1996, where she played an aspiring astronomer. Our characters seek out her help because they've been sucked into the past to help stop a disaster and Silverman's character works for the bad guy! She's pretty hilarious in her two episodes, though her comedy definitely shines through and these are two of my favorite Voyager episodes!
That's right, the God of Thunder played Captain Kirk! Well, technically he was only Captain for about twelve minutes after his Captain had died! He was in the big chair long enough to get everyone evacuated (including his pregnant wife) so that he could kamikaze into the enemy in hopes that his shipmates and friends would escape.
Hemsworth wasn't only the exciting incident of the film, but his death was pretty emotionally felt by fans as the scene was juxtaposed with the birth of the Captain Kirk we've known for decades.
It's also funny to note that the role of Kirk's pregnant mother was played by Jennifer Morrison, who went on to star in the television show Once Upon a Time... so that makes Captain Kirk the grandchild of Snow White AND Odin?!
Everyone knows who Whoopi Goldberg is, but did you know she's a huge Trekkie? Growing up, she loved the original series and admired Nichelle Nichols for her portrayal of African American women on television. It was because of this that Goldberg approached the producers before the second season of TNG for a part. She had wanted to be the new doctor after Gates McFadden was fired, but the producers didn't love the idea. She said simply that she'd enjoy doing anything, even if it was just in the background. They created the role of the bartender Guinan and wrote it specifically for her. Guinan appeared in 28 episodes of TNG over the course of five years, occasionally just cameoing at the bar interacting with the characters, while in other episodes she played pivotal roles. She also appeared in two of the TNG feature films.
Star Trek has been and continues to be a cultural phenomenon, and with such a wide range of fans I'm hopeful we get to see it come back to primetime sometime soon! There are so many celebrities that have love for the franchise and who have expressed their interest in bringing it back.