George Takei was cast to appear in the second Star Trek pilot and, with its success, went on to star in the resultant Star Trek series. Takei’s role was intended to get bigger quicker than it did. However, the actor’s attention was being taken up by another role. He was still performing in “The Green Berets” as Captain Nim.
Along with a string of film and television roles, George Takei completely mastered social media, his hilarious posts making him even more of an icon than his Star Trek days did. Takei now uses this platform to promote LGBT rights, along with a number of other causes he holds close to his heart. Takei is no “clicktivist,” he is the real deal and has won awards for his work on US-Japan relations in particular, and human rights in general.
Sarah Silverman as Rain Robinson
Here is another star you may be surprised to discover was in Star Trek. Sassy, the outspoken comedian, Sarah Silverman, joined "Star Trek: Voyager" back in 1996 for a small role that spanned two episodes. Her character, Rain Robinson, was central to a two-part episode named “Future’s End,” which was full of time-traveling fun.
We probably don’t even need to tell you what Silverman has been up to since (but we will)! The comedy superstar has had her own program, "The Sarah Silverman Show," along with a number of comedy specials and appearances in shows like "Louie" and films like "Wreck-it Ralph."
Robert Duncan McNeill as Lieutenant Tom Paris
Robert Duncan McNeill is a Star Trek veteran, having taken on a couple of different roles while also directing several episodes. His most regular appearance on the show was as Lieutenant Tom Paris, in "Star Trek: Voyager." However, you can also spot him in an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation."
McNeill did take on acting roles outside of Star Trek (including an appearance as himself in the documentary, "Trekkies") but his passion is most definitely with directing. He has an impressive CV, having taken the helm of shows like "Dawson’s Creek," "Medium," and "Desperate Housewives." McNeill also produced and directed "Chuck," for NBC.
Laurence Luckinbill as Sybok
When it comes to Star Trek, Laurence Luckinbill certainly lives up to his luck-filled name. The role he took on—that of Spock’s half-brother, Sybok—was originally intended for Sean Connery. However, Connery was tied up filming "Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade." Luckinbill came on the scene completely unintentionally. He was discovered late one night, when William Shatner was unable to sleep and so was up channel surfing.
Luckinbill’s face popped on the screen and Shatner knew immediately he was the one for the part. What a way to be discovered! Luckenbill’s luck never really ran out as far as his career has been concerned. Since 1968, he has been writing, directing and starring in theater productions, including a good many one-man shows.
DeForest Kelley as Dr. Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy
When Star Trek hit, DeForest Kelley shot to almost instant fame as Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy. What many don’t know, however, is that Kelley actually had the opportunity to play Spock! He turned the role down, a move many Spock fans are probably thankful for as it’s hard to imagine anyone other than Nimoy in the role.
Kelley apparently turned the role down as he feared being typecast. Yet, as it turned out, he fell victim to the dreaded affliction anyway. As his acting career tapered off, Kelley developed a love for the written word, writing poetry and penning two books. These were supposed to be the first of a series, however, Kelley passed away in 1999 before he could complete the rest of his written works.