Do you remember “Reading Rainbow?” If you were the right age to be entranced by this brilliant children’s show, then you’ll certainly recognize its host (and executive producer, just by the way), LeVar Burton. This wonderful entertainer also had one of our favorite roles in the Star Trek franchise: Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge.
While La Forge was blind, he was able to have his own unique form of sight through the use of his boss-looking VISOR. While his eyes were always concealed behind the blingin’ prosthetic device, Burton is still mega recognizable. Since his time on Star Trek, Burton has both acted in and directed numerous episodes in a variety of television series. He’s also had a shot at directing a few films.
Grace Lee Whitney as Janice Rand
A picture of 60s style, Grace Lee Whitney played elegant yeoman to Captain James T. Kirk, Janice Rand. Janice can be seen in eight episodes of the first season but Whitney’s initial contract didn’t extend beyond this, so that was that. For a while anyway. Fans weren’t happy with her departure and they weren’t shy about begging for her return at conventions. As the years went by, the requests kept coming until the producers finally made a decision.
Whitney was brought back on board and fans got to enjoy seeing Janice back in action. She continued to pop up at diverse times throughout the series and appeared in Star Trek movies also. Along with her much-loved Star Trek role, Grace Lee Whitney enjoyed literally hundreds of television show appearances throughout her career. She was a talented singer and musician and penned an autobiography before she passed away in 2015.
John De Lancie as Q
Responsible for bringing us the character, Q, John De Lancie was also one of few actors who got to reprise his role over multiple series. Appearing in "The Next Generation," "Deep Space Nine," and "Voyager," Q is both the name of Lancie’s character and the race said character comes from.
Since departing from the world of Star Trek, Lancie has enjoyed a varied career, with roles in film, television, and theater. "Breaking Bad" fans will remember his noteworthy guest appearance as the father of Jesse's girlfriend, Jane Margolis. He’s also turned his hand to the written word, with several books to his name.
Linda Park as Hoshi Sato
Korean-American actress, Linda Park, had just graduated from Boston University when she got her first big break: the role of Hoshi Sato in Star Trek. With only a minor role in "Jurassic Park" under her belt, this regular role was a big step up for her, and Park was determined to shine. Her character, Hoshi Sato, was the communications officer and had a natural knack for understanding and translating all the alien languages the crew encountered.
When her time with Star Trek came to an end, Park was able to use it as a platform from which to land plenty of ongoing television work. You may recognize her as a regular on the show, "Crash." In tandem with her acting career, Park co-founded Underground Asylum, an LA-based theater company (though it has since gone defunct).
Christopher Plummer as Klingon General Chang
Christopher Plummer was an absolute legend of the acting world, with an illustrious career spanning an impressive six decades. While Shatner still has him beat time-wise (at seven decades of work and counting), Plummer’s talent was incomparable. Plummer delved into the Star Trek universe in "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country."
He was perfectly suited for the role he took on: Shakespeare-loving Klingon General Chang. Plummer himself was a classically trained actor and Shakespeare fanatic who has spent as much time on the stage as he has on camera. What you may not know is that, in the year 2000, he lent his voice to the "Star Trek: Klingon Academy" video game, reprising his role as Chang. In February 2021, he sadly passed away.