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  • Jonathan Frakes (William T. Riker)

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    Frakes (born August 19th, 1952) in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, the son of Doris J. and Dr. James R. Frakes. He grew up in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. A 1970 graduate of Bethlehem's Liberty High School, he ran track and played with the Liberty High School Grenadier Band. Frakes received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts at Pennsylvania State University in 1974, where he was a member of the Thespians and a MA from Harvard University in 1976.

    His father was a critic for the New York Times Book Review, a book editor, and professor of English literature at Lehigh University from 1958–2001, where he was the Edmund W. Fairchild Professor in American Studies. James R. Frakes died in early 2002. Frakes had a younger brother, Daniel, who died in 1997 from pancreatic cancer.

    For a time in the 1970s, Frakes worked for Marvel Comics, appearing at conventions in costume as Captain America. He moved to New York City and became a member of the Impossible Ragtime Theatre. In that company, he did his first off-Broadway acting in Eugene O'Neill's The Hairy Ape directed by George Ferenczi. His first Broadway appearance was in Shenandoah and at that same time, he landed a role in the NBC soap opera The Doctors. 

    When his character was dismissed from the show, he moved to Los Angeles and had several guest spots in many of the top television series of the 70’s and 80’s, including The Walton’s (in an episode called The Legacy), Eight Is Enough, The Dukes of Hazzard, Matlock, Quincy, ME (in The Face of Fear) and Hill Street Blues.

    He played the part of Charles Lindbergh in a 1983 episode of Voyagers! titled An Arrow Pointing East. In 1983, he had a role in the short-lived NBC prime time soap opera Bare Essence (which also starred his future wife Genie Francis), and a supporting role in the equally short-lived primetime soap Paper Dolls in 1984. He also had recurring roles in Falcon Crest and the miniseries North and South as well as appearing in the 1986 miniseries Dream West.

    In 1987 Frakes was cast in the role of Commander William T. Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation. He was only one of two actors to appear in every episode until the series' conclusion in 1994. He also directed 14 episodes of the show and reprised his role in the spin-off movies, two of which (Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Insurrection) he also directed.

    As well as Star Trek: The Next Generation Frakes has made appearances in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise. He is one of only two Star Trek regulars to appear on four different Star Trek series. The only other regular to match or exceed that number is Majel Barrett-Roddenberry who appeared in five of the television series. He has also directed episodes in four of the series (TNGDS9VOY, and DIS).

    He reprised his role of Riker for a Next Generation cutaway on an episode of Family Guy that also featured his co-stars Patrick Stewart and Michael Dorn as their respective roles of Picard and Worf. Later, he again played himself on another Family Guy episode, where all seven main TNG actors (plus Denise Crosby and Wil Wheaton) made voice appearances. He is also one of six Star Trek actors (the other actors being Kate Mulgrew, Michael Dorn, George Takei, Avery Brooks and Majel Barrett) to lend their voices to the video game Star Trek: Captain's Chair, reprising his role as Riker when users visit the Enterprise-D bridge featured in the game.

    Much of Frakes’ acting work after Star Trek has been animation voice acting, most notably voicing the recurring role of David Xanatos in the animated series Gargoyles, and he provided the voice of his own head in a jar in the Futurama episode Where No Fan Has Gone Before. He had a small, uncredited role in the 1994 movie Camp Nowhere. Frakes was also the voice of Finn the Human's adult version in the episodes Puhoy and Dungeon Train on Adventure Time

    Frakes was an executive producer for the WB series Roswell, directed several episodes and guest-starred in three episodes. His relationship with Star Trek is made light of in the season 3 episode Secrets and Lies, in which the alien character Max auditions for a guest role as an alien for Star Trek: Enterprise.

    Frakes appeared on the 1994 Phish album Hoist, playing trombone on the track titled Riker's Mailbox. He would also occasionally perform on the trombone during his tenure as Commander Riker, drawing on his college marching band experience. He was also a member of The Sunspots, a vocal backup group of Star Trek cast members that appeared on Brent Spiner's 1991 album Ol' Yellow Eyes Is Back.

    Frakes hosted The Paranormal Borderline, a television series on UPN, which dealt with the paranormal and mysterious happenings and creatures. In one episode, Frakes presented an interview of reporter Yolanda Gaskins with veteran astronaut Gordon Cooper, where they discussed the possibility of aliens having visited Earth in the past. Overall, the show was criticised and pulled off the air after it was discovered that footage showing a yeti from the Himalayas was purposely faked by the show and its producers. The Snowwalker footage, as it is known, allegedly shows a yeti crossing through a valley in the Himalayas, walking in front of a Belgian couple who are traversing the area on skis. The network finally admitted the hoax and Frakes distanced himself from the show. He hosted Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction, which also dealt with the paranormal world.

    Frakes and Francis appeared together in Lois & Clark in the episode Don't Tug on Superman's Cape as a creepily too-good-to-be-true couple. He also narrated the History Channel's That's Impossible.

    In addition to Roswell, Frakes has directed episodes of Leverage, Castle, NCIS: Los Angeles, Burn Notice, Falling Skies and most recently Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Switched at Birth, Hit the Floor, The Librarians, and The Orville.

    Frakes works with the Workshops, the Waterfall Arts Centre, and the Saltwater Film Society, all located in Maine, where he teaches classes on film direction. He and his wife owned a home furnishings store in Belfast, Maine, called The Cherished Home, which closed in August 2012 due to his wife being too busy with her acting to spend adequate time at the store.

    Frakes first met actress Genie Francis on the set of the television soap opera Bare Essence, and again while filming the mini-series North and South. They began dating in 1985, became engaged in 1986, and married on May 28, 1988. The couple have two children. They moved from Belfast, Maine, to Beverly Hills, California, in 2008 and later moved to Calabasas, California.

    Film Career:

    • 1994  Camp Nowhere
    • 1994  Star Trek Generations
    • 1995  Time Travel Through the Bible
    • 1996  Star Trek: First Contact
    • 1998  Star Trek: Insurrection
    • 2002  Star Trek: Nemesis
    • 2002  Clockstoppers
    • 2004  Thunderbirds
    • 2011  The Captains
    • 2017  Devil's Gate

    Television Career:

    • 1978  Charlie's Angels
    • 1978  Barnaby Jones
    • 1978  Fantasy Island
    • 1979  The Walton’s
    • 1979  Eight Is Enough
    • 1979  The White Shadow
    • 1980  Beulah Land
    • 1980  The Night the City Screamed
    • 1981  The Dukes of Hazzard
    • 1981  Harper Valley
    • 1982  Hart to Hart
    • 1982  Hill Street Blues
    • 1982  Quincy, M.E.
    • 1982  Quincy, M.E.
    • 1982  Voyagers!
    • 1983  Bare Essence
    • 1984  Highway to Heaven
    • 1984  Five Mile Creek
    • 1984  The Fall Guy
    • 1985  The New Twilight Zone
    • 1985  North and South
    • 1986  Dream West
    • 1986  Matlock
    • 1987–1994  Star Trek: The Next Generation
    • 1988  Reading Rainbow
    • 1994  Wings
    • 1994  Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
    • 1994  Journey's End: The Saga of Star Trek: The Next Generation
    • 1994–1996  Gargoyles
    • 1995  Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
    • 1995 Cybill
    • 1995 Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction?
    • 1996  Star Trek: Voyager
    • 1998–2002  Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction?
    • 1999  Roswell
    • 2000  3rd Rock from the Sun
    • 2000  Ghosts: Caught on Tape
    • 2002  Futurama
    • 2005  Star Trek: Enterprise
    • 2005–2009  Family Guy
    • 2009  Leverage
    • 2010  Criminal Minds
    • 2010  NCIS: Los Angeles
    • 2011  The Superhero Squad Show
    • 2012  Leverage
    • 2012  Castle
    • 2013  Adventure Time
    • 2014  Hit the Floor
    • 2016–2017  Guardians of the Galaxy
    • 2016  Miles from Tomorrowland
    • 2016  Future-Worm!
    • 2018  After Trek
    • 2019  How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast)
    • 2020  Star Trek: Picard


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