Handsome, dark-haired, blue-eyed actor/director Jonathan Frakes is best known among Star Trek lovers for playing Commander William Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994) and in the Star Trek feature films. Before joining the other legends of Gene Roddenberry's operatic future world, Frakes had worked on television and was a regular in two sudsy, short-lived series, Bare Essence (1983) and Paper Dolls (1984). The Pennsylvania native made his television debut in the 1979 movie Beach Patrol. Frakes has also appeared in numerous miniseries including Beulah Land (1980) and both installments of North and South (1985 and 1986). Frakes cut his directorial teeth with episodes of Star Trek the Next Generation and went on to helm other episodes in the Star Trek franchise, including Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager. He has also directed episodes of Diagnosis Murder and University Hospital, as well as the CD-ROM Star Trek-Klingon (1996). Frakes made his feature-film debut as an actor in Star Trek: Generations (1994). He made his big-screen directorial bow in Star Trek: First Contact (1996). His fame from Star Trek has led Frakes to host various sci-fi/paranormal-oriented documentaries including the UPN network's series Paranormal Borderline and the Fox network's popular special Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction.
Biography by Sandra Brennan
- Once worked for Marvel Comics, appearing at conventions in a Captain America costume.
- Began his acting career on stage, appearing in on- and off- Broadway productions like The Hairy Ape and Shenandoah.
- Has taught acting and directing classes in Maine.