Star Trek The Next Generation cast – learn about the sci-fi actors

Learn all about the Star Trek The Next Generation cast, including Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Whoopi Goldberg, with a deep dive on their characters.

Star trek The Next Generation cast : Jonathan Frakes

After first airing almost 40 years ago, Star Trek The Next Generation remains one of the most iconic sci-fi series of all time. The Star Trek The Next Generation cast brought the series to life, captivating audiences around the world with their memorable array of characters.

Here, we take a close look at the Star Trek series with a rundown of the main Star Trek The Next Generation cast, as well as major recurring guest stars. From the stoic Captain Picard to the inquisitive Lieutenant Commander Data, this is everything you need to know about the Star Trek The Next Generation cast and their Star Trek characters.

Who are the stars of the Star Trek The Next Generation cast?

  • Patrick Stewart
  • Jonathan Frakes
  • Brent Spiner
  • Gates McFadden
  • LeVar Burton
  • Michael Dorn
  • Marina Sirtis
  • Whoopi Goldberg
  • Wil Wheaton
  • Diana Muldaur
  • Dwight Schultz
  • Michelle Forbes
  • Denise Crosby
  • Colm Meaney

Star trek The Next Generation cast : Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Patrick Stewart is a highly acclaimed British actor who made a name for himself on stage before joining the cast of The Next Generation (TNG). He has since gone on to star in numerous movies and TV series, including the X-Men movie franchise as Professor Xavier.

In TNG, Stewart played the role of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, a veteran Star Trek captain who commanded the Enterprise-D. Picard was known for his stern thoughtfulness and diplomatic skills, however, in his personal life he was quiet, reserved, and private.

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Jonathan Frakes as Commander William Riker

On TNG, Frakes played the role of Commander William Riker, the Enterprise’s first officer and a trusted sounding board for Captain Picard. Riker was known for his charm and his willingness to take risks, reminiscent of Captain Kirk from the Original Series.

Since starring in TNG, Frakes worked as the host of Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction and also did voice work for the animated series Gargoyles. However Frakes’ post-TNG career has been defined by his directing, and he’s worked on numerous TV shows and movies since his days on TNG. He has directed many episodes of several Star Trek series, including Discovery, Picard, and Strange New Worlds season 2, as well as the Star Trek movies First Contact and Insurrection.

Star trek The Next Generation cast : Brent Spiner

Brent Spiner as Lieutenant Commander Data

Brent Spiner is best known for his performance as Lieutenant Commander Data as part of the TNG cast. Data is an android who served as the Enterprise-D’s second officer. Data was famous across the Federation for his analytical mind and his quest to understand human emotions, making him a character that many audiences were able to connect to on a variety of levels. He was the focal point of some of the best TNG episodes, including the likes of The Measure of a Man.

Away from Star Trek, Spiner has appeared in shows like The Big Bang Theory and Outcast, and has lent his voice to several animated series, including Justice League and Young Justice. He also starred in the disaster movie Independence Day and its 2016 sequel.

Star trek The Next Generation cast : Gates McFadden

Gates McFadden as Doctor Beverly Crusher

Gates McFadden is an actor and choreographer who worked on the dance routines in major releases including Labyrinth and The Muppets Take Manhattan. On TNG, McFadden played the role of Doctor Beverly Crusher, the Enterprise’s chief medical officer and a close friend (and romantic interest) of Captain Picard. Crusher was known for her compassion, keen scientific mind, and willingness to stand up for herself and others, even with Captain Picard.

Star trek The Next Generation cast : LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton as Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge

With his portrayal of Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge, LeVar Burton had one of the leading roles as the Enterprise-D’s chief engineer and Data’s closest friend. La Forge was highly technically capable, and was promoted to chief engineer after serving as the helmsman of the ship in season 1. Away from his work, Geordi found it easy to make friends and was likeable and warm, but he struggled to be himself and relax when interested in other people romantically.

Alongside TNG, Burton is best known for hosting the educational kids series Reading Rainbow, and he drew in a huge number of fans with his natural warmth and charisma.

Star trek The Next Generation cast : Michael Dorn

Michael Dorn as Lieutenant Worf

Michael Dorn is Star Trek royalty, as he has the most Star Trek credits of any actor, with leading roles on both TNG and DS9.

On TNG, Dorn played the role of Lieutenant Worf, a Klingon Starfleet officer who served as the Enterprise’s tactical officer (replacing Tasha Yar after her death) and later as the chief of security on Deep Space Nine. Worf was known for his loyalty to his fellow officers, and for his fierce warrior spirit and devotion to Klingon culture.

Star trek The Next Generation cast : Marina Sirtis

Marina Sirtis as Counselor Deanna Troi

Marina Sirtis is a British-American actress who has appeared in shows like NCIS and Grey’s Anatomy, while also providing voice work for several animated series, including Gargoyles and Young Justice. During her time on the TNG cast, Sirtis played the role of Counselor Deanna Troi, a Betazoid officer who served as the Enterprise’s psychologist.

Troi’s empathic abilities cemented her role as a sounding board for the crew’s emotional concerns, and she was one of Captain Picard’s closest confidants as well as the love interest (and eventual partner) to commander Riker.

Star trek The Next Generation cast : Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan

Whoopi Goldberg is a Hollywood legend as an actor, comedian, and television host. She has won an Academy Award, a Grammy, a Tony, and an Emmy, and is one of Star Trek’s most celebrated stars. She has appeared in numerous famous movies, including The Color Purple and drama movie Ghost.

On TNG, Goldberg played the role of Guinan, the mysterious El-Aurian bartender of Ten Forward who shared a deep friendship with Captain Picard, acting as his unofficial adviser. Guinan was known for her experience and wisdom, and her ability to offer advice to the crew during times of crisis or moral complexity.

Star trek The Next Generation cast : Wil Wheaton

Wil Wheaton as Wesley Crusher

Wil Wheaton is an actor and writer with major movie credits including coming of age movie Stand by Me. During his time on the TNG cast, Wheaton played the role of Wesley Crusher, the son of Doctor Crusher and a prodigious young aspiring-officer who often found himself in some of the most dangerous situations. Wesley was known for his intelligence, his determination to prove himself, and his frustration with adults.

Since starring in TNG he has appeared in shows like The Big Bang Theory and Eureka, and has also written several books, including Just a Geek and Dancing Barefoot.

Star trek The Next Generation cast : Diana Muldaur

Diana Muldaur as Doctor Pulaski

During her short stint in the TNG cast, Muldaur played the role of Doctor Pulaski, a physician who temporarily replaced Doctor Crusher as the Enterprise’s chief medical officer. Pulaski was known for her no-nonsense approach, her willingness to challenge the crew, and her initial distrust in Data. She left the show after its second season when Doctor Crusher returned. Muldaur joined TNG after previously having a role in TOS.

Star trek The Next Generation cast : Dwight Schultz

Dwight Schultz as Lieutenant Reginald Barclay

Best known for his work on The A-Team, Dwight Schultz also starred in Star Trek The Next Generation where he played Lieutenant Reginald Barclay. Barclay stood out among the other TNG cast of characters, as he was a shy and socially awkward officer who struggled to fit in with the rest of the crew. Barclay was known for his creative thinking, though he also suffered from an addiction to the Holodeck which he used to play out his many fantasies.

Star trek The Next Generation cast : Michelle Forbes

Michelle Forbes as Ro Laren

Michelle Forbes played the role of Ensign Ro Laren, a Bajoran officer who joined the Enterprise-D crew in season five of TNG. Ro was known for her determination, grit, and strong-willed rebellious nature. Forbes was offered the chance to join the main cast of DS9, however, she turned the opportunity down and that space was eventually filled by Nana Visitor as Kira Nerys. Forbes did return to the role of Ro Laren for the final time in Star Trek Picard season 3 episode 5.

Away from Star Trek, Michelle Forbes is known for her work on shows like The Killing and Battlestar Galactica, as well as for doing voice work on the video game Half-Life 2.

Star trek The Next Generation cast : Denise Crosby

Denise Crosby as Lieutenant Tasha Yar

Denise Crosby is best known for her work on TNG where she played the role of the Enterprise-D’s chief tactical officer, Lieutenant Tasha Yar, during season 1. However, she was killed off in the first season during the TNG episode ‘Skin of Evil’. Crosby would go on to return to TNG as Tasha Yar from an alternate timeline, and Tasha Yar’s daughter in later seasons.

After TNG Crosby would appear in a supporting role in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown, and as the lead in the Stephen King adaptation Pet Sematary.

Star trek The Next Generation cast : Colm Meaney

Colm Meaney as Miles O’Brien

Colm Meaney starred in TNG from the first season onwards, with his character being fleshed out more and more as the seasons went on. Eventually, Miles O’Brien cemented himself as the transporter chief onboard the Enterprise-D, and a handful of episodes focussed on him and his backstory, as well as his relationship with his wife Keiko. Meaney joined the main cast of DS9 where his character was promoted to the role of chief of operations.

Meaney has had a varied career post-Star Trek, with major roles in Western TV series Hell on Wheels, the Tolkien biopic, and the new movie Unwelcome.

That’s it on the Star Trek The Next Generation cast. For more on Star Trek, check out our explainers on the Star Trek starships like the USS Titan and USS Intrepid. Or learn more about characters like Vadic the Changeling, Captain Shaw, and Moriarty. Alternatively, find out what we know about the Star Trek Starnge New Worlds season 2 release date.