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Star Trek The Next Generation cast, characters, and actors

It's time to boldly go and explore the Star Trek The Next Generation cast, home to some of the best and most memorable characters in the history of Starfleet.

Star Trek The Next Generation cast

Here’s everything you need to know about the Star Trek The Next Generation cast. 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 its memorable array of characters.

While the many Star Trek shows often have their own central conceits, it’s the Star Trek characters – rather than the premises – which define their respective Star Trek series. Here, we take a close look at the main Star Trek The Next Generation cast, as well as major recurring guest stars like Michelle Forbes as Ro Laren.

If you’ve already watched the Star Trek movies in order and want to head back to the small screen, here we go. From the Star Trek captain to the transporter chief, here’s everything you need to know about the Star Trek The Next Generation cast. It’s a long list, so buckle up.

The complete Star Trek The Next Generation cast list:

  • Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard
  • Jonathan Frakes as Commander William Riker
  • Brent Spiner as Lieutenant Commander Data
  • Gates McFadden as Dr. Crusher
  • LeVar Burton as Lieutenant Commander La Forge
  • Michael Dorn as Lieutenant Worf
  • Marina Sirtis as Counsellor Troi
  • Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan
  • Wil Wheaton as Wesley Crusher
  • Colm Meaney as Chief O’Brien
  • Diana Muldaur as Dr. Pulaski
  • Dwight Schultz as Lieutenant Barclay
  • Michelle Forbes as Ensign Ro
  • Denise Crosby as Lieutenant Yar
  • Patti Yasutake as Alyssa Ogawa
  • John de Lancie as Q
  • Majel Barrett as Lwaxana Troi and the voice of the USS Enterprise
  • Carel Struycken as Mr Homn
  • Rosalind Chao as Keiko O’Brien
  • Suzie Plakson as K’Ehleyr
  • Andreas Katsulas as Tomalak
  • Jonathan Del Arco as Hugh
  • Daniel Davis as Professor Moriarty
  • Jennifer Hetrick as Vash
  • David Warner as Gul Madred

Star trek The Next Generation cast : Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard

We all know and love Patrick Stewart who made a name for himself on stage as a member of the Royal Shakespeare company 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. If you’re watching the X-Men movies in order, his last appearance is in Logan.

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, logic, and diplomatic skills. In his personal life he was quiet, reserved, and private.

Star Trek The Next Generation: Jonathan Frakes

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 bold 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 one of the best disaster movies, 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 if that put her up against 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 one of the best drama movies, 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 Colm Meaney as Miles O'Brien

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 one of TV’s best Westerns Hell on Wheels, the Tolkien biopic, and Unwelcome.

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 Sela 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 John de Lancie as Q

John de Lancie as Q

If TNG has an overarching villain, it’s not the Borg or the Romulans. It’s Q, and even then he’s not completely evil. Q is an intergalactic trickster, part of the god-like Q Continuum. He begins Picard’s trial in the first episode, and concludes it in the finale.

Q is a recurring presence throughout the series, appearing in a handful of TNG’s greatest adventures. These include Q Who, Deja Q, Tapestry, and (of course) All Good Things. Basically, when Q shows up, you know you’re in for a good time.

Q is brought to life played by John de Lancie. Aside from TNG, de Lancie has starred in Stargate SG-1 and Breaking Bad, in which he played the father of Krysten Ritter’s Jane. He also showed up once again in the latter seasons of Picard.

Star Trek The Next Generation cast Patti Yasutake as Nurse Ogawa

Patti Yasutake as Nurse Alyssa Ogawa

Patti Yasutale joined the TNG cast in season 4 as Nurse Alyssa Ogawa. Ogawa was one of the head nurses in sickbay, and would step up as the senior staff member in Dr. Crusher’s absence. As TNG continued on, Ogawa (who also appears in two TNG movies) is promoted by Crusher, eventually becoming a Lieutenant.

Prior to TNG, Yasutake began her TV career on the William Shatner crime series TJ Hooker, and later appeared in an episode of Boston Legal, another Shatner series. Away from Star Trek entirely Yasutake starred in Netflix’s recent drama series Beef as Fumi, the mother of George, in what might be her biggest role since TNG.

Majel Barrett as Lwaxana Troi in Star Trek The Next Generation cast

Majel Barrett as Lwaxana Troi and the voice of the USS Enterprise

Sometimes referred to as ‘the First Lady of Star Trek’ Majel Barrett is an icon within the franchise. She starred in the first pilot (The Cage) as Number One – a role which has subsequently been taken over by Rebecca Romijn – before taking on a regular role in TOS as Nurse Christine Chapel.

In the TNG cast, Barrett has a guest role as the mother of Deanna Troi, Lwaxana Troi, Daughter of the Fifth House, Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed. She’s larger than life, the bane of Picard’s life, and has a complicated relationship with her daughter. She’s great. More than that, you’ll recognize her voice instantly as the voice of the ship’s computer. Legend.

Star Trek The Next Generation cast Carel Struycken as Mr Homn

Carel Struycken as Mr Homn

… And wherever Lwaxana Troi goes, Mr. Homn follows. Her silent assistant and literal bag carrier, Mr Homn allowed the spotlight to land firmly on Lwaxana. He loves hitting his little gong, and has some serious alcohol stamina.

Homn was played in TNG by Dutch actor Carel Struycken. Even if you’ve forgotten all about Mr Homn, you’re bound to recognize Struycken from his roles in Twin Peaks, The Addams Family, as well as recent horror movies like Gerald’s Game and Doctor Sleep. It’s perhaps Gerald’s Game in which he’s most effective as a genuinely terrifying villain.

Star Trek The Next Generation cast Roslaind Chao as Keiko O'Brien

Rosalind Chao as Keiko O’Brien

Not a member of Starfleet, Keiko was a botany expert who lived on the Enterprise-D alongside her partner and, following on from the episode Data’s Day, husband Miles O’Brien. Like Colm Meaney, Chao joined the DS9 cast in a recurring role when their characters made the jump to the space station. She played a bigger part in DS9, as the spin-off show dedicated more time to exploring her and Miles’ family life.

Star Trek The Next Generation cast Rosalind Chao as Keiko O'Brien getting married to Miles

Since Star Trek, Chao has become a familiar face in Hollywood, popping up new movies and TV shows seemingly every week. One of her biggest roles has been as Hua Li, the mother or Mulan in the Disney live-action remake. Chao is set to return to science fiction with her starring role in Netflix’s upcoming series The Three Body Problem.

Star Trek The Next Generation cast Suzie Plakson as K'Ehleyr

Suzie Plakson as K’Ehleyr

Suzie Plakson is an actor who’s best known for her recurring roles in American sitcoms Love and War, Mad About You, and How I Met Your Mother. Before all this success though, Plakson made her debut as a guest star in the Star Trek TNG cast.

Her first role was in the season 2 episode Schizoid Man as Lieutenant Selar; a Vulcan member of the medical staff about the Enterprise-D. However, it’s for her role as K’Ehleyr that she’s best remembered. With a human mother and Klingon father, K’Ehleyer is the half-Klingon ambassador and special emissary to the Federation. She’s also Worf’s former partner, and becomes the mother of his child Alexander.

K’Ehleyer dies in the season 4 episode Reunion; assassinated by Duras. Despite only two episodes in the role, Plakson brought an intelligence, charm, and mischief to K’Ehleyer that made her an instant fan-favorite. The actor would return to Star Trek in Voyager, as a Q, and in Enterprise.

Star Trek The Next Generation cast Andreas Katsulas as Tomalak

Andreas Katsulas as Tomalak

“What if Picard was a Romulan?” is probably the question TNG’s writers asked themselves when creating Commander Tomalak. The Romulan is the perfect opponent for the Starfleet captain: considered, calculated, and careful. But underneath his cool façade lies a hidden arrogance, and a temper that can bubble to the surface when pushed. He plays a major role in the events of season 3 as the Romulans begin to gear up for war, appearing in the episodes The Enemy and The Defector – both excellent.

Aside from his time as a Romulan war leader, Andreas Katsulas’ career was defined by his time in the role of G’Kar in Babylon 5, and he also starred in the Kurt Russell movie Executive Decision. Katsulas died in 2006 at 59.

Star Trek The Next Generation cast Jonathan Del Arco as Hugh

Jonathan Del Arco as Hugh

Aside from Jeri Ryan’s Seven of Nine, and the Borg Queen, Jonathan Del Arco’s Hugh is probably the most famous Borg character in Star Trek. To a certain extent, that’s not saying a lot (they are mostly mindless drones, after all), but Hugh’s role in I, Borg and the two-parter Descent is still remarkable.

I, Borg is an episode about understanding your enemy, and gaining sympathy for them along the way. Del Arco’s performance as the innocent, vulnerable Hugh is brilliant. Del Arco returned to play Hugh in Picard season 1. Since Hugh, Del Arco has become best known for his LGBTQ+ activism work, as Dr. Fernando Morales in the procedural The Closer, and its sequel series Major Crimes.

Star Trek The Next Generation cast Daniel Davis as Moriarty

Daniel Davis as Professor Moriarty

Notable for his leading roles in two of TNG’s best Holodeck episodes, Daniel Davis joined the Star Trek The Next Generation cast as Professor Moriarty: arch-nemesis of Sherlock Holmes. Moriarty was created as a sentient and self-aware program when Geordi commanded the computer to create a villain capable of defeating Data in the episode Elementary, Dear Data.

Not unlike Roy Batty in Blade Runner, Davis’ Moriarty then fights for his existence, and wants to leave the Holodeck and live his life among mortals. He returns in Ship in a Bottle to cause havoc once again, angry that Picard did not keep his word. Like so many of his co-stars, Davis returned to Star Trek in Picard season 3. Away from Star Trek, Davis had significant roles in Texas and The Nanny, and also appeared in The Hunt for the Red October, and Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige.

Star Trek The Next Generation cast Jennifer Hetrick as Vash

Jennifer Hetrick as Vash

The first word that comes to mind when we think of Captain Jean-Luc Picard isn’t, “romantic,“ but if anyone can bring that side out of him, it’s Vash. A fellow archaeologist, Vash first appears in the episode Captain’s Holiday (TNG meets Indiana Jones) and slowly manages to ignite Picard’s adventurous side as they begin a hunt for an ancient Uhtat. She then returns in the episode Qpid, alongside Q, and Picard is forced to become Robin Hood and save her from Sir Guy of Gisbourne (it’s a misconception that TNG took itself too seriously).

Jennifer Hetrick reprised her role as Vash in the DS9 episode Q-less, but away from Star Trek she’s best known for her performance as Bonnie Carroll in Bodies of Evidence. Before that, she starred in TV series such as LA Law and Unsub.

Star Trek The Next Generation cast David Warner as Gul Madred

David Warner as Gul Madred

Gul Madred is one of TNG’s greatest villains, starring in one of TNG’s two-parters: Chain of Command. In Chain of Command part 2, after Picard is captured by Cardassians, he meets Madred who becomes his captor and torturer. Cruel and intelligent, he dominates Picard and gets so close to breaking him.

If you recognize the face of Gul Madred, or more likely his voice, that’s because he’s a Star Trek legend. David Warner, who plays the evil Cardassian, also starred in Star Trek V as John Talbot and (much more famously) in Star Trek VI as Klingon Chancellor Gorkon. Warner died in 2022, and his final film role was in Mary Poppins Returns.

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That’s it on the Star Trek The Next Generation cast. For more on Star Trek, check out our picks for the best Star Trek captains, best Star Trek characters, and best Star Trek starships. And if your head is truly scrambled, we can guide you through the Star Trek timeline.

Or, keep up with what’s going on in the franchise with our Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2 review and our interview with Anson Mount and Rebecca Romijn. We’ve also explained why Patrick Stewart doesn’t care about sci-fi, despite his Star Trek legend status.

We’ve also got guides to some of the new movies and best TV series coming for Trek fans, including the Star Trek Discovery season 5 release date, Lower Decks season 4 release date, and Star Trek 4 release date. And finally, if you fancy something completely different, we worked out which Star Trek captains would survive a zombie movie. Look, it could happen.