For the past 50 years, the Star Trek franchise has captured audiences imaginations on both the big and small screen, with six TV series and a dozen feature films, as well as some upcoming projects in the pipeline. During that half-century, Star Trek has managed to accrue quite the ensemble of guest stars, playing everyone from alien races from far-off worlds to people from Earth’s past and present. We’ve previously looked at some of the great actors who have popped up, so here’s a rundown of 35 actresses that are forever part of Star Trek history.
Having had recurring roles in several TV staples like True Blood and Homicide: Life on the Street, Forbes is also known for playing Ensign Ro Loren in Star Trek: The Next Generation, a part she got after impressing producers with a one-off performance as the character Dara earlier in the show’s run.
The now-famous Judd got her start in front of the camera as Ensign Robin Lefler in two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s fifth season. While she’s since made it to Hollywood’s A-List as an actress, she comes from a famous family, with both her mother and step-sister singing vocals in the country supergroup The Judds.
Warner had acted in a handful of TV roles prior to Star Trek: The Next Generation, where she played Cristy Henshaw, a civilian resident of the Enterprise D and an on-again, off-again girlfriend to Lt. Geordi La Forge (Lavar Burton).
The cool older sister from The Wonder Years, Olivia D’Abo, did a one-episode spot as Amanda Rogers in Star Trek: The Next Generation, who started aboard the Enterprise-D as the intern to Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden), before it was revealed that she was a descendant of Q. Which meant she had to come to terms with that whole super-powerful, four-dimensional being thing.
The original Jean Grey from the X-Men film franchise had her first small-screen role as Kamala, a Kriosian who falls in love with Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) during an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
A minor TV star throughout the ’90s and early-2000s, Cox was barely recognizable behind all the prosthetics as Sarjenka, a Dreman girl in communication with the android Data (Brent Spiner), who urges Picard’s help in saving her world. Data even manages to show some affection toward her after she’s returned home having had her memory of the Enterprise erased, because sometimes the Prime Directive is harsh.
Having just finished starring as Peggy Blumquist on the second season of Fargo on FX, Dunst has literally grown up on the silver screen. Which meant she had a pretty impressive acting resume by the time she guest starred as the telepathic Cairn Hedril in the seventh season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
The character of Rashella, played by Brenda Strong, was an Aldean who aimed to repopulate her near-sterile planet using the Enterprise-D’s resident children in an early episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Strong has since returned to the sci-fi genre these days, guest starring in The CW’s brilliant original series The 100.
Before she was the cranky, apprehensive girlfriend on FX’s Louis, Pamela Adlon, (then Pamela Segall), she played Oji in a single episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. A member of the less-advanced Mintakin tribe, she’s left in awe of how the technology aboard the Enterprise-D was able to heal her father, Liko, leaving Picard to re-explain to her the concept of mortality.
Neuwirth, best known as Frasier’s ex on Cheers, played Nurse Lanel in the fourth season of The Next Generation. Stationed aboard the Malconian medical facility, she helps First Officer William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) escape, but only on the condition that he helps her cross ‘sex with an alien’ off her bucket list.
Early on in her career, with only a couple roles under her belt, this Desperate Housewives star had to settle for an uncredited part as a transporter chief in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s second season.
Yes, you remember Whoopi Goldberg’s Guinan, the El-Aurian bartender of Ten-Forward, the Enterprise-D’s lounge from Star Trek: The Next Generation, but maybe some people don’t. While she was part of the race known as The Listeners, making her the ideal barkeep, she was also known to dole out sagely advice to Starfleet personnel now and then.
Vulcan Starfleet officer Valeris was, at first, written in as Saavik, the character first played by Kirstie Alley in 1981’s Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan — a role Catrall herself auditioned for. She agreed to appear in Trek’s sixth installment, The Undiscovered Country, but only after learning that she’d be playing an entirely new character all her own.
The actress/supermodel played Martia in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, a double-crossing shape-shifter who, over the course of the film, would also take the form of a massive alien, a young girl, and eventually Captain Kirk himself, the last one giving us one of the most self-aware Star Trek jokes of all time.
In the mid 1960s, Yvonne Craig went from playing Batgirl on TV’s Batman to playing Marta, a member of the Orion race and one of Star Trek’s quintessential green seductresses. However, despite her very best efforts, she fails to both seduce and stab Captain Kirk.
Wiedlin was already famous as the singer/guitarist in the definitive ’80s band The Go-Gos, but she had an extremely brief cameo in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home as Trillya, a Communications Officer sending out a desperate distress call out to Starfleet. Thankfully, she got a bit more screen time as Joan of Arc in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
Dr. Gillian Taylor, a 20th century in-house whale expert in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, was played by soap opera mainstay Catherine Hicks, who’d go on to play family matriarch Annie Camden for 11 seasons on 7th Heaven.
In her big-screen debut, Alley played Saavik, the Vulcan Starfleet officer in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. She’d turn down the chance to reprise her role in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock over a financial dispute, which meant the role was recast with actress Robin Curtis. She’d go back and forth between roles on the big and small screen, and would eventually make TV history by replacing Shelly Long on the long-running Cheers.
The Oscar-winning actress and comedy icon had a role as secretary Roberta Lincoln in Star Trek‘s Cold War episode “Assignment Earth.” And, like many in the 20th century the Enterprise crew seems to encounter, she ended up playing a fateful role in the future of humankind.
One of the three actresses to play Catwoman opposite Adam West in Batman, Newmar had a role on Star Trek as Eleen, a pregnant Capellan who was forced to flee her home after a coup against her husband left him dead. She ended up returning to the role of Catwoman by voicing the role in Rocksteady Video Games’ Arkham Knight last year.
After CBS elected to re-film the Star Trek pilot, they made a few changes. One, they cast William Shatner as James T. Kirk, another was their hiring Sally Kellerman to play Elizabeth Dehner, a Starfleet officer who develops uncanny abilities after encountering the psionic barrier.
While she’s most readily associated with 80’s TV staple Dynasty, she stars in one of Star Trek’s most beloved episodes, “City On The Edge of Tomorrow,” playing the big-hearted Edith Keeler. When Kirk and Spock go back in time to rescue Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley), Kirk ends up falling in love with her, despite knowing the pivotal role she plays in the future of mankind (of course!).
Dina Meyer played the Romulan Commander Donatra in Star Trek: Nemesis back in 2002, the same year she was cast as Barbara Gordon in the series Birds of Prey, a Batman adaptation sans-Batman. She’s probably best remembered, though, as the ill-fated Dizzy Flores in the 1997’s Starship Troopers.
You wouldn’t know it from looking at her, but that’s Nightmare on Elm Street’s Heather Langenkamp underneath all those prosthetics playing Moto, a Starfleet Security Officer in Star Trek: Into Darkness. The actress was initially working on the film as a make-up artist before she landed the role.
Voorhies, known for an entire generation as Lisa Turtle from Saved By The Bell, was also part of the Star Trek universe as Leanne, a civilian resident of the Deep Space 9 station who was romantically involved with Jake Sisto (Cirroc Lofton) for a spell.
Former teen heartthrob Gabrielle Union stuck fairly close to typecasting for her one-episode role in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as N’Garen, a young Klingon weapons officer.
This comedy superstar played 20th century scientist Rain Robinson on Star Trek: Voyager in the mid-1990s during the two-part episode “Future’s End,” which like all female scientists from the 20th century, ended up falling for a Starfleet office. Silverman has managed to stay in the spotlight throughout the bulk of her career, balancing her standup with guest starring roles in shows like Masters of Sex, as well as lighthearted material, like her frequent voice work on Bob’s Burgers.
While she was immensely popular in the mid-80s, actress Virginia Madsen has continued to work consistently, proving her ability to blend herself into any part. Such was the case with her role in Star Trek: Voyager as Kellin, a Ramuran tracer who, because of the traits of her species, ends up having a rather complicated love affair with one of the crew members.
During her run as Sylvia Costas on NYPD Blue, Lawrence starred as Amelia Earhart, the female pilot and 20th century icon who was written in as a character on Star Trek: Voyager. The show goes so far as to solve her mysterious disappearance, which was the work of the alien species the Briori.
Another well-known staple in the world of comedy, Harris played Martis, an Ocampan who gives birth to her daughter, Kes, who would later become a crew member of The USS Intrepid on Star Trek: Voyager.
The Orange is the New Black actress, perhaps best remembered from A League of Their Own, pops up in a Star Trek: Voyager episode as Noss, a mysterious stranger who lives on an uncharted planet, teaching Tom Paris and Tuvok how to survive on the desolate world she calls home.
Cassidy has been acting since the late-1960s, and eventually added Star Trek to her resume as the Vulcan T’Les, an instructor at the Vulcan Science Academy in Star Trek: Enterprise back in 2004.
For the J.J. Abrams‘ Star Trek reboot, Winona Rider played the part of Amanda Grayson, the human mother of Spock (played by both Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy), who was killed while trying to evacuated her adopted home planet.
Yes, Emma Swan from NBC’s Once Upon A Time played Winona, the mother of Captain Kirk (now played by Chris Pine), in Star Trek and the sequel Star Trek: Into Darkness.
A survivor of the third world war, Alfre Woodard played Lily Sloane, a human who helps Zefram Cochrane (James Cromwell) build the first ever warp drive, drawing intergalactic attention to planet Earth in Star Trek: First Contact. Of course, the Enterprise-D is drawn in to help stave off some unwanted attention from the time-traveling Borg.