Jonathan Frakes, better known as Commander William T. Riker of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D, turns 62 today! Frakes was born August 19, 1952 in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.
Before signing on as First Officer of a Federation flagship, Frakes’ acting career was long and varied. He was Marvel Comics’ official Captain America, appearing at conventions throughout the 1970s before moving onto television acting, where he played Charles Lindbergh in an episode of the 1983 time-travel adventure Voyagers! He would also appear on such classics as The Waltons, Eight is Enough, The Dukes of Hazzard, Matlock, and Hill Street Blues.
Frakes is also well known for his work in voice acting, most notably starring as the villainous David Xanatos in the animated cult Disney-produced series, Gargoyles; an episode of Futurama, where he voiced his head in a jar; and cutaways on two episodes of Family Guy where he reprised his role as Riker, along with co-stars Patrick Stewart, Michael Dorn, Denise Crosby, and Wil Wheaton. He also voiced Finn’s adult self in two episodes of Adventure Time.
Frakes also has the distinct honor of being one of only two Star Trek regulars to appear on four different Trek series, the other being Gene Roddenberry’s wife Majel Barrett, who appeared in all five. Frakes also reprised his role, along with other Trek series actors, for the video game Star Trek: Captain’s Chair.
These days, the busiest man in Trekdom has taken to commanding behind the camera as a director. In addition to directing the Trek films First Contact and Insurrection, you can find Mr. Frakes’ name on the credits of such series as Burn Notice, Castle, NCIS: Los Angeles, Leverage, Falling Skies, and more recently, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
And when our birthday boy isn’t acting and directing? He and wife Genie Francis live in Maine, where Frakes teaches classes on film direction.
SCIFI.radio would like to wish Jonathan Frakes a very happy birthday, and many more to follow!
Michael Brown is a comics nerd and a father who lives in small town Tennessee. When he’s not making his players mad in his “Shadowrun” RPG or experimenting with new and inventive uses of duct tape on his children, you can find him checking out the latest comics and movies for SCIFI.radio!