William Morgan Sheppard was born in London on August 24, 1932, which makes Friday, August 24, 2018 his 86th birthday.  A very happy birthday to you, sir.  As a birthday present to Mr. Sheppard, SCIFI.radio offers this questionnaire to his fans:  what is your favorite W. Morgan Sheppard role?

Award-winning actor William Morgan Sheppard celebrates his 86th birthday on August 24, 2018.  {Photo by Gage Skidmore, 2015}
W. Morgan Sheppard at 2015 Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest {photo by Gage Skidmore}

He’s one of only 26 actors to have been on both Star Trek and Dr. Who.  He’s been in Max Headroom, Babylon 5, seaQuest DSV, Transformers, Quantum Leap,  and The Day of the Triffids. He is, of course, the father of fan favorite Mark Sheppard.  He’s an award-winning actor, trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.  Of his nearly 200 acting roles, which is your favorite and why?

American audiences fell in love with W. Morgan Sheppard as Blank Reg on "Max Headroom." {image via Lorimar-Telepictures}
Blank Reg on Max Headroom {image via Lorimar-Telepictures}

On Max Headroom, Sheppard played Blank Reg, a friend and ally of Edison Carter.  In addition to broadcasting the underground Big Time Television Network, he helped Edison.  As a “blank,” his existence was not acknowledged by the government.

W. Morgan Sheppard played Dr. Ira Graves in the ST:TNG episode "The Schizoid Man." {image via Paramount}
Brent Spiner as Data and W. Morgan Sheppard as Ira Graves in Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Schizoid Man.”  {image via Paramount}

W. Morgan Sheppard appeared in the Star Trek universe four times.  He was Dr. Ira Graves in the Next Gen episode “The Schizoid Man,” where he played Dr. Soong’s mentor and thus Data’s metaphorical grandfather.  He  appeared in Star Trek: Voyager as Qatai in the episode “Bliss.”  He was in two movies, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, where he played the one-eyed Klingon commandant of the penal colony Rura Penthe, and the 2009 reboot Star Trek, where he was Orsak, Head Minister of the Vulcan Science Council.

W. Morgan Sheppard appeared on "Babylon 5" twice.  First he was a Soul Hunter, then he was a Narn warlord, G'Sten. {image via Babylonian Productions, Inc.}
The Soul Hunter, from Babylon 5.  {image via Babylonian Productions, Inc.}

Did you know that Sheppard was almost cast as Ambassador G’Kar on Babylon 5?  He was a runner up for the role, which went to the late Andreas Katsulas.  He did, however, appear on B5 twice, once as the dreaded Soul Hunter in the episode “Soul Hunter” and once as G’Kar’s uncle, G’Sten in “The Long Twilight Struggle.”

Sheppard played the AI Professor Martinson on "seaQuest DSV." {image via Amblin}
Lucas Wolenczak (Jonathan Brandis) and Professor Martinson (W. Morgan Sheppard)  on seaQuest DSV {image via Amblin}

In seaQuest DSV, Sheppard traded alien make-up for a suit and tie.  He played an AI programmed to advise the captain.  In appearance and brain patterns, the holographic AI was patterned after Captain Bridger’s former instructor, Professor Martinson.

River Song (Alex Kingston) and Canton Everett Delaware III in the Dr Who episode "The Impossible Astronaut." {image via BBC}
River Song and Canton Everett Delaware III from Doctor Who {image via BBC}

One of Sheppherd’s most popular roles was as retired FBI Agent Canton Everett Delaware III on Doctor Who.  He played the 21st century version of Agent Delaware.  His son, Mark Sheppard, played the 1960s version of the same character.  The two have played the same character at different ages three times: on Doctor Who, on NCIS, and in The Mysterious Island (which his son directed).

Lawrence Limburger, Biker Mice from Mars {image via Brentwood}

Odin, Gargoyles {image via Disney}

Merlin, Justice League {image via Warner Bros.}

Perhaps you prefer W. Morgan Sheppard’s work as a voice actor.  He was Odin and Petros Xanatos in Disney’s Gargoyles, the evil Plutarkian Lawrence Limburger in Biker Mice from Mars, Asteroth in Mighty Ducks, and Merlin in Justice League.  He’s done voices for several videogames:  Star Wars: Force Commander, Civilization V, Afro Samurai, Medal of Honor, Zork: Nemesis, etc.  He’s voiced Santa Claus in all the Prep and Landing cartoons.

He’s played German generals (The Dirty Dozen: The Next Mission) and Confederate generals (Gods and Generals, Gettysburg).  He’s played priests in Needful Things, Dexter, Over Her Dead Body, The Clearing, Sometimes They Come Back … Again, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.  He’s played knights, kings, cops, and crooks.

W. Morgan Sheppard has been a guest star on Time Cop, Quantum Leap, Poltergeist: the Legacy, The Librarians, Legend of the Seeker, Legend of King Arthur, Legend of Prince Valiant, Charmed, American Gothic, and Werewolf. He was Ranulf in Hawk the Slayer.  He played Elvira’s warlock uncle in Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.  

Of William Morgan Sheppard’s nearly 200 acting roles, which is your favorite and why?  Tell us in the comment section below.

Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress ”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.