Michael Dorn was born December 9, 1952, in Luling, Texas, USA. This makes Saturday, December 9, 2023, his 71st birthday.
American actor Michael Dorn, is of course, best known for playing the Klingon warrior Worf. He appeared in all seven seasons of Star Trek: the Next Generation, three seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and one season (thus far) of Star Trek: Picard. Michael Dorn has appeared more times as a regular cast member than any other Star Trek actor in the franchise’s history, spanning five films and 284 television episodes, so far, plus seven video games.
This is Worf, son of Mogh, of the Klingon House of Martok, of the human family Rozhenko; mate to K’Ehleyr, father to Alexander Rozhenko , and husband to Jadzia Dax; UFP Starfleet officer and soldier of the Klingon Empire; Bane of the House of Duras; slayer of Gowran; Federation ambassador to Qp’noS . Worf has had a full and distinguished career. Most of Dorn’s theatrical career has centered on playing Worf. He has, of course, had other roles, but this is the character he is best known for. He also played Colonel Worf, an ancestor of the Worf, son of Mogh, who served honorably in Starfleet; Col. Worf was the Klingon officer assigned to act as James T. Kirk’s defenses attorney in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991). It says something about Klingon culture that they provide one of their most despised enemies with a defense attorney.
The Acting Arc
Although born in Texas, Dorn grew up in Pasadena, California, home of the famous Tournament of Roses. Like many Californians of his generation, he tried his hand at rock and roll. After performing with several bands between Los Angeles and San Francisco, he eventually found his true calling in acting. Dorn attended Pasadena City College, where he studied Radio & Television Production. After graduating with an associate’s degree, he became a musician.
He made his first film appearance in Rocky (1976), as one of Apollo Creed’s bodyguards. From Rocky, he went on to the short-lived W.E.B., starring the late Alex Cord (Dylan Hunt in Genesis II) and played Lt. Vint in Amanda and the Alien (1995). He eventually got a recurring role on the popular police show CHiPs as Officer Jebediah Turner. In Disney’s Santa Clause franchise, Dorn is the Sandman. On the cult classic Heroes, Dorn played the president of the United States.
In Greg Berlanti’s Arrowverse, Michael Dorn played Prometheus. On the police show Castle (starring Firefly‘s Nathan Fillion), Dorn played Dr, Carver Burke, Detective Kate Beckett’s psychiatrist. Doubtless there are many other roles in his future. He’s willing to keep playing Worf as long as Paramount is willing to keep hiring him. In an interview with Screenrant he said “I love Worf and I think he’s a character that hasn’t been fully developed and hasn’t been fully realized,”
Like many of his Star Trek colleague, Michael Dorn has lent his voice to Disney’s Gargoyles, portraying both Taurus and Coldstone. Not only has he reprised the role of Worf in seven different video games, he’s done other video games, Fallout 2, LEGO Indiana Jones: the Original Adventures, Saints Row IV, etc. In Disney’s cartoon The Lion Guard, Dorn voices Bupu, the herd leader of the sable antelope. He voiced Captain Mozar in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Dorn voiced one of the villains, Lord Nebula, on Captain Simian and the Space Monkeys, which starred the late Jerry Doyle (Michael Garibaldi of Babylon 5) as Charlie Simian, NASA chimp turned galactic hero.
In Superman: the Animated Series Dorn voiced both the villain Kalibak and the hero Steel, aka John Henry Irons. He reprised the role of Kalibak in the cartoon Justice League and the video game Lego DC Super-Villains. He voiced Swamp Thing in Infinite Crisis and Kraven the Hunter in Spider-Man: The New Animated Series. He was the voice of Lord Darkar in Winx Club. In the video game Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers, he voiced Dr. John. Other video game roles include Captain Stephen Dayna in Mission Critical and Duke Achillus in Emperor: Battle for Dune. In the Super Hero Squad Show, he was Ronan the Accuser, who was played by Lee Pace in the MCU. Dorn voiced King Tor in Thru the Mobius Strip (2005), and provided the voice for Mata Nui in Bionicle: The Legend Reborn (2009).
His most recent project is Relatively Super which is currently in post-production and should be released in the near future.
Although Worf is a carnivore, preferring meat he’s slain himself to replicator-produced food, Dorn has been vegan for the past ten years. He switched to vegan lifestyle for the sake of his health, after being diagnosed with prostrate cancer, which was fortunately caught in the early stages. Please join us in wishing Michael Dorn a very happy birthday!
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 #30”, 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.