Classically-trained Canadian-born thespian Alan John Scarfe, veteran science fiction genre actor who made appearances on Star Trek in various memorable roles, has passed away, on April 28, at the age of 77, the victim of colon cancer. He had retired from acting in 2007.

Born June 8, 1946 in London, England, Scarfe was one of three brothers born to university professors Neville Vincent Scarf and Gladys Ellen Hunt, The family immigrated to Canada; Alan made his theatrical debut as Marc Anthony in Julius Caesar at the Vancouver Playhouse in 1964. He completed his training at LAMDA (the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) between 1964 and 1966. From the 70s onward, he acted in numerous classic plays on stages throughout Europe and America, including eight seasons spent with the Stratford Shakespearean Festival in Ontario. His portfolio of famous literary personae has included King Lear, Doctor Faustus, Iago, Petruchio, Hamlet, Cyrano de Bergerac and Uncle Vanya. Scarfe also portrayed such diverse historical figures as the poet Verlaine, the actor John Barrymore and Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

During his stage career, he was associate director of the famous Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada. He returned to his native land for his theatrical training. He studied there at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. In addition to appearing in plays by Shakespeare, Chekhov (Anton, not Pavel), Harold Pinter, and Bertolt Brecht, he was a popular stage director.

By the early 90’s, he had established himself as a versatile all-rounder, initially noted for his villains on the big screen in Double Impact (1991) and Lethal Weapon 3 (1992). Beginning with an instalment of Alien Nation (1989), Scarfe became one of the ‘go to’ players sought-after in episodic science fiction.

He explained in a 2007 interview “Science fiction on film and television, especially if you are playing some kind of alien character with fantastic make-up, is great for actors with a strong stage background. The productions need that kind of size and intensity of performance. You can’t really mumble if you’re a Klingon”. Or, for that matter, a Romulan: Scarfe memorably guest-starred as two of those on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) (the humane prison commander Tokath in the two-parter ‘Birthright’ and Admiral Mendak in ‘Data’s Day’.

Scarfe guest starred on several science fiction shows. He played the Romulan Admiral Mendak in Star Trek: the Next Generation in the episode “Data’s Day. He played the Romulan commander turned prison warden, Commander Tokath in the Worf-centric TNG episode “Birthright.” Scarfe played Paradine Flavin on three episodes of Andromeda. He was in Stargate: Atlantis as Chancellor Druhin and in Babylon 5: The Lost Tales as Father Cassidy. He was the Arch Magus in the mini-series Earthsea, based on the Ursula K. LeGuin books. He appeared in two episodes of The Outer Limits. On the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Resistance,” he played Magistrate Augris.

Beginning in 2003, Scarfe published four novels, initially under the nom de plume Clanash Farjeon (an anagram of his real name). Perhaps the best known of these is a work of crime fiction entitled A Handbook for Attendants on the Insane: the Autobiography of Jack the Ripper as Revealed to Clanash Farjeon.

We honor the life and contributions of Alan Scarfe, and wish his family well and offer our deepest condolences.

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 #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’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.