Born February 2, 1949 in Houston, Texas, Brent Spiner is an actor best known for his role as android Lieutenant Commander Data in the television and film series Star Trek: The Next Generation. The son of a corporate vice president and a furniture store owner, he was adopted by his mom’s second husband after his biological father died. He attended Bellaire High School in Houston, Texas, where his drama teacher who coached the likes of Randy and Dennis Quaid influenced him to become an actor. He also became a member of the Bellaire Speech Team, which eventually won the national championship in dramatic interpretation. He proceeded to attend the University of Houston, where he performed in local theater. He then moved to New York City to pursue stage acting professionally, where he landed roles in Broadway and off-Broadway plays including The Three Musketeers and Sunday in the Park with George.
In 1984, Spiner moved to Los Angeles, where he immediately landed roles in several pilots and made-for-television movies. For one, he bagged a recurring spot on Night Court, the patriarch of a family of West Virginia hicks. He also had two appearances on Mama’s Family. He then made his big screen debut in Rent Control in 1984. He also appeared in an episode of Cheers.
In 1987, Spiner started playing his arguably most notable role as Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation. He appeared in all but episode of the entire series’ 187-episode run. This was followed by reprising his role on the spin-off films Star Trek Generations in 1994, Star Trek: First Contact in 1996, Star Trek: Insurrection in 1998, and Star Trek Nemesis in 2002. In connection, he also voiced his character in several Star Trek video games.
Spiner’s role on the Star Trek franchise lead to more roles, including prominent ones in the disaster movie Independence Day, and episodes on Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Friends, Mad About You, Frasier, and Joey.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains
Crime of Innocence
Night Court: The Wheels of Justice
Sunday in the Park with George
Manhunt for Claude Dallas
Night Court: Hurricane
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Night Court: Her Honor
Crazy from the Heart
Star Trek Generations
Kingfish: A Story of Huey P. Long
Pie in the Sky
Star Trek: First Contact'
Out To Sea
Star Trek: Insurrection
Introducing Dorothy Dandridge
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
Master of Disguise
Star Trek: Nemesis
-People think that being on Star Trek is career suicide, but it's really just the opposite.
-Yes, Data is hairless but I am not. And we are both anatomically correct.
-I really think that success in this field (acting) is about tenacity and just sticking with it.
- Almost everyone has worked at Paramount at one time or another.