American actor Ethan Phillips has also made a name for himself as a playwright and author. Born on February 8, 1955, he grew up in Garden City, Long Island, New York. He graduated from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in English literature, and later received his MFA from Cornell University. Phillips is known as the author of the play Penguin Blues. He is also responsible for co-writing the Star Trek Cookbook.
Ethan Phillips began his career with a role in episodes of Benson, which catapulted him to fame. He played the character Pete John Downey on the series from 1980 to 1984, concentrating on the show before moving on to other projects. In 1985, he played the character Ronnie Pine on Three’s a Crowd, and was later seen on The Twilight Zone and other films. He got roles in Critters, Werewolf, Marblehead Manor, Lean on Me and Bloodhounds of Broadway.
In 1990, Phillips played Dr. Farek on an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Four years later, he returned to the franchise to appear as Neelix on Star Trek: Voyager. He portrayed the character until 2001, and worked on different aspects of the show. He voiced his character for the video games and reprised his role for the films. During that time, he was already a familiar face on television. Phillips got cast in Murphy Brown, Law & Order, LA Law, NYPD Blue, Platypus Man, Chicago Hope, and Homeboys in Outer Space. Some of his films included Rain Without Thunder, The Shadow, Wagons East, Jeffrey, For Richer or Poorer, The Battery, and the TV production of The Lost World. He was also in the award-winning 9 mm of Love, and in 2000 was seen on Endsville. In 2002, he played Ulis on an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, then moved on to voicing the character Loris on The Wild Thornberrys Movie. Also that year, he became part of the cast of Half & Half, Providence, and Touched by an Angel. In 2003, Phillips played the character Roger Merman in the comedy film Bad Santa, and later appeared on television series like 8 Simple Rules…for Dating My Teenage Daughter, JAG, Arrested Development, Oliver Beene, Las Vegas, Numb3rs, and Criminal Minds. He was also on Boston Legal and Eli Stone, and films like Out of Omaha, and Big Game.