Born on March 2, 1949 n Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Gates McFadden is an actress and choreographer best known for her role as Beverly Crusher in the television and film franchise Star Trek: The Next Generation. McFadden gradated from Brandeis University with a degree in theater arts cum laude. She moved to Paris right after graduation where she studied theater with actor Jacques LeCoq.
Prior to her stint on Star Trek, McFadden was mostly known as a choreographer especially in productions, such as the films The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and The Muppets Take Manhattan. To distinguish between her choreography, she is credited as Cheryl McFadden during productions. As an actress, she appeared briefly in the Woody Allen picture Stardust Memories. Meanwhile, most of her scenes were cut in The Hunt for Red October opposite Jack Ryan.
It was in 1987 when McFadden caught a great break when she was cast as Beverly Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation. The fact that the character was originally meant to be Jean Luc Picard’s love interest is what she said attracted her to the role. She played a widow balancing motherhood and a career. After the first season, however, she upped and left because Roddenberry was eyeing actress Diana Muldaur to play the ship’s doctor. During her character Dr. Katherine Pulaski’s run, however, she was cut for the third season after bitter reaction from fans. McFadden was approached again to reprise her role. Hesitant to do it at first, she said she got a call from Patrick Stewart, a co-star, which eventually made her say yes. The third season showed her character mellowing down intensely.
McFadden also co-starred in the 1990 comedy Taking Care of Business opposite James Belushi and Star Trek co-star John DeLancie. Her other credits include the series Marker, television movie Crowned and Dangerous, and Star Trek conventions.