Brent Spiner

Brent Spiner

Birth name: Brent Jay Spiner
Born: February 2, 1949
Age: 75
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, U.S.
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Brent Jay Spiner (/ˈspaɪnər/, born February 2, 1949) is an American actor, comedian, and singer best known for his portrayal of the android, Lieutenant Commander Data, in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and four subsequent films. In 1997, he won the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Data in Star Trek: First Contact, and was nominated in the same category for portraying Dr. Brackish Okun in the Independence Day. He has also enjoyed a career in the theatre and as a musician.


Early life

Brent Jay Spiner was born to a Jewish family on February 2, 1949 in Houston, Texas, to Sylvia and Jack Spiner, who owned a furniture store. After his father's death, Spiner was adopted by Sylvia's second husband, Sol Mintz, whose surname he used between 1955 and 1975. He attended Bellaire High School, Bellaire, Texas. Spiner became active on the Bellaire Speech team, winning the national championship in dramatic interpretation. He attended the University of Houston where he performed in local theatre.


Early work

Spiner moved to New York City in the early 70s, where he became a stage actor, performing in several Broadway and Off-Broadway plays, including The Three Musketeers and Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George. He had a brief non-speaking role in the film Stardust Memories, credited as "Fan in Lobby," the one with a Polaroid.

Spiner appeared as a media technician in "The Advocates," a second season episode of the Showtime cable series The Paper Chase. In 1984, he moved to Los Angeles, where he appeared in several pilots and made-for-TV movies. He played a recurring character on Night Court, Bob Wheeler, patriarch of a rural family. In 1986, he played a condemned soul in "Dead Run," an episode of the short-lived revival of Rod Serling's series The Twilight Zone on CBS. He made two appearances in season 3 (1986) of the situation comedy Mama's Family, playing two different characters. Spiner's first and only starring film role was in Rent Control (1984). In the Cheers episode "Never Love a Goalie, Part II," he played acquitted murder suspect Bill Grand. Spiner also appeared in the Tales from the Darkside episode, "A Case of the Stubborns", as a preacher. He portrayed Jim Stevens in the made-for-TV movie Manhunt for Claude Dallas.

Star Trek

In 1987, Spiner started his 15-year run portraying Lieutenant Commander Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation, which spanned seven seasons and four feature films. As a main character, he appeared in all but one of the series' 178 episodes; he was not in the episode "Family." He reprised his role in the spin-off films Star Trek: Generations (1994), Star Trek: First Contact (1996), Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) and Star Trek: Nemesis (2002). Although billed as the final Trek movie for the TNG cast, the ambiguous ending of Star Trek: Nemesis suggested a possible avenue for the return of Data. However, Spiner has opined that he is too old to continue playing the part, as Data embodies a "childlike innocence" that Spiner can no longer credibly exhibit, as his appearance had already begun to lose that quality by the time he filmed his last Trek films. In addition to the series and films, he voiced his character in several Star Trek video games, such as Star Trek: Generations, Star Trek: The Next Generation - A Final Unity, Star Trek: Hidden Evil and Star Trek: Bridge Commander. After appearing in several episodes as the ancestor of Data's creator, Dr. Soong, Spiner also recorded dialogue as Data that was heard in the final episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, "These Are the Voyages...," which aired in 2005, bringing the Star Trek TV franchise Spiner had helped establish 18 years earlier to a close.


In 1991, Spiner recorded an album of 1940s pop standards entitled Ol' Yellow Eyes Is Back, the title of which was a play on the yellow contact lenses Spiner wore as Data, and the title of a Frank Sinatra record, Ol' Blue Eyes Is Back. In 1997, he returned to Broadway, playing John Adams in the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of the musical 1776. The production was nominated for a Tony Award. A cast recording was released of the revival production.

After Star Trek

Spiner has appeared in the television series Deadly Games, Dream On, Frasier, Friends, Gargoyles, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Mad About You and The Outer Limits. In the series The Big Bang Theory and Joey, he appeared as himself. He has acted in the movies The Aviator, Dude, Where's My Car?, I Am Sam, Independence Day, The Master of Disguise, Out to Sea, Phenomenon, The Ponder Heart and South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut. His television-movie appearances during this period include the 2000 musical Geppetto and the role of Dorothy Dandridge's manager and confidant, Earl Mills, in the HBO production Introducing Dorothy Dandridge.

In 2004, Spiner returned to Star Trek when he appeared as Dr. Arik Soong, an ancestor of Data's creator Dr. Noonien Soong, whom he also played, in a three-episode story arc of Star Trek: Enterprise: "Borderland," "Cold Station 12" and "The Augments." He also briefly reprised the role of Data for the series, providing a voice-only cameo in the Enterprise finale "These Are the Voyages...." Spiner guest-starred in Friends as a man who interviews Rachel for Gucci, and later cameoed as himself in the Friends spin-off Joey.

In 2005, Spiner appeared in a short-lived science-fiction television series Threshold, which was canceled in November of that year after 13 episodes. In 2006, he appeared in a feature film comedy, Material Girls. with Hilary and Haylie Duff.

During the tenth season of the situation comedy Frasier, in the episode "Lilith Needs a Favor," Spiner made two brief cameos as a fellow airline passenger with Frasier Crane's ex-wife, Lilith Sternin.

In March 2008, Spiner performed alongside Maude Maggart in a radio show/musical, Dreamland, which was released as a CD album.

In 2008, Spiner played Dr. Strom in the feature film parody Superhero Movie. In February 2009, he played William Quint in "The Juror #6 Job", an episode of the drama series Leverage directed by his Next Generation co-star Jonathan Frakes. That same year, he voiced himself in the Family Guy episode "Not All Dogs Go to Heaven."

In 2010, Spiner and fellow Star Trek: The Next Generation star LeVar Burton appeared on's coverage of the Consumer Electronics Show.

In April 2011, Spiner began starring in Fresh Hell, a comic webseries in which he plays a version of himself, attempting to put his career back together after falling out of the limelight.

He appeared as Dr. Kern in the September 12, 2011 episode of the Syfy channel program Alphas entitled "Blind Spot". In October 2011, he appeared as himself in the episode "The Russian Rocket Reaction" (October 13, 2011) of The Big Bang Theory. The day after his guest appearance on The Big Bang Theory, it was announced that Spiner would guest-star in the Young Justice episode "Revelation," providing the voice of the Joker. Spiner has also guest starred on the Syfy channel program Warehouse 13 as Brother Adrian in the third and fourth seasons. In episode 7 of season 4, the character Pete Lattimer jokingly describes another obsessively tidy character in this episode as "Commander Data."

Spiner's web site is at He selected that domain name because someone else bought the domain name before he could do so, and he was not amenable to paying the price the owners demanded for it, which Spiner called "inflated".



Year Title Role Notes
1970 My Sweet Charlie Local Uncredited
1980 Stardust Memories Fan in lobby
1982 Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains Corinne Burns's Boss Uncredited
1984 Rent Control Leonard Junger
1985 Crime of Innocence Hinnerman
1986 Sunday in the Park with George Franz/Dennis
1986 Sylvan in Paradise Clinton C. Waddle
1986 Manhunt for Claude Dall Jim Stevens
1987 Family Sins Ken McMahon
1989 Miss Firecracker Preacher Mann
1991 Crazy from the Heart N/A Television movie; uncredited
1994 Corrina, Corrina Brent Witherspoon
1994 Star Trek: Generations Lt. Commander Data
1995 Kingfish: A Story of Huey Long N/A Uncredited
1996 Pie in the Sky Upscale Guy
1996 Independence Day Dr. Brackish Okun Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
1996 Phenomenon Dr. Rob Niedorf
1996 Star Trek: First Contact Lt. Commander Data Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
1997 Out to Sea Gil Godwyn
1998 Star Trek: Insurrection Lt. Commander Data
1999 South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut Conan O'Brien Voice
1999 Introducing Dorothy Dandridge Earl Parks Television movie
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor - Miniseries or Television Film
2000 Geppetto Stromboli Television movie
2000 Dude, Where's My Car? Pierre Uncredited
2001 A Girl Thing Bob Television movie
2001 The Ponder Heart Dorris Grabney Television movie
2001 I Am Sam Shoe Salesman
2002 The Master of Disguise Devlin Bowman
2002 Star Trek: Nemesis Lt. Commander Data/B-4
2003 An Unexpected Love Brad Television movie
2004 Jack Vernon Television movie
2004 The Aviator Robert Gross
2006 Material Girls Tommy Katzenbach
2008 Superhero Movie Dr. Strom
2010 Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey Coach Mackey Voice
2015 The Midnight Man Ezekiel Post-production
2016 Independence Day: Resurgence Dr. Brackish Okun Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1978 The Dain Curse Tom Fink Unknown episodes
1979 Family Fred Episode: "Prelude"
1981 Ryan's Hope The Doctor Examining Kim Episode: "#1.1442"
1984 The Paper Chase Student in Reeve's Class Episode: "The Advocates"
1984 Tales from the Darkside Reverend Peabody Episode: "A Case of the Stubborns"
1984 One Life to Live Ralph Harley Episode: "17 December 1984"
1985 Robert Kennedy & His Times Allard Lowenstein Unknown episodes
1985 Hill Street Blues Larry Stein Episode: "The Life and Time of Domonic Florio Jr"
1985-1987 Night Court Bob Wheeler 6 episodes
1986 The New Twilight Zone The Draft Dodger Episode: "The Leprechaun-Artist/Dead Run"
1986 American Playhouse Dennis/Franz Episode: "Sunday in the Park with George"
1986 Hunter Willie Vaughn Episode: "The Contract"
1986-1987 Mama's Family Billy Bob Conroy 2 episodes
1987 Cheers Bill Grand Episode: "Never Love a Goalie (Part 2)"
1987 Sledge Hammer! Soldier Episode: "The Spa Who Loved Me"
1987-1994 Star Trek: The Next Generation Lt. Commander Data/Lore/Dr. Noonien Soong 175 episodes
Nominated—Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Quality Drama Series
1988 Reading Rainbow Himself Episode: "The Bionic Bunny Show"
1995 Mad About You Bob, The Dog Agent Episode: "Just My Dog"
1995 Deadly Games Danny Schlecht Episode: "The Practical Joker"
1995-1996 Gargoyles Puck 4 episodes
1996 Dream On Dr. Strongwater Episode: "The Spirit of 76th & Park"
1996 The Outer Limits Professor Trent Davis Episode: "The Deprogrammers"
2003 Frasier Albert Episode: "Lilith Needs a Favor"
2004 Friends James Campbell Episode: "The One with Princess Consuela"
2004 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Graham Barnes Episode: "Shrink-Wrapped"
2004-2005 Star Trek: Enterprise Dr. Arik Soong/Lt. Commander Data 4 episodes
2005 Joey Himself Episode: "Joey and the Premier"
2005-2006 Threshold Dr. Nigel Fenway 13 episodes
2009 Leverage William Quint Episode: "The Juror #6 Job"
2009 Family Guy Himself Episode: "Not All Dogs Go to Heaven"
2010-2013 Generator Rex Dr. Gabriel Rylander 4 episodes
2011 The Guild Himself Episode: "Ends and Begins"
2011 Alphas Dr. Kern Episode: "Blind Spot"
2011 The Big Bang Theory Himself Episode: "The Russian Rocket Reaction"
2011 Young Justice The Joker Episode: "Revelation"
2011 Fresh Hell Brent Spiner 15 episodes
2012 The Simpsons Robots Episode: "Them, Robot"
2012 The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes Purple Man Episode: "Emperor Stark"
2012 Warehouse 13 Brother Adrian 6 episodes
2013 Wendell & Vinnie Himself Episode: "Swindle & Vinnie"
2014 Ray Donovan Therapist 3 episodes
2014 Star Wars Rebels Gall Trayvis 2 episodes
2014 Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. Silver Surfer Episode: "Fear Itself"
2015 Comedy Bang Bang The Sandman Episode: "Zach Galifianakis Wears Grey Corduroys and Brown Leather Shoes"
2015 Blunt Talk Phil 3 episodes
2016 Outcast Sidney
2016 Justice League Action Edward Nygma / The Riddler


Year Title Role Notes
1978 A History of the American Film Hank
1984-1985 Sunday in the Park with George Franz/Denis
1984 The Three Musketeers Aramis
1985-1987 Big River The Duke
1997-1998 1776 John Adams Nominated—Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical
2003 Life × 3 Hubert

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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