Although best known for his role of Lieutenant Commander Data on the iconic television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, Brent Jay Spiner is a multi-talented performer with a varied history.
Born in Houston, Texas on February 2, 1949, Brent Spiner was the younger of two children born to
Brent performed in the Broadway Play, Life x 3 in 2003.
Brent performed the role of Don Pedro from Much Ado About Nothing for the Shakespeare Center in Los Angelas. It was held on April 14th, 2010 to raise money for charity.
As of May 25th, 2011, Brent Spiner is starring in a comedy webshow called Fresh Hell.
Brent to high school with actors Dennis and Randy Quaid.
Along with a multitude of internationally known actors, Brent Spiner provided voice work for "Quantum Quest", a sci-fi/educational film set in a scientifically accurate rendering of our solar system in 3-D stereoscopic.
From February 14, 2009 to March 1, 2009, Brent appeared in the Reprise Theatre Company's production of "Man of La Mancha" at the Freud Playhouse in Los Angeles, California.
In the 1970s, Brent worked for a time at Six Flags - Astroworld in Houston Texas. Other future celebrities who had worked at the same park include Randy and Dennis Quaid as well as Patrick Swayze.
In 2008, he released the CD, Dreamland.
In the late '90's, Spiner starred as John Adams in the Broadway revival of 1776.
The 1997 documentary Trekkies included an interview with Spiner discussing a group of female fans who called themselves "Spiner Femmes." The documentary profiled Anne Murphy as an example of a Spiner Femme. Murphy kept several photo albums filled with pictures of Spiner and had bought a house specifically because it had a view overlooking Spiner's neighborhood.
His friend and old schoolmate Thomas Schlamme directed him on a number of films.
Brent was credited as one of the writers of the movie Star Trek: Nemesis. (2002)
His salary in the movie Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) was $5,000,000 US.
Brent's first movie in a starring role was Rent Control in 1984. He had previously appeared in a minor role in Woody Allen's Stardust Memories in 1980.
His height is 5' 11" (1.80 m).
He lent his voice talents to the animated series, Gargoyles, playing the character, Puck, alongside fellow Star Trek: The Next Generation castmates Jonathan Frakes, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis and Star Trek Voyager actress, Kate Mulgrew.
He is of Jewish-American ancestry.
In 1985, Brent played "The Duke" in the Broadway musical Big River replacing original cast member (and future Star Trek actor) Rene Auberjonois.
In 1984, Brent co-starred as Aramis in the Broadway musical bomb The Three Musketeers. The revival closed after only nine performances.
In 1978, Brent appeared in a Broadway revue called A History of American Film.
In 1984, Brent appeared in the Broadway musical Sunday in the Park With George with Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters.
Along with Jonathan Frakes, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, Colm Meaney and Jeffrey Combs, Brent is one of only six actors to appear in the series finales of two different Star Trek series; Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) and Star Trek: Enterprise (2001).
Brent is the only Houstonian, and for that matter, the only Texan, who appears in The Aviator (2004), whose subject, Howard Hughes, was born in Houston.
In October 2004, Brent made three guest appearances on Star Trek: Enterprise (2001), as Arik Soong, an ancestor of Noonian Soong, the creator of Data, his character from Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987). He had previously played Noonian Soong in the episodes "Brothers" and "Inheritance".
Brent was never particularly a fan of science fiction or Star Trek, Spiner says he auditioned for the role of Data assuming the show would be quickly cancelled, but he needed the money.
Brent Spinder: (On directing Star Trek) No, it was never offered, but if it was - you know, I'm not really… the one thing that's required for directing,...is boundless energy. It's everything I can do just to show up, much less direct.
Brent Spiner: (About Data's death) I did have some participation in the death of Data. But other than that really John wrote the whole script, and Rick and I just contribuite to the story.
Brent Spinder: Why is it that when you buy something at the airport, your change always comes to 73 cents?
Brent Spiner: Aliens really don't interest me.
Brent Spiner: They want you to be your character, they don't want you to be who you are, they're disappointed when they find out you're not who they thought you were,...I don't have a problem with disappointing people on that level, I can only be me and if they don't like it well that's fine, you can't like everybody.
Brent Spiner: (When asked what other occupation he could have done) Now I think about it I think what could I have done… there are so many interesting things to do in the world now with computers and internet and communication, I think it would have had to be in some kind of form of communication.
Brent Spiner: (On gun control) But how about nobody has them? How about we even the score and nobody manufactures them anymore, because they're an archaic device, we don't need to explode people with firearms, it's crazy.
Brent Spiner: (On what made his role as Data so hard) I had really difficult dialog on that show and after doing a sixteen hour day and that makeup and those contacts and I'd go home at night ready to go to bed and I'd open the script and look at what I had to do the next day and my stomach would turn over and I'd think there's no way I can learn this tonight, I'm too tired. But somehow it always happened.
(about his experience with the Original Star Trek)
Brent Spiner: I probably saw all the Original Series at some point in time, in my youth. I think it came on air when I was three months old and I started watching it then and I didn't really understand it but then years later when I watched it again I still didn't understand it.
Brent Spiner: (When asked if he ever watched any TNG episodes) Because I work on it so much, I've read all the episodes and I've acted on them -- I just think it would be redundant for me to sit down and watch them.
Brent Spiner: J.J. Abrams is doing the feature that is coming out next year (2009), and I don't think he listens to what everyone thinks he should be doing. He does what he thinks is best because he was given that job, and if it turns out great, great. If it doesn't, there will be a lot of people out there second guessing him.
Brent Spiner: Rick (Berman) was hand-picked by Gene (Roddenberry) to carry his torch, and he took that responsibility really seriously.
Brent Spiner: I don't think I should play Data anymore. I think I'm too old to play him anymore to be honest. I think it would look stupid putting that make-up on me at this point. There certain characters that I think work in a youthful way and I think I really skated along the edge in the last couple movies as it was.
Brent Spiner: (discussing his upcoming documentary) I'm going to go from one end of the country to another; just going to people's houses and talking to them. There's a specific reason, which I'd rather not talk about, but I won't be making fun of people. That's not what I'm looking for. I really am just looking for ordinary people or extraordinary people or peculiar people or not peculiar people to visit. Just a variety kind of a cross-section of America and there is a theme but I'm going to keep that to myself just at the moment because it's so simple that I'm afraid somebody else will do it before I get out there.
Brent Spiner: Almost everyone has worked at Paramount at one time or another.
Brent Spiner: (When asked if he resented being stuck with most of the "techno-babble" on Star Trek The Next Generation) As I get older and I get more of this dialogue and I lose more and more brain cells, it really does become the most difficult part of the job.
Brent Spiner: Hollywood has more than its share of harsh and cruel stories. In fact, it's probably more the norm than the exception.
Brent Spiner: I really think that success in this field (acting) is about tenacity and just sticking with it.
Brent Spiner: People think that being on Star Trek is career suicide, but it's really just the opposite.
Brent Spiner: Yes, Data is hairless but I am not. And we are both anatomically correct.
Brent Spiner: (When asked how comfortable he was having an action figure modeled after his likeness) If it's good enough for Alec Guinness, it's good enough for me.