Michelle Forbes





1/8/1965 , Austin, Texas, USA

Birth Name

Michelle Renee Forbes Guajardo




With strength of spirit that is reflected in her determined features, Michelle Forbes always knew that she would be a successful performer. At the age of 16, after receiving her formal acting training from the Performing Arts High School in Houston, Texas, she left home to head for New York to start her career. Once she had arrived in the Big Apple, she signed with the William Morris Agency and joined the Screen Actors Guild. In 1987 at the age of 22, she landed her first role on the popular soap opera "Guiding Light" where she played the complicated dual role of troubled twins Sonni and Solida. Her performance was so well received by critics and fans alike that she was nominated for a Daytime Emmy and a Soap Opera Digest Award for her effort. She remained on the cast for two years and then moved on to work on several off-Broadway plays, but it was in 1991 that Michelle would achieve a measure of mainstream fame and recognition.

The producers of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" cast Michelle in a small role in an episode titled "Half a Life". She played the daughter of a man who was rejecting his culture's long held belief that adults who reach the age of 60 should end their lives so that they would not be a burden to their families. Michelle delivered a magnificent performance in arguing a point in favour of this practice because it had been what her character had been brought up to believe in. The reaction to her appearance on the show was so overwhelmingly positive that the producers and the writers created a recurring role specifically for her. She played Ensign Ro Laren, a Starfleet officer from the fringe world of Bajor. What made her character different was that she was not a "team player". Year earlier, she had been on a mission during which she disagreed with the orders of her superiors and disobeyed them. In doing so, she inadvertently caused the deaths of several of her crewmates. She was court-martialled and sentenced to the stockade. Years later, she was recruited for a special mission to help investigate terrorist activities involving her people. Her cooperation with this mission would have secured an early release from prison.

After playing Ensign Ro in several episodes over the course of the next three seasons, she was offered one of the lead roles in a new Star Trek series called Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. She was flattered, but she declined because she did not want to be tied to the long term commitment of a television series and she wanted to play a variety of roles rather than the same one week after week. She continued to do television appearances, such as Seinfeld and The Outer Limits, but her eye had turned toward films.

She had played roles in some smaller films, but her fist major film after leaving Star Trek the Next Generation was Kalifornia where she co-starred with David Duchovny, Juliette Lewis and Brad Pitt. Michelle and David played a couple driving across the country doing research on serial killers for a book they were writing when they came across Brad and Juliette. Brad's character, Early Grace, was in fact a serial killer himself. Other movie roles followed, such as Swimming with Sharks, and Escape from L.A., but she was not getting the kind of roles or recognition that she was looking for. When she was approached by the producers of the NBC crime drama Homicide: Life on the Street in 1996 to play the role of Dr. Julianna Cox, she jumped at the opportunity, having been a huge fan of the show. After two seasons as a cast regular, her character was written out of the show. No one involved in making the decision would say why this was done, but many fans of the show site it as one of the reasons why the show was cancelled the following year. She did, however, reprise her role for Homicide: The Movie which had brought back all of the cast regulars from throughout the show's seven year run for a final farewell.

In the years that followed, Michelle had made numerous movie and television appearances, most notably on the hit Fox action/drama series 24 as presidential aide Lynne Kresge and more recently as the iron-willed Admiral Helena Cain on the Sci-Fi channel's Battlestar Galactica. While working on 24, Dennis Haysbert, who played President Palmer on the series, was thrilled to be able to work with her since he had always considered himself a "trekkie" and always thought of her as being an important part of that mythos.

Despite her desire to more work in films, Michelle has always found greater success and recognition in television. She had roles in the television shows Wonderland, The District, Alias and Prison Break. She had made an appearance in the closing episodes of the fourth season of the smash hit Lost as Karen Decker, but it is not known if she will be making regular appearances at this time.

In her personal life, she had been married to actor Ross Kettle, but the relationship ended in divorce. In recent years, she had a serious relationship with Homicide: Life on the Street co-star, Reed Diamond, but they eventually went their separate ways.