It’s time to celebrate Gates McFadden’s birthday. And, to do so, StarTrek.com offers the following 8 Things to Know About Gates McFadden, a/ka/ Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Dr. Beverly Crusher.
Introducing Cheryl McFadden
McFadden was born in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Her birth name is… Cheryl Gates McFadden.
Elle a etudie en France
She studied acting in Paris with the renowned French instructor, Jacques Lecoq. Among his other students: Toby Jones, Geoffrey Rush and Isla Fisher.
McFadden, Henson and the Muppets
Pre-Trek, McFadden collaborated with Jim Henson on several of his films, serving as a choreographer on The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth and The Muppets Take Manhattan. She also appeared briefly in The Muppets Take Manhattan.
McFadden, Muldaur, McFadden Again
McFadden appeared as Dr. Crusher in season one of TNG, but clashed with producer Maurice Hurley and beamed off the show. Diana Muldaur played Dr. Pulaski in season two, but then Gene Roddenberry wanted her back, Rick Berman asked her to return, and — following a nudge from Patrick Stewart — she agreed to do so.
Prime Directive vs. Hippocratic Oath
Asked by StarTrek.com in a 2012 interview which philosophical aspects of Star Trek she most appreciated, McFadden replied, “I loved, for example, the Prime Directive. I thought that was brilliant. And I loved how that was in conflict with the Hippocratic Oath. How those two are in conflict is really, really interesting. Which one is right? There’s no easy answer. It’s very complex. That, to me, is the world we’re leaving in and that engages me.”
Genesis of Directing
The actress stepped behind the camera to direct one episode of TNG. That would be the hour “Genesis,” which saw many of the charcters — including Troi, Riker, Worf, Barclay, Ogawa and even Spot and Livingson — devolve into assorted creatures.
Brent Spiner, The Godfather
McFadden’s son, James, was born in 1991, during TNG‘s run. And we’ve got this data: his godfather is Brent Spiner.
Beyond Star Trek
Beyond her work as an actress, McFadden has taught acting, been a regular on the convention circuit, directed numerous plays and for many years served as the artistic director at the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Los Angeles. Among her most-recent projects, she appeared last summer in the surreal music video for the ONSEN song, “Follow the Numbers.” Check it out…
Please join StarTrek.com in wishing McFadden a happy birthday!
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