Brent Spiner (February 2, 1949-) is a native Texan known famously for his role as the pale-skinned android Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation, began his acting career, coincidentally enough, the same way fellow Star Trek alumnus William Shatner did: in the theater. Thanks to his inspirational drama coach, Cecil Pickett (who also launched the careers of Dennis Quaid, Trey Wilson, Robert Wuhl, and Thomas Schlamme), Spiner launched into an early career of professional theater after completing high school and college, performing in on- and off-Broadway plays like “A History of the American Film” and “Leave It to Beaver is Dead”. People remember him most for his role of Data, but Spiner has also had an extensive career in other television series, ranging from science fiction to comedy to romance, to animation, even to children’s films.
Roles that Brent Spiner has played:
- Star Trek: The Next Generation (and all movies spun off it): Data/ Lore/ Dr. Noonien Soong / B-4
- Star Trek: Enterprise: Data/Dr. Arik Soong
- South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut: Conan O'Brien
- Independence Day: Dr. Brackish Okun
- Gargoyles: Puck
- Cheers: Bill Grand
- Frasier: Albert
- Generator Rex: Gabriel Rylander
- Young Justice: The Joker
- Fresh Hell: Himself
- Family Guy: Himself (with the rest of the TNG cast, even Denise Crosby)
- The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!: Purple Man
- Alphas: Dr. Kerns
- 1776: John Adams (1997 Broadway revival).
- Star Wars Rebels: Senator Gall Trayvis
- Phenomenon: Dr. Rob Niedorf
- The Outer Limits (1995) episode "The Deprogrammers": Professor Trent Davis
Tropes Associated With Brent Spiner:
- Acting for Two: Or three, or four. Data, Lore, Dr. Soong, and B-4 have all been played by Brent, and at least two or three of the aforementioned characters have shared some screen time.
- Actor Allusion: In The Simpsons episode "Them, Robot" (the season 23 episode that's best described as "that 'replace human workers with robots' gag from 'Last Exit to Springfield' stretched out to a 22-minute episode), Brent provided the voices for all the robots. He is best known for playing another kind of cybernetic being, namely an entire "family" of androids.
- Adam Westing: In his webseries Fresh Hell. And his Twitter account. Also, in the Family Guy episode "Not All Dogs Go to Heaven" along with his castmates from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
- Death by Cameo: Two of the aforementioned roles, Conan O'Brien and Dr. Brackish Okun, were just bit parts in their respective movies, and they both died horrible, bloody deaths:
- South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut: Conan O'Brien commits suicide by jumping out the window of his studio building after realizing what a horrible mistake he made by turning Terrance and Phillip in to MAC.
- Independence Day: Okun, after attempting to perform an autopsy on the alien brought down by Will Smith, is seized by the alien's tentacles, beaten, and tossed around in a bloody and brutal fashion until Okun is lifeless, and then Okun is used by the alien as a mind puppet to send the main characters a message of death. Subverted in that the sequel reveals he survived his ordeal.