Well... I suppose that's the end of John de Lancie...Au contraire, mon troper! He's back!
Yes, friends, Philadelphia-born
actor John de Lancie is best known as that most magnificent of omnipotent bastards
, Q from Star Trek: The Next Generation
, where he was popular enough to return in Deep Space Nine
The son of a famous oboist (also named John de Lancie
), de Lancie (the actor, by the way) was diagnosed with dyslexia as a child and didn't learn how to read until he was 12. At the age of 14 he was in a production of Henry V
, setting him on the road of acting. He studied acting at Kent State University around the time of the 1970 shootings there. Eventually in the 1970s, he got television work in small character roles in such series like The Six Million Dollar Man
and Battlestar Galactica (Classic)
as well as two doctor characters in the final Emergency!
As stated above John de Lancie's most famous role is Q from the Star Trek
franchise, who despite only being in 8 episodes of TNG, 1 episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
, and 3 episodes of Star Trek: Voyager
became quite popular
with the fandom. In one of Q's appearances on Voyager
de Lancie's son Keegan played Q's son
. In 1996 he would co-found Alien Voices
with fellow Star Trek
alumnus Leonard Nimoy
, which produced several sci-fi audio productions including answering a question of great importance to humanity - What would happen if Spock and Q ever met? Turns out something like this.
Being a part of Star Trek
is far from John de Lancie's only contribution to science fiction shows. He also played Frank Simmons in Stargate SG-1
, CIA Director Allen Shapiro in the Doctor Who
spin-off Torchwood: Miracle Day
, Russell Bennett in the film Evolver
, and even appeared on Battlestar Galactica (Classic)
. Other shows he's worked on include Law & Order: LA
, Breaking Bad
, Mission: Impossible
from The Eighties
), and Charmed
John de Lancie's voice is quite distinctive and has lent it to several cartoons and video games. Notable roles include Dr. Quest in Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures
, Desmond's father William Miles in Assassin's Creed: Revelations
, Professor Fitz Quadwrangle in Quantum Conundrum
, and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
villain (and Q Expy
) Discord, which is currently his most well known voice-over role thanks to the show's immense popularity. He had completely forgotten he had done anything My Little Pony
by the time a preview clip appeared online, at which point he was overwhelmed by the brony community, noting that at least Gene Roddenberry
warned him about Trekkies beforehand. De Lancie has since come to embrace the bronies and worked on a documentary
to help shed some light on the fandom.
He has the perfect
voice for reading classic literature aloud. Here's
him reading Edgar Allan Poe
's The Raven
Provides examples of:
- Badass Beard: Tends to sport one in some roles and has one in Real Life.
- His most famous role, Q, does not have a beard. Ironically, its expy, Discord, does (being part goat and all).
- Cool Old Guy: Has become this to both Trekkies and Bronies.
- Deadpan Snarker: Comes across as a bit of one on his Twitter, and two of his most well known roles are big ones as well.
- Disability Superpower: His dyslexia made it difficult to read scripts and teleprompters, so he compensated by being ridiculously good at improvisation.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: His very brief appearance as a news reporter in the Phony Newscast TV movie Without Warning (1994) was a dead giveaway that it was one of those. Although at the time, they probably figured that he would have only been recognizable to those who watched Star Trek: The Next Generation. Neverthless, the producers of this movie took great care to not cast any instantly recognizable actors and actually cast some real news anchors for good measure. Casting an actor that you may or may not recognize was probably an intentional subtle move that was meant to replace the usual repeated atmosphere-killing disclaimers that "This is only a dramatization".
- Not So Different: He's pointed out that Trekkies and Bronies have quite a lot in common, and has even said that Lauren Faust reminds him of Gene Roddenberry.
- What Could Have Been: Voiced badass mentor John Lynch in the Gen-13 pilot before it was indefinitely shelved by Disney (only ever officially released in Australia).
- If a certain someone at DHX Media hadn't spoken up, the role of Discord would've gone to someone else, and de Lancie likely wouldn't have become so enthralled in the brony community.
- The producers of Enterprise were hoping to have Q appear in one episode, but John de Lancie turned it down, since it was a prequel series, and having Q show up might mess up continuity.