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Creator / Brent Spiner

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"I think it's the business part of the word show business that causes me the most concern."

Brent Jay Spiner (born February 2, 1949 in Houston, Texas) is an American actor best known for his role as the pale-skinned android Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

By sheer coincidence, Spiner began his acting career 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.

Prominent roles that Brent Spiner has played:

Tropes Associated With Brent Spiner:

  • Acting for Two: Or three, or seven. Brent played not only Data, but also Lore, B-4, and all four Soongsnote , and at least two or three of the aforementioned characters have shared some screen time. And then there was the time when several holodeck characters got turned into replicas of Data.
  • 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.
  • Casting Gag: 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.
  • 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.
  • Funny Character, Boring Actor: Inverted. Best known for playing a rational, emotionless android, he's a very silly man off-camera. Just watch some of the TNG outtakes.
  • I Am Not Spock: Zigzagged. After TNG ended, he expressed some irritation that he was always associated with Data instead of any of his other works, however, he eventually moved past it and now plays it for a joke. His reluctance to reprise the role nowadays comes solely from the fact he feels himself too old play an ageless android.
  • Springtime for Hitler: A real-life example: He only took on the role of Data as he figured remaking a show as iconic as Star Trek would fail and he could take the money from the one season to build a career on. Instead, he ended up with his most famous role that would run for seven years, four movies, and one spin-off.