Michelle Renee Forbes Guajardo (born January 8, 1965 in Austin, Texas) is an American actor who first made an impression in the recurring role of Ro Laren in Star Trek: The Next Generation, an important milestone in the moral greying of Star Trek as the first recurring sympathetic character whose first loyalty was not to Starfleet. She is also remembered by Trek fans for turning down offers to play the role as a regular in both Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, in both cases leading to the creation of an Expy.note
These decisions were because of her hopes for a film career, which after leading roles in Kalifornia and Swimming with Sharks failed to take off. She subsequently became one of those actors who will eventually turn up in just about any American SF or fantasy TV show if it runs long enough, generally playing tough, competent, powerful women, but all over the moral scale.
- 1993 Kalifornia as Carrie Laughlin
- 1994 Swimming with Sharks as Dawn Lockard
- 1996 Escape from L.A. as Brazen
- 1991-1994 Star Trek: The Next Generation as Ro Laren
- 1996 The Outer Limits (1995) episode "A Stitch in Time" as Detective Jamie Pratt
- 1996-1998 Homicide: Life on the Street as Dr. Julianna Cox
- 1998 Brimstone as Assistant D.A. Julia Trent
- 2000 Wonderland as Dr. Lyla Garrity
- 2002-2003 24 as Lynne Kresge
- 2005-2006 Battlestar Galactica (2003) as Admiral Helena Cain
- 2005-2006 Prison Break as Samantha Brinker
- 2008-2009 In Treatment as Dr. Kate Weston
- 2008-2009 True Blood as Marianne the Maenad
- 2011-2012 The Killing as Mitch Larsen
- 2013 Chicago Fire as Gail McLeod
- 2014 Orphan Black as Marian Bowles
- 2015 Powers as Retro Girl
- 2015 The Returned as Helen Goddard
- 2017 Berlin Station as Valerie Edwards
Video Game Roles:
- 2004 Half-Life 2 as Dr. Judith Mossman (voice and Ink-Suit Actor)
- 2009 Assault on Dark Athena as Captain Gale Revas (Also an Ink-Suit Actor)
- 2017 Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus as Zofia Blazkowicz (Like the two above, another Ink-Suit Actor)
- The abortive TV adaptation of Global Frequency as Miranda Zero (having been fantasy-cast in the role by the artist of at least one comic issue)
Tropes associated with her include:
- But Not Too White: She is in fact Hispanic, but is hardly ever cast in roles with that background, probably because her complexion is considered too pale to "look like" one.
- Sci-Fi Bob Haircut: She has one in practically every role in her early career, even in the films and shows that aren't sci-fi. It does suit her, though.
- Typecasting: Her roles are often tough women in professional jobs, who are either cases of Good Is Not Nice or villains.