Dr. Crusher of Star Trek
“It’s wonderful that the show was so imaginative and creative. I’m glad to be a part of it. I get many kids telling me that they would like a mom like Beverly Crusher, and they feel I can solve their problems. It’s not an easy world to grow up in. It’s tough. And it’s nice to think we are doing our bit to help. I always wish I had more to do, but I got my moments and direction. ‘Genesis’ (the seventh season episode) was, without question, the high point of my years with the show, really the culmination of my Star Trek experience.” Gates McFadden
American actress and choreographer Gates McFadden, sometimes credited as Cheryl Gates McFadden, Cheryl McFadden, or Jesse Stuart Gates, is well-known for playing the character of Dr. Beverly Crusher on the popular syndicated series “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (1987-1994), a coveted part she reprised in the wide-screen adventures Star Trek: Generations (1994), Star Trek: First Contact (1996), Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) and Star Trek: Nemesis (2002). In addition to “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” she has been a guest on such series as “Party of Five” (1994), “Mad About You” (1995-1996) and “The Practice” (2000). She also has had roles in movies like The Muppets Take Manhattan (1994), The Hunt for Red October (1990), Crowned and Dangerous (1997, TV) and Dirty (2005).
Currently, McFadden divides her time between Los Angeles and the south of France, where she and husband John Talbot are re-establishing an old theater. She stays close to her TNG costars, including Brent Spiner, Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn and LeVar Burton. McFadden declared that she was always closest to Patrick Stewart, whom she met with more often than the others. McFadden is the mother of a 16-year-old boy, James Cleveland McFadden-Talbot.
B.A. Cum Laude
Childhood and Family:
In Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Cheryl Gates McFadden was born on March 2, 1949. She received her B.A Cum Laude in Theater Arts from Brandeis University, in Waltham, Massachusetts. Graduating in 1970, she moved to Paris to hone in on her craft with Jacques LeCoq. She later moved to New York, where she would star in numerous theater productions.
McFadden is married to John Cleveland Talbot. She gave birth to the couple’s first child, son James Cleveland McFadden-Talbot, on June 10, 1991. Brent Spiner, her TNG co-star, is the godfather of her son.
The Hunt for Red October
“Theater really is my first love. I love the stage, performing for an audience. Some of my favorite credits would have to be the Shakespeare work I did in New York and To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday. I also loved working with Jim Henson on Muppets Take Manhattan and Labyrinth. I’ve also loved ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ (1987).” Gates McFadden
After studying at Brandeis University, the New York University Graduate School of the Arts, the University of Pittsburgh, and in Paris, Gates returned to the United States and starred in such stage productions as “The Matchmaker,” “Emerald City” and “Cloud 9.” McFadden’s first screen role arrived in 1984, when she was cast as a secretary in the Jim Henson-produced The Muppets Take Manhattan. She next had a small role in the Charles Kaufman-directed When Nature Calls (1985). She worked again with Henson in 1986 as director of choreography and puppet movement for the elaborate fantasy film Labyrinth, starring David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly.
After guest starring as Darcy Stafford in an episode of the CBS fantasy-adventure series “The Wizard” (1986), McFadden was cast in a role that would make her popular, Dr. Beverly Crusher, in the series “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (1987-1994). Due to creative differences with producers, she left the show in the second season and was replaced by Diana Muldaur as Doctor Katherine Pulaski. Her replacement, however, proved to be unpopular and McFadden was invited back to the series for the third and subsequent seasons. During her break from the well-liked syndicated shows, she portrayed Dr. Caroline Ryan, the wife of CIA analyst Jack Ryan (played by Alec Baldwin) in the action movie The Hunt for Red October and Diane Connors in James Belushi’s comedy Taking Care of Business (both 1990).
When “Star Trek” departed the airwaves in 1994, McFadden recreated the role of Dr. Crusher for the film Star Trek: Generations (1994). A guest spot on “Party of Five” that same year returned the actress to television, where she later costarred in the UPN startup series “Marker” (1995). She went on to have a recurring part in “Mad About You,” playing Paul Resier’s boss Allison Roukre from 1995 to 1996, before again reprising her role of Dr. Crusher for 1996’s Star Trek: First Contact and 1998’s Star Trek: Insurrection. In between her work in the movies, she supported Yasmine Bleeth in the TV movie-of-the-week Crowned and Dangerous (1997).
Guest performances in episodes of “The Practice” (2000) and “The Division” (2001) kept McFadden busy in the new millennium before she once again played Dr. Beverly Crusher in Star Trek: Nemesis (2002). She then appeared as Siobhan in a 2004 episode of “The Handler” and as a wife in the movie Dirty (2005), opposite Cuba Gooding Jr., Brittany Daniel, Keith David and Aimee Garcia. In the spring of 2006, McFadden starred in a series of television commercials for Microsoft.