Star Trek has been on televisions and in movie theaters for decades now. Between the seven television series and thirteen films, there have been countless celebrities who have made appearances somewhere in the Star Trek universe. It’s almost impossible to watch an episode or a movie without spotting someone you recognize.
The series is so popular that a lot of celebrities have wanted to get in on the fun, if only for a minute or so. Besides the actors and actresses who have played some of the series’ most iconic roles, there have also been celebrities who have only shown up briefly in small parts or cameo appearances.
Some were hard to miss, like Chris Hemsworth in the 2009 reboot film or The Rock on Star Trek: Voyager. After all, there’s no way that you wouldn’t recognize The Rock.
Others, however, slipped by relatively unnoticed. While a few actors had their faces totally obscured by creature makeup, others just popped up in the background. In some cases, they even appeared on Star Trek before they got their big breaks.
To catch some of the celebrities in this list, you might need to go back and rewatch to find their blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scene on screen. Here are the 17 A-Lister Cameos You Completely Missed On Star Trek.
17. Kirsten Dunst
Long before she was MJ or Marie Antoinette, a young Kirsten Dunst appeared as Hedril in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Hedril is a Cairn kid who visits the Enterprise with her father, Maques. Since Cairn are telepathic, Dunst’s character uses a vocal enhancer to help her speak verbally.
If you’re only a fan of her later work, you might not know that this wasn’t Dunst’s only role as a kid. She was one of the few child actors who managed to continue their career success as an adult.
16. Ashley Judd
Ashley Judd is probably best known for appearing in movies like Double Jeopardy or Kiss The Girls, but her very first on-screen credit — long before she became famous — was as Ensign Robin Lefler in Star Trek: The Next Generation. She appears in two episodes: “Darmok” and “The Game”.
Her role was super small in “Darmok”, but in “The Game”, her character is a love interest for Wesley Crusher. The role actually was the vehicle for Judd’s first on-screen kiss with Will Wheaton.
She said once on Letterman that she was going to come back for Star Trek: Nemesis, but this never seemed to materialize. It’s possible that her scenes were just deleted or that the script was changed.
15. Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Morgan is already loved by fans of nerdy television for starring in Supernatural and The Walking Dead. Even his most die-hard fans can be forgiven for not knowing he was on Star Trek, though, because he is completely unrecognizable beneath all of the makeup required for the role.
Morgan played the Xindi-Reptilian Damron in an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise. His character is sent back in time to 2004 to secretly work on a bio-weapon.
In an interview years later, Morgan admitted that he took the role to pay his bills and hated the experience — it was hard for him to breathe, he felt claustrophobic, and he couldn’t eat while in makeup. It was so bad that it nearly made him quit acting. We’re glad that he didn’t.
14. Jason Alexander
Even George Costanza from Seinfeld has gotten in on the Star Trek fun. Jason Alexander appeared as Kurros in the fifth season of Star Trek: Voyager.
Although he plays an alien scholar (and has the makeup to match) you can still tell it’s him — which makes his appearance even better. His character was the spokesperson for the Think Tank.
Alexander had apparently been offered multiple roles on the show before playing Kurros, but he’d always been offered human roles. He refused all of the roles until they finally let him play an alien, which is what he’d wanted all along.
13. Sarah Silverman
Long before The Sarah Silverman Program, a young Silverman appeared in two episodes of Star Trek: Voyager. While die-hard fans of the series probably remember her role, most people aren’t aware that she was ever on the show.
Her character, Rain Robinson, was a human scientist who picked up the Voyager’s warp signal while searching for extraterrestrials. She joins up with the crew to help thwart the plans of entrepreneur Henry Starling, and becomes fond of Tom Paris along the way.
The producers were so impressed by her chemistry with Robert Duncan McNeill that they almost made her a series regular. Instead, they ended up recruiting Jeri Ryan to play Seven of Nine throughout the rest of the series.
12. Christian Slater
Mr. Robot fans will recognize Christian Slater as the titular character of the show. Even if you were really paying attention during Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country, you probably missed Slater. He appears for just a brief moment as an unnamed night duty officer, and his face is totally obscured in shadow.
Slater is another celebrity who was a huge fan of the franchise before appearing in Star Trek canon. He’s joked about his obsession on multiple occasions, and even joked that he’d shave his eyebrows to dress up as Spock.
He wasn’t the only one involved with the movie — he got the part because his mother, Mary Jo Slater, was in charge of casting the film. His godfather, Michael Zaslow, also appeared in episodes of the original series.
11. Andy Dick
Before he started The Andy Dick Show, Andy Dick appeared in one episode of Star Trek: Voyager back in the ’90s. He’d already gained fame from starring on NewsRadio, so it was probably a treat for the comedian’s fans to see him on Star Trek as well.
Dick played the EMH Mark II, after Dr. Zimmerman changed the appearance of the Mark I. The few lines he had in “Message in a Bottle” created some hilarious moments, including a conversation between holograms about how to download certain programs that let them leave the Voyager or sleep with members of the crew.
10. Iggy Pop
Even rock stars got in on the Star Trek hype train. Iggy Pop played Yelgrun in an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Ira Steven Behr, the show’s executive producer, was a huge fan and was determined to get Iggy Pop on the show somehow.
He asked him to appear as Grady in season three, but due to scheduling conflicts Pop wasn’t able to make it. Fortunately for fans of both The Stooges and Star Trek, they made it work in season six.
His character was a negotiator in charge of a prisoner exchange, and all of his screen time is less than three minutes. Even twenty years after his 1997 appearance, it’s still funny watching the rocker known for his wild performances act as serious as humanly (alien-ly?) possible.
9. Ron Perlman
Yep, Hellboy made an appearance in Star Trek, too. Perlman played an unnamed Reman Viceroy in Nemesis. Like Morgan, he wore heavy makeup for his part. (His character was later given the name Vkruk in the Nemesis novel, but the character wasn’t named in the movie.)
Perlman had a small role, but he’s said that didn’t matter to him. He was just excited to be a part of the movie since he’d been a fan for ages. It ended up helping him make some good connections.
The makeup artist who did his character’s makeup for Star Trek also worked with him for some of Perlman’s other big sci-fi roles, including Hellboy.
8. Tom Morello
The next celebrity also got his start in music, but he might not be as well-known outside of his bands. Tom Morello is the lead guitarist of Rage Against The Machine and was also part of the band Audioslave.
He’s made not just one, but two cameo appearances on Star Trek: an uncredited appearance in Star Trek: Insurrection and another as Crewman Mitchell in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager.
Morello is a huge Trekkie and asked to appear in Insurrection. You can barely see his character in the movie, though, which is why he got a second cameo in Voyager two years later.
7. James Avery
First things first, rest in peace, Uncle Phil. Most people know James Avery for his role on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Fresh Prince fans might not realize that he also had a small part as General K’Vagh in season four of Star Trek: Enterprise.
K’Vagh was a Klingon general who oversaw the scientific program developing Klingon Augments. Since his son was also an Augment, it was more than a little personal for him.
Before his appearance as K’Vagh, he also almost had a larger role in Star Trek: The Next Generation. He was one of the finalists for Worf, a role which eventually went to Michael Dorn. It might not have been as big of a part, but Avery did get to be a Klingon after all.
6. Bill Hader
The SNL comedian’s face is pretty recognizable to millennial audiences, and might have been distracting if he’d appeared on screen for his cameo. You’ll never see Bill Hader’s face on-screen in a Star Trek movie, but you can hear his equally distinctive voice in Star Trek: Into Darkness.
Hader voices the computer of the USS: Vengeance in the movie, and J.J. Abrams specifically requested Hader for the part. It was so last minute that Hader had to be driven from a convention to a studio the same day of the request in order to get the audio recorded.
5. Adam Scott
Adam Scott, who’s probably best known for starring on Parks and Recreation, appeared in Star Trek: First Contact as the USS Defiant’s conn officer. His character isn’t named, though, and you’ll miss his appearance if you look away for a second.
Scott’s character earned the distinction of one of the generic Star Trek crew members who actually doesn’t die since he’s beamed onto the Enterprise. Scott himself is a pretty big Trekkie, and he’s said in interviews that he’d love to revisit the role of the random crew member and give him some backstory.
4. Jim O’Heir
Scott isn’t the only Parks and Rec alum who has appeared on-screen in a Star Trek scene. Jim O’Heir, who plays Jerry/Gary/Larry on the NBC show, also popped up briefly in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager.
O’Heir plays an unnamed Jye husband who’s contacted by the Voyager when Captain Janeway was trying to locate Gar, a Dralian who stole The Doctor’s matrix. O’Heir’s character is uncomfortably familiar with Gar, since his wife had an affair with the alien and left him.
We don’t know what it is about O’Heir that inspires casting directors to cast him as people who are easily made fun of, but it is hilarious that the running joke about his character on Parks and Rec could technically carry over to Star Trek.
3. Stephen Hawking
Alright, no one actually missed the Stephen Hawking cameo. He’s pretty difficult to miss, and he also appeared as a fictionalized version of himself. However, a Stephen Hawking/Star Trek combo is too good not to mention.
In the sixth season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, he appears as a hologram of himself playing poker against Albert Einstein, Sir Isaac Newton, and Lieutenant Commander Data, who created the holodeck versions of the scientists. Data wants to see how “three of history’s greatest minds would interact.” Isaac Newton huffs his way through the game and Hawking ends up winning.
2. Kelsey Grammer
Cheers! Kelsey Grammer appeared in the fifth season of Star Trek: The Next Generation as Captain Morgan Bateson. He didn’t have to deviate much from his daily routine to film the surprise cameo, since both Cheers and TNG were filmed on the Paramount Pictures lot.
Like other celebrities on this list, Grammer was already a Trekkie before taking the role. His character is a Starfleet officer and captain of the USS Bozeman when it gets stuck in a time loop.
This wasn’t the only Star Trek/Frasier crossover — in 1996, Star Trek celebrated its thirtieth anniversary with the special Star Trek: 30 Years And Beyond. It starred almost the entire cast of Frasier… minus Frasier. Grammer’s only appearance was in “Cause and Effect”.
1. Christopher Lloyd
Christopher Lloyd might be best known as Doc Brown from Back to the Future, but before he played the lovable scientist, he was on the TV show Taxi as a burnt-out cab driver.
His character on Taxi is a huge fan of the original Star Trek series, which might be part of why he agreed to appear in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. OG Trekkies are probably very familiar with his role, but newer fans might not be.
Lloyd plays Commander Kruge, a rebel Klingon officer. His work on Taxi might not have made him the obvious choice to play an evil character, but his is definitely an appearance that makes sci-fi fans happy. Lloyd also loved his role in the film, especially being able to play a character like Kruge with no emotion.
Is there a celebrity cameos in Star Trek that we missed? Which ones were your favorites? Let us know in the comments!
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