| Jonathan Frakes
(American film, stage, television actor
|Born|| August 19, 1952 |
Jonathan Frakes (born August 19, 1952 in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania), is known for being a prominent actor and director in American television and film. He is the son of Doris J. (Yingling) and Dr. James R. Frakes, a college professor. When he was younger, his parents moved with Jonathan and his younger brother Daniel to Bethlehem in eastern Pennsylvania. His father, Dr. James R. Frakes taught English at Lehigh University, where he held the Fairchild chair in American Literature until 2002 when he passed away. Frakes is most known for his role as Commander William Riker throughout seven seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation and in four Star Trek theatrical films. Frakes also directed eight Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, his first in 1990 titled "The Offspring". Frakes would go on to direct 2 Star Trek feature films and multiple episodes of the subsequent Star Trek Series among 40 other TV series, including NCIS: Los Angeles, Burn Notice, Roswell, and countless others. Frakes is notable for his beard, towering height, and blue eyes. Frakes was an undergraduate at Penn State and continued his education at Harvard, spending several seasons with the Loeb Drama Center. Frakes then moved to New York, spending five years appearing on and off Broadway in several regional theater productions. Frakes is of German, and some English, ancestry.
Film, Television and theater career
Frakes made the big move to New York City early on in his acting career where he had a stint as Captain America for Marvel Comics. Frakes also appeared in a role on the Broadway musical "Shenandoah". Frakes joined "The Impossible Ragtime Theatre," and was part of several off-Broadway productions. Frakes moved to Los Angeles in the late 1970s. The move proved very successful for Frakes, as he landed a recurring role as Vietnam veteran Tom Carroll from 1977 to 1978 on the soap opera The Doctors.
During the late 1970's and early 1980s, Frakes guest-starred on several of the big prime-time shows of the time, including Charlie's Angels, Fantasy Island, Quincy M.E., Highway to Heaven, The Dukes of Hazzard and a recurring role the Waltons. Frakes was then landing more recurring roles in such shows as the 1985 prime-time soap opera Falcon Crest where he was cast as Damon Ross. Frakes also landed roles in Paper Dolls and Bare Essence.
In early 1987 when preparing for his audition for the role of Commander William T. Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Frakes had to watch videotapes from the original episodes because he knew nothing about Star Trek: The Original Series. At the urging of his soon-to-be wife Genie and her family, Jonathan went to an audition for a Riker on the new Star Trek television series at Paramount. After six weeks, and seven auditions, Frakes landed the role that would bring him worldwide fame: that of Commander William Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Frakes was interviewed and cast for Commander William T. Riker personally by Gene Roddenberry. Frakes character William T. Riker, first appeared in the first episode "Encounter at Farpoint" for Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1987. Early on in the Star Trek: The Next Generation series, Jonathan Frakes had no beard and looked very young as the first officer Riker. Frakes grew the now famous beard during the hiatus before TNG's second season as he dislikes shaving. He returned to rehearsal before shaving it. The producers liked the change and asked him to keep the beard, although a fictional reason was not given until five years later.
In addition to Star Trek: The Next Generation, Frakes has made appearances as Thomas Riker in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and William Riker in Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Enterprise, and Star Trek: Picard. He is one of only two Star Trek regulars to appear on five different Star Trek series. The only other regular to match that number is Majel Barrett-Roddenberry. Frakes has also directed episodes in five of the series (Star Trek:TNG, Star Trek:DS9, Star Trek:Voyager, Star Trek:Discovery, and Star Trek:Picard).
Frakes voiced the recurring role of David Xanatos in one of Disney's most popular cartoon series Gargoyles. Jonathan Frakes and his Star Trek: The Next Generation co-stars Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn, Brent Spiner, and LeVar Burton all lent their voices in roles for the animated series from 1994-1996. Jonathan Frakes' wife was pregnant with their first child at the same time as his character's wife Fox was in the series. Then voicing their same characters in the sequel series Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicles from 1996-1997, however Brent Spiner and LeVar Burton did not do this series.
In 1996 in addition to co-starring, it was announced that Frakes was to be the director of the eighth Star Trek film, Star Trek: First Contact. Frakes received critical praise for his work on the film and it became the highest-grossing entry of the franchise to date. He formed a production company, Goepp Circle Productions, named after the street he lived on in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
After Josh Brolin was host for the first 1997 season on the Fox Network anthology series "Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction", Frakes was host from 1998 to 2002, for 26 episodes.
From 2016–2017 Frakes voiced the character J'son in the Guardians of the Galaxy (TV series) for 12 episodes.
In 2020 Frakes appeared in two episodes during the spin-off series first season of Star Trek:Picard as William Riker, who is now married to Deanna Troi with two children, one child passed away.
Family and friendships
In 1985 and 1986, on the set of the miniseries North and South and North and South: Book II, Frakes met soap opera star Genie Francis. Frakes reportedly fell in love with Francis on the set, and they were married two years later on May 28, 1988. Jonathan and Genie have two children: Jameson Ivor Frakes (born August 20, 1994) and Elizabeth Francis Frakes (born May 30, 1997). Frakes is the Son-in-law of actor Ivor Francis and Rosemary Daley. Godmother of his son Jameson is Elizabeth Berman, wife of Star Trek producer and writer Rick Berman.
Jonathan and his wife Genie moved from Belfast, Maine, to Beverly Hills, California, in 2008 and later moved to the Calabasas, California area and have a home in Woodland Hills, California in Los Angeles County.
Patrick Stewart held close relationships with Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner and Jonathan Frakes, relationships Stewart admits were fostered mostly due to the large number of "ready room scenes" with Data, Picard, and Riker, all of which were shot late into the night mostly on Fridays after the rest of the Star Trek cast had gone home.
Jonathan Frakes has a long working friendship with Rebecca Romijn having also directed her on set for 10 episodes on the TV series "The Librarians". Frakes looks forward to continuing with what he calls a "fabulous working shorthand" with Rebecca Romijn on the upcoming Star Trek:Strange New Worlds CBS series.
|1994||Camp Nowhere||Bob Spiegel|
|Star Trek Generations||Commander William T. Riker|
|1995||Time Travel Through the Bible||Himself / Host|
|1996||Star Trek: First Contact||Commander William T. Riker|| Nominated–Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Best Supporting Actor|
Nominated–Saturn Award for Best Director
|1998||Star Trek: Insurrection||Commander William T. Riker|
|2002||Star Trek: Nemesis||Commander/Captain William T. Riker|
|2011||The Captains (film)||Himself/Captain William T. Riker|
|1978||Charlie's Angels||Brad||Episode: "Angel on My Mind"|
|Barnaby Jones||David Douglas||Episode: "Stages of Fear"|
|Fantasy Island||Kirk Wendover||Episode: "The War Games/Queen of the Boston Bruisers"|
|1979||The Waltons||Ashley Longworth Jr.||Episode: "The Lost Sheep" and "The Legacy"|
|Eight Is Enough||Chapper||Episode: "Separate Ways"|
|The White Shadow (TV series)||Basketball Player||Episode: "One of the Boys" (uncredited)|
|1980||Beulah Land||Adam Davis|
|The Night the City Screamed||Richard Hawkins|
|1981||The Dukes of Hazzard||Jamie Lee Hogg||Episode: "Mrs. Daisy Hogg"|
|Harper Valley PTA (TV series)||Clutch Breath||Episode: "Low Noon"|
|1982||Hart to Hart||Adam Blake||Episode: "Harts and Palms"|
|Hill Street Blues||Drug dealer||Episode: "Of Mouse and Man"|
|Quincy, M.E.||Leon Bohannon||Episode: "The Face of Fear"|
|Quincy, M.E.||Surgeon||Episode: "Ghost of a Chance"|
|Voyagers!||Charles Lindbergh||Episode: "An Arrow Pointing East"|
|1983||Bare Essence||Marcus Marshall||Several episodes.|
|1984||Highway to Heaven||Arthur Krock, Jr.||Episode: "A Devine Madness"|
|Five Mile Creek||Adam Scott||Episode: "Gold Fever"|
|The Fall Guy||Connors||Episode: "Always Say Always"|
|1985||The New Twilight Zone||Single Guy||Episode: "But Can She Type?"|
|North and South (TV miniseries)||Stanley Hazard|
|1986||Dream West||Lt. Archibald Gillespie|
|Matlock (TV series)||D.A. Park||Episode: "The Angel"|
|1987–1994||Star Trek: The Next Generation||Commander William T. Riker||176 episodes - Also portrayed transporter duplicate Lt. Thomas Riker in Second Chances|
|1988||Reading Rainbow||Himself||Episode: "The Bionic Bunny Show"|
|1994||Wings (NBC TV series)||Gavin Rutledge||Episode: "All's Fare"|
|Star Trek: Deep Space Nine||Lt. Thomas Riker||Episode: "Defiant"|
|Journey's End: The Saga of Star Trek: The Next Generation||Host||Documentary|
|1994–1996||Gargoyles (TV series)||David Xanatos, Coyote||Voice|
|1995||Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman||Tim Lake||Episode: "Don't Tug on Superman's Cape"|
|1995||Cybill||Himself||Episode: "Starting on the Wrong Foot"|
|1995||Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction?||Host/Narrator|
|1996||Star Trek: Voyager||Commander William T. Riker||Episode: "Death Wish"|
|1998–2002||Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction?||Himself||45 episodes|
|1999||Roswell (TV series)||Himself||Episode: "The Convention"|
|2000||3rd Rock from the Sun||Larry McMichael||Episode: "Gwen, Larry, Dick and Mary"|
|2000||Ghosts: Caught on Tape||Narrator|
|2002||Futurama||Himself||Voice; Episode: "Where No Fan Has Gone Before"|
|2005||Star Trek: Enterprise||Commander William T. Riker||Episode: "These Are the Voyages..."|
|2005,2009||Family Guy||Commander William T. Riker/Himself||Episode: "Peter's Got Woods" & "Not All Dogs Go to Heaven"|
|2009||Leverage (TV series)||Patient in Neck Brace||Episode: "The Snow Job" (uncredited)|
|2010||Criminal Minds||Dr. Arthur Malcolm||Episode: "The Uncanny Valley"|
|NCIS: Los Angeles||Navy Commander Dr. Stanfill||Episode: "Disorder"|
|2011||The Super Hero Squad Show||High Evolutionary||Voice; Episode: "The Devil Dinosaur You Say!"|
|2012||Leverage (TV series)||Man at Consumer Products Safety Commission||Episode: "The Toy Job" (uncredited)|
|Castle (TV series)||Richard Castle Fan||Episode "The Final Frontier" (uncredited)|
|2013||Adventure Time||Finn the Human (Adult Finn)||Voice; Episodes: "Puhoy" and "Dungeon Train"|
|2014||Hit the Floor (TV series)||Hank||Episode: "Blow Out"|
|2016–2017||Guardians of the Galaxy (TV series)||J'son||Voice; 12 episodes|
|2016||Miles from Tomorrowland||Grandpa Vincent||Voice; Episodes: "Galactech: Still Rocketing/Merc's Night Out" & "The Adventures of Jet Retrograde/The Tiny Aliens"|
|2018||After Trek||Himself|| Aftershow|
|2019||How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast)||Himself||Episode: "Life's Not Fair, Get Used to It"|
|2020||Star Trek: Picard||Captain William T. Riker||2 episodes|
|The Ready Room||Himself|| Aftershow|
Episode: "Episode 20"