Caption: Denise Crosby
Caption: Denise Crosby
Birthday: November 24
As Lieutenant Natasha "Tasha" Yar on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Denise Crosby made quite an impression. Even though she was only on the show for the best part of a season before dying at the hands of evil alien Armus, Tasha continued to pop up in the most unlikely of places. She was a key figure in the alternate timeline for the classic episode "Yesterday's Enterprise" and showed up again in a recurring role as Sela, half-Romulan daughter of the alternate Tasha Yar. And, fittingly enough, she returned as Tasha in the final episode of the series, "All Good Things..."
In TNG's first season, Crosby immediately invested Tasha with a tough-as-nails scrappiness — she could easily take nearly anyone on the ship in hand-to-hand combat, making her a top-notch chief of security. Crosby also revealed other elements of Tasha during her short tenure. As we witnessed in "The Naked Now," the hard-headed lieutenant also had a hidden sensuality. While under the influence of the Tsiolkovsky Virus, she seduced Data in a scene that became well-known for clarifying just how "fully functional" the android is. Her friendships with fellow officers William Riker, Deanna Troi and Worf made her death and funeral scene all the more poignant. Through it all, Crosby created a character that was guaranteed to endure with fans, even as the character's life came to an end. She also succeeded in giving life to another fan favorite — Sela, the half-Romulan daughter of the alternate timeline Tasha Yar. Sela had some of her mother's traits — the toughness, the stubbornness — but she was also a cold, no-nonsense Romulan leader, possessing none of Tasha's warmth or vulnerability. It is a testament to Crosby's acting skill that she was able to portray both parts so believably.
Prior to being cast in TNG, the granddaughter of Bing Crosby already had a list of credits that included a regular stint on Days of Our Lives and a role in Eddie Murphy's debut movie "48 Hours." Her TV career has seen guest-starring parts on series such as Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Crossing Jordan, J.A.G., Threat Matrix, L.A. Law, The X-Files, NYPD Blue and more recently Bones. Her film work includes a starring role in "Pet Sematary" shortly after she left TNG, along with appearances in "Deep Impact," "Jackie Brown," "Desert Hearts" and many others.
Recently Crosby filmed an independent movie with her husband, Ken Sylk (along with John Billingsley) called "Ripple Effect," as well as a horror thriller called "Born," which as of late 2007 were still in post-production or awaiting distribution.
Crosby, however, hasn't forgotten her Trek roots. She voiced Sela for the game "Star Trek: Armada" and she will be appearing in the independent production "Star Trek: New Voyages" in an upcoming episode written and directed by David Gerrold called "Blood and Fire" — Denise will play a character named "Jenna Yar." Filming of that segment was completed in June 2007, and a release date (as a free Internet download) will be announced when post-production work nears completion.
Aside from that acting work, Crosby has also made a significant mark on the Trek universe as host and co-executive producer of the feature documentary "Trekkies," which provided an often-humorous look at Star Trek fans. "Trekkies" proved to be so popular that a follow-up, "Trekkies 2," was produced and released on DVD in 2004, with Crosby reprising her hosting and producing duties. And she's even talking about doing a third one. "We'll see — I've got it in mind to do," she said at the Las Vegas Star Trek convention in 2006. "I'm looking at the boxed set down the line, y'know?" A third "Trekkies" would probably revolve around the phenomenon of "fan filmdom," such as the "New Voyages" project she has since been part of.
As mentioned, Denise is married to Ken Sylk, and they have one son named August William Sylk.