Michelle Forbes' steely onscreen persona has been a winning factor in many roles familiar to viewers—and it all started with her portrayal as rough-hewn Ensign Ro Laren, the character that introduced the Bajorans to Star Trek.
Actually, after a gig playing twins on the CBS soap opera The Guiding Light, Forbes first turned up on TNG in Season 4’s “Half a Life” as Dara, Kaelonian Dr. Timicin’s aggrieved daughter, and made such an impression in her one scene that when TNG’s producers created Ensign Ro she was foremost in their mind to play her. In just eight appearances, Forbes forged such a strong presence that when Deep Space Nine was conceived with a Bajoran first officer it was "Ro Laren" driving the idea. But Forbes declined the offer to pursue a variety of work in films instead of a seven-year TV show, and “Kira Nerys” was developed anew.
After Star Trek, Forbes starred opposite David Dukovney in the thriller Kalifornia and soon landed the role of chief medical examiner Julianna Cox on Homicide: Life in the Street for two seasons and a later TV movie. She played presidential aide Lynne Kresge during Season 2 of 24, played the strong Admiral Helena Cain on the reboot Battlestar Galactica and TV movie Razor, and recurringly appeared in Fox’s Prison Break, the short-lived The District and starred in ABC’s cult fave Wonderland, before its early cancellation. Other notable guest appearances came on Lost , Alias and Waking the Dead, while film credits have included Dandelion, Escape from L.A., American Girl, Swimming With Sharks, and the comedy Highland Park.
Forbes, born 1965 as Michelle Renee Forbes Guajardo in Austin, Texas, also turned up in two memorable roles in HBO series: as the wife/ex-wife of Gabriel Byrne’s central psychologist on In Treatment, and as Maryann Forrester, a Maenad who dies a gruesome death after two seasons on True Blood—a role which netted her a Saturn nomination. Likewise, her work as Mitch Larson, wife of the would-be prime suspect in AMC’s The Killing, garnered an Emmy nomination for best supporting actress in a drama.