Frakes, Jonathan

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Episode: TNG 114 - Datalore

Like many other Star Trek actors, Jonathan Frakes developed his acting chops onstage in New York City, where he appeared in Eugene O'Neill's The Hairy Ape and Shenandoah.  Soap opera roles and bit parts in assorted television series followed.  In 1987 he was cast as Commander Will Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation, the highly publicized successor to the original Star Trek.  Both the series and his character were extremely well received by the viewing public, but Frakes opted not to rest on his acting laurels.  By taking advantage of an informal “director in training” program that came into existence during executive producer Rick Berman’s management of the Star Trek franchise, Frakes received invaluable insight into the nuts and bolts of crafting a television episode.  He would go on to direct episodes in three of the Star Trek series:  TNG, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager.  He also directed two of the TNG films:  Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Insurrection.  Post-Star Trek, Frakes has become a much-in-demand television director, helming episodes of such series as Roswell, Leverage, Dollhouse, Castle, NCIS: Los Angeles, V and two of the made-for-TV movies in The Librarian series.  Frakes has been married to soap opera actress Genie Francis since 1988. They live in Maine with their son, Jameson Ivor, and daughter, Elizabeth Francis.