McNeill, Robert Duncan
Caption: Robert Duncan McNeill at Star Trek Las Vegas
Robert Duncan McNeill fell in love with acting at an early age. While attending high school in Atlanta, Georgia, he began performing in regional theater companies. His first professional performance was an uncredited role in the Burt Reynolds starrer Sharkey’s Machine. Following his graduation from high school, he got a role in the national touring company of The Fantasticks, but when further success was slow to arrive, McNeill applied for and won a place at New York’s prestigious Julliard School. During this period he was cast in a recurring role on All My Children, for which he received a 1988 Daytime Emmy nomination. From soaps, McNeill slipped back to the stage, appearing in Into the Woods, Six Degrees of Separation, and Sam Shepard’s The Four-H Club. After relocating to Los Angeles, McNeill became a frequent guest on series television, including an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The behavior of his character in that episode, “The First Duty,” foreshadowed much that would come to typify Voyager’s Tom Paris, a role that McNeill won a few years later. During Voyager’s seven-year run, McNeill, like several of his fellow cast members, took advantage of Star Trek’s on-the-job “directors in training” program. Something about being on the other side of the camera must have clicked for him. Since 2002, McNeill has directed episodes of twenty-four different television series, including multiple episodes of Dawson’s Creek, One Tree Hill, Star Trek: Enterprise, Summerland, Desperate Housewives, The O.C., Las Vegas and, most recently, Chuck, where McNeill is currently an executive producer.