Michael Dorn was born on December 9, 1952, meaning he turns 64 years young today. To mark the occasion, StarTrek.com thought we'd raise a toast with a glass of Klingon bloodwine and share 7 Things to Know About Michael Dorn. And, in no particular order, here they are:
- Dorn was born Michiel Dorn in Luling, Texas.
- His pre-Star Trek credits included Rocky, Demon Seed, CHiPs (with Robert Pine, Chris Pine's father) and Gimme a Break! FYI... he played one of Apollo Creed's bodyguards in Rocky, but went uncredited.
- He is a pilot. Yes, Dorn flies airplanes and, over the years, has owned several of them, including a F-86 Sabre.
- Dorn played Worf... a lot, a whole lot. He portrayed the Klingon for all seven seasons of The Next Generation, for four seasons of Deep Space Nine and in the four TNG features. He voiced Worf in more than a half-dozen video games, and appeared as the character or voiced him in other venues, including an episode of the series Webster, Comic Relief VI, Family Guy and Ted 2. And let's not forget Star Trek VI: The Undisovered Country, in which he played a character believed to be Worf's grandfather, Colonel Worf. The biggest shock, however, was when he agreed to reprise the role for DS9. "I was surprised, very surprised," Dorn told StarTrek.com in an interview. "Let me put it this way… Maybe surprised is not the right word for it. I was so OK with it after I’d said I’d never get in the makeup again. I make a joke about saying, 'Oh God, I’d never do it and then they told me how much money I was going to make and I said, "Oh, OK. No problem."' But, really, the money never really entered into it. Rick (Berman) just called and said, 'Would you consider coming back?' I just said, 'Yeah, sure.' And I don’t know why. Maybe it’s just because I’d already set myself up that we were just going to do the (TNG) movies and there wouldn’t be any more makeup days. I already had my mind set that it was gone. When Rick called… I guess I was surprised that I said 'Yes'” But it wasn’t like, 'Oh my God, what am I doing?' It was more like, 'Yeah, that sounds great. Let’s talk about it.'”
- Dorn is a vegan. In a video interview with ThePlantBasedDiet.com, he explained that he was "almost a vegetarian" when he was diagnosed with "an early, early stage of prostate cancer." The doctor who diagnosed him told Dorn that he'd never seen a vegetarian with prostate cancer. Doing his research about being a vegetarian, Dorn discovered that vegans also avoid processed foods, especially processed sugar -- and that sugar feeds cancer cells. "Cut out sugar, and cancer cells don't have the food to grow." And he's been a vegan ever since.
- The TNG cast is notoriously close-knit and still gets together as often as possible, above and beyond convention appearances. The most recent example occurred just last month, when Home & Family on the Hallmark Channel welcomed Dorn, Marina Sirtis, LeVar Burton, Denise Crosby and Jonathan Frakes.
- It's "surreal," Dorn told StarTrek.com, that Star Trek is celebrating its 50th anniversary and that TNG will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year. "Man, anything after 20 years is frightening. The really frightening thing for me is that all the kids who were born during Next Generation or Deep Space are in college or even out of college or are starting families. That, to me, is just ridiculous."
Please join us in wishing Michael Dorn a very happy birthday.