William Morgan Sheppard In New Star Trek

In a new interview with Den of Geek, veteran character actor William Morgan Sheppard revealed he has a small part in JJ Abrams new Star Trek (and TrekMovie.com has verified the report). Trek fans should recognize Sheppard from his multiple Trek appearances, most notably as the Klingon commandant of Rura Penthe in Star Trek VI. Sheppard only revealed that the role is ‘small’ and he plays a race he hasn’t played before.

Den of Geek asked if Sheppard was reprising one of his previous three Trek roles:

No, I will say that much, definitely not. In fact I am playing a different race, I’ve done Klingons…actually, I am going to be judging as a Klingon, though I won’t be dressing up as one for it, at one of those big conventions up in Maryland. That one’s in July, and they want me to go. It’s a Klingon convention. Can you believe it?

Sheppard also talked about dealing with the challenges of working in make-up, like in Star Trek VI:

It holds you back, really. Sometimes you can act the wardrobe, or the wardrobe does the acting for you. When it’s prosthetics like that it’s hard work to get any kind of humanity, even if its an alien. Hard work to get any kind of life behind it. I had fun being a Klingon. My favourite is ‘Soul Hunter’ in Babylon 5. [J. Michael] Straczynski really let me go with that one.

Sheppard in Star Trek VI, TNG and VOY

In addition to his role on Star Trek VI, Sheppard appeared as Ira Graves in TNG episode "The Schizoid Man" and Qatai in Voyager’s "Bliss." The 75 year-old English-born actor might be best known for his recurring role as Blank Reg on the TV series Max Headroom. He also played Maj. Gen. Isaac Trimble in the films Gettysburg and Gods and Generals. His other films include The Elephant Man, Cry Freedom, Wild at HeartNeedful Things, and The Prestige. Sheppard had a recurring role on SeaQuest DSV and appeared in an episode of JJ Abrams’ Alias. In addition to Alias, he has another connection to the Abrams team, appearing as Captain Archibald Witwicky (Sam Witwicky’s great-grandfather) in Transformers (written by Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci).

Sheppard in Transformers

For more on Sheppard see: IMDB | Memory Alpha | Wikipedia


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Yes! Nice choice Mr Abrams! Love this guy.

Cool! He was great in Elvira also.

I had no idea he was still around.

It’s always a pleasure to see them hire talented actors!

ybe an Andorian. With the antenae on the back.


Oh yes, I do remeber him as the character Blank Reg on “Max Headroom”. I didn’t recognize him as the Klingon Commander on Rura Penthe though. He is a talented actor.

Excellent news. Heck, i still have strangely clear memories of an appearance by him in Crossbow. And until this minute I didn’t even realize I remembered ever watching a show called Crossbow (and sadly, the imdb has very incomplete credits for it, so I can’t even now go on a mad hunt for his episode …)

(For those who don’t recall, it was a lightweight historical/fantasy show about William Tell, told in a universe where William Tell looks suspiciously like Mark Knopfler).

And of course, Blank Reg!

oops… meant , Grandfather!

Decloaking . . .

Love to see those familiar Trek faces.

Still can’t start STOGaM Pt. 2; I give up.


Good stuff! Ira Graves was cool.

He has the greatest gravelly voice. Perhaps a Romulan?

Hmm.. what’s that thing he played in Voyager? It looks almost like the later ENT Tellarites….

To know him is to love him. And to love him is to know him.

Those who did not love him, loved him anyway. From afar.

No wonder people love working with JJ!

Another nice touch.

The adventure continues…

I like this guys voice also!! “Since you are all going to die any way, why not tell you?” That line and delivery was classic.

Perhaps he will be a Tellarite?

The cast of thousands grows… hey, when are they going to throw us another official picture of… anything?? Orci had said, “soon.” Ok….

He was in theeeeee Pivotal B-5 episode where the Shadows first showed themselves and wiped out the Narn Fleet. He also played the soul Hunter on B-5. God I miss B-5, best Trek along with DS9 since TOS hands down.

i always thought he was Joe Cocker

nice casting

He’ll always be Blank Reg to me

Wow, that “Qatai” makeup looks almost exactly like the “Tellarite” makeup used in Star Trek: Enterprise. At least now I know where they recycled that gods-awful doesn’t-look-anything-like-a-Tellarite makeup from!! :D

B&B must have been awfully short on cash.

As the Klingon, he reminded me of my neighbor while growing up. Same beard, same gravely voice, same attitude. He had 2 eyes, though.

23. The better to see you with.

What a great character actor. Looking forward to his turn as a different alien. Maybe he’s a Romulan, he would look cool with pointed ears accenting that short cropped grey hair.

If he does turn out to be a Romulan, and they slap one of those bad Moe Howard/Spock wigs on the man, I’ll throw my reeses wrapper at the screen. (can’t throw the candy it’s too good!)

A scene with his soul hunter character in the B5 opening credits for several seasons as I recall….

He’s a little chubby to play a Tellarite, isn’t he?

Somehow, they all seem on the thin side to me!


Not only is the candy too good, but at $5 a pack at the theater, it’s too expensive to throw as well!

Anyone considered that he may play a Human–hasn’t done that in Trek yet.

#27…. Tellerite, skinny? They’re all porcine, and portly….

#29… actually that thought had occurred, but wasn’t Ira Graves human?

#29 – Ira Graves was a human.

#18 – When Orci says “soon”, it means “wait for it, wait for it…” Yes, still annoying, but easier to stomach.

Character actors make the films sometimes. It grounds it and allows us to truly enjoy the everyman getting a little recognition instead of pretty-boys or fake, plasticy ladies with the oft-too white to be white teeth and large “nacelles”.

Kirk’s father…….?

Great character actor and a good choice. I was always struck by one of his scenes as Major General Trimble in “Gettysburg”…

“Yes, sir. Sir… I said to him, General Ewell, these words. I said to him, “Sir, give me one division and I will take that hill.” And he said nothing. He just stood there, he stared at me. I said, “General Ewell, give me one brigade and I will take that hill.” I was becoming disturbed, sir. And General Ewell put his arms behind him and blinked. So I said, General, give me one *regiment* and I will take that hill.” And he said nothing! He just stood there! I threw down my sword, down on the ground in front of him! We… we could’ve done it, sir. A blind man should’ve seen it. Now they’re working up there. You can hear the axes of the Federal troops. And so in the morning… many a good boy will die… taking that hill.”

Sheppard played the part so well, you could feel his quiet seething… as well as feel his bravado. Very Klingon-like!

No matter how many prosthetics they cover him in in the new movie, you’ll never miss him because of the voice.

#33 “Kirk’s father….?”

Uh, if this is depicting Kirk going off to Starfleet, when did he sire Jimmy, when he was 60?

I have always love watching this actor perform in Star Trek, glad to see he’s back! I wonder if we will see any other familiar faces? Vaughn Armstrong in some alien make up perhaps? :D

Every man has his time….

Bring back Clint Howard!!!!

This guy is great. It’ll be cool to see him again.

I watched ST VI a couple of months ago and I wondered if this guy was still alive… Glad to see that he is.

I always thought he’d have made a great Mad Eye Moody in the Harry Potter films. From his first appearance in the books, this is who I pictured. The guy they ended up casting as Moody is great though, which is more than I can say about Richard Harris’ replacement as Dumbledore. :-(

Wasn’t he also the Russian General in Rambo III who made the mistake of asking Sly “Who are you?”

“I’m your worst nightmare.”

Hokey, but still a great line!

I saw Transformers for the first time about a month ago or so and said to myself “I’ll bet he’ll be in the movie.”

Looks like I was right.


His was a wonderful portrayal in Gettysburg. The anguish he portrayed was palpable. I thought for a while he might be a combat veteran or maybe a jobsite foreman who lost men under his command it was so moving.

Great actor. Much under-appreciated.



Hurray for Blank Reg! Runner-up to Steve Buscemi for “Best Teeth In Hollywood!”

Odd for me to put it this way, but we were “trailer neighbors” when we shot our sequence for STVI. In the hours that “hurry up and wait” entails, I told him I knew him from “Max Headroom,” and he replied, “Bless you, my son!” At the end of our 2 days’ work together, he was very supportive and advised me to keep going, as long as I love what I’m doing and it’s always fun.

Well, we don’t know if Jim is the oldest! William could very easily play anyone 60 up. I think it’s a possibility!

He’d also be perfect in the role of a villainous member of that Klingon subspecies from the Original Series. Give him the fu manchu moustache and a silver vest…and look out, Jim.

He was also beautifully creepy as Mr. Reindeer in David Lynch’s “Wild At Heart”. Silver dollars…