CelebWatch: Political Quinto, Country Takei, Stickyfingers Ryder, B’Day Shatner, and More

This week, the Watch brings you Quinto on Obama, Billingsley on life after Phlox, Winona Ryder’s latest possible five fingered discount, a TV deal for Kirstie Alley, Mulgrew out on the town, George Takei showing new talents, news from Trek’s "welder guy," and more. PLUS: The Watch now covers Trek celebrity birthdays!

Quinto Groks Obama
Zachary Quinto (the new Spock) has been spending his week flying to various colleges and universities (along with Psych star Dulé Hill) to rally support for presidential candidate Barack Obama. The Sentinel reports on Quinto at Shippensburg University where Quinto said “Barack Obama is our hope. He is our change. He is our future.” Reader Nick Schu sends in some pictures of Quinto visiting Lehigh University on St. Patrick’s Day. Dickinson College has put up video clips of Quinto’s visit this week:

Takei’s A Little Bit Country
William Shatner isn’t the only original Trek star going country. Variety reports that George Takei (the original Sulu) will try his hand at country singing on the new CBS reality series Secret Talents of the Stars. Takei will be competing against the likes of real country music singer Clint Black (who tries his hand at stand up comedy) and Partridge Family actor Danny Bonaduce (who’s doing circus acts). The show debuts April 8th at 10pm. In the meantime, Takei will be the Masters of Ceremonies at the sixth annual Reggae Rhythm of Life Run at the Rose Bowl in California on March 22nd, according to Pasadena Now.

Sticky Fingers Winona?
A little over six years ago, Winona Ryder (Amanda, Spock’s mother, in the new Star Trek) was arrested on shoplifting charges in what became a worldwide media frenzy. And according to this week’s National Enquirer (but denied by Ryder’s publicist), the actress is at it again. They are reporting Ryder made some purchases at the Hollywood CVS Pharmacy, but didn’t pay for everything:

Winona had a bag of stuff, but she set off the theft alarm when she left the store. When a security guard stopped her, he found make up she had not paid for. When asked about the make up, she said that she didn’t know how that happened. We took unpaid items back and she left the store.

“Um…” Ryder contemplates how to get herself out of her latest predicament.

Billingsley Talks Acting, Post-Phlox
BackStage has a report on various actors who moved on after their respective series came to an end, including Star Trek: Enterprise‘s John Billingsley (Dr. Phlox). Billingsley tells BackStage that he just picked up where he left off when Enterprise was cancelled, going around Hollywood and "knocking on a few doors and re-introducing" and taking on TV guest spots and roles in indie films. Billingsley says he wasn’t exactly saddened when the show ended, explaining:

For me, having it end after four years was kind of perfect. Although I had a lot of fun and I really enjoyed that character a lot, given the nature of the show and the inherent confines of the show, four years was fine.

Billingsley’s optimism is still intact.

Lt. Hawk Fights Back
Actor Neal McDonough, who played the ill-fated Lt. Hawk in Star Trek: First Contact, has joined the cast of Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, based on the popular video game series. According to The Hollywood Reporter, McDonough will be playing the villainous General M. Bison, the role the late Raul Julia played in the 1994 Street Fighter film. The new Street Fighter does not yet have a release date but is expected to be out sometime in 2009.

Left: McDonough as Hawk in ‘First Contact’; Right: Raul Julia as Bison in 1994’s ‘Street Fighter’

Talk Show Is Up Kirstie’s Alley
Mr. Saavik… er, that is, Kirstie Alley, has signed a deal with Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions to develop some new TV projects, according to The National Enquirer. Alley is not ruling out the possibility that this deal might lead to her own daily talk show:

I’m very open with what I’ve been through in my own personal life, and nothing — I mean nothing — is off-limits for me to talk about. Nothing shocks me. I’m a great listener. I’m a good comedian. And I won’t lie — I live a beautiful life. So I hope to bring those elements together to offer something totally fresh for the television audience.

Vitale and Berryman go to war
Anthony Vitale (‘welder guy’ from the Star Trek trailer) sends CelebWatch a message that post production has been completed on Brother’s War, where he appears alongside two-time Trek actor Michael Berryman. The WW2 movie is looking for distribution and was first screened industry folks last week, more at the official site.

Vitale (L), Hugh Daly and Berryman (R)

Stewart’s Play Benefits Actors Fund, Bakula’s Play Extended
Playbill has news regarding the current plays starring Starship captains Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard) and Scott Bakula (Jonathan Archer). Stewart’s Macbeth will hold a final dress rehearsal on March 28th as a fund raiser for the Actors Fund of America. Bakula’s Dancing in the Dark, on the other hand, has extended its run an extra week due to popular demand; it will now run at San Diego’s Old Globe until April 20th.

Mulgrew Sightings
Kate Mulgrew
(Kathryn Janeway) was among those in attendance at this year’s Signature Theatre Company awards gala on March 10th, as reported by Playbill. Mulgrew was also spotted at the opening of the Off-Broadway production of The Seagull at Pangea in New York City on March 13th. She even stayed for the after party.

Kate at the after party for ‘The Seagull.’ We’re assuming she attended the show, as well.

Burton To Speak at Williams, May Need New Representation
LeVar Burton
(Geordi La Forge) has been named as the baccalaureate speaker at William College’s 219th commencement ceremony on May 31st and June 1st. (iBerkshires) In the meantime, Burton may have to find a new agency to represent him: Metropolitan Talent Agency, of which Burton is a client, is laying off the majority of its staff and may be shutting down entirely. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Meet the Browns Tomorrow
Meet the Browns, the latest film from Tyler Perry (Starfleet Academy’s superintendent in the new Trek film), opens in theaters tomorrow. The plot involves a single mother (played by Angela Bassett) who takes her family to Georgia for the funeral of the father she never met, where she must deal with her father’s crass, fun-loving, Southern family. Check out the official site for more; see the trailer below.

Happy Birthday!
Believe it or not, William Shatner (he who was Kirk) turns 77 this Saturday (March 22nd). Other Star Trek veterans celebrating their birthday this week include:

  • Vanessa Branch (adult Naomi Wildman, VOY: “Shattered”) will be 35 on the 21st
  • Richard Carlyle (Karl Jaeger, TOS: “The Squire of Gothos”) is 88
  • John de Lancie (Q) is 60
  • Brad Dourif (Lon Suder, VOY) is 58
  • Greg Ellis (Ekoor, DS9: “What You Leave Behind”; Chief Engineer Olsen, Star Trek) will be 40 on the 31st
  • J.G. Hertzler (Martok, etc.) is 59
  • Sabrina LeBeauf (Ens. Giusti, TNG: “Gambit”) will be 50 on the 21st
  • Chuck Madalone (DS9 stuntman) will be 75 on the 22nd
  • Marjorie Monaghan (Freya, VOY: “Heroes and Demons”) is 44
  • Louis Race (1st assistant director on DS9) is 57
  • Maurice Roëves (Romulan Captain, TNG: “The Chase”) is 71
  • Lise Simms (Annorax’s wife, VOY: “Year of Hell, Part II”) is 45
  • Robert Schenkkan (Dexter Remmick, TNG: “Coming of Age” & “Conspiracy”) is 55
  • Connor Trinneer (Trip Tucker) is 39
  • Michael Westmore (veteran Trek make-up artist) will be 70 on the 22nd
  • Vanessa Williams (Arandis, DS9: “Let He Who Is Without Sin…”) is 45

Happy B’Day Bill…long may you reign

In Memoriam
In a story that’s making nationwide news, Star Trek Nemesis set construction foreman Michael Van Dyke (48) committed suicide Tuesday by hanging himself on the property of actor/director Mel Gibson. Van Dyke, who also worked on such films as Dr. Dolittle 2 and The Matrix Reloaded, had reportedly been facing desperate financial issues. (TMZ.com) There was no direct connection between Van Dyke and Gibson, who says he feels “terrible” about the incident. (StarPulse)

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Ooh is this two in a row?


wow is it possible they missed a single obscure actor playing a bit part in any star trek production ever? Oh, i am dying to know what the goofy-haired guy in Star Trek three is doing now! ~genesis planet is forbidden!~

Brad Dourif is a brilliantly creepy actor (Lon Suder) along the lines of Anthony Perkins. Loved him as Lon Suder in Voyager (and Wormtongue in LOTR).

Oooh, Anthony – – another idea for a new poll:

Do you like Kirstie Alley’s Saavik or Robin Curtis’ Saavik?


I’ve had a crush on WInona Ryder for years. She can steal my stuff anytime. She doesn’t realize that all she needs is me in her life, to care for and love her.

Isn’t Leonard Nimoy’s Birthday in March as well?? I think it’s the 26th. My birthday is on the 24th.. right between Bill Shatner’s and Leonard Nimoy’s. :)

2. intrepid

Be nice. They work very hard to bring us nice trek related articles to read when news is slow, this is the best trek news site out there bar none.

Wow , interesting stories , too bad to hear about the set construction foreman from Nemesis . My condolences go out to his family.

Trekmovie.com Staff:

How about a new feature –

Trek celeb birthdays:

Once a week – – no, once a month considering you are already swamped…

Or are you doing that and I missed it? (The birthday part in the above article gave me the idea.) Thanks for your article, Charles.


Dear sweet lord, it looks like someone just killed John Billingsley using the Joker’s “smilex” poison :)

Billinglsy’s comments are interesting. I could see for sure that in seasons 3 and 4 the show itself was getting better. Unfortunately the viewership was declining because of poor syndication on UPN which I believe was not national.

What episode was that creepy smile from?

#9, “He’s been using Brand X”

4. Jabob Slatter: I’m with you Jacob. Of course with one very important change exchanging you for myself in that particular scenario. :)

5. Montreal Paul: Yes Leonard’s BDay is this month as well. As is mine, today in fact. The 20th that is. :)

birthdays are now a regular feature of Chuck’s ‘watch’ column…right above the ‘deaths’ of the week to balance it out. it will cover from sunday to saturday of the current week. Nimoy’s bday is therefore week

Maybe Ryder is simply stoned as she leaves stores…..gee, a Hollywood star who’s “on” something as she goes about her day-to-day business….what a shock!

Punchline: She’s harmless and just a little loopy!

To finish my thought.

But even if the stories were getting better, who wants to stay on a sinking ship?

Billingsly was right.

Happy belated birthday, Eymorg! (it’s past midnight on the east coast) Hope it was good!

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

Great article, as usual. Thanks to TrekMovie.com for doing such a fantastic job.

77! Holy photon torpedos. He dosn’t look a day over 76.

Here’s the “e” in doesn’t. I found it, no need to post about it.

I’ve always thought it was a weird little piece of serindipity-doo-dah that BFFs Nimoy and Shat’s birthdays were only three days apart. What’s even weirder to me is that they’re BFFs at all. I can’t think of two more divergent personalities than those of Shat and Nimoy. I guess opposites *do* attract.

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

‘Scuse me. Make those birthdays *four* days apart.

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

Re: #13 Anthony

Thanks, Anthony. I’ll watch for it.


Four days apart for age and Shatner’s facelifts are still holding in there, while Nimoy has enough wrinkles in his face to hold a three day rain! If Shatner gets one more nip/tuck there won’t be anything left in his shoes!

Quinto backing obama is a joke especially after what we have found out lately. Obama’s change is more racism. His comments ‘typical white person’. Quinto should steer clear of backing him or it will make it hard to watch him without knowing he backs a racist or at least a sympathizer of a racist. I don’t want to start some political discussion but I had to comment after recent events.

24 – Gene, watch the whole speech. You’re taking it completely out of context. But regardless of that, hooray for Neal McDonough, who was AWESOME in Tin Man, which came out on DVD last week.

Sigh. Quinto, shut up.

On the other hand, as #25 points out, it is a very nice speech, and what’s posted here is very non-partisan. Actors campaigning for candidates just… bugs me. Producers and directors and writers, fine. But actors for some reason drive me nuts when they try to be political.

Look on the bright side, we had 23 posts made in good cheer. We’ll always have those memories to fall back on, when this page was young and innocent. The halcyon days. The days with velour and awesome fight music and beehive hair —

Sorry, drifted there.

Morg Not Eymorg –

Happy Birthday. At a mere 20 years, you’re too young for Winona. She’s 37 now and needs a more mature fellow like me. Sorry, nothing personal.

Just. Stay. Away. From Her!

I’ve always felt that anyone in the entertainment business (film, televison, sports) would do themselves well to keep their political opinions under wraps. No matter what you say you’re going to alienate 50% of your audience. Seems silly to take that risk.

#24 Gene –

No, actually, you didn’t have to comment. There are other web sites for your comment. Fox News, for instance, because that seems to be where you’re getting most of your information.

Sorry, Anthony. Ban me.

16. The Vulcanista: Thank you very much, Vulcanista! And I had a good one. Someone treated me to a catfish dinner and I found out I am getting one of the new communicators for a present. Woot! :)

29. Jabob Slatter: 20!? If only that were still true. I turned 45 today. But thanks! :)

And since I am the sort of mature presence Noni needs in her life it would be the right thing for you to step aside. ;)

and thanks for the birthday wishes, Jacob.

Hey, then, you lied, because it was you who said you were 20.

Winona’s still mine.

If you are alienated by an actor because of their politics you need to get a life. I can enjoy a Bruce Willis or Mel Gibson movie even though I think their politics are wack (as long as they make decent artistic choices, which is why I WON’T watch Sly Stallone or Chuck Norris). We should be happy that we live in a country where people still CAN express their political views (speaking as a person who lives in a country where people generally can’t).

Sorry to take the thread off course, but sometimes it is hard to resist. : )

Then again, what is on course?

That said, Quinto sure looks like a dweeb in that photo.

34. Jabob Slatter: Misscommunication. I was saying that the 20th is my birthday. And I am Noni’s. :)

I’m a huge Kurt Russell fan, turns out Kurt voted for G. W. Bush and is a member of the NRA. Do I love him less? Not even the slightest. If Goldie can live with it so can I. :)

Point is, let’s leave the politics at home and Star Trek in our hearts where they both belong, and away from eachother.

I feel I should commit on this though:

“McDonough will be playing the villainous General M. Bison, the role Raul Julia died for in 1994’s Street Fighter film. ”

I find this very offensive.

CVS should have called the cops & haulded Ryder off to jail.


Glad someone else noticed that Raul Julia notation. I had to do a double take. It needs to be changed for sure.

Yeah, I guess I wasn’t sure the meaning of the “role he died for”, other than the fact I know he died and I presume this was his last role. Still given his distinguished career I think it does him a disservice to say this as it sounds like it was his penultimate role and it most definitely was not (seeing it is one of those lame lets-make-a-movie-out-of-a-video-game movies. As an aside, this might be generational, but, from the few I have seen–like the abyssmal Final Fantasy—I believe that there is a reason why screenwriters write movies and software engineers write code. Best that the twain never meet).

42: “Not his penultimate” That’s the truth. SF was HORRIBLE and a waste of his talents.

For me, my favorite RJ role will always be Gomez Adams.

George Takei (the original Sulu)
William Shatner (he who was Kirk)

C’mon Charles, I thought you were above such thing.

Otherwise the article was great work, as always.

Happy Birthday, Bill.
Leonard, too, four days later ^__^

Where’s that Shat photo as King come from?? Not an Imperial margarine ad, I know that…

I prefer Kirstie Alley’s Saavik to Robin Curtis… not that I have anything against Robin. I just felt Kirstie’s Saavik had a little more “unspoken” depth, whereas Robin’s was a bit flat.
I always thought it would have been cool if Kirstie could have been brought aboard for TUC, which would have been a real shocker, indeed… and not that I have anything against Kim Cattral…

come on #44, “he who was kirk” is funny becuase of how shatner goes on about everything.

and i have to agree with all the people who don’t like actors getting poltical. I know it’s up to them and they can say what they want. But i too find it hard to seperate the performance from what i know their poltics to be. lucky for me, i like Obama so i’ll still be able to watch the new star trek without the nagging in my brain that i get when i see mel gibson on screen

#5 and #11, my b’day is the 23rd!! And no, I’m not 23… Happy birthday to everyone who’s b’day is in march!!


Ok, if it’s supposed to be funny…I won’t be a drag :) But I’ll keep an eye on you, Trotter! ;-)