03-11 Happy birthday to Tricia O’Neil, Born: March 11, 1945.
Tricia O’Neil is an actress from Shreveport, Louisiana, who portrayed three Star Trek characters in the early 1990s. Perhaps her most notable role was that of Captain Rachel Garrett, the commanding officer of the USS Enterprise-C, in the Star Trek: The Next Generation third season episode “Yesterday’s Enterprise”. She went on to make a second appearance on The Next Generation as the Klingon scientist Kurak in the sixth season episode “Suspicions” in 1993 and also appeared on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as the Cardassian operative Korinas in the third season episode “Defiant”.
O’Neil began her career in show business as a model and magazine cover girl before she pursued acting, first in television commercials. Performing since the 1960s, she made her Broadway debut in the original musical Two by Two in 1970. For her performance as O’Neill in this production, O’Neil won a 1971 Theatre World Award. The following year, she appeared in her first motion picture, a blaxploitation western called The Legend of Nigger Charley, with TOS guest actor Fred Williamson portraying the title role. She was subsequently cast as a regular on the NBC soap opera How to Survive a Marriage, which ran from January 1974 through March 1975. Among her co-stars on this series was F. Murray Abraham, with whom she worked again in 1976 when she was a stand-by on the Broadway play Legend. O’Neil’s second film was The Gumball Rally, the popular 1976 racing comedy starring Michael Sarrazin.
O’Neil’s early television appearances include guest appearances on Ellery Queen (with Katherine Woodville), Delvecchio (with Anthony Caruso and James B. Sikking), and Barney Miller (with Ron Glass and James Gregory) and such made-for-TV movies as CBS’s Mary Jane Harper Cried Last Night (1977, co-starring Phillip Richard Allen, Ray Buktenica, Bernie Casey, Charles Lucia, Warren Munson, and Nancy Parsons, with cinematography by Gayne Rescher) and Columbo: How to Dial a Murder (1978, with Ed Begley, Jr. and Kim Cattrall). Throughout the 1980s, she appeared on such shows as Hart to Hart (with Warren Munson and Bert Remsen), The Fall Guy (two episodes, including one with Marc Alaimo, Marshall R. Teague and Ian Wolfe), Hardcastle and McCormick (starring Brian Keith and Daniel Hugh Kelly), The A-Team (with Dwight Schultz, Sid Haig, Ed Lauter and Michael Ensign; one of her two episodes was directed by Mike Vejar), Scarecrow and Mrs. King (in an episode directed by Vincent McEveety and co-starring Eric Server), Murder, She Wrote (with Alice Krige and George Murdock), Dynasty (with Joan Collins, Warren Munson and Anthony Zerbe), MacGyver (with Richard Lineback), Simon & Simon (including an episode with Fionnula Flanagan), and L.A. Law (directed by Win Phelps and co-starring Corbin Bernsen, Michael Bofshever, Tim de Zarn, Larry Drake, Jennifer Hetrick, Marnie McPhail, and Randy Oglesby). She also appeared in an episode of The Powers of Matthew Star written by Walter Koenig.
Following her first appearance on The Next Generation, O’Neil’s television credits included appearances on two episodes of Matlock (one with Jason Wingreen, the second with Daniel Roebuck), a Dallas two-parter (working alongside Mary Crosby, Joel Grey, and Richard Lineback), two episodes of Murder, She Wrote (one with Melvin Belli and another with Alan Oppenheimer), a Richard Compton-directed, David Gerrold-written episode of the science fiction series Babylon 5 (starring Andreas Katsulas), an episode of Diagnosis Murder with James Sloyan, two episodes of Beverly Hills, 90210 (including one with Vaughn Armstrong and Ann Gillespie), and two episodes of JAG (one episode with Thomas Kopache and another directed by James Whitmore, Jr. and starring Scott Lawrence). In addition, she had a supporting role as a judge in the 1991 comedy Ted and Venus, co-starring Andrea Martin, Vincent Schiavelli, and Brian Thompson. Ted and Venus was her first film since the James Cameron-directed Piranha Part Two: The Spawning in 1981, in which she played the lead. She again collaborated with Cameron in a small role in his 1997 Academy Award-winning blockbuster Titanic, co-starring Michael Ensign and David Warner and released by Paramount Pictures.
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