Robert Duncan McNeill was born November 9, 1964.
Robert Duncan McNeill is the actor best known for portraying Flight Controller Thomas Eugene Paris in every episode of Star Trek: Voyager. He had previously appeared as Cadet Nicholas Locarno in the fifth season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation entitled “The First Duty” in 1992. He has also directed episodes of Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise.
McNeill filmed his scenes for “The First Duty” between Tuesday 28 January 1992 and Wednesday 29 January 1992 and Friday 31 January 1992 and Monday 3 February 1992 on Paramount Stage 9 and 16. Several costumes worn by McNeill during the run of Voyager were sold off on the It’s A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay, including a Starfleet undershirt and his cadet uniform from “The First Duty”.
McNeill attended high school in Atlanta, Georgia after moving around with his parents frequently as a child. While in high school, he performed in many regional theaters and eventually decided to pursue an acting career. He auditioned for and won a place at the acting conservatory at The Julliard School in New York. While at Juilliard, he performed in numerous stage plays and began to audition for roles in film and television. McNeill made his feature film debut with an uncredited appearance in the 1981 thriller Sharky’s Machine, which was filmed on location in Atlanta and also featured the likes of Bernie Casey, John Fiedler, Brian Keith, and Richard Libertini. McNeill’s character initially had lines, but dialogue ended up being cut from the final edition of the film.
McNeill’s first true break came when he won the role of Charlie Brent on the popular daytime soap opera All My Children in 1986. Soon after he was cast in a critically praised episode of the 1980s edition of The Twilight Zone, A Message from Charity, co-starring with James Cromwell. He went on to co-star with DS9 guest performers Frank Langella and Meg Foster in the 1987 science fiction/fantasy film Masters of the Universe, which also featured McNeill’s frequent Voyager co-star Anthony De Longis. In 1988, after winning a Daytime Emmy nomination for Best Young Actor, McNeill left All My Children to join the cast of the Broadway hit Six Degrees of Separation, winning praise for his portrayal of the character Rick.
He would go on to appear in the television mini-series Lucky/Chances in 1990, along with DS9 guest star Jimmie F. Skaggs. That same year, McNeill made a guest appearance on the hit TV series Quantum Leap, starring future Star Trek: Enterprise actors Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell. The following year, he appeared on L.A. Law (with Corbin Bernsen and Larry Drake), and in 1992, he would make his first Star Trek appearance, playing Nick Locarno in the Next Generation episode “The First Duty.” He was a featured guest star in an episode of Murder, She Wrote (with William Windom) and in the TV movie One More Mountain (with Jean Simmons and Larry Drake). He joined the cast of the short-lived television series Going to Extremes and performed again on Broadway before winning the role of Tom Paris on Star Trek: Voyager. It was during his time on Voyager that McNeill began a career behind the camera. Beginning with the Voyager episode “Sacred Ground” in 1996, McNeill has made an impressive turn as a director for episodic television. He would go on to direct three more episodes of Voyager. He also wrote and directed two short original films, The Battery (1998) and 9mm of Love (2000), both of which featured his Voyager co-star Ethan Phillips. Since then, he has directed episodes of shows like Dawson’s Creek, Dead Like Me, The O.C., One Tree Hill, Supernatural, Desperate Housewives, Las Vegas, and, of course, Star Trek: Enterprise. More recently, he directed for The Nine (a short-lived series which starred John Billingsley) and the J.J. Abrams/Bryan Burk-produced What About Brian. He also directed the pilot episode for Samantha Who?, starring his Voyager castmate Tim Russ.
Since Star Trek: Voyager came to an end in 2001, McNeill has worked primarily as a director. However, he did co-star in the independent horror movie Infested in 2002. This film also featured Mark Margolis in the cast. McNeill also appeared in two episodes of Crossing Jordan (one in 2002, another in 2005), a series starring Miguel Ferrer. He is currently a producer and director on the NBC series Chuck, with Tony Todd and Bonita Friedericy co-starring and John Fleck guest-starring. McNeill is the only actor to have worked with Ray Walston in all three of Walston’s Star Trek episodes, “The First Duty” on TNG and “In the Flesh” and “The Fight” on Voyager.
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