Jonathan Frakes is an accomplished actor and director, best known for his portrayal of Commander William T. Riker in the Star Trek franchise.
Born in Pennsylvania, Frakes at one time worked for Marvel Comics, and appeared at conventions officially cosplaying as Captain America on their behalf. His acting career began with stage roles on Broadway, along with roles on soap operas such as Falcon Crest and mini-series North and South.
Frakes landed the role of Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1986 and would see it become a cornerstone of his career. The character of Riker also appeared in Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise, making Frakes one of only two people to reprise their Trek role so frequently. In addition to playing the character on and off over the next three decades, it launched his career as a director — first for episodes of Star Trek (The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager) and then theatrically for films both within the Trek franchise and outside of it (Clockstoppers, Thunderbirds). Post TNG, Frakes could be seen on series such as Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction?, Leverage, 3rd Rock From The Sun, and many more. Behind the camera, Frakes’ more recent directorial efforts have included series such as The Librarians, NCIS: LA, Falling Skies, Agents of SHIELD, and The Orville.
In addition to live-action acting and directing, Frakes regularly does animation voice work. He portrayed David Xanatos on the Disney cartoon Gargoyles for three years, and has also been heard in episodes of Family Guy, Futurama, Adventure Time and the Guardians of the Galaxy animated series (as J’Son).
Most recently, Frakes has been busy continuing to lend his talents to the Star Trek franchise. He has directed multiple episodes in the first two seasons of Star Trek Discovery, and will direct episodes of and appear as Riker again in the upcoming 2020 CBS All Access series Star Trek: Picard.