Brent Spiner
Spiner at GalaxyCon Raleigh in 2023
Brent Jay Spiner

(1949-02-02) February 2, 1949 (age 75)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Other namesBrent Jay Mintz (1955–1975)
Alma materUniversity of Houston
Years active1968–present
Notable creditLt. Cdr. Data in the Star Trek franchise
SpouseLoree McBride

Brent Jay Spiner (/ˈspnər/; born February 2, 1949) is an American actor best known for his role as the android Data on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987–1994), four subsequent films (1994–2002), and Star Trek: Picard (2020–2023). In 1997, he won the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Data in Star Trek: First Contact, and was nominated in the same category for portraying Dr. Brackish Okun in Independence Day, a role he reprised in Independence Day: Resurgence. Spiner has also enjoyed a career in the theater and as a musician. He's also known for voicing The Joker in the animated series Young Justice (2011–2022).

Early life

Brent Jay Spiner was born on February 2, 1949, in Houston, Texas, to Sylvia (née Schwartz) and Jack Spiner, who owned a furniture store.[1][2][3] When Spiner was ten months old, Jack Spiner died of kidney failure at age 29. Subsequently, he was adopted by his mother's second husband, Sol Mintz, whose surname he used between 1955 and 1975.[4][5]

Spiner attended Bellaire High School in Bellaire, Texas.[6] He became active on the Bellaire speech team, winning the national championship in dramatic interpretation.[7] He attended the University of Houston, where he performed in local theater.[7] In 1968, he worked as a performer at Six Flags Astroworld,[8] first as a gunfighter, then in Dr. Featherflowers' Medicine Show with his friend Trey Wilson, with whom he alternated as Dr. Featherflowers. Spiner also performed the role in the 1968 TV special The Pied Piper of Astroworld.[9]


Spiner in 2005

Early work

Spiner moved to New York City in the early 1970s,[10] where he became a stage actor, performing in several Broadway and off-Broadway plays, including The Three Musketeers and Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George. As Brent Mintz, he appeared as an imposter on a 1972 episode of To Tell the Truth. He had a brief non-speaking role in the film Stardust Memories, credited as Fan in Lobby, the one with a Polaroid. He can also be seen as a passenger on the train full of misfits that the Allen character is trapped on in one of the films-within-the-film.

Spiner appeared as a media technician in "The Advocates", a second-season episode of the Showtime cable series The Paper Chase.[11] In 1984, he moved to Los Angeles, where he appeared in several pilots and television films. He played a recurring character on Night Court, Bob Wheeler, patriarch of a rural family. In 1986, he played a condemned soul in "Dead Run", an episode of the revival of Rod Serling's series The Twilight Zone on CBS. He made two appearances in season three (1986) of the situation comedy Mama's Family, as two different characters. His first and only starring film role was in Rent Control (1984). In the Cheers episode "Never Love a Goalie, Part II", he played acquitted murder suspect Bill Grand. He also appeared in the Tales from the Darkside episode "A Case of the Stubborns" as a preacher, and portrayed Jim Stevens in the television film Manhunt for Claude Dallas.

Spiner guest-starred in Friends as James Campbell, a man who interviews Rachel Green for Gucci.[12]

Star Trek

In 1987, Spiner was cast as android Starfleet officer Lieutenant Commander Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation, which spanned seven seasons and four feature films. He appeared as Data in all but one of the series' 178 episodes, and reprised his role in the spin-off films Star Trek Generations (1994), Star Trek: First Contact (1996), Star Trek: Insurrection (1998), and Star Trek: Nemesis (2002). Although billed as the final Trek film for the TNG cast, the ambiguous ending of Star Trek: Nemesis suggested a possible avenue for the return of Data. However, Spiner felt he was too old to continue playing the part, as Data does not age.[13][14] He also played Lore, Data's evil android brother, in several Next Generation episodes; and B-4, another brother android with a less developed mind, in Star Trek: Nemesis (2002).

In 2004, Spiner returned to Star Trek as Dr. Arik Soong, an ancestor of Data's creator Dr. Noonien Soong, whom he also played in a three-episode story arc of Star Trek: Enterprise: "Borderland", "Cold Station 12", and "The Augments".

Spiner also recorded dialogue as Data that was heard in the final episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, "These Are the Voyages...", which aired in 2005.[15]

Eighteen years after last appearing as Data, he reprised the role in the 2020 Star Trek series Star Trek: Picard[16] as well as that of Dr. Altan Inigo Soong, the son of Data's creator. Spiner said that he does not intend to play Data again, though he might be open to playing Altan Soong.[17][18] In Season 2, he plays another of Noonien Soong's ancestors, Dr. Adam Soong. In Season 3 of Picard, he simultaneously played Noonien Soong, B4, Lore, and a version of Data that was designed to feel emotions and naturally use verbal contractions, which the original Data could not do.

In addition to the series and films, Spiner voiced his character in several Star Trek video games, including Star Trek: Generations, Star Trek: The Next Generation – A Final Unity, Star Trek: Hidden Evil, Star Trek: Away Team, and Star Trek: Bridge Commander.[19]

Music and stage

In 1991, Spiner recorded an album of 1940s pop standards, Ol' Yellow Eyes Is Back, the title of which was a play on the yellow contact lenses Spiner wore as Data, and the title of a Frank Sinatra record, Ol' Blue Eyes Is Back.[20] In 1997, he returned to Broadway as John Adams in the Roundabout Theater Company revival of the musical 1776, whose production was nominated for a Tony Award. A cast recording was released.[21]

After Star Trek

Spiner has appeared in many television series, including Deadly Games, The Blacklist, Dream On, Gargoyles, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Mad About You and The Outer Limits. In the series The Big Bang Theory and Joey, he appeared as himself. He has acted in the films The Aviator; Dude, Where's My Car?; I Am Sam; Independence Day; Independence Day: Resurgence; The Master of Disguise;[22] Out to Sea; Phenomenon; The Ponder Heart; and South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut.[23] His television-film appearances during this period include the 2000 musical Geppetto and the role of Dorothy Dandridge's manager and confidant, Earl Mills, in the HBO production Introducing Dorothy Dandridge.[citation needed]

In 2005, Spiner appeared in a short-lived science-fiction television series Threshold, which was canceled in November of that year after 13 episodes. In 2006, he appeared in a feature film comedy, Material Girls, with Hilary and Haylie Duff.[12]

In the Frasier episode "Lilith Needs a Favor", Spiner made two brief cameos as a fellow airline passenger with Frasier Crane's ex-wife, Lilith Sternin.[citation needed]

In March 2008, Spiner performed alongside Maude Maggart in a radio show/musical, Dreamland, which was released as a CD album.[24]

In 2008, Spiner played Dr. Strom in the feature film parody Superhero Movie. In February 2009, he played William Quint in "The Juror #6 Job", an episode of the drama series Leverage directed by his Next Generation co-star Jonathan Frakes. That same year, he voiced himself in the Family Guy episode "Not All Dogs Go to Heaven".[citation needed]

Spiner with William Shatner and LeVar Burton at Comic-Con in San Diego (July 2010).

On January 13, 2010, Spiner and fellow Star Trek: The Next Generation actor LeVar Burton appeared on's coverage of the Consumer Electronics Show.[25]

In April 2011, Spiner began starring in Fresh Hell, a comic webseries in which he plays a version of himself, attempting to put his career back together after falling out of the limelight.[26][27]

Spiner appeared as Dr. Kern in the September 12, 2011, episode of the Syfy channel program Alphas entitled "Blind Spot". In October 2011, he appeared as himself in the episode "The Russian Rocket Reaction" of The Big Bang Theory. The day after his guest appearance, it was announced that Spiner would guest-star in the Young Justice episode "Revelation", providing the voice of the Joker.[28] Spiner has also guest-starred on the Syfy program Warehouse 13 as Brother Adrian in the third and fourth seasons.[citation needed]

In March 2024, Spiner reprised his role of the eternally downtrodden Bob Wheeler, in the 11th episode of the second season of Night Court.


In October 2021, Spiner released Fan Fiction: A Mem-Noir: Inspired by True Events, a mixture of memoir (taking place during the filming of the fourth season of Star Trek: The Next Generation) and a fictitious noir detective story about Spiner dealing with a crazed, murderous fan who claims to be the fictitious Lal, the android daughter of Data in the third-season TNG episode "The Offspring". The audiobook version, primarily narrated by Spiner, featured vocal cameos from Spiner's TNG co-stars, Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Michael Dorn, LeVar Burton, Marina Sirtis, and Gates McFadden.



Year Title Role Notes
1970 My Sweet Charlie Local Uncredited
1980 Stardust Memories Fan in lobby
1981 Rent Control Leonard Junger
1982 Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains Corinne Burns's Boss Uncredited
1982 Grease 2 Student Uncredited
1985 Crime of Innocence Hinnerman
1986 Sunday in the Park with George Franz/Dennis
1986 Sylvan in Paradise Clinton C. Waddle
1986 Manhunt for Claude Dallas Jim Stevens
1987 Family Sins Ken McMahon
1989 Miss Firecracker Preacher Mann
1994 Corrina, Corrina Brent Witherspoon
1994 Star Trek Generations Lt. Commander Data
1995 Kingfish: A Story of Huey Long Uncredited
1995 Pie in the Sky Upscale Guy
1996 Phenomenon Dr. Bob Niedorf
1996 Independence Day Dr. Brackish Okun Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
1996 Star Trek: First Contact Lt. Commander Data Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
1997 Out to Sea Gil Godwyn
1998 Star Trek Insurrection Lt. Commander Data
1999 South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut Conan O'Brien Voice[29]
2000 Dude, Where's My Car? Pierre Uncredited
2001 I Am Sam Shoe Salesman
2002 The Master of Disguise Devlin Bowman
2002 Star Trek: Nemesis Lt. Commander Data/B-4
2004 The Aviator Robert Gross
2006 Material Girls Tommy Katzenbach
2008 Superhero Movie Dr. Strom
2010 Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey Coach Mackey Voice[29]
2016 The Midnight Man Ezekiel
2016 Independence Day: Resurgence Dr. Brackish Okun


Year Title Role Notes
1968 The Pied Piper of Astroworld Dr. Osgood T. Featherflowers TV special
1972 To Tell the Truth Himself/Imposter 1 episode
1978 The Dain Curse Tom Fink Unknown episodes
1979 Family Fred Episode: "Prelude"
1981 Ryan's Hope Kim's Doctor Episode: "#1.1442"
1984 The Paper Chase Student in Reeve's Class Episode: "The Advocates"
1984 Tales from the Darkside Reverend Peabody Episode: "A Case of the Stubborns"
1984 One Life to Live Ralph Harley Episode: "17 December 1984"
1985 Robert Kennedy and His Times Allard Lowenstein Unknown episodes
1985 Hill Street Blues Larry Stein Episode: "The Life and Time of Domonic Florio Jr"
1985–1987 Night Court Bob Wheeler 6 episodes
1986 The Twilight Zone The Draft Dodger Episode: "The Leprechaun-Artist/Dead Run"
1986 American Playhouse Dennis / Franz Episode: "Sunday in the Park with George"
1986 Hunter Willie Vaughn Episode: "The Contract"
1986–1987 Mama's Family Billy Bob Conroy 2 episodes
1987 Cheers Bill Grand Episode: "Never Love a Goalie (Part 2)"
1987 Sledge Hammer! Soldier Episode: "The Spa Who Loved Me"
1987–1994 Star Trek: The Next Generation Lt. Commander Data (series regular)
Lore (4 episodes)
Dr. Noonien Soong (3 episodes)
177 episodes
Nominated—Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Quality Drama Series
1988 Reading Rainbow Himself Episode: "The Bionic Bunny Show"
1991 Crazy from the Heart Television film; uncredited
1995 Mad About You Bob, The Dog Agent Episode: "Just My Dog"
1995 Deadly Games Danny Schlecht Episode: "The Practical Joker"
1995–1996 Gargoyles Puck (voice) 4 episodes[29]
1996 Dream On Dr. Strongwater Episode: "The Spirit of 76th & Park"
1996 The Outer Limits Professor Trent Davis Episode: "The Deprogrammers"
1999 Introducing Dorothy Dandridge Earl Mills Television film
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
2000 Geppetto Stromboli Television film
2001 A Girl Thing Bob Television film
2001 The Ponder Heart Dorris Grabney Television film
2003 Frasier Albert Episode: "Lilith Needs a Favor"
2003 An Unexpected Love Brad Television film
2004 Jack Vernon Television film
2004 Friends James Campbell Episode: "The One with Princess Consuela"
2004 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Graham Barnes Episode: "Shrink-Wrapped"
2004–2005 Star Trek: Enterprise Dr. Arik Soong / Lt. Commander Data (voice) 4 episodes
2005 Joey Himself Episode: "Joey and the Premier"
2005–2006 Threshold Dr. Nigel Fenway 13 episodes
2009 Leverage William Quint Episode: "The Juror #6 Job"
2009 Family Guy Himself (voice) Episode: "Not All Dogs Go to Heaven"
2010–2013 Generator Rex Dr. Gabriel Rylander (voice) 4 episodes[29]
2011 The Guild Himself Episode: "Ends and Begins"
2011 Alphas Dr. Kern Episode: "Blind Spot"
2011 The Big Bang Theory Himself Episode: "The Russian Rocket Reaction"
2011, 2021 Young Justice The Joker (voice) 2 episodes[29]
2011 Fresh Hell[30] Brent Spiner 15 episodes
2012 The Simpsons Robots (voice) Episode: "Them, Robot"
2012 The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes Purple Man (voice) Episode: "Emperor Stark"[29]
2012 Warehouse 13 Brother Adrian 6 episodes
2013 Robot Chicken Dr. Noonien Soong, Gondola Jack, Medic (voice) Episode: "Caffeine-Induced Aneurysm"
2013 Wendell & Vinnie Himself Episode: "Swindle & Vinnie"
2014 Ray Donovan Therapist 3 episodes
2014 Star Wars Rebels Gall Trayvis (voice) 2 episodes[29]
2014 Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. Silver Surfer (voice) Episode: "Fear Itself"[29]
2015 Comedy Bang! Bang! The Sandman Episode: "Zach Galifianakis Wears Grey Corduroys and Brown Leather Shoes"
2015–2016 Blunt Talk Phil 4 episodes
2016–2018 Outcast Sidney 17 episodes
2016 The Blacklist The Architect Episode: "The Architect"
2017 Justice League Action Edward Nygma / The Riddler (voice) Episode: "E. Nigma, Consulting Detective"[29]
2019 The Goldbergs Dr. Emry Episode: "This is This is Spinal Tap"
2020–2023 Star Trek: Picard Data, Altan Soong, Adam Soong, Daystrom Android M-5-10 Series regular

14 episodes

2020 The Ready Room Himself Episode: "Episode 20"
2020 Penny Dreadful: City of Angels Ned Vanderhoff 6 episodes
2024 Night Court Bob Wheeler Episode: "Wheelers of Fortune"


Year Title Role Notes
1978 A History of the American Film Hank
1983 Sunday in the Park with George Franz/Jed
1984–85 Franz/Dennis
1984 The Three Musketeers Aramis
1985–1987 Big River The Duke
1992, 1993 Every Good Boy Deserves Favour Ivanov[31]
1997–1998 1776 John Adams Nominated—Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical
2003 Life × 3 Hubert
2009 Man of La Mancha Cervantes[32]

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
1995 Star Trek: The Next Generation – A Final Unity Data [29]
1999 Star Trek: Hidden Evil Data [29]


Year Title Role Notes
2015 Rain of the Ghosts Setebos, Ducky Simpson
2021 Fan Fiction: A Mem-Noir: Inspired by True Events Brent Spiner, Various


Year Title Artist Notes
1991 Ol' Yellow Eyes Is Back Himself
2010 Dreamland Brent Spiner and Maude Maggart

Awards and honors


  1. ^ "The Lifetime Achievement Award is usually presented to an individual for their contributions to genre entertainment. Top luminaries like Stan Lee and Leonard Nimoy, Mr. Spock himself, have received this top honor. It's not new, but we extended this award to cover the entire cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation, due to its continued influence on the face of general television. It was originally doomed to failure since it was following in the footsteps of the original Star Trek, yet it carved its own identity, and its diverse cast was light years ahead of its time!" —Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films[33]


  1. ^ Wills, Adam (May 7, 2009). "Top 5 Jewish moments in 'Trek'". The Jewish Journal. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  2. ^ "Tweens : Celebrities : Brent Spiner". Jewish United Fund. Archived from the original on May 14, 2016. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
  3. ^ "Brent Spiner". Yahoo! TV. February 2, 1949. Archived from the original on July 23, 2012. Retrieved December 9, 2010.
  4. ^ Lipton, Michael A. (June 8, 1992). "Can Data Find a Mate-A?" Archived May 13, 2016, at the Wayback Machine People, vol. 37, No. 22.
  5. ^ Spelling, Ian (July 23, 2012). "Brent Spiner set to return to Warehouse 13" Archived November 9, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Reading Eagle.
  6. ^ "Distinguished HISD Alumni". Houston Independent School District. Archived from the original on July 27, 2018. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Before Brent Spiner was Famous". National Forensic League. Retrieved June 17, 2011
  8. ^ "The Cuero Record (Cuero, Tex.), Vol. 74, No. 228, Ed. 1 Tuesday, September 24, 1968". The Portal to Texas History. September 24, 1968. Retrieved February 26, 2022.
  9. ^ Dansby, Andrew (September 5, 2021). "Q&A: Houston's Brent Spiner talks 'Star Trek,' fans and fiction". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved February 26, 2022.
  10. ^ P., Ken (December 9, 2002). "An Interview with Brent Spiner". Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  11. ^ "The Advocates". The Paper Chase. Season 2. Episode 17. August 7, 1984.
  12. ^ a b "Brent Spiner- IMDb". IMDb, Inc. Retrieved March 6, 2021.
  13. ^ "". June 29, 2011. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  14. ^ Polowy, Kevin (June 23, 2016). "Brent Spiner on Reprising 'Star Trek' Data Role: 'I'd Look Ridiculous in That Makeup Now'". Yahoo! Entertainment. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  15. ^ ""These Are the Voyages..." Nine Years Later". CBS Studios Inc. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  16. ^ "Star Trek: Picard (Official Site) Watch on Paramount+". January 22, 2020.
  17. ^ Spencer, Samuel (March 26, 2020). "What happened at the end of 'Star Trek: Picard' and what it means for Season 2". Newsweek. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  18. ^ "Brent Spiner And Patrick Stewart: Saying Goodbye To Data On 'Star Trek: Picard'—And Forever". Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  19. ^ Lee, Luaine (January 9, 2003). "A Data with Star Trek again". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved December 9, 2010.
  20. ^ Baio, Andy (February 2008). "Brent Spiner's Ol' Yellow Eyes is Back". Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  21. ^ 1776: The New Broadway Cast Recording (1997), Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  22. ^ P., Ken (December 9, 2002). "An Interview with Brent Spiner". Retrieved June 28, 2016.
  23. ^ "Brent Spiner". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
  24. ^ Tenuto, John (April 27, 2008). "Review: Brent Spiner's Dreamland + Interview + Signed CD Giveaway."
  25. ^ Laporte, Leo (January 13, 2010). "TWiT Live Specials". TWiT. Archived from the original on April 25, 2010. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  26. ^ "Celebrate Brent Spiner's Birthday With Every Episode of 'Fresh Hell'". February 2, 2014. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  27. ^ Pascale, Anthony (March 22, 2012). "Exclusive Interview: Brent Spiner Talks Fresh Hell and Star Trek: TNG @25". Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  28. ^ Sands, Rich (October 14, 2011). "Young Justice Recruits Brent Spiner and Alyssa Milano for the Injustice League". TV Guide. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Brent Spiner (visual voices guide)". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved March 30, 2024. A green check mark indicates that a role has been confirmed using a screenshot (or collage of screenshots) of a title's list of voice actors and their respective characters found in its opening and/or closing credits and/or other reliable sources of information.
  30. ^ Spiner, Brent. "Fresh Hell". YouTube. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  31. ^ Mangan, Timothy (February 17, 1992). "MUSIC / STAGE REVIEW : A Starry Staging of 'Every Good Boy'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 24, 2024.
  32. ^ Verini, Bob (February 17, 2009). "Man of La Mancha". Variety. Retrieved February 2, 2021.
  33. ^ a b Pascale, Anthony (February 4, 2024). "'Star Trek: Picard' Wins 4 Saturn Awards, 'Strange New Worlds' Wins 1". Archived from the original on February 5, 2024.