AKA Brent Jay Spiner
Birthplace: Houston, TX
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Data on Star Trek: TNG
Brent Spiner played the android Lt. Commander Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation and subsequent Star Trek projects. He also played Data's "brother", the evil android Lore, another troubled brother "B-4", Data's creator Noonien Soong, and Dr Soong's great-great-great grandfather, Anik Soong.
Spiner's father died when he was an infant, leaving his mother to raise him and his brother alone. He became Brent Mintz when she remarried, but Spiner has referred to his stepfather as "a monster", and when he became a professional actor he changed his name back to Spiner. In high school, he lettered in baseball, playing a pretty good first base. His classmates included Randy Quaid, and both were mentored by the same drama teacher, Cecil Pickett. Years later, Quaid and Spiner both appeared in the film Independence Day (Spiner was the guy who got choked by the alien). His first professional role came at the age of 20, in the TV melodrama My Sweet Charlie with Patty Duke. His first film was Woody Allen's Stardust Memories. He played the lead in a deservedly-forgotten 1984 low-budget romantic comedy, Rent Control. On Night Court with Harry Anderson, Spiner had a recurring role as the guy running the snack stand.
Never particularly a fan of science fiction or Star Trek, Spiner says he auditioned for the role of Data assuming the show would be quickly cancelled, but he needed the money. He has seen only about twenty episodes of The Next Generation. "Because I work on it so much, I've read all the episodes and I've acted on them -- I just think it would be redundant for me to sit down and watch them". By the show's end, technicians said Spiner was the only actor in the principle cast who did not need artificial padding or girdling on camera.
In Star Trek: First Contact he kissed the Borg Queen, and in Introducing Dorothy Dandridge he kissed Halle Berry, which, Spiner deadpans, was "more fun and less work". In Star Trek: Generations he had an emotion chip installed, and in Star Trek: Nemesis -- co-written by Spiner -- Data gave his life for his Star Fleet friends.
Spiner has done several musicals on Broadway, including a turn as John Adams in a revival of 1776. On a 1991 CD titled "Ol' Yellow Eyes Is Back" (an allusion to Data's artificial eyeballs), Spiner warbled such standards as "Embraceable You" and "When I Fall in Love". For his rendition of "It's A Sin to Tell A Lie", the back-up singers were Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Michael Dorn, and LeVar Burton.
In Star Trek: Insurrection, Spiner sang a rendition of "A British Tar" (from Gilbert & Sullivan's HMS Pinafore) with Stewart and Dorn. Their vocals were far superior to the Kirk-Spock-McCoy performance of "Row Row Row Your Boat" in Star Trek V.
In Out to Sea with Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon, Spiner played the cruisy cruise captain, and Matthau jokingly suggested he change his name to Brent Orange Jello. Spiner has played himself on Joey, where he says he asked the writers to script him as a jerk "because", he jokes, "I am." He was in Dude, Where's My Car? with Ashton Kutcher, and has returned to episodic science fiction playing a crotchety doctor on Threshold with Carla Gugino.
Father: Jack Spiner (d. 1950, kidney failure)
Mother: Sylvia Schwartz
Father: Sol Mintz (stepfather, record shop owner, adopted 1955)
Father: Marty Mintzer (stepfather)
Brother: Ron Spiner (b. 1947, d. 1997)
Girlfriend: Swoosie Kurtz (actress, dated in late 1970s)
Girlfriend: Terry Farrell (actress, dated in early 1990s)
Girlfriend: Loree McBride (publicist, possibly Spiner's wife, one son)
Son: Jackson Spiner (b. 29-Jun-2002)
High School: Bellaire Senior High School, Bellaire, TX
University: University of Houston (dropped out)
John Edwards for President
Progressive Patriots Fund
Adopted by Sol Mintz
Risk Factors: Smoking
Threshold Dr. Nigel Fenway (2005)
Star Trek: Enterprise Dr. Arik Soong (2004-05)
Star Trek: The Next Generation Lt. Commander Data (android, 1987-94)
Night Court Bob Wheeler (1985-87)
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Superhero Movie (27-Mar-2008)
Material Girls (18-Aug-2006)
The Aviator (17-Dec-2004)
An Unexpected Love (24-Mar-2003)
Star Trek: Nemesis (9-Dec-2002) · Data
The Master of Disguise (2-Aug-2002) · Bowman
I Am Sam (3-Dec-2001)
The Ponder Heart (15-Oct-2001)
A Girl Thing (20-Jan-2001)
Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (14-Aug-1999)
South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (30-Jun-1999) [VOICE]
Star Trek: Insurrection (11-Dec-1998) · Data
Trekkies (18-Oct-1997) · Himself
Out to Sea (2-Jul-1997)
Star Trek: First Contact (22-Nov-1996) · Data
Phenomenon (3-Jul-1996) · Dr. Bob
Independence Day (2-Jul-1996) · Dr. Brackish Okun
Pie in the Sky (9-Feb-1996)
Star Trek: Generations (18-Nov-1994) · Data
Corrina, Corrina (12-Aug-1994)
Miss Firecracker (28-Apr-1989)
Sunday in the Park with George (1986)
Crime of Innocence (27-Oct-1985)
Stardust Memories (26-Sep-1980) · Fan in Lobby
The Dain Curse (22-May-1978)
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